Guelph, Ont. – For the second consecutive game, the Firebirds erased a two goal deficit, coming from behind to tie the contest to force overtime. This time, the Firebirds earned a road point in a 5-4 loss to the Guelph Storm in front of a sell out crowd of 4,726 fans at the Sleeman Centre. Flint’s Cody Morgan recorded his first-career OHL hat trick, scoring three goals in the contest, Ethan Keppen recorded a three-point game and Dennis Busby and Jack Wismer earned two point games. Emanuel Vella made 41 saves on 46 shots.
Cody Morgan started the scoring for Flint Monday at 9:29 of the opening frame. Flint’s Ethan Keppen retrieved the puck on the left side of the goal before dishing it back to Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes) in the high slot. Busby out-muscled a Guelph defender in the slot and made a skilled pass backdoor to Cody Morgan who finished off the passing play.
The Firebirds had the lead for about five minutes until an attempted shot from Nate Schnarr in the slot was blocked by a Firebird and directed right to Issac Ratcliffe on the right side of the goal. Ratcliff found twine at 15:50 and Liam Hawl picked up the second assist. Then, Cedric Ralph was able to convert on his own rebound from the slot with 1:33 remaining in the first period to earn Guelph their first lead of the game. Schnarr notched his second assist of the night and Dmitri Samorukov (Edmonton Oilers) picked up the second assist on the goal.
Flint trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes and were behind in shots 19-12.
Then, just 46 seconds into the middle frame, Busby kept the puck alive at the right-wing point and dished a pass to Eric Uba in the right corner. Uba made a power move to the front of the net and jammed the puck past Nico Daws to tie the contest at two’s while on the power-play.
Hawel earned the lead for Guelph while on the man-advantage at 4:19 by converting on a rebound off Vella’s left pad in the slot. At 8:07, Ty Collins fed a pass from the left corner to Domenico Commisso at the left circle who scored short-side, top shelf.
Cody Morgan tallied his second of three on the night at 15:30 of the middle frame. Jack Wismer backhanded a puck toward the net before Morgan jammed it past Daws on the left side of the goal. Keppen tallied his second assist of the night on the play.
Guelph led 4-3 after 40 minutes and were ahead in shots 33-22.
Flint scored the lone goal in the third period to tie the contest 4-4. With 11:05 remaining, Jack Wismer dished a pass from the left corner to Morgan at the right corner. Morgan fired the puck on net before Wismer attempted to light-the-lamp but it was Morgan who was there to the tie the contest on a sharp-angle shot from the right side of the net on the goal line.
1:13 into the extra frame, Samorukov skated from the right point to the far wall and made a move to the net to score shortside and earn the extra point. Flint’s Ethan Keppen was awarded third star honors for three assists and Cody Morgan was named the game’s second star for recording three goals, a plus-1 rating and five shots on net.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds will return home to the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center this Saturday, Feb. 23, when the club hosts Guelph at 7 p.m. on UAW/United Way Night. All UAW members will receive a $5 discounted silver level ticket with valid ID at the Dort Federal Box Office.
Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 Bronze, $16 Silver, $20 Gold and $26 VIP seating (Seating Chart). All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (810) 744-0580, in-person at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com here.
Photo Credit: Gar FitzGerald
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club