London, Ont. – Everett Clark recorded three points, Fedor Gordeev scored once and tallied an assist and Kole Sherwood picked-up two assists as the Flint Firebirds fell 7-3 to the London Knights before a sellout crowd of more than 9,000 fans at the Budweiser Gardens on Friday night.
Alex Formenton opened the scoring for the Knights when he scored his 16th goal of the season 3:46 into the first frame. Victor Mete (Montreal Canadiens) sauced a puck into the slot that banked off Adrian Carbonara’s skate and onto the tape of Formenton who rifled a shot over the right-shoulder of Connor Hicks to earn London the early lead.
The Firebirds evened the score when Everett Clark won an offensive-zone face-off draw to Fedor Gordeev at the left point. Gordeev cranked a shot that beat Tyler Parsons (Calgary Flames) glove-side for his fourth goal of the season at 9:01 of the opening frame.
Max Jones (Anaheim Ducks) regained the Knights’ lead from the slot at 16:02 after he received a pass from Mitchell Stephens (Tampa Bay Lightning) at the right-circle. Jones fired a wrist-shot that caromed off the right-shoulder of Hicks and into the net for his first of the night and 15th tally of the season. The Knights led 2-1 after the first period.
Clark knotted-up the score 1:03 into the second period when he notched his 16th of the season. Gordeev fired a shot from the left-point that was blocked in-front of the net, but the puck bounced to Clark in the high-slot who rifled the puck glove-side past Parsons. Former London Knight Kole Sherwood picked up his first of two assist’s on the play.
London broke the tie when Janne Kuokkanen (Carolina Hurricanes) intercepted a pass from Alex Peters at the Firebirds’ blue-line. Kuokkanen lasered a wrist-shot over the glove of Hicks for his 26th of the season to earn London a 3-2 lead at 7:32 of the second period.
Liam Foudy doubled the Knights’ lead after Evan Bouchard fired a slap-pass to him in the slot. Foudy re-directed the puck past Hicks for his ninth goal of the season and a 4-2 London lead.
Carbonara extended the Knights lead with his 12th of the season after he roofed a backhand top-shelf shot from the right-circle with 6:07 remaining in the second frame. London led 5-2 after 40 minutes of play.
The Knights added another one when Jones buried his second of the night on a highlight-reel type goal. Jones fed the puck between his legs at the bottom of the right-circle and fired a shot far-side over the right-shoulder of Hicks 3:12 into the third period. Dante Salituro made the game 7-2 after the puck banked off a Firebird skate and onto his tape. Salituro fired the puck into an empty net for his 11th of the season.
Alex Peters cut the deficit to four goals when he notched his 10th tally of the season at 11:33. Sherwood rifled a wrist-shot that was saved by the blocker of Parsons, but the rebound kicked-out to Peters who found twine blocker-side. The Knights finished the game with a 7-3 victory.
Flint and London each had 40 shots on goal. The Firebirds were zero-for-three on the power-play, while the Knights scored once on two chances. Hicks made 33 saves on 40 shots.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds return home for the final time of the 68-game regular season tomorrow, Saturday, March 18th, against the London Knights. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. for ‘Billet & Fan Appreciation Night,’ featuring prizes at the doors for fans, like thunderstix, pom pom’s, rally towels, ‘Big Heads’, numerous t-shirt toss’s throughout the game and one lucky fan will shoot to win $10,000 in the second intermission. In addition, the Firebirds are teaming up with the Whaley Children’s Center for a donation drive where fans can bring in three personal care items to receive a sponsored ticket to the game, limit four tickets per person, while supplies last. Items needed are tooth brushes, tooth paste, deodorant, feminine products and body wash, with the limited tickets being sponsored by Oasis Payroll Services.
Tickets are $12 for Bronze, $15 for Silver, $19 for Gold and $25 for VIP seating. All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Parking has been reduced to $5 dollars, which is new this season. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online by clicking ticketmaster.com.
Photo Credit: Amanda Ray / Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
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