Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds are 3-0, earning six out of a possible six points to start the season. Ty Dellandrea’s goal with two seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Firebirds to a 5-4 victory before 3,845 fans at the Dort Federal Event Center Saturday night. The win marks Flint’s third-consecutive Opening Night victory in three years at the Dort Federal Event Center.
The Firebirds won both games on the road last weekend to start the season by coming from behind in the third period, winning in regulation over the Kitchener Rangers and following it up by beating the Owen Sound Attack in a shoot-out. The scenario was not different Saturday night.
Ty Dellandrea scored the overtime winner with two seconds left in the extra period to go along with an assist earlier in the game.
Nick Caamano (Dallas Stars) scored two goals including the game-tying marker and was named first star of the contest. Ryan Moore made a triumphant return with two assists and was tabbed as the second star.
Maurizio Colella picked up a pair of assist while Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) and C.J. Clarke tallied single markers.
Garrett Forrest had an outstanding game with saves that were essentially unbelievable. He stopped 31 of 35 shots. Ottawa outshot Flint, 35-31.
Travis Barron (Colorado Avalanche) scored twice for Ottawa and was the third star. Kody Clarke and Graeme Clarke also found the back of the net for the 67’s. Olivier Tremblay turned away 26 shots.
The first period was an offensive display as both teams combined for four goals.
Gordeev notched his second goal of the season with the Firebirds on the power-play to earn the early lead. Gordeev received a pass from the side of the net from Maurizio Colella and let go a blast from the point that beat goaltender Tremblay. Colella and Dellandrea were both credited with the assists.
Ottawa tied the game less than two minutes later on a goal from Keating as he tapped in a rebound off an initial shot from Kody Clark at 5:14.
Flint wasted no time getting the goal back as Nick Caamano (Dallas Stars) scored his first goal of the season 13 seconds later. Caamano, let go a back-handed shot from just inside the right face-off circle, scoring far-side over Tremblay’s right shoulder at 5:27. Ryan Moore drew the lone assist.
Ottawa managed to tie the game at 9:16 on a power-play marker from Graeme Clarke after he cycled the puck from behind the Flint net and let go a wrist shot past Forrest. Quinn Yule got credit with the only assist.
Forrest stopped two breakaways during the opening frame, both from Travis Barron, to keep the game tied. The first one came at 17:08 and the latter with 4:34 remaining in the period. Both teams had 12 shots on goal each.
Ottawa grabbed the lead quickly to start the middle frame as Barron scored unassisted at the 38 second mark.
That turned out to be the only goal in the second frame as Ottawa held the advantage in shots at 12-6 for the period.
Forrest saved the best highlight for last, as he made an unbelievable stop on Sasha Chmelevski (San Jose Sharks), who was parked on the door step. Forrest reached out, making a glove save to keep Flint within one after two periods.
Forrest was at it again to start the third period with more highway robbery for the Firebirds, this time with his right pad to thwart another Ottawa scoring chance in close, early on.
Shortly after the Forrest save, Flint tied the game 3-3 on a goal from C. J. Clarke. Kislinger did the grunt work from behind the Ottawa goal on the fore-check. He managed to get the puck to Moore who was also behind the net. Moore fed Clarke at the right-side of the goal before Clarke buried at 1:49 of the third period.
Barron put Ottawa back in front with his second unassisted goal on the power play at 3:11.
Once again Flint would not be denied. For the third straight game, the Firebirds came from behind, tying the contest in the final stanza to send the game into overtime. Caamano, with his second of the contest at 8:24, sliding the puck between-the-legs past Tremblay. Nicholas Mattinen and Holmes were credited with the assists.
Finally, with two seconds remaining in overtime, Colella entered the Ottawa zone on the left side, skated behind the net and fired the puck on goal from the right circle. Ty Dellandrea was in the right place, at the right time, blasting the rebound into the goal from the left circle, sending the Firebirds’ faithful home happy.
Next up, the Firebirds will head east for three games in four nights. Flint will first play in Peterborough on Thursday, Oct. 5. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on US 103.1 FM throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan and around the world online at www.us103.com. Pregame coverage with Dominic Hennig begins at 6:30 p.m.
Upcoming Home Game:
The Firebirds will return to the Dort Federal Event Center for their second home-game in Flint of the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. against the Guelph Storm. The game marks the first of seven “College Nights” this season, featuring $2 beers and $2 hot dogs for all fans in attendance. Additionally, all college students with valid identification will also receive $2 off admission.
Fans can purchase tickets either in-person at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling (810) 744-0580 or online at ticketmaster.com here.
For season 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: Danen Williams
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