Steve Guenette made 33 saves to pick up his second shutout of the season and lead the Salt Lake Golden Eagles to their 12th straight win, a 2-0 triumph over the Saginaw Hawks.
The 12 consectutive victories equals a Salt Lake club record set during the 1981-82 season. The Golden Eagles continue with their shot at an IHL mark of 14 straight triumphs, last reached by the Minneapolis Millers in 1961.Guenette's net-minding heroics paid off after two scoreless periods when Salt Lake finally broke through on Hawks goalie Ed Belfour at the other end. Salt Lake wing Rick Hayward knocked the puck loose along the boards in the Saginaw end, where Peter Lappin picked it up and centered to Jim Johannson just above the right face-off circle. Johannson fired home his 32nd goal of the year to put the Golden Eagles on the board with 7:51 left in the game.
Guenette staved off Saginaw's attempts to get the equalizing goal, and the Hawks finally pulled Belfour in favor of an extra attacker with 1:30 to go. But Salt Lake turned the tables on the strategy when Johannson was able to score into the empty net with just :04 left in the contest.
Guenette now has won seven straight games, allowing just 11 goals in his last eight starts to drop his goals-against average to 2.63. The win was the first in three seasons for a Salt Lake team in Saginaw's Wendler Arena.
Salt Lake now heads back to Indianapolis to finish off its three-game road trip against the Ice in a Tuesday night contest. From there, the Golden Eagles will head home for a pair of games with Denver at the Salt Palace next weekend.
EAGLE NOTES: Eagles Rich Chernomaz and Paul Ranheim were unexpectedly returned to the Eagles by Calgary Flames for this game; they arrived just in time to play but didn't get to warm up. Since the Eagles go to Chicago Sunday night to watch the Flames play the Blackhawks, it's possible that Chernomaz and Ranheim will be back on the Flame roster for that game . . . Going into Saturday night's game, the Eagles were 0-3 at Saginaw this season and 0-7-1 at Saginaw over the past two seasons . . . Eagles haven't allowed more than two goals against in a game since March 9, seven games . . . Eagles started the night one point behind Milwaukee for West Division lead.