Flint, Mich. – Five Flint Firebirds scored goals and Garrett Forrest made 34 saves en-route to a 5-3 victory over the Mississauga Steelheads before 3,418 fans at the Dort Federal Event Center Saturday night.
The win was the second straight for the Firebirds as they improved their home record to a perfect 3-0-0-0 for the season. Flint has scored a combined 12 goals in the last two home games.
Hunter Holmes had a goal and an assist while Ty Dellandrea, Maurizio Colella, Max Kislinger and Ryan Moore scored one goal each. Jake Durham had three assists and Fedor Gordeev added a pair of helpers. Jack Phibbs and Nicolas Mattinen also contributed one assist each.
In goal, Garrett Forrest was once again a rock as he picked up his fifth victory of the season. Overall Mississauga outshot Flint 37-34, including 16 shots in the final period but in the end, Forrest and the Firebirds prevailed.
Each team was 1/3 on the power-play.
Ty Dellandrea started the scoring for Flint while on the power-play at 10:34 of the opening frame. While on a two-on-one, Hunter Holmes sent a saucer pass to the stick of Dellandrea, who slid the puck past Emanuel Vella on his backhand for the Firebirds’ first goal of the game. Jake Durham was also credited with an assist.
Max Kislinger scored the Firebirds’ second goal with 35 seconds remaining in the first period. Jack Phibbs got the puck to Durham in the right corner. Durham saw Kislinger slide out in front and dished the puck to him. Kislinger redirected the puck top-shelf, short-side past Vella to increase Flint’s lead to two.
Flint out-shot Mississauga 9-8 through the first 20 minutes.
At 9:14 of the middle period, Maurizio Colella made it 3-0. Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) backhanded the puck to Colella at the bottom of the right circle. In rotating form, Colella chipped the puck past Vella for Flint’s third consecutive goal of the night. Colella’s goal was his fourth of the season. Nicolas Mattinen was also awarded an assist.
The Steelheads would score their first of the game at 12:40 of the middle period. Albert Michnac shot the puck on net from the right circle that bounced to the stick of Trent Fox. Fox shot the puck into an empty net to bring the game within two.
The Firebirds led 3-1 after two periods and were outshooting the Steelheads 14-13.
Mississauga pulled within one at 4:06 when Jacob Cascagnette centered the puck to a streaking Ryan McLeod. Like Dellandrea, McLeod pulled the puck to his backhand and scored upstairs.
With 12:30 to play Forrest came up with a trio of saves as the play was getting chippy and physical. That led to minor penalties, one to each team. During the four-on four-Forrest came up big once again.
The Firebirds made a terrific play after killing-off a penalty. Gordeev banked a pass off the left wall to Ryan Moore. Moore broke in alone and shot the puck above the right-pad and below the blocker of Vella for his second goal of the season. Gordeev was credited with his second assist of the game.
Jacob Cascagnette scored similar to Trent Fox’s goal in the second period. McLeod rifled a puck on net while on the power-play, and Cascagnette found a loose puck that slipped past Forrest to bring the game within one at 16:34.
Hunter Holmes would contribute an empty net goal while Mississauaga had the extra attacker out with three seconds remaining in the game. The Firebirds earned a 5-3 victory to improve to 5-2-1-0 on the season, 3-0-0-0 on home-ice and 3-1-0-1 against Mississauga.
The Firebirds return back to the Dort Federal Event Center tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 14 against the Kitchener Rangers. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. It’s Hot Wing’s birthday! The Firebirds’ mascot turns two and the first 1,000 fans in the building will receive free Hot Wing puzzles and birthday cupcakes. Sunday also marks the first opportunity for fans to take advantage of the “Firebirds Family 4 Pack.” Sponsored by Dort Federal Credit Union for every Sunday home game, the package features 4 Silver Level reserved tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas, 2 game programs and 2 game pucks, a value of $120 for $76. Fans are encouraged to purchase this package in advance by visiting the Box Office or by contacting Dominic Gutierrez at email@example.com. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Danen Williams / Flint Firebirds
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