Guelph, Ont. – The Firebirds scored four-unanswered goals to rally for a 7-5 victory over the Guelph Storm Saturday night. Flint outshot Guelph 39-31. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) recorded four assists, Brennan Othmann tallied a three-point night (2G, 1A), Riley McCourt scored twice and Evan Morrison made 26 saves on 31 shots to lead the Firebirds.
Flint started the scoring Saturday night just 5:53 into the contest. Ty Dellandrea skated the puck into the Guelph zone and fired a puck on net that eventually stopped on the goal line. Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks) was there to bang home the loose puck to earn Flint the early lead.
Guelph scored the next three goals, starting with Eric Uba at 6:41 on a wrap-around play. Then, Pavel Gogolev found Colin Campbell at the right circle who fired the puck on net before Keegan Stevenson cashed in on the rebound at 10:08. 11 seconds later, Gogolev scored on a shot from the right circle, farside, blockerside.
Then, Othmann scored his first career OHL preseason goal at 11:22. Evgeniy Oksentyuk dished a pass to Othmann for a breakaway from the blueline in. Othmann’s initial shot was stopped before he then batted it out of the air and into the net to bring the Firebirds within one. It was 3-2 after the first period and Flint led in shots 13-12.
Then, Hunter Holmes converted on a highlight-reel tic-tac-toe goal at 4:25 of the middle frame. Othman led Dellandrea in stride up the right-wing wall. Dellandrea then dished the puck to Holmes backdoor who finished off the play to tie the contest at three’s.
The Storm would regain the lead 4-3 at 15:23 on a shot from Andrei Bakanov at the right circle, shortside.
With 12:36 remaining in the second period, Evan Morrison made a nice left pad save to deny a point-blank shot.
At 9:38, Guelph’s Cam Hillis sent a pass to Cedric Ralph in the slot who scored on a one-timer to make the score 5-3 in favor of the Storm.
The Firebirds would score the next four goals. First, Othmann scored his second of the night, scoring on a battle to the left side of the net, to record his third point in his first OHL preseason game. Oksentyuk earned his second assist of the contest.
Flint would score on another highlight-reel passing play, this time between Holmes, Emmet Pierce and McCourt to tie the game 5-5 with 2:43 remaining in the second. After 40 minutes, the game was tied 5-5 and Flint led in shots 26-20.
Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes) scored the game-winning goal with 11:26 remaining after finding twine from the right circle, shortside, over the left shoulder. Then, Dellandrea made an impressive no-look, behind-the-back pass from the left circle to McCourt in the slot who capitalized with 7:16 left in the contest.
With the 7-5 victory, Flint improved to 1-0-0-0 in the preseason. Next up, the Firebirds will play the Windsor Spitfires Wednesday, Sep. 11. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the WFCU Centre. Flint will host the Saginaw Spirit for their lone home preseason game on Saturday, Sep. 14 at Iceland Arenas.
The Firebirds will host the Niagara IceDogs for the regular season opening night at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center on Saturday, Sep. 28.
Photo Credit: Tony Saxon
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Flint Firebirds Hockey Club