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Firebirds Soar Past Windsor, Post 4-2 Victory Sunday

January 29, 2018 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Flint Firebirds News Release

Flint, Mich. - Four Flint Firebirds notched goals and Maurizio Colella recorded his 14th multi-point game of the season as the Firebirds posted a 4-2 victory over the Windsor Spitfires Sunday afternoon.

The Firebirds got the ball rolling first in the opening frame, scoring the first goal of the contest for the the first time since Jan. 14th against the Erie Otters, six games ago.

At the 16:34 mark, the Firebirds found a way to solve goaltender Michael DiPietro (Vancouver Canucks). C.J. Clarke battled two defenders below the goal-line to DiPietro's left. With the netminder hugging the left post, Jacob Collins managed to skate in front undetected. Clarke centered the puck through the slot, right to the stick of Collins. The ensuing shot was a high, hard wrister into the top of the net short-side. It was Collins' fourth goal of the season with Clarke picking up the lone assist.

Collins' tally was the first goal allowed by DiPietro against the Firebirds in more than 111 minutes of play, spanning three games. The most recent goal scored on him by any Firebirds' player was when Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) lit-the-lamp for Flint's only goal at the 5:23 mark of the second period of the game on Oct. 22, 2017.

At the 9:30 mark of the middle frame, Luke Cavallin made a blocker save on the Spitfires' top scorer, Cole Purboo. The resulting momentum earned Flint the second goal of the contest just eight seconds later. Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) took the puck from Cavallin's save and skated up ice. He sent a forward pass to Max Kislinger streaking up the left-wing side whew drew the lone defender. C.J. Clarke paced him on the right on a 2-on-1 rush. Kislinger made a tape-to-tape pass across the slot, with both the defender and the netminder guarding his side. C.J. Clarke was able to find twine before DiPietro could slide from his right to his left across the crease. The goal was Clarke's ninth of the season and second point of the contest.

After two periods of play, the Firebirds held the lead in shots 25 - 24. On the scoreboard it was 2-0 Flint.

The Firebirds found paydirt quickly in the third period. Fedor Gordeev skated in from the point, through the left-wing circle. He made a move to shake a defender and carried the puck behind the goal. A simple drop pass behind the cage created space for Maurizio Colella to make a pass to Jack Wismer who found open ice inside the left circle. Wismer's quick shot off the pass caught DiPietro off-guard and extended the lead to three. The goal was Wismer's fifth of the season.

At the 4:18 mark, Connor Roberts struck gold with his 13th goal of the season. While on the power-play, Riley McCourt sent the break-out pass to Roberts in the neutral zone. Roberts found Colella along the left-wing boards at the offensive blue line. Colella carried the puck into the zone, staying along the boards. Roberts found open ice in the middle of the zone, where Colella returned the pass. Roberts skated just inside the left-wing circle and sent a wrist-shot that beat DiPietro between his left arm and his torso. Maurizio Colella earned his second assist of the night and fifth point of the three-game weekend.

The Spitfires would rob Cavallin of a potential shutout 6:29 of the third period. The goal was scored by Curtis Douglas, redirecting a shot from the left-point five-hole, for his 15th of the season. Assisting on the play were Thomas Stevenson and Tyler Angle. For Windsor it was their 26th shot on goal.

At 12:57 of the third period, Windsor would cut their deficit to two on Connor Corcoran's third goal of the season, far-side from the right-wing circle. Jake Smith was credited with the lone assist on the play.

Windsor would pull DiPietro for the extra attacker in the final minute and half of play, but to no avail. The Firebirds defense held strong, sealing the 4 - 2 victory. The final shots-on-goal numbers favored Flint by a margin of 37 - 31.

Next up for Flint, the Firebirds will host in-state rival, the Saginaw Spirit, this Wednesday, Jan. 31. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint.

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