Firebirds Stay Hot With 5-1 Win, Push Win Streak to Seven Games

Oshawa, Ont. – The Firebirds extended their winning streak to seven games with a big 5-1 win over the Oshawa Generals at the Tribute Communities Center. Gavin Hayes added two more goals to his weekend, totaling five goals over the two contests. Nolan Dann and Amadeus Lombardi recorded multi-point nights as well, and Braeden Kressler picked up an assist in his return to the lineup. Will Cranley got the nod for the Birds, stopping 25 of the 26 shots fired his way and picking up the win. Jacob Oster was between the pipes for the Generals, stopping 30 of 35 shots. 

Neither team could find the back of the net in the opening 20 minutes, and the Firebirds were outshot 11-4. Will Cranley came up with a few huge saves including on a Beckett Sennecke breakaway chance in the final minute of the frame. Oshawa wanted 0-for-3 with the man advantage and outdrew Flint 9-7 as well.

Just over two and a half minutes into the middle frame, the Firebirds got a great chance off an offensive zone faceoff won by Lombardi. Pitre fired a shot toward the net, and the rebound went directly to Giroux. Giroux quickly tried to lift it over the glove of Oster, but a phenomenal glove save was made and kept the game knotted at zero. 

The Firebirds would go on their first powerplay of the game 4:50 into the period. It didn’t take long for the Birds to capitalize, as the faceoff was won by Lombardi to Bertucci on the left side of the blue line. Bertucci sent it across to Hayes. Hayes walked into the top of the circle and picked the blocker side corner, his 35th of the year and breaking the scoreless tie, giving Flint a 1-0 lead. 

The Birds stayed on the attack, peppering Oster with any chance they got. The puck then bounced behind the net after an Oster save, where Simon Slavicek picked it up and slid it over to Artem Guryev in the bottom right-side circle. Guryev gathered the pass and fired a shot, beating Oster and giving the Birds a two-goal lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the period. Braeden Kressler added the secondary assist in his first game back in over a month.

The ice remained tilted in the Birds’ favor as the period was set to expire. With just under 10 seconds left in the period, Nolan Dann walked out of the left-side corner with the puck. Dann delivered the puck to Tyler Deline at the point, and Deline fired a shot toward a traffic-filled net. The puck found its way into the back of the net with 1.5 seconds remaining, giving the Firebirds a 3-0 lead just before the break.

The middle frame saw Flint go 1-for-2 with the man advantage while outshooting the Gens 19-8.

The third period started the same way the second ended, as the Birds were all over the Generals. An offensive zone rush led to Amadeus Lombardi in front of the net, just sliding it to the left of the post and behind the net. Hayes quickly picked it up, wrapped it around, and banked the puck off the back of Oster’s skate. Hayes’s second goal of the game made the lead 4-0 and Riley Piercey add the secondary assist. 

Lots of back-and-forth hockey was played from there, with both Cranley and Oster making timely stops in their respective creases. A good play by Slavicek poked the puck free in the neutral zone and onto the stick of Dann. Dann entered the zone on the left side and skated down toward the bottom of the circle. Dann floated one upstairs, beating Oster on a redirect and making it 5-0.

The Generals finally got rid of the goose egg on the scoreboard with just over two minutes remaining in the game. An odd-man rush started by a great stretch pass by the former Firebirds Luca D’Amato sprung Cameron Butler. The overage rushed up the near boards and wristed one high to the glove of Cranley for his 24th of the year. 

Final shots read 35 to 26 in favor of the Birds and faceoffs read 33-26 in favor of the Gens. Flint finished 1-for-2 on the power play and Oshawa 0-for-4. 

Next Up: Following tonight’s match in Oshawa, the Birds will travel to Owen Sound for a Wednesday evening game versus the Attack. Jack Sznewajs will call the play-by-play action on the Firebirds Hockey Network (FHN). Pregame coverage will begin 15 minutes before puck drop at 6:40 p.m. (ET) live on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM, online at, or by downloading the US 103 app here. The Firebirds return to home ice on Friday, March 17. Puck drop for the St. Patrick’s Day game is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Financial Center, and tickets are available now from ETIX.COM HERE.

Story: Sean Massa /

For more information, contact:

Jack Sznewajs
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club

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