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Pregame Warm-up at Wendler Arena.
February 7th, 2003.
The Saginaw Spirit are a junior ice hockey team based in Saginawmarker, Michiganmarker. They are members of the West Division of the Western Conference of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), one of the leagues of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).

History

The Saginaw Spirit were born when Dick Garber, the owner of several local automobile dealerships, purchased the North Bay Centennials and moved the team to Saginaw after the 2001–02 season, renaming it the Saginaw Spirit.

The team traces its roots back to St. Catharinesmarker, Ontariomarker, where it played as the Falcons, Teepees, and Black Hawks from 1943–1976. It won two Memorial Cup championships as the Teepees, in 1954 and 1960. In 1976, the franchise moved to nearby Niagara Fallsmarker, where it was known as the Flyers. In 1982, the team was moved again, this time to North Baymarker, and renamed the Centennials, where it remained until moving to Saginaw in 2002.

The Spirit have done extensive promotions in the Mid-Michigan area, increasing their fan base and season ticket-holder numbers. The Spirit have one of the highest attendance rates in the Ontario Hockey League.

After three rebuilding seasons the Spirit clinched their first playoff berth on March 2, 2006, but lost in the first round to the Guelph Storm. They made the playoffs the following two seasons, but lost to the division rival Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds both times, in six games in 2007 and in four games in 2008. In 2009, the Spirit won their first playoff series since relocating to Saginaw, sweeping Guelph in four games. They were then swept in the second round by the London Knights.

Coaches

The first coach in Saginaw Spirit history was Dennis Desrosiers. He was well known to local fans, with many years of hockey experience in Michigan. As a player he spent 10 years for the Saginaw Gears (IHL), and spent time coaching the Flint Generals, Saginaw Generals & Kalamazoo Wings all in Michigan. In total, there have been four coaches in Saginaw Spirit history to date.

List of coaches. Numbers of seasons in parentheses.



Players

See complete list of all List of Saginaw Spirit alumni.

Award winners











NHL alumni

Since 2002 the Saginaw Spirit have graduated seven players who have played in the National Hockey League.



Current squad

Roster updated as of November 9th, 2009

Goaltenders
Number Player Glove Acquired NHL Draft Place of birth
1 Tadeas Galansky (injured) L Saginaw Spirit 2009 2010 Czech Republicmarker
30 Anthony Peters L Trade KNG 2008 Undrafted Blyth, Ontariomarker
80 Edward Pasquale L Trade BLV 2007 ATL 2009 Torontomarker, Ontariomarker
Defensemen
Number Player Shoots Acquired NHL Draft Place of birth
2 Brad Walch L Saginaw Spirit 2007 Undrafted Saginaw, Michiganmarker
14 Alex Lepkowski L Saginaw Spirit 2009 2011 West Seneca, New Yorkmarker
17 Joe Underwood R Trade GUE 2007 Undrafted Canton, Michiganmarker
21 Ryan O'Connor R Trade BAR 2009 2010 Hamilton, Ontariomarker
26 Nicholas Trecapelli R Saginaw Spirit 2007 2010 Guelphmarker, Ontariomarker
41 Cody Sol L Saginaw Spirit 2007 ATL 2009 Woodstock, Ontariomarker
44 Matt Braun R Saginaw Spirit 2008 2010 Mississauga, Ontariomarker


Forwards
Number Player Shoots Position Acquired NHL Draft Place of birth
5 Garrett Ross L LW Free Agent 2009 2010 Dearborn, Michiganmarker
11 O/A Tyler Murovich - C L C Free Agent 2007 Undrafted Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker
14 Jordan Szwarz - A R RW Saginaw Spirit 2007 PHX 2009 Burlington, Ontariomarker
15 O/A Joe Pleckaitis L LW Trade BAR 2007 Undrafted Markham, Ontariomarker
20 Mitch Fillman R RW Free Agent 2007 Undrafted Oakville, Ontariomarker
23 O/A Jordan Skellett L LW Trade ERE 2008 Undrafted London, Ontariomarker
24 Ivan Telegin L C Saginaw Spirit 2009 2010 Novokuznetskmarker, Russiamarker
25 Josh Shalla L LW Trade GUE 2009 2010 Whitby, Ontariomarker
28 Stephen Francella L LW Free Agent 2009 Undrafted Bolton, Ontariomarker
51 Anthony Camara L LW Saginaw Spirit 2009 2011 Toronto, Ontariomarker
67 Barry Sanderson R C Trade NIA 2008 Undrafted Dearborn, Michiganmarker
89 Vincent Trocheck R C Saginaw Spirit 2009 2011 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker
93 Michael Sgarbossa L C Trade BAR 2009 2010 Campbellville, Ontariomarker


