Fall short despite spirited effort, ending unbeaten streak
Heading into the game, the Wolves were 6-0-0-1 in their last seven games while the Spirit were on a roll of their own, with five straight wins.
The home team got the early jump with two goals 30 seconds apart in the first period and the Wolves were playing catch up all night. While three times they fought back from two-goal deficits, in the end they couldn’t come all the way back and dropped a 4-3 decision.
Despite the loss, head coach Paul Fixter wasn’t disappointed with his team’s effort.
“I hate losing, but it was a really good hockey game,” Fixter said after the game. “We showed a lot of resilience, we got fight and that’s a great characteristic of this team.
“There are a couple of goals we would like to have back, we made some mistakes, but that’s the way it goes. I’m proud of the effort.”
Nick Baptiste scored late in the first period to cut the Saginaw lead to 2-1. For Baptiste it was his 25th goal of the season.
“We worked hard ... they’re a good team over there,” Baptiste said. “We were slow to start, but when you get down a few goals and you show the resilience to get back, that’s what we need.
“We felt short tonight, but we can turn around and get two points tomorrow.”
The Wolves got a second-period goal from Connor Crisp -- his 18th of the season -- to cut the Spirit lead to 3-2, while Evan de Haan ended the scoring at 16:25 of the third.
For de Haan, it was his first goal of the season.
“It felt good,” de Haan said. “A little bit of a lucky shot, but I’ll take it.”
With the loss, the Wolves record drops to 25-11-3-4. They finish the 3-game Western Conference road trip Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Windsor.
- Wolves scratches: Conor Cummins (healthy), David Zeppieri (healthy) and Brody Silk (upper body).
- The Wolves outshot the Spirit 40-34.
- Wolves were 0-3 on the power-play. Saginaw was 0-3 as well.
- Three stars: 1) Eric Locke; 2) Kristoff Kontos; 3) Nick Baptiste.