Sarnia, Ont. – The Firebirds jumped out to a quick start, scoring three goals in the first 3:08, and recorded a season-high five goals in the opening frame but Sarnia rallied back to post an 8-5 victory Friday night. Flint’s Eric Uba recorded a three-point game for the second consecutive contest and Ty Dellandrea scored twice in his debut after missing four straight games.
In a rare game, there were a combined total of five goals scored in the first 3:08 of the contest, six goals in the first 5:46 and seven goals in the first 6:12.
Flint was able to find the back-of-the-net on each of their first three shots of the game. First, Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), in his first game back after missing four-straight logged his ninth of the season scoring far-side from the top of the right circle, assisted by Jake Durham and Riley McCourt. The game’s second shot came at 1:15. This time it was Kyle Harris’ third of the season from the left circle, assisted by Eric Uba and Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs). The third shot was taken by Sarnia, and saved by Flint netminder Emanuel Vella. The fourth shot found twine off the stick of the Sting’s Curtis Egert on a 3-on-1 from the right circle at 2:08. The very next shot tied the game at two just 2:25 into the opening frame. Theo Hill picked up his third of the campaign, assisted by Egert and Calvin Martin.
Flint’s third shot on net also found its way past Sarnia’s goaltender Aidan Hughes, resulting in Dellandrea’s second of the night and 10th of the season at 4:38. This time, it was Dellandrea finishing on a point-blank opportunity on a 2-on-1 with Durham. Durham and Ryan Bangs picked up the helpers. Ethan Langevin replaced Hughes between the pipes for the Sting following the marker.
At 5:46 Sarnia scored again to tie the game at three. Brayden Guy scored his eighth of the season, assisted by Franco Sproviero and Adam Ruzicka (Calgary Flames). Luke Cavallin entered the contest in relief of Vella.
Eric Uba scored his 10th and 11th tallies of the season with back-to-back goals, earning Flint a 5-3 lead after 20 minutes of play. His first came at even strength at the 6:12 mark, assisted by Ethan Keppen and Bangs. His second tally was scored short-handed blockerside and unassisted at 9:36. First-period shots were 15-12 in the Sting’s favor. The Firebirds had one power-play opportunity in the frame but were unable to convert. Flint’s penalty-kill unit stymied all four of Sarnia’s first-period chances with the man-advantage.
The Sting scored four unanswered in the second period. First, Ryan McGregor (Toronto Maple Leafs) scored short-handed at exactly 7:00 assisted by Sproviero. Calvin Martin picked up his seventh of the season at 10:51 to tie the contest. Hugo Leufvenius scored his team-leading 19th of the campaign at 11:03, extending his goal-scoring streak to 10 games. Martin and Eliot assisted on the play. Jacob Perreault scored his tenth at 15:31. Braden Guy and Ruzicka were credited with the assists. Vella returned to the game between the pipes for Flint. After 40 minutes of play, the Sting held a 7-5 lead. Shots in the middle stanza were 22 – 8 in Sarnia’s favor, giving them the two-period edge of 37-20.
The third period remained scoreless until Flint pulled Vella to the bench in the final minute of regulation. Sarnia bagged the empty-netter with 27 seconds remaining. The goal was Ruzicka’s eighth, assisted by Eliot. Final shots on goal favored the home team 46-28. Flint finished 6-for-7 on the penalty kill and were 0-for-4 on the power-play.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds return home Saturday night to host the Erie Otters for Flint’s fourth-annual ‘Teddy Bear Toss.’ Fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used teddy bears or stuffed animals to the game and after the Firebirds score their first goal, fans can launch them onto the ice. The stuffed animals will be collected and donated to the various local charities throughout Flint & Genesee County. Last year, the Firebirds donated more than 1,000 stuffed animals to the local charities. Fans are asked to bring and throw their stuffed animals in bags so that they stay dry and safe for the kids.
Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 Bronze, $16 Silver, $20 Gold and $26 VIP seating (Seating Chart). All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (810) 744-0580, in-person at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com here.
Photo Credit: Metcalfe Photography
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club