(Photo Via: Oshawa Generals/Goodall Media)
SAGINAW – A defensive battle took place on Sunday night when the Oshawa Generals rolled in to Saginaw to squeak away with a 2-0 win on the road against the Spirit.
With no goals to show for it, the first period was a one-sided offensive showing. The Oshawa Generals put 14 pucks towards the Saginaw Spirit net, but it was Evan Cormier, the Bomanville, Ont., native shutting the door.
The Generals weren’t able to break through the stone wall of Cormier, until late in the 2nd period. With 0:58 to go in the middle frame, Jack Studnicka scored his 16th goal of the season to give the Generals an all-important 1-0 lead heading into the 3rd period. The Tecumseh, Ont., native, who was a 2nd round (53rd overall) pick to Boston in the 2017 NHL Draft, had been struggling as of late to find the back of the net. While it was his 2nd goal in 3 games, Studnicka hadn’t found the net previous to the in his last five games. The goal gave Studnicka his 60th point of the season, which is a career high and averages him at more than a point per game this season, only playing in 58 tilts so far.
The Spirit couldn’t get anything going to give their goaltender some help, and with 4:30 to go in the game, Max Grondin took a delay of game penalty, sending the Generals to the power play late.
The Gens were unable to capitalize on the opportunity, but with 1:20 to go, Kenny Huether put the puck into the open net, giving the Generals a 2-0 lead on Huether’s 28th goal of the season. Huether has now scored 4 goals in his last 6 games, and improved his point streak to 10 consecutive games. The last time he was held off the scoresheet was back on February 2nd when the Generals fell 7-1 to the Kingston Frontenacs at the Rogers K-Rock Centre.
Kyle Keyser picked up the win for the Generals. The Coral Springs, Fla., native recorded his 4th shutout of the season and improved his record to 24-11-2 on the year. Keyser has won 4 consecutive starts and is 8-3-0 in his last 11 starts. Keyser’s last shutout came just nine days ago when he shutout the Sudbury Wolves when the Generals were on the road.
A strong performance by Cormier was not enough for his team to come away with a victory. You don’t win too many games when you don’t score. Cormier has now lost 3 straight decisions and hasn’t won a game since February 17th when he beat Flint by a score of 5-3.
The Spirit will have a tough test ahead as their next matchup will be on Wednesday night when they host the CHL best, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. That game will go at 7:05pm and has the potential to be a first round playoff matchup in the OHL Western conference.
The Generals next game will also take place on Wednesday and they too will be at home. They will take on the Mississauga Steelheads from the Tribute Communities Centre where they will look for a 5th consecutive win.
First Star: #38 Kyle Keyser – 26 Saves, 26 shots faced, 1 Win, 1 Shutout
Second Star: #35 Evan Cormier – 37 Saves, 38 Shots faced, 1 Loss
Third Star: #23 Jack Studnicka – 1 Goal, +2, 7 shots on goal, 45% Faceoffs (9/20) – Oshawa