London, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds recorded 32 shots on net but could not beat goaltender Joseph Raaymakers as the London Knights earned a 9-0 victory in front of 8,966 fans at the Budweiser Gardens on Friday night.
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Garrett Forrest was under siege throughout the game and made a number of great saves during the contest.
Robert Thomas (St. Louis Blues) scored a hat-trick for a second time this season to lead the way and was the second star. Alex Formenton (Ottawa Senators) and Cliff Pu (Buffalo Sabres), who was named third star, had a goal and two assists each. Richard Whittaker and Cole Tymkin contributed a goal and an assist each and Tyler Rollo along with Liam Foudy also scored once in the game. Sam Miletic (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Evan Bouchard added three helpers each.
London out-shot Flint by a slim 33-32 margin and both teams failed to score on the power-play with Flint being scoreless on five chances and London on two.
The Firebirds limited the Knights to just two shots through most of the opening period but on London’s third shot, Tyler Rollo scored the first goal of the game as he picked up a drop pass from Alex Formenton and let go a shot that got past Forrest on the glove side. The goal came at 15:21 and in addition to Formenton, Harrison Cottam also assisted on the goal.
Robert Thomas made it 2-0 less than a minute later as he picked up a turnover in the neutral zone before skating into Firebirds’ territory and firing a wrist shot that went off the left post and into the net. The goal was unassisted and came at 16:07.
Forrest made three excellent saves in the latter part of the first period including robbing Rollo from a second goal with a point blank save from in front of the net.
Jack Wismer had the best scoring chance for the Firebirds in the period and it came in the waning moments.
The Knights came out strong in the second period and wasted no time scoring as Richard Whittaker finished off a two-on-one with a tap in goal passing-play from Formenton at the 27 second mark. Jacob Golden received the second assist.
Cliff Pu made it 4-0 as he managed to get behind the Firebird defenders in front of Forrest and tipped in a pass from Evan Bouchard at 2:31. Sam Miletic also assisted on the goal.
Thomas scored his second of the game with another tap in from in front of the goal after he received a pass from Cliff Pu at 10:05. Miletic also drew an assist.
The Firebirds lost forward Hunter Holmes with 9:21 left in the second period after he received a heavy hit near center ice from Cole Tymkin. Although the hit was questionable, no penalty was assessed on the hit.
Play got physical after the hit from Tymkin with the Firebirds having three power-play opportunities including a five-on-three with 2:48 left in the period. Caamano had the best chance during the two man-advantage as he was set-up in the slot but Rayymakers robbed him of a goal with a great glove save.
Flint led in shots 15-12 in the second period.
Tymkin and Bouchard teamed up for the Knights sixth goal as they played give-and-go before Tymkin deposited the puck past Forrest on the glove side into the net at 4:46. Miletic drew his third assist of the game.
Thomas completed the hat-trick at 5:54 to increase the lead to 7-0 from Bouchard and Pu.
Foudy from Tymkin and Josh Nelson at 11:43 and Formenton at 19:16 wrapped up the scoring from Tim Fallowfield and Whittaker.
The Firebirds and Knights will play the third of four games between the two teams this season on Thursday, Dec. 28 in Flint.
Next Home Game:
The Flint Firebirds return home to the Dort Federal Event Center tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 11 for the club’s third-annual “Military Appreciation” game. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. (ET) vs. division rivals, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Complimentary Silver Level tickets are available for all veterans and active duty military personnel. The first 2,500 fans through the door will also receive a free official team calendar poster, courtesy of The View Newspapers, Commercial Graphics, Northgate Packaging, DM Burr Group and Little Caesars. Additionally, there will be a silent auction of 10 player autographed military themed Firebirds’ jerseys on the concourse throughout the game with all proceeds benefiting Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. BSMA is a private nonprofit organization in the United States that provides support for mothers who have sons or daughters in active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
There will also be a special military discount for Firebirds’ spirit wear at the merchandise store throughout the game. Brigadier General, Michael A. Stone of the Michigan Army National Guard will conduct the ceremonial puck drop along with local World War II veteran, 91 year old Jeriel Ponder of the U.S. Navy. Additionally, fans will see a live ‘swearing in’ ceremony on the ice during the first intermission, a Color Guard ceremony prior to puck drop, and an on-ice shoot-out during the second intermission between four of the local military service branch representatives. Military vehicles will be on display and a special Firebirds’ military t-shirt will be available for sale at the merchandise store.
Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 / Bronze, $16 / Silver, $20 / 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Robert Riehl
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