By Carl Chimenti
Flint, Mich. – Goaltender Tyler Johnson was full of tricks but no treats as he stopped all 34 shots and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds blanked the Flint Firebirds 7-0, before 2,847 at the Dort Federal Event Center on Trick or Treat Night at the Rink.
The Firebirds hit the goal post twice in the game and the puck did not bounce their way tonight. In addition to the two goal posts the Firebirds had a few odd man rushes but Johnson took care of that with a handful of excellent saves. For his effort, Johnson was selected as the first star of the game.
For the second straight night Luke Cavallin came in relief for starter Garrett Forrest. Forrest allowed three goals on 15 shots before making way for Cavallin at 2:03 of the second period. Cavallin finished with 14 saves on 18 shots as the Firebirds out-shot the Greyhounds 34-33.
Connor Timmins had five assists in the game and was named second star while Barrett Hayton with two goals got the nod as the third star.
Morgan Frost had a pair of goals to go along with an assist and Jack Kopacka had a goal and an assist. Tim Gettinger and Boris Katchouk also scored once each for the Greyhounds.
An early power-play goal put the Greyhounds out in front 1-0 in the opening period. Barrett Hayton scored at 2:48 coming down the left side beating Forrest on the short side with the assist going to Jack Kopacka and Hayden Verbeek.
The Firebirds had a great opportunity to tie the game shortly after as Ty Dellandrea jumped on a Greyhound turnover and broke in alone with Caamano who received the pass from Dellandrea but his wrist shot clanged off the left post.
Hayton scored his second goal of the period and the game as he made a nice move to slide into the high slot and then let go a shot that Forrest seemed to get a piece of but the puck had enough steam on it and trickled through. The goal did go under review but was allowed to stand after it was decided that there was no off-side on the play. The goal came at 12:39 and Connor Timmins had the only assist.
There were only two minor penalties in the opening frame one to each team as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds out-shot Flint 14-8.
Early in the second frame Kopacka broke down the left side and let go a slap-shot that beat Forrest on the far side. The Firebirds decided to make a change in goal and Forrest departed for rookie Luke Cavallin after stopping 12 of 15 shots.
Like the first period the Firebirds Ryan Littlejohn hit the left goal post moments after the Greyhounds third goal to keep the Firebirds off the score sheet once again.
Tim Gettinger made it 4-0 as he scored from the back door after getting a pass from Timmons. Gettinger had a gapping net and he made no mistake. Timmons got the assist and the goal came at 4:02.
Morgan Frost’s blast beat Cavallin top shelf to make it 5-0 at 14:30. The assists were awarded to Timmins and Jacob LeGuerrier.
With the Greyhounds on the power-play in the final minute of the second period, Boris Katchouk and Morgan Frost broke in on a 2 on 1 break and Katchouk finished off the play after receiving the pass from Frost to make it 6-0 at 19:11. Frost had the only assist.
Flint had the better of the shots at 14-9 in the second period.
Ty Dellandrea had a great chance early in the third period to put Flint on the board but Johnson stacked the pads to deny Dellandrea.
With less than eight minutes to go a scrum broke out after Ryan Moore was hit from behind with no call and Moore hit LeGuerrier in front and Johnson took note and went after Moore and the two combatants threw a few punches and both were given minor penalties for roughing.
After the scrum the Greyhounds held the man-advantage after an additional minor was assessed to Moore. Frost scored the Greyhounds seventh goal and final goal at 13:16 from Timmins and Rasmus Sandin.
The Firebirds return to action Sunday afternoon, Oct. 29, when the club faces-off against the Sarnia Sting. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia, Ont. Radio pregame coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. on US 103.1 FM in Flint and Mid-Michigan and worldwide online at www.us103.com.
Photo Credit: Danen Williams / Flint Firebirds