By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
As a new year has dawned, the Oshawa Generals recent struggles continue, as the team has lost six of their last seven games.
Traveling south of the border this weekend to take on the Saginaw Spirit, the Generals defense was picked apart, with the home team scoring eight goals.
Oshawa was the first to find the back of the net in Saginaw, as Daniel Michaud picked up a pass right in front of the net and flipped it past goaltender Tristan Lennox for the first of his OHL career.
However, Saginaw would take advantage of numerous powerplay opportunities, scoring two of three goals in the first period with a man advantage.
In the second period, Oshawa goalie Zachary Paputsakis didn’t return to the game after allowing three goals on 15 shots in the period and was replaced by Andrew MacLean.
It took a little more than five minutes for Saginaw to break through however, as Cole Coskey scored the first goal of the period.
Oshawa responded quickly, as Brett Neumann took control of the play himself, and ripped a shot past Lennox to bring the Gens within two.
Mitchell Smith would then add one more for Saginaw before the end of the period, putting Oshawa down 5-2 heading into the final frame.
Damien Giroux quickly opened the scoring in the third, adding to the Spirit’s lead.
Ty Tullio then tipped a shot from the point past Lennox to give the Gens their third of the game.
However, Saginaw added two more before Neumann tallied his second of the game, bringing the final score to 8-4.
Despite outshooting the Spirit 40-32, the Gens allowed three powerplay goals in four opportunities, and didn’t take home a star of the game.
In earlier action, the Gens were taking on the Flint Firebirds on the road.
It took some time for either team to find the back of the net, but both teams did in the final minute of the first period.
Riley McCourt scored for Flint shortly before Brett Harrison took a pass from Michaud, and stickhandled his way to the Gens’ first of the game.
With the game tied heading into the second, Tullio broke the tie as he rifled one past goaltender Anthony Popovich to take the lead.
However, the Firebirds would manage to tie the game before Dawson McKinney took a pass from behind the net and found empty net in front of him.
With a 3-2 lead heading into the third, Flint managed to score twice to take the lead for the first time since the first period.
But after Serron Noel managed to steal the puck off of a Flint defender, he passed to Neumann who fired it home to tie the game, forcing overtime.
However, it was for naught as Flint’s Dennis Busby would beat Paputsakis and hand Oshawa the 5-4 overtime loss.
After being narrowly outshot 42-39, Giovanni Vallati was named the second star of the game for the Gens after tallying two assists in the game.
After two more games on the road, the Gens return home on Sunday, Jan. 12 to take on the Peterborough Petes at 6:05 p.m.