Spirit edge Warriors in Memorial Cup opener

Saginaw Spirit' players put their hockey sticks in the air after winning the opening hockey game of the Memorial Cup against the Moose Jaw Warriors in Saginaw, Mich., Friday, May 24, 2024. (Julian Leshay Guadalupe/The Flint Journal via AP)

SAGINAW, Mich. — Zayne Parekh had a goal and two assists as the host Saginaw Spirit held off the Moose Jaw Warriors to win 5-4 in the Memorial Cup opener on Friday.

Nic Sima; Owen Beck, with one goal and one assist; Jorian Donovan; and Josh Bloom also scored for host Saginaw, which entered the tournament having fallen in the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference final to eventual champion London.

Brayden Yager, with two goals and one assist; Denton Mateychuk, with a goal and two assists; and Matthew Savoie replied for Western Hockey League champion Moose Jaw. 

Andrew Oke made 22 saves in the win, while Jackson Unger stopped 31 shots for the Warriors..

Donovan’s goal at 9:04 of the second period put the Spirit up 4-0. However, Moose Jaw rallied with three unanswered goals in a span of one minute 35 seconds late in the second.

Bloom gave Saginaw a 5-3 edge just 1:52 into the third before Savoie again made it a one-goal contest with 2:47 left in the period.

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