SAGINAW – The I-75 Divide Cup rivalry heated up a bit this weekend with the Saginaw Spirit topping the Flint Firebirds 5-3 in Saginaw on Saturday.
Flint grabbed the initial advantage with Ethan Keppen’s goal early in the first period.
The Spirit rallied in the latter half of the opening period to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission, but Flint got the game-tying goal on the power play from Cody Morgan in the second. Saginaw netted one moments later to take a 3-2 lead into the third.
The Firebirds opened the final frame with the equalizer from Brennan Othmann, but Saginaw went on to net a pair of goals and take the win.
Both teams played a back-and-forth battle the previous night at the Dort Federal Event Center with the Spirit winning 5-4.
Saginaw opened with two goals in the first 2:30 before Keppen’s power play goal cut the Spirit lead in half. Saginaw added another on the power play, but Othmann cut it to a 3-2 game after one.
The Spirit extended their lead to 4-2 in the middle frame, which Flint had an answer for. Jake Durham and Connor Roberts each scored less than two minutes apart to tie the game.
However, it was not meant to be. Saginaw scored with just 0:38 left in the game.
The losses slipped Flint to fifth place in the Western Conference at 18-13- 0-0 for 36 points. The Firebirds will now have a two-week holiday break and will return on Dec. 28 at home against Sarnia.