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Welcome to Eagles' Nest Notes, the weekly Spirit update and preview. Saginaw is tied for first place in the OHL West Division with the Plymouth Whalers. The 22-10-1-1 Whalers have a game in hand over the 22-11-0-2 Spirit; both teams have 46 points. The Spirit play a three-in-three series this weekend, against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the Windsor Spitfires and the Kitchener Rangers.

The Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds Thursday, December 28th at 7:11 PM Dow Event Center, Saginaw

For ticket information, please call 989.497.7747 or check out saginawspirit.com

The 16-16-0-4 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are in 4th place in the OHL West Division with 36 points. Since 2002 the Spirit have a record of 14-20-1-0 against the Hounds; this season the Spirit lead the series 3-1-0-0. Spirit forward Patrick Asselin has 3 goals and 1 assist on the Hounds this season; Forward Ryan McDonough has 2 goals and 4 assists.

Forward Dustin Jeffrey leads the Soo point production with 47 points, 17 goals and 30 assists, while forward Cody Thornton is leading the goal scoring with 19 goals. Chicago Blackhawks pick David Kuchejda, 8 goals and 13 assists, is with Team Czech preparing for the World Juniors tournament. Blue liner Andrew Campbell, 3 goals and 9 assists, is leading the defense with plus-13 while Kyle Gajewski has anchored the net for the Hounds in 29 games.

The Windsor Spitfires Friday, December 29th at 7:30 PM Windsor Arena, Windsor

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The Windsor Spitfires are in 5th place in the OHL West Division with 26 points and a record of 12-19-1-1. Since 2002 Saginaw has a record of 9-13-1-0 against Windsor. The Spirit beat the Spits in the only contest between the two teams this season, winning 5-3 on September 30th, 2006. Spirit forward Patrick Asselin and D-man Matt Corrente each notched 2 points in the game.

Windsor recently made OHL headlines with a blockbuster trade with the Owen Sound Attack, sending standout netminder Anthony Guadagnolo and former Spirit Anthony Soboczynski to Owen Sound for forward Joshua Bailey, goaltender Scott Bowles and a 2009 2nd round pick. Bailey got to work immediately, scoring 1 goal and 6 assists in his first 8 games with the Spits. Forwards Craig Voakes, 8 goals and 16 assists, and Bradley Snetsinger, 11 goals and 16 assists, lead Windsor's offensive production. Forward Keaton Turkiewicz is the team's goal leader with 14 on the season. Buffalo Saber's pick Mike Weber and Overager Scott Todd anchor the Spits blue line, while Bowles and Andrew Engelage share duty in the net.

The Kitchener Rangers Saturday, December 30th at 7:11 PM Dow Event Center, Saginaw

For ticket information, please call 989.497.7747 or check out saginawspirit.com

Kitchener enters the week with 50 points and a record of 24-10-0-2, good for 1st place in the OHL Midwest Division. The Spirit has a record of 3-11-2-0 against the Rangers since 2002 and a record of 0-2-0-0 this season. Spirit D-man Nigel Williams and forwards Jan Mursak and Jack Combs each have 2 points against the Rangers.

Recently acquired forward Peter Tsimikalis (6 goals and 9 assists in 6 games) had a four-point game against the Spirit on December 15th, notching 2 goals and 2 assists. Forward Matt Halischuk leads the Rangers in scoring production with 24 goals and 21 assists. The Rangers temporarily lost defensemen Jakub Kindl (Team Czech) and Yannick Weber (Team Switzerland) to the World Juniors Tournament but can count on Matt Pepe (plus-13), Robert Bortuzzo (plus-13) and Dan Kelly (plus-11) to hold down the blue line in their absence. Goaltender John Murray leads the league in goals against average (2.34) and shutouts (4). In 28 games played Murray has a 0.921 save percentage.
 
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