By Carl Chimenti
London, Ont. Ethan Keppen scored an even strength goal and Nicholas Caamano added a power-play goal but the Flint Firebirds dropped their second straight game losing to the London Knights 8-2 before 8,988 at the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, Friday night.
Caamano had a goal and an assist for Flint and Marcus Gretz, Nicolas Mattinen and Ryan Moore added an assist each.
Goaltender Garrett Forrest started the game and played two periods stopping 22 of 28 shots. Luke Cavallin came in relief to start the third period and was busy making 10 saves on 12 shots.
London out-shot Flint 40-24.
Robert Thomas was the first star with 6 points including a four goal night for London. Alex Formenton was the second star with a goal and three assists while Sam Miletic added four assists, picking up third star honors. Cliff Pu chipped in with a goal and two assists. Billy Moskal and Tim Fallowfield scored their first career OHL goals.
Joseph Raaymakers won his third game in as many starts since being acquired from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds earlier this season with 22 saves.
Flint was 1/5 on the power-play and the London Knights went ¾ with the man advantage.
The Knights struck quickly 12 seconds in as Robert Thomas converted on an odd man rush after receiving a pass from Sam Miletic to put London up 1-0. Miletic and Alec Regula had the helpers.
With eleven minutes remaining Forrest came up with a big stop closing the door on Alex Formenton who broke in alone and tried to go between the five-hole only to be denied.
Formenton who was playing in just his third game of the season after an extended time with the Ottawa Senators in the NHL scored the Knights second goal of the opening period. It was Formenton first goal of the season with the assists going to Robert Thomas and Sam Miletic at 16:47.
Cliff Pu made it 3-0 with a late power-play goal at 19:35. It was a three way passing play as Evan Bouchard sent a pass to Formenton and from the side of the net Formenton feed Pu who one timed the puck into the back of the net.
In the second period Ethan Keppen put the Firebirds on the board on a delayed penalty call at 3:16. Keppen’s fifth goal of the season came after he was set up in the left circle by Caamano. Marcus Gretz and Caamano were credited with the assists.
Thomas notched his second goal of the game 55 seconds later with a power-play marker after being set up by Miletic.
The Firebirds appeared to score again at 7:31, as Nicolas Mattinen let go a blast from the point against his former team at 7:31. The scoring play went under review and after a slight delay the goal was waived off due to an offside call.
London expanded their lead to 5-1 at 13:23 as Billy Moskal scored his first career OHL goal picking up a loose puck as he made his way to the front of the goal and deposited the puck past Forrest. Thomas and Formenton picked up the assists.
Thomas scored the hat-trick at 15:53 with the Knights on the power-play. Pu did all the work with Thomas scoring the goal as he was in the right spot at the right time. Once again the scoring play went under review when it looked like the puck went under the cross-bar. The play was ruled as a good goal after the delay. Pu drew the only assist.
Nicholas Caamano scored a power-play goal from in front on a tip in of a Mattinen shot from the point for the Firebirds second goal of the middle stanza at 17:34. Mattinen and Ryan Moore drew the assists. Flint out-shot London 10-9.
The Firebirds made a switch in goal to start the third period with Luke Cavallin replacing Garrett Forrest.
Flint came close as Keppen picked up a rebound from a shot that came from the blue-line off the stick of Mattinen, but Keppen’s wrist shot hit the right post with less than 13 minutes to play in the game.
Tim Fallowfield scored his first career OHL goal at 9:09 to make it 7-2 London. Pu and Andrew Perrott had the assists.
Thomas made it 8-2 with his fourth goal of the game at 11:22 with Formenton and Miletic getting the assist and rounding out the scoring.
Next Home Game:
Spend this Saturday evening trick-or-treating in a fun, safe and dry environment with the Flint Firebirds Hockey Club. The Firebirds host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. (ET) and special Halloween festivities are slated for the contest.
There will be several fun promotions on tap for the Flint Firebirds home game vs. the Greyhounds. Adults and kids are encouraged to dress up for the costume contest and on-ice costume parade, there will be trick-or-treating throughout the arena, bounce houses, balloon twisters, face painters and other fun promotions will take place during the duration of the game. Children (12 and under) that are wearing a costume will receive free admission to the game if accompanied by a paying adult (Limited to one child ticket per adult).
Single game tickets for the Flint Firebirds 2017-18 season are $12 for Bronze, $16 for Silver, $20 for Gold and $26 for VIP seating. All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office and online at ticketmaster.com. For ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or 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: Robert Riehl