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Ryan McDonough scores a hat trick as Saginaw beats Erie 5-1

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

ERIE, Pa. - Ryan McDonough scored three goals, all in the third period and on the power play, and Jack Combs had four assists to lead the Spirit past the struggling Otters 5-1 in OHL action Saturday night.

McDonough's hat trick helped break open a 1-0 game. Saginaw (25-21-4-2) extended its lead to 2-0 on McDonough's power-play goal 1:08 into the third. With the goal he tied Combs for the team lead with 34 markers.

He then captured the team lead with his second power-play goal less than three minutes later. Combs assisted on both goals, scored on back-door plays that have victimized the Otters several times this season.

McDonough then completed his hat trick with another power-play goal late in the period off an assist from Combs.

Combs and McDonough have combined for 70 goals and 154 points this season. The Otters' penalty kill has allowed 12 power-play goals in the past 32 chances.

Meanwhile, the Otters' offensive troubles continued. Their scoreless drought reached 149 minutes, 51 seconds before forward Jordan Skellett scored with 8:01 left in the third period.

His goal kept the Otters (11-39-2-1) from being shut out in consecutive games for the first time in the franchise's 12-year history.

Chris Chappell had two assists and goaltender Edward Pasquale made 25 saves for the Spirit.

Rookie goaltender Jaroslav Janus allowed five goals on 34 shots for the Otters, (11-39-2-1) which lost their fourth straight overall, fifth straight at home and for the 17th time in 20 second-half games.

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