Goal-tending through two periods was an apparent difference tonight as the Soo Greyhounds slipped past the visiting Saginaw Spirit in an Ontario Hockey League mid week matchup.
Simply put, Soo goalie Matthew Villalta out-saved his Saginaw counterpart Cameron Lamour through 40 minutes and the Greyhounds took a 4-0 lead after the two frames.
Shots on goal were 20-20 after two periods and while Villalta was flawless, Lamour surrendered four goals, including a pair of questionable markers that boosted the Soo lead from 2-0 to 4-0.
Rookie Tristan Lennox relieved Lamour to start the third period and stopped all six shots he faced but the Soo scored a pair of empty net goals to offset a duo of early Saginaw tallies that had made the score 4-2.
Saginaw would add another third period goal but it was the Soo that prevailed with the 6-3 victory.
The Spirit was without goalie Ivan Prosvetov, its Russian-born, no. 1 goalie who is awaiting visa clearance to be able to cross the border into Canada. Thus far this season, Prosvetov has only played in games on American ice and has an almost spotless record of 4-0-1 in the Saginaw net.
On the flip side, tonight’s win for the Greyhounds boosted the Soo’s record to 6-3-2, just ahead of Saginaw, which is now 6-3-1 and had a five-game winning streak snapped with the setback.
Saginaw winger Nick Porco, a Sault Ste. Marie native who leads the Spirit in goals with eight, was held off the score sheet in tonight’s game despite having seven shots on goal.
Ryan Roth, Cole MacKay, Mac Hollowell, Keeghan Howdeshell, Barrett Hayton and Morgan Frost scored for the Soo while Alex Michnac, rookie Cole Perfetti and D.J. Busdeker replied for Saginaw, which out-shot the Soo 36-28.