Veteran netminder Matt Mancina had 48 saves as the Peterborough Petes picked up their second straight win and fourth in the last five games, beating the visiting Saginaw Spirit 3-1 on Thursday night.
The victory gives Peterborough 48 points and vaults them past Ottawa (off tonight with 46 points) into second in the Ontario Hockey League’s East Division.
Saginaw won’t gain any ground with the loss and stay stuck in fourth in the West Division with 40 points.
While the Spirit shook the bus legs from the long trip from Michigan pretty easily, putting 15 pucks on Mancina in the first, it was Peterborough sophomore Adam Timleck (14th) who got things going late in the frame to swing the momentum back the other way.
The visitors would find a hole eventually, early in the second, when Spirit rookie Cole Coskey (4th) beat Mancina on his first visit to the Liftlock City, to tie the game.
And while many came to see Spirit star and Peterborough native Mitchell Stephens, it was another local boy who made the only impact, with Logan DeNoble putting the Petes back in front 2-1, just a few minutes after the tying goal.
Then about 14:00 into the period, Greg Betzold (29th) extended his point-streak to six games, off a nice drop feed from Jonathan Ang, making it 3-1.
Saginaw would put another 17 shots on the Peterborough goal by the end of the period.
Both goalies took over in the third, as Mancina turned away another 16 shots and Evan Cormier had his busiest period, stopping 12.
It was a disciplined game as well, with one penalty going each way, plus a second period tilt between the Petes’ Josh Coyle and Saginaw’s Will Petschenig.
The Petes hit the road to London and Sarnia to finish off three games in three nights tomorrow and Saturday, while Saginaw continue on to Kingston tomorrow and Ottawa on Sunday.