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 Flint Firebirds

First-Place Firebirds Cruise to 7-3 Matinee Win, Extend Point-Streak to Nine Games

February 21, 2022 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Flint Firebirds News Release

Sarnia, ONT. - It was Family Day in Canada, giving the Firebirds played an unusual Monday afternoon matinee today against the Sarnia Sting. In front of 50% capacity, the Firebirds sent the crowd home unhappy with a 7-3 win over the Sting. Flint picked up their 29th win of the year, tying them with Mississauga for most in the OHL. Captain Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) skated in his 100th career OHL game, he added a goal and assist to get to 99 career points. Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks) had two goals, Amadeus Lombardi had three assists and Simon Slavicek posted a goal and assist. Luke Cavallin got the start in net for Flint, coming off his sensational 51-save performance Saturday vs. Windsor, and it was Benjamin Gaudreau (San Jose Sharks) between the pipes for the Sting.

The Firebirds wasted no time to get things started. 47 seconds into the game, Othmann let one fly from high in the slot, beating Gaudreau high to blocker as he never saw the shot through a screen. It was his 34th of the year assisted by Luca D'Amato and James Petrovski added the assists.

Not even three minutes later, Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks) buried his 12th of the year. With a delayed penalty, good patience from Gavin Hayes on an odd-man rush found the trailing Keppen who also ripped it high to the blocker of Gaudreau at the 3:27 mark of the first to make it 2-0 Flint. Amