Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds used five unanswered goals Saturday night en-route to a 5-1 victory over the Sudbury Wolves. With the win, Flint has won three of their last six games. Hunter Holmes, Jack Wismer, Jake Durham, Ethan Keppen and Kyle Harris all scored for Flint. Tyler Deline picked up his first career OHL point in his first career OHL game. Luke Cavallin stone-walled the Wolves, stopping 27 of 28 shots from the opposition and earning ‘First Star’ of the game. Flint’s penalty-kill stopped all four chances by Sudbury, while the power-play unit came up empty on five opportunities.
Sudbury found twine first at 6:45 of the first period. Macauley Carson sent a pass from the right point to Zack Malik at the right wing half-boards. Malik sent a pass across the slot to the left circle for the oncoming rush by Ross, who redirected the puck in near-side for his fourth of the season.
Hunter Holmes evened the score at 14:32 with an all-out breakaway on Sudbury netminder Mitchell Weeks. Holmes had his defender beat by a full stride entering the offensive zone. He slowed up as he crossed between the circles and froze the goalie before flicking the puck to his backhand and roofing it over Weeks’ left shoulder. The goal was Holmes’ fifth of the season, unassisted. The Wolves finished the first period with the upper hand in shots, 15-9.
Jack Wismer gave the Firebirds their first lead of the game just 36 seconds into the middle frame. He intercepted a pass between two defenders in front of their own cage. As he skated from right-to-left across the low slot, he backhanded a low shot that snuck through the five-hole for his fifth of the campaign, unassisted. Just north of five minutes later, Tyler Deline sent a breakout pass that connected with Jake Durham as he hit the offensive blue line. Durham made a slick move around the defender at the blue line, and muscled a backhander from point-blank range. The puck found the far corner underneath Weeks for Durham’s team-leading 25th of the season at 6:41. Ethan Keppen found paydirt at 18:57 for his 12th of season. Hakon Nilsen hit Wismer with a long pass. Wismer’s tape-to-tape pass across the top of the offensive zone gave Keppen a breakaway and the space to make a move across the slot and lift the puck over the sprawling netminder. Flint outshot Sudbury 12-7 in the second, but still trailed by a total of 22-21 after two periods.
Just past the midway point of the third, Durham and Kyle Harris emerged on a two-on-one deep in the Wolves’ zone. Durham showed patience before he sent a hard no-look pass between the circles. Harris one-timed it blocker-side from the left side of the slot for his fourth of the season at 10:31. Final shots favored Flint 35-28.
Flint swept the three stars of the game as Durham was awarded the game’s third star, Wismer was the second star and Cavallin was awarded first star honors.
Next Home Game:
Flint is home against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at 2 p.m. on Sunday for another Firebirds’ Family “FUN”day. The Sunday “FUN”day games feature up to two free kids’ tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket, as well as a post-game ‘skate with Firebirds players,’ bounce houses and inflatables on the concourse sponsored by Valley Tent Rental and an autograph signing session with Firebirds’ players following the game.
Also Sunday, 4-H will be in attendance and fans will have the opportunity to take part in various interactive activities on the concourse during the game. 4-H will have 4-H dogs and rabbits on hand that are able to be petted. Additionally, there will be a craft station featuring a dog toy making activity, SAFE archery and prizes and giveaways part of each activity. 4-H is a global network of youth organizations whose mission is “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.”
Lastly, Sunday continues the “Firebirds’ Fight Hunger” campaign where fans can bring in five non-perishable food items to the Firebirds’ merchandise store, ‘The Birds Nest,’ at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center for a complimentary sponsored Silver Level ticket to Saturday’s game, and any home Firebirds’ game in the month of January, courtesy of Dort Federal Credit Union, AMD Urgent Care, Captain’s Quarters Lounge, Little Caesars Pizza and Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) Flint.
Photo Credit: Todd Boone / Flint Firebirds
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club