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Saginaw, Mich – It was said that history would be made in Mid-Michigan on Thursday night. It was. The Flint Firebirds and the Saginaw Spirit dropped the puck on a new era of hockey after a 16-year hiatus between the two prominent Michigan cities before a capacity crowd at the Dow Event Center. The Firebirds topped off the historic night with a 3-0 road victory over the Saginaw Spirit, giving Flint fans every reason to be happy on the opening night of the 2015-16 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) season.
The Firebirds scored in all facets of the game, recording short-handed, power-play and even strength goals in Zack Bowman’s shutout win over the Saginaw Spirit.
Ryan Moore scored the first goal in Flint Firebirds Hockey history at 14:55 of the first period. As Flint’s Matyás Kantner was skating below the Saginaw goal line, he fed Moore in the slot who converted glove side past Saginaw’s Cormier, earning the Firebirds an early lead.
With Flint down a man late in the first period, Francesco Vilardi dished the puck to Nick Caamano in the left circle who buried blocker side, short-handed, giving the Firebirds a 2-0 lead heading into the locker room after the opening frame.
Flint’s Will Bitten completed the scoring for the night, capitalizing on a tic-tac-toe opportunity on the power-play. Vili Saarijärvi found Mathieu Henderson deep in the offensive zone who made a tape-to-tape pass to Bitten, scoring with patience, putting the Firebirds up 3-0 at 16:55 of the second period.
Zack Bowman made all 24 saves as the Firebirds outshot Saginaw 30-24. Flint was a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill including 1-for-3 (33%) on the power-play. The Firebirds received all three stars on the evening. Bowman earned the first star while Henderson received the second and Moore the third.
The Flint Firebirds return home for the club’s inaugural opening night game at the Dort Event Center this Saturday, Sept. 26. A pregame tailgate with many activities including a live band, bounce houses and other attractions begins at 4 p.m. (ET).
Standing room only tickets to the Flint Firebirds inaugural opening night game vs. the Saginaw Spirit on Saturday, Sept. 26 are available by visiting the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office, ticketmaster.com or by calling (810) 744-0580. Great season seat locations, which include opening night, are still available by calling the box office or e-mailing Susana Wight at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fans unable to attend the Firebirds inaugural opening night on Saturday can catch all the action on the radio with Dominic Hennig and Matt Shegos on WTRX 1330 AM and worldwide online on the iHeartRadio App. The historic night will also be televised across the province of Ontario on Rogers TV channel 459 and streamed live online on OHL Live.
For media inquiries, contact:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club