Saginaw Spirit victorious in first home shootout

Thursday, January 5, 2006

In their first overtime game ever in the Ontario Hockey League, the Saginaw Spirit ice hockey team won against Sarnia Sting. The Spirit were also victorious in the first ever shootout at the Dow Event Center.

Friday, January 5, 2006 saw the Saginaw Spirit play division rival the Sarnia Sting at the Dow Event Center. Coming into the contest, the Spirit were in 2nd place in the OHL's West Division with 42 points and the Sarnia Sting were in 5th place with 27 points.

The scoring began at 1:15 of the first period with Spirit forward Chris Chappell scoring on a pass from defenseman Steven Whitely. After goals from defenseman Tyson Gimblett at 8:45 and a power play goal from captain Patrick McNeill at 11:42, the Sting scored their first goal; Chad Painchaud unassisted at 12:12. Mark Katic followed with a power play goal at 14:22 to make the score 3-2 Spirit at the first intermission.

In the second period, the Spirit and Sting exchanged goals. The Spirit struck first with Ryan McDonough scoring on the power play from Michal Birner and Patrick McNeill at 12:11. The Sting responded at 14:19 with a power play goal from Nick Tuzzolino assisted by Chad Painchaud and Tomas Pospisil.

The third period saw the score become tied. The Spirit scored on the power play at 2:10 with Chris Chappell placing the puck in net from Michal Birner and Patrick McNeill. The Sting would go on to tie the hockey game with Chad Painchaud and Jamie Fraser scoring at 15:59 and 17:31 respectively. The game was tied at 5 going into the overtime period.

After a scoreless overtime, the first shootout in the history of the Dow Event Center began. Sarnia's Chad Painchaud and the Spirit's Michal Birner were the first to shoot. Neither scored. On their next shot, the Sting took a 1-0 shoouout lead on Tomas Pospisil's goal. The Spirit would respond as captain Patrick McNeill would score on the very next shot. Shooting next for the Sting, Harrison Reed did not score and neither did Zack Torquato for the Spirit. According to OHL rules, the game then proceeded into sudden death. The Sting shot first. Ryan McInerny's shot was saved by Ryan Daniels. The Spirit sent Ryan McDonough to attempt to win the game. His shot was also blocked by Parker Van Buskirk. Sarnia's next shot was off the stick of Jamie Fraser. It was blocked. The Spirit then sent out Jesse Gimblett, brother of Tyson, to take the Spirit's next shot. His goal won the game for the Spirit at 9:45 pm in front of a sold out crowd of 4,312.

The OHL Three Stars of the Game were Saginaw's Jesse Gimblett with no points, but the winning goal in the shootout, and Patrick McNeill with 1 goal and two assists and Sarnia's Chad Painchaud with 2 goals and 2 assists.