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Saginaw Spirit

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Saginaw Spirit
City: Saginaw, Michigan
League: Ontario Hockey League
Conference: Western
Division: West
Founded: 2002 (2002)–03
Home Arena: The Dow Event Center
Colours: Midnight blue, red, silver, white and yellow
Head Coach: Flag of the United States Todd Watson
General Manager: Flag of the United States Todd Watson
Affiliate(s): Leamington Flyers
Franchise history
1943–47: St. Catharines Falcons
1947–62: St. Catharines Teepees
1962–76: St. Catharines Black Hawks
1976–82: Niagara Falls Flyers
1982–02: North Bay Centennials
2002–: Saginaw Spirit

Wendler arena pregame

Pregame Warm-up at Wendler Arena. February 7th, 2003.

The Saginaw Spirit is a junior ice hockey team based in Saginaw, Michigan. 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).


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. Catharines, Ontario, 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 Falls, where it was known as the Flyers. In 1982, the team was moved again, this time to North Bay, 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.


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.


See complete list of all List of Saginaw Spirit alumni.

Award winnersEdit

NHL alumniEdit

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

Current squadEdit

Roster updated as of June 1st, 2010

Number Player Glove Acquired NHL Draft Place of birth
1 Flag of the Czech Republic Tadeas Galansky L Saginaw Spirit 2009 2010 Czech Republic
80 Flag of Canada Edward Pasquale O/A L Trade BLV 2007 ATL 2009 Toronto, Ontario
Number Player Shoots Acquired NHL Draft Place of birth
Flag of Canada Matt Ashman O/A R Trade LON 2010 Undrafted London, Ontario
2 Flag of the United States Brad Walch L Saginaw Spirit 2007 Undrafted Saginaw, Michigan
14 Flag of the United States Alex Lepkowski L Saginaw Spirit 2009 2011 West Seneca, New York
17 Flag of the United States Joe Underwood O/A R Trade GUE 2007 Undrafted Canton, Michigan
21 Flag of Canada Ryan O'Connor R Trade BAR 2009 2010 Hamilton, Ontario
27 Flag of the United States Frank Schumacher L Saginaw Spirit 2009 2012 Brighton, Michigan
41 Flag of Canada Cody Sol L Saginaw Spirit 2007 ATL 2009 Woodstock, Ontario
44 Flag of Canada Matt Braun R Saginaw Spirit 2008 2010 Mississauga, Ontario
70 Flag of Canada Peter Hermengildo R Trade SUD 2009 Undrafted Thornhill, Ontario
77 Flag of the United States Dalton Young Free Agent 2010 2011 Marysville, Michigan
Number Player Shoots Position Acquired NHL Draft Place of birth
5 Flag of the United States Garrett Ross L LW Free Agent 2009 2010 Dearborn, Michigan
9 Flag of Canada Sloan Stewart R RW Saginaw Spirit 2007 Undrafted Guelph, Ontario
14 Flag of Canada Jordan Szwarz - A R RW Saginaw Spirit 2007 PHX 2009 Burlington, Ontario
15 Flag of Canada Anthony Camara L LW Saginaw Spirit 2009 2011 Toronto, Ontario
19 Flag of the United States Michael Kantor R RW Free Agent 2010 2010 Lake Forest, Illinois
20 Flag of Canada Mitch Fillman R RW Free Agent 2007 Undrafted Oakville, Ontario
22 Flag of Canada Dylan Fitze R RW Saginaw Spirit 2008 2011 Peterborough, Ontario
24 Flag of Russia Ivan Telegin L C Saginaw Spirit 2009 2010 Novokuznetsk, Russia
25 Flag of Canada Josh Shalla L LW Trade GUE 2009 2010 Whitby, Ontario
67 Flag of the United States Barry Sanderson O/A R C Trade NIA 2008 Undrafted Dearborn, Michigan
89 Flag of the United States Vincent Trocheck R C Saginaw Spirit 2009 2011 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
93 Flag of Canada Michael Sgarbossa L C Trade BAR 2009 2010 Campbellville, Ontario

Team recordsEdit

Team records for a single season
Most points912006–07
Most wins442006–07
Most goals for2912006–07
Least goals for1502004–05
Least goals against2172006–07
Most goals against2752002–03
Individual player records for a single season
Most goalsRyan McDonough452007–08
Most assistsJordan Skellett622009–10
Most pointsJack Combs1002007–08
Most points, rookieJan Mursak802006–07
Most points, defensemanPatrick McNeill772006–07
Best GAA, goalieRyan Daniels2.942006–07
Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played

Season-by-season resultsEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Legend: OTL = Overtime loss, SL = Shootout loss

Season Games Won Lost Tied OTL SL Points Pct % Goals
2002–03 681145 5 7 340.2501582755th West
2003–04 681645 3 4 390.2871612285th West
2004–05 681842 4 4 440.3241502604th West
2005–06 683630 2 0 740.5442422462nd West
2006–07 684421 0 3 910.6692912172nd West
2007–08 683325 8 2 760.5592342314th West
2008–09 683624 4 4 800.5882352192nd West
2009–10 683427 4 3 750.5512402304th West


  • 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.
  • 2009–10 Lost to Kitchener Rangers 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.

Uniforms and logosEdit

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.


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[1] 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 Oshawa, Ontario mayor John Gray.[2]


The Spirit play at Wendler Arena (capacity 5,527), which is part of The Dow Event Center 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 Edit

The Saginaw Spirit in partnership with Meijer food stores sponsor the Mid Michigan Spirit, a women's hockey club based out of Midland, Michigan. 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, Michigan on March 9, 2008.


  1. Spirit on the Colbert Report Tonight. Saginaw Spirit (2006-10-03). Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
  2. Sunaya Sapurji (2007-02-01). The Steagle has landed. Toronto Star. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.

External linksEdit

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Saginaw Spirit. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

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