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Welcome to Eagles' Nest Notes, the weekly Spirit update and preview. The Spirit enter the week with a record of 21-9-0-2 following a weekend sweep of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Saginaw's 44 points is good for first place in the OHL West Division and third place in the OHL Western Conference. The team heads on a three game road trip this weekend and will see action in Kitchener on Friday, Erie on Saturday and Oshawa on Sunday.

Leading the Power Play

The Spirit are ranked 4th in the league in the power play, with 48 power play goals in 210 opportunities. The team is ranked 1st in the power play when playing at home, with 29 goals in 111 opportunities.

Lowest Penalty Minutes Per Game

The Spirit have the lowest number of penalty minutes per game average in the league with 16.5 penalty minutes per game.

OHL Top 20

Center Tom Pyatt (NYR 05) is ranked 1st in game winning goal scoring (6 GWG), tied for 3rd in plus/minus (+19), 15th in total scoring (45 points) and 15th in goal scoring (21 goals).

Winger Jan Mursak (DET 06) is ranked 1st in plus/minus, 3rd in rookie scoring, 11th in assists scoring and 17th in total scoring with 13 goals, 32 assists and plus-21.

Center Tyler Haskins is ranked 8th in assists with 34 assists.

Winger Jack Combs is tied for 16th in game winning goal scoring (3 GWG).

Center Ryan McDonough is tied for 9th in power play scoring with 10 power play goals

Defenseman Patrick McNeill (WSH 05) is ranked 7th in d-man scoring with 30 points and is tied for 18th in power play goal scoring (9 PP goals).

Goalie Ryan Daniels (OTT 06) is tied for 2nd in total wins (20 Wins), ranked 7th in goals against average (3.13 GAA) and 10th in save percentage (0.905%).

Kitchener Rangers Friday, December 15, at 7:30 PM in Kitchener

Listen live on 97.3 JOE FM

Kitchener enters the week with 46 points and a record of 22-9-0-2, holding onto second place in the OHL Western Conference and OHL Midwest Division. The Spirit will head to Kitchener Friday night looking for a re-match following their 4-2 loss to the Rangers on November 30 (the series stands at 0-1-0-0). The Rangers are a threat on offense with the likes of Matt Halischuk, who is leading the team with 24 goals and 18 assists, and Nick Spaling, with 10 goals and 20 assists. Spaling is ranked the 4th top prospect in the OHL by the NHL Central Scouting Services, as of November 2006. Detroit Red Wing prospect Jakub Kindl, 5 goals, 24 assists and plus-13, leads a tough defense and the leagues 4th best penalty kill squad (0.835% of penalties killed). Goaltender John Murray has lead the lead in goals against average (2.38) and posts a save percentage of 0.920. Murray has notched 4 shutouts this season. The Spirit have a record of 2-5-1-0 against the Rangers since 2002, having won in Kitchener only once.

Erie Otters Saturday, December 16, at 7:30 PM in Erie

Listen live on 97.3 JOE FM

Former Spirit standout Zack Torquato and the 8-22-0-2 Erie Otters will host the Spirit Saturday night. Torquato has 15 goals and 18 assists on the season, with 5 goals and 4 assists in his 8 games played with the Otters following his trade from Saginaw in November (for Ryan O'Marra). Center Justin Hodgman, with 10 goals and 15 assists, and defenseman Andrew Hotham, with 9 goals and 14 assists, have been big contributors on the ice this season. The Otters have called upon rookie Jeff Dawson, Justin Garay, Jonathan Laniel and Ryan Ludzik to play in net, although Ludzik has played 15 out of 32 games this season. The Spirit took the first contest played between the two teams this season, winning 4-3 on November 16. Since 2002 the Spirit have a record of 9-7-0-0 against the Otters. Currently the Otters have 18 points and stand in 5th place in the OHL Midwest Division.

Oshawa Generals Sunday, December 17, at 6:05 PM in Oshawa

Listen live on 97.3 JOE FM, or visit Oshawa through the Durham Tourism Bureau at 1-800-413-0017. Check out their website at Durham Tourism - Oshawa Generals for great packages that include overnight accommodations, dining and more!

The Spirit will face off against the 13-14-0-3 Generals for the first time this season on Sunday in Oshawa. The Generals have 29 points and are in 4th place in the OHL East Division. Leading the OHL and Generals in goal production is 16 year old phenom and second year forward John Tavares, with 29 goals and 26 assists. Winger Brett Maclean, with 22 goals and 21 assists, and Minnesota Wild pick Cal Clutterbuck, with 15 goals and 24 assists, have also been big contributors on offense. Maclean was ranked the 6th top prospect in the OHL by the NHL Central Scouting Services as of November 2006. Defensemen Michael Del Zotto, with 6 goals and 29 assists, and San Jose Sharks' pick James Delory, with 2 goals and 8 assists, have been anchoring the General's blue line. Oshawa recently acquired goalie Mark Packwood from the Kitchener Rangers. Packwood will share duty in net with Carlo DiRienzo and Anthony Peters. Since 2002 the Spirit have a record of 4-3-0-0 against the Generals and swept the 2005-06 season series.
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