Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds posted a commanding 8 – 4 victory over the Sarnia Sting in their final home game of the season before a ‘standing-room-only’ crowd of 4,248 fans at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center Saturday. With the victory, Flint is now 5-1-1-0 in their past seven games, earning 11 of a possible 14 points in that stretch. Luke Cavallin backstopped the Firebirds, making 28 saves on 32 shots for his eighth victory in net. Evan Vierling had three assists, Ethan Keppen and Hunter Holmes each scored twice and Kyle Harris, Cody Morgan, Hakon Nilsen and Emmet Pierce lit-the-lamp to lead Flint’s offense.
Flint was first to score at 9:57 of the first period. Jack Wismer made the set-up pass from the bottom of the left circle to Ethan Keppen at the top of the circle. Keppen dropped to one knee for a one-timer that found the top right corner of the net. The goal was his 29th of the season. The Sting tied the game at 15:24 on a breakaway tally from Jacob Perreault.
The game remained tied 1-1 after 20 minutes. Sarnia held the slight edge in shots, 11 – 10.
Hakon Nilsen put the Firebirds back in the lead at 7:12 of the middle frame, opening the flood gates for Flint’s offense. Vladislav Kolyachonok made the point-to-point pass on the power play. From the right point, Nilsen had the space needed to wind up and release a howitzer that found twine just inside the right post, less than a foot above the ice.
Hunter Holmes scored the next two goals of the game, logging his 12th and 13th. His first was a tap-in off a perfect pass from Evan Vierling (19). Jack Phibbs (7) picked up the second assist on the goal, recorded at 11:01 of period two. Next, Kyle Harris (8) sent the pass that sprung Holmes free from the offensive blue line in. He lifted the puck just inside the right post at 13:52 to give Flint the 4 – 1 lead. Vierling assisted on both goals by Holmes.
Just over one minute later, Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) slapped a shot on goal from the top of the left circle and Jake Durham attempted a deflection in the slot. The initial save was made, but Emmet Pierce pounced on the rebound to the right side of the goal and put it behind Lamour for his eighth of the season at 15:01 of period two.
Cody Morgan logged his 12th of the campaign with the man-advantage at 18:18. Wismer made the set-up pass through traffic to Morgan in the slot for a quick-release one-timer. Michael Bianconi was credited with the second assist. Then, Harris scored his eighth of the season with under a minute two play in the middle frame. He received a pass in the left corner and lifted a wide-angle shot that snuck behind Lamour and in at 19:06, assisted by Vierling and Holmes.
After two periods, Flint was on top 7 – 1. Shots on goal in the second were 20 – 8 to the Firebirds’ advantage, who held the two-period edge of 30 – 19.
Sarnia inserted Ethan Langevin between the pipes to start the third period. Ethan Keppen scored his second of the night at 2:37 for his 30th of the season. Dellandrea opted to pass on a two-on-one break, creating space for Keppen to lift a backhander top-shelf, glove side.
The Sting would find twine three more times in the third, cutting their deficit to four. Defenseman Alexandre Hogue netted his fifth of the season at 9:42, assisted by Curtis Egert. Then Egert recorded his 14th at 11:29, unassisted. Finally, at 18:59 Calvin Martin tallied number 13 for the season with assists from Justin McCombs and Nolan DeGurse.
Final shots were 44 – 32 in favor of the Firebirds.
Next up, Flint will complete their 68-game season Sunday afternoon in Sarnia. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. (EDT) at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena. The game will be televised live in Sarnia on YourTV channel 6 / 700 (HD) for Cogeco TV cable subscribers and will also be broadcast live on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM and online at www.us103.com. Radio pre-game coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. (ET) with Dominic Hennig and Gary Patterson.
Early bird ticket packages for the Flint Firebirds’ 2019-20 OHL season are on sale now. A $50 deposit reserves your seat for next season! The special early bird price deadline is Tuesday, April 30th and fans can secure their seats for next season at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday. For additional pricing and ticket information, fans can call the box office at (810) 744-0580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Todd Boone / Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club