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Spirit Postseason ends in loss of Game 6

Saginaw Spirit

May 5, 2024 – Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Saginaw Spirit News Release

Saginaw Spirit goalie Nolan Lalonde makes a stop
Saginaw Spirit goalie Nolan Lalonde makes a stop
(Saginaw Spirit, Credit: Eric Young)

Saginaw, Mich. – The Saginaw Spirit fell 4-2 to the London Knights in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals at the Dow Event Center on Sunday afternoon. The London Knights will compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup as Western Conference Champions. Joey Willis and Jorian Donovan were the scorers for the Spirit, with Calem Mangone and captain Braden Haché claiming the assists. Michael Simpson started in net for London and saved 33 of 35 shots. On the other end, Nolan Lalonde stopped 22 of 25 shots on goal for Saginaw.

With less than two minutes left in the first, Sam Dickinson was called for a hooking call, giving Saginaw a power play opportunity. Halfway through the power play, it was London that scored the first goal of the evening. After intercepting a Spirit pass, Easton Cowan took to the ice and fired the puck just over Lalonde’s shoulder to score the shorthanded goal.

NA 1: SAG 0 – 1 LDN (Total Shots: 10 – 9)

With three minutes left in the second period, the Saginaw Spirit scored their first goal of the game, courtesy of Nashville prospect Joey Willis. After a scrum against the wall, Willis came up with the puck and quickly fired it from the left faceoff circle. The puck slid through Simpson, off the goal post, for the equalizer.

AFTER 2: SAG 1 – 1 LDN (2nd period shots: 11 – 10 Total shots: 21 – 19)

At 1:25, London regained the lead, with Sam O’Reilly scoring the goal and both Ruslan Gazizov and Max McCue receiving the assists.

At 7:35, Saginaw tied the game at 2-2. Jorian Donovan skated to Simpson’s right and backhanded the puck to his left, just out of reach of his skate. The puck slid in from the far goal post, tying the game. Both Calem Mangone and captain Braden Haché claimed assists for the equalizer.

The Knights responded in short order, with Jackson Edward firing home the eventual game winner from the right circle at 8:23. Assists went to Denver Barkey and Easton Cowan.

With two minutes left, Saginaw pulled Nolan Lalonde, leaving an empty net. Easton Cowan sealed the deal with his second of the match at 19:22. Barley and Max McCue assisted on the ENG.

FINAL: SAG 2 – 4 LDN (3rd period shots: 14 – 7 Total shots: 35 – 26)

Power play: SAG 0/4, LDN 0/2

Goaltenders: SAG: Nolan Lalonde (22 saves / 25 shots, L) – LDN: Michael Simpson (35 saves / 35 shots, W)

The London Knights advance to the OHL finals as Western Conference champions.

Saginaw will take on the Western Hockey League champions on May 24 at the Dow Event Center in the opening game of the Memorial Cup presented by Dow. The Puck Drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM.

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