London, Ont. – Kole Sherwood and Nicholas Caamano picked-up one goal and one assist, Ryan Moore tallied an assist and Henderson recorded one point as the Firebirds fell to the London Knights 6-2 before a sell-out crowd of 9,036 fans at the Budweiser Gardens Sunday afternoon.
The Firebirds got on the board at the 11:52 mark of the first period when former London Knight, Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) scored his 10 goal of the season on a wrist-shot. Henderson received a pass at the left-point from Caamano before dishing the puck to Sherwood fresh off the bench in the high-slot. Sherwood ripped a shot that deflected off Tyler Parsons and into the net to earn Flint a 1-0 lead. The Firebirds led 1-0 after one period of play.
Sam Miletic tied the game for London with his 18th goal of the season on a tic-tac-toe play. Robert Thomas stole the puck from a Firebird defender in the left-wing corner and fed a pass to JJ Piccinich (Toronto Maple Leafs) at the right circle. Piccinich quickly slid the puck to a wide-open Miletic on the doorstep who tapped it past Flint’s Garrett Forrest to even the score, mid-way through the second frame.
London earned their first lead of the game 1:10 later when Miletic scored his 19th goal of the season, and second of the night on a four-on-four. Thomas won a puck-battle behind the Firebird’s cage and fed a pass to Olli Juolevi (Vancouver Canucks) on the right-side of the net, shooting the puck on net. Forrest made the initial save, but Juolevi grabbed his own rebound and tossed the puck to Miletic on the left-side of the net who fired into the back of the net to earn the Knights a 2-1 lead.
Thomas extended London’s led to two goals after he scored his 10th goal of the season on a partial breakaway. Victor Mete (Montreal Canadiens) received a pass at the Knight’s blue-line before finding Thomas on the left-wing wall who slid behind the Firebirds’ defense on a breakaway. Thomas skated in and ripped a shot from the left-circle that beat Forrest high-glove to earn London a 3-1 lead with 8:08 remaining in the middle period.
Then, early in the third period, the Firebirds cut the deficit to one after Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) scored his 14th goal of the season at the 4:27 mark final frame on a five-on-three power-play. Henderson corralled the puck in the left-wing corner and fed a pass cross-ice to an open Sherwood at the right-circle who sauced the puck to Moore behind the net. Moore then promptly fed it to Caamano on the doorstep who initially was denied by Parsons’ left-pad, but Caamano grabbed his own rebound and found twine to make the score 3-2.
Piccinich retook the Knights two goal lead with his 11th goal of the season. Juolevi collected a pass on the left-point and fed the puck to Thomas at the right-circle who quickly beamed a pass to Piccinich in the slot. Piccinich fired a shot glove-side to earn London a 4-2 lead.
London increased their lead to three goals after Adrian Carbonara scored his sixth goal of the season 41 seconds later. Carbonara stole the puck from a Firebirds’ defender at Flint’s blue-line and skated into the zone on a two-on-one. Carbonara took a wrist-shot from the left-circle and scored high-blocker side to earn a 5-2 lead.
Thomas scored his 11th goal of the season and second goal of the night after he converted on a highlight-reel type goal, shorthanded. Miletic stole the puck in the defensive-zone and pushed it ahead to Thomas on the left-wing-side. Thomas skated into the Firebirds’ zone and danced around a Flint defender before firing a shot past Forrest increasing London’s lead to four goals with 8:20 remaining in the game. London would eventually finish the game with a 6-2 victory.
Flint outshot the Knights 37-34. The Firebirds were one-for-seven on the power-play, while London was scoreless on three chances. Forrest made 28 saves on 34 shots.
The Firebirds return back to action when they head to North Bay to face the Battalion Thursday night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the North Bay Memorial Gardens. The game can be heard live on the radio in Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM and around the world online at www.us103.com. Additionally, Thursday night’s contest will be televised live in North Bay on channel 12 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers and throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 432 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and 466 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers.
Upcoming Home Games:
The Firebirds next home game is Wednesday Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Wednesday’s game is College Night featuring $2 beers & $2 hot dogs for all fans in attendance. In addition, all college student’s with valid I.D. receive $2 off their tickets. Flint is then home again on Friday, Dec. 30 against the Saginaw Spirit for Star Wars Night at 7 PM. Star Wars Night will feature a live jersey auction immediately following the game.
Single game tickets for the Flint Firebirds 2016-17 season are $12 for Bronze, $15 for Silver, $19 for Gold and $25 for VIP seating. Prices are unchanged from last season and all seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online by clicking ticketmaster.com.