Sarnia, Ont. – Jacob Winterton recorded his first-career OHL goal and Emanuel Vella made 47 saves Saturday night but the Sarnia Sting were able to post a 4-1 victory in front of 3,070 fans at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
The Firebirds were assessed seven penalties in the game compared to Sarnia’s three. Defenseman Riley McCourt left the contest early due to injury and defenseman Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) was sent to the dressing room for a match-penalty for slew footing.
The Firebirds scored the only goal of the first period, finding the back of the net at 5:55. Jake Durham skated into the Sarnia zone on the right-wing wall before making a move to the slot. Durham dished the puck to Winterton at the left-circle, who scored short-side past Aidan Hughes, for his first career goal in the Ontario Hockey League. Kyle Harris was credited with the second assist.
Flint led 1-0 after 20 minutes and Sarnia led in shots 12-8.
Sarnia would score the next two goals in the second period to lead 2-1 after 40 minutes. Calvin Martin scored far-side from the left circle at 5:38 before Mitch Eliot fired a shot on net from the right-point that was deflected by Adam Ruzicka (Calgary Flames) in the slot blocker-side off the left post and in at 8:18.
The Sting increased their lead to two at 14:27 of the third period. A shot from Colton Kammerer at the right point was tipped in front by Martin. Firebirds’ netminder Emanuel Vella made the first save before Ryan McGregor was able to put it home on the doorstep. Franco Sproviero added an empty net tally with seven seconds remaining.
The Firebirds were outshot 51-20. Flint was 0-for-3 on the power-play and was 7-for-7 on the penalty kill. Sarnia won 37 face-off draws compared to the Firebirds 18.
All-time, Flint is now 13-12-0-0 against Sarnia and are 6-7-0-0 at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds will return to the Dort Federal Event Center for the 2018-19 OHL regular season Opening Night tomorrow night/Saturday, Sep. 29. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. against the London Knights. The Firebirds are encouraging all fans to wear orange as everyone in attendance will receive an orange rally towel, compliments of Dort Federal Credit Union.
Saturday evening’s contest can be heard live on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM, online at www.us103.com or by downloading the US 103 app here. The game will also be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 457 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and 488 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers. Dominic Hennig will call the play-by-play action with pre-game coverage beginning begin 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m.
Opening night and all 34 individual game tickets for the Firebirds’ 2018-19 season are on sale now and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com here. Single game tickets are $12 for bronze, $16 for silver, $20 for gold and $26 for VIP seating.
Photo Credit: Metcalfe Photography
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club