Hockey is Back in Flint, Firebirds Win 3-2 Before Capacity Crowd

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Flint, Mich – The Flint Firebirds sent a capacity crowd of more than 4,000 fans home happy on Saturday night as the Firebirds improved to 2-0 posting consecutive wins over its rivals, the Saginaw Spirit.

With the city of Flint standing on their feet, Czech Republic native Matyáš Kantner scored the game-winning goal in a shootout, top-shelf over the right shoulder of Saginaw’s Cormier.

The Firebirds storybook night began 2:51 into the contest on the power-play when Will Bitten fed Connor Chatham in the slot, firing the puck into the Saginaw goal and erupting the city of Flint.

Saginaw would score their first of the evening tying the game on a rebound goal scored by Mitchell Stephens at 3:33 of the first period.

Matt Kreis would find the back-of-the-net shortside from the left-wing wall at 10:57, giving the Spirit their only lead of the night before Will Bitten recorded his second assist, dishing the puck to Mathieu Henderson on the power-play who one-timed the disc into the Saginaw cage. The game would remained tied 2-2 until Kantner’s shootout winner.

Vince Scognamiglio and Connor Brown recorded the first tilt in the history of OHL hockey in the city of Flint at 10:15 of the first period. Francesco Vilardi and Devon Paliani would follow in the second period at 4:50.

Flint’s Zach Bowman recorded the victory making 44 saves on 46 shots and denied all three Saginaw attempts in the shootout.

The Firebirds finished 2-6 on the power-play and 1-1 on the penalty-kill. Flint lead in shots at the end of the game 47-34.

The Flint Firebirds return to the Dort Federal Event Center on Saturday, Oct. 10 against the Sarnia Sting. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at, in-person at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or by calling (810) 744-0580. Great season seat locations are still available for fans to secure their spot for the entire year by calling the box office or e-mailing Grizz Houghton at

Photo Credit: Ron Crichton and Rena Laverty / Flint Firebirds

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