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Firebirds Win 6-2 Saturday, Improve to 4-2-1-0 in Last Seven Home Games

January 12, 2019 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Flint Firebirds News Release

Flint, Mich. - The Flint Firebirds have earned points in five of the last seven home games, posting a 4-2-1-0 record. The Firebirds have scored 22 goals on home-ice, averaging 5.5 'goals for' per game in that time at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center. In the last five contests, Flint is 3-1-1-0.

The Firebirds concluded a three-game weekend Saturday evening with a 6 - 2 Triumph over the visiting Sarnia Sting. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) tallied a five-point night, scoring once and contributed assists on four other goals, and now has 13 points (2G, 11A) in his past four contests. Jake Durham recorded a four-point night, scoring his second hat-trick of the campaign and adding one helper. Eric Uba also had his fourth three-point game of his young career, assisting on three of the Firebirds' markers. Ethan Keppen scored to increase his point-streak to five consecutive games. Between-the-pipes, veteran netminder Emanuel Vella made 43 saves on 45 shots to earn his third win of the year. On special teams, the Firebirds scored two power-play goals in three opportunities, while killing two of three short-handed situations.

Jake Durham gave the 'Birds the early lead, netting an even-strength marker at 2:15 of the first period. Eric Uba made the initial pass from the right corner to his captain behind the goal. Dellandrea skated out to the right side of Sarnia netminder Ethan Langevin, then hit Jake Durham across the mouth of the goal crease for a quick tick-tac-toe-goal. The goal was Durham's team-leading 28th of the campaign. The Sting came back to even the score at 11:15 on a broken play inside Flint's offensive zone. Hugo Leufvenius emerged on an all-out breakaway, converting for his team-leading 26th, unassisted. The visitors outshot the Firebirds 14 - 11 in the first 20 minutes of play.

It only took 13 seconds of second-period play for Durham to light the lamp again. Eric Uba passed the puck out from behind the net to Dellandrea between the circles. He fired a shot that was initially stopped by Langevin. The puck trickled behind the netminder and nearly came to rest in the blue paint until Durham put a stick on it and scored his 29th. Dellandrea and Uba each were credited with their second assists of the contest.

Ethan Keppen extended his red-hot point streak to six games when he scored a power-play goal at 15:10 of the middle frame. Cody Morgan carried the puck up the right side of the offensive zone, but was taken down by a diving defender. The puck slipped free and slid across the slot, where Keppen buried it inside the near post. Morgan and Vladislav Kolyachonok picked up the helpers.

Dellandrea extended the lead with an insurance goal at 18:57. Uba laid the body on a Sarnia rearguard behind the Sting's net, freeing the puck and positioning himself to make a play. He backhanded the pass toward the slot, where Dellandrea was able to redirect through the five-hole for his 15th goal of the season. Uba and Durham claimed the assists. Second-period shots were 21 - 17 to the Bees' advantage.

On a four-on-three advantage early in the third period, Jake Durham completed the hat trick with assists from Dellandrea and Riley McCourt. Dellandrea and McCourt played a game of back-and-forth high atop the offensive zone, each trying to find an open lane. Finally, McCourt found space to shoot from above the circles, and Durham won a battle in the goal crease and finally tapped the puck across the line behind Langevin for his 30th of the season at 1:21. Sarnia scored their second of the night at 7:12 of the third when their leading defender Mitch Eliot (Vancouver Canucks) potted his 10th of the season, while on the man-advantage. Leufvenius picked up the solo assist.

Then, Dellandrea hit Hunter Holmes with a lead pass as they entered the Sarnia zone near the mid-point of the final frame. Holmes had a defender in tow, but managed to make a move in the slot that resulted in his sixth of the season. The goal was assisted by Dellandrea and McCourt at 10:53. Final shots were 46 - 34 in favor of the visitors, but the scoreboard reflected a 6 - 2 win for the hometown team.

Next up for Flint, the Firebirds will play five straight games on the road beginning this Friday in Mississauga at 7 p.m.


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Ontario Hockey League Stories from January 12, 2019


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