(Courtesy Saginaw Spirit)
OHL history was made in Detroit, Michigan at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, during Hockey Town's Winter Festival, as the Saginaw Spirit hosted the Windsor Spitfires in game one of an OHL pond hockey doubleheader on Sunday December 29th.
Saginaw and Windsor battled in front of an attendance of 25, 749 under light rain and wind to a thrilling 6-5 game that Windsor was on the winning side of.
A chippy start to the game led to a Windsor rebound powerplay goal that was fired home by Ben Johnson, the first outdoor hockey goal in OHL history, which was assisted by Sam Povorozniouk and Ryan Foss to put the Spitfires up 1-0 with fourteen minutes remaining in the first period. Saginaw struck back with a powerplay goal of their own with nine minutes remaining in the period that was scored from an obtuse angle by their captain Eric Locke and assisted by Kristoff Kontos and Nikita Serebryakov to tie the game at one. With two minutes remaining in the first period, the Spirit's Daniel De Sousa fired home a wicked wrister that went five hole on the Spitfires goaltender Alex Fotinos and was assisted by Blake Clarke, which was his first point with the Spirit, to go up 2-1 on the Spitfires.
Saginaw started the second period under the Comerica Park lights at a rampant pace as Jeremiah Addison ripped home a one-timer that was set up by Terry Trafford and Justin Kea via a pretty passing play, to put the Spirit up 3-1. Windsor answered back with a snipe off the stick of Cristiano DiGiacinto that was assisted by Brady Vail with 15 minutes remaining in the second period to make it a 3-2 game in favor of Saginaw. Less than a minute later the Spitfires tallied a powerplay goal that was scored off a slapshot by Slater Koekkoek and was assisted by Brady Vail to tie the game at three. Windsor benefited from their special teams once again as Remy Giftopoulos stuffed a powerplay goal past Saginaw goalie, Nikita Serebryakov, that was assisted by Josh Ho-Sang and Brady Vail at the midway point of the period. Windsor went up 5-3 on Saginaw with eight minutes remaining in the second period after an even-strength goal was netted by Brody Milne and assisted by Trevor Murphy and Josh Ho-Sang.
Saginaw's special teams capitalized on a powerplay opportunity with a goal ripped home by Justin Sefton that was asssited by Jesse Graham and Kristoff Kontos with fourteen minutes remaining in the third period. Saginaw tied the game at five when Brandon Prophet scored a powerplay goal that was assisted by Jimmy Lodge and Nick Moutrey with eight minutes remaining in the game. Windsor regained the lead at 6-5 when Steven Janes used a twirl and whirl unassisted shorthanded wrist shot with five minutes remaining in the game, which stood to be the game-winner.