Team records

Team records for a single season
Statistic Total Season
Most points 91 2006–07
Most wins 44 2006–07
Most goals for 291 2006–07
Least goals for 150 2004–05
Least goals against 217 2006–07
Most goals against 275 2002–03


Individual player records for a single season
Statistic Player Total Season
Most goals Ryan McDonough 45 2007–08
Most assists Tyler Haskins 60 2006–07
Most points Jack Combs 100 2007–08
Most points, rookie Jan Mursak 80 2006–07
Most points, defenseman Patrick McNeill 77 2006–07
Best GAA, goalie Ryan Daniels 2.94 2006–07
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played



Season-by-season results

Regular season

Legend: OTL = Overtime loss, SL = Shootout loss

Season Games Won Lost Tied OTL SL Points Pct % Goals
For
Goals
Against
Standing
2002–03 68 11 45 5 7 34 0.250 158 275 5th West
2003–04 68 16 45 3 4 39 0.287 161 228 5th West
2004–05 68 18 42 4 4 44 0.324 150 260 4th West
2005–06 68 36 30 2 0 74 0.544 242 246 2nd West
2006–07 68 44 21 0 3 91 0.669 291 217 2nd West
2007–08 68 33 25 8 2 76 0.559 234 231 4th West
2008–09 68 36 24 4 4 80 0.559 235 219 2nd West


Playoffs

  • 2002–03 Out of playoffs.
  • 2003–04 Out of playoffs.
  • 2004–05 Out of playoffs.
  • 2005–06 Lost to Guelph Storm 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
  • 2006–07 Lost to Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
  • 2007–08 Lost to Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
  • 2008–09 Defeated Guelph Storm 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
    Lost to London Knights 4 games to 0 in conference semi-finals.


Uniforms and logos

The Saginaw Spirit logo depicts an American bald eagle with the colors of the Stars and Stripes along its neck, on the words "Saginaw Spirit." The uniform scheme is similar to that previously used by the U.S.A. national team. The home jerseys are white backgrounds with navy blue sleeves and red trim. The away jerseys are navy blue backgrounds with red sleeves and white trim. The Saginaw third jersey has a red background with navy blue sleeves and white trim, bearing across the chest the word "Saginaw" spelled diagonally downwards from left to right.

Mascots

Saginaw's main mascot is "Sammy Spirit," resembling an American bald eagle. The team held a vote on their website to name a new secondary mascot for the 2006–07 season. The mascot was named Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle after Stephen Colbert. Colbert had promoted the contest on his show, The Colbert Report. After naming the mascot after Colbert, the Spirit won seven straight games before losing to the Sarnia Sting on October 20. Since then, The Colbert Report has featured ongoing comedy sketches related to the team, the mascot, and other teams in the Ontario Hockey League, especially the Oshawa Generals, and Oshawamarker, Ontariomarker mayor John Gray.

Arena

The Spirit play at Wendler Arenamarker (capacity 5,527), which is part of The Dow Event Centermarker complex in downtown Saginaw. The OHL All-Star Classic was hosted here in 2007. This was the first time in history that the OHL All-Star Game was hosted in an American city. The Arena was formerly home to the Saginaw Gears, Saginaw Generals, Saginaw Hawks, Saginaw Wheels and the Saginaw Lumber Kings.
Capacity = 5,527
Ice size = 192' x 85'




Mid Michigan Spirit

The Saginaw Spirit in partnership with Meijer food stores sponsor the Mid Michigan Spirit, a women's hockey club based out of Midland, Michiganmarker. The 16U team took second at the MAHA state tournament during the 2006-2007 season. A 16U team moved up to 19U for the 2007-2008 season and once again took second at the MAHA state tournament in Canton, Michiganmarker on March 9, 2008.

References



External links




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