Flint, Mich. – On an emotional evening at the Dort Federal Event Center, the Firebirds scored seven goals en-route to a Saturday night victory over the Eastern Conference’s first-place team, the Peterborough Petes. The game was highlighted by Marcus Gretz scoring his first-career OHL goal and the Firebirds raising nearly $20,000 for the McLaren Flint Foundation. Flint improved their home record to 4-1 and overall record to 6-3-1-0.
With the victory, the Firebirds improved to 3-0 in “Face-Off Against Breast Cancer” games in Flint. The Firebirds bested the Ottawa 67’s 7-4 in their initial OHL season in 2015 and followed last year with a 5-4 win over the Mississauga Steelheads.
Ryan Moore was the second star after a three-point night that included his fourth goal of the season. Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars), Max Kislinger and Maurizio Colella had a goal and an assist. Flint also received goals from Gretz, Ethan Keppen and Ty Dellandrea. Jake Durham, Nicolas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs), Hunter Holmes and Garrett Forrest added an assist each.
Forrest had another strong night in net stopping 28 of 31 shots to record his sixth win of the season.
On special teams play, Flint was one-for-four on the power-play and added a shorthanded goal, the Firebirds’ fourth short-handed goal of the season.
Both Peterborough and Flint had 31 shots on goal.
Logan DeNoble had a pair of goals for Peterborough and Zach Gallant (Detroit Red Wings) added a single tally. Adam Timleck contributed two assists.
In a first period that featured six minor penalties, both goals were scored were via the special teams.
The Firebird’s were shorthanded for four of the six penalties and against odds, the Firebirds’ goal came with the team on the penalty-kill. Nicholas Caamano was the recipient of a nice tape-to-tape pass from Ryan Moore to spring the Dallas Stars’ draft prospect on a break-away. Caamano from his backhand, slid the puck past Dylan Wells (Edmonton Oilers) through the five hole at 5:42 for his fourth of the season. Moore and goaltender Garrett Forrest, with his first assist of the season, were awarded the helpers.
Peterborough came right back 37 seconds later with a power-play goal. Declan Chisholm skated into the left circle and made a nice pass to Zach Gallant who was alone at the right side of the net. Nick Robertson made the initial pass to Chisholm. Both credited with an assist at 6:19.
Flint outshot Peterborough 8-5 in the first period.
It didn’t take the Firebirds long to go ahead in the second period. The score came as a gift when goaltender Wells turned-over the puck while away from the crease on an intended clearing pass that was intercepted by Hunter Holmes at the half-wall. Holmes quickly sent the puck to the net and Ethan Keppen seemed to get the bottom half of his shaft on the stick to score his fourth of the year at 1:29. Holmes drew the lone assist.
Another Petes’ turnover led to a second goal for Flint in the middle stanza. Maurizio Colella stretched his point streak to six games as he broke in alone on a delayed penalty to score unassisted at 4:09. The goal by Colella was his team leading seventh goal.
Colella made a bid for a second goal in the waning seconds of the second period but Wells made a nice save and the second period ended with Flint skating off with a 3-1 lead. Peterborough led in the shot department 17-14.
As the third period got underway three goals came in quick fashion.
DeNoble received a pass from behind the net and he scored 16 seconds in from Adam Timleck.
The Firebirds struck back quickly as Dellandrea was able to deflect the puck past Wells 15 seconds after the Peterborough goal, on a centering pass from Max Kislinger from the left circle. It was Dellandrea’s sixth of the season while Kislinger and Jake Durham got credit for the helpers.
DeNoble scored his second of the period and the game with a power-play goal at 1:52 to pull the Petes to within a goal once again. DeNoble dug the puck out of the corner and charged the net to score, five-hole. Timleck and Matthew Timms drew the assists.
Marcus Gretz scored his first-career OHL goal to restore the Firebirds’ two goal lead. Gretz received a pass from Nicolas Mattinen at the right circle. Gretz scored blocker-side past Wells while on the power-play at 6:18.
Mak Kislinger increased Flint’s lead to three at 12:37. Kislinger scored his fifth of the season as he found twine far-side. Ryan Moore iced the game with a late goal at 18:21 with assist from Caamano and Colella.
The Firebirds return home tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. against the defending CHL Memorial Cup Champions Windsor Spitfires. Fans can 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 to avoid box office lines. Sunday also marks the Firebirds first KIDS FREE day compliments of Aquafina. All kids 12-under will receive a free game ticket with adult purchase. This promotion is valid for all price levels. Fans are encouraged to purchase this package in advance by visiting the Box Office or by contacting Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Danen Williams / Flint Firebirds
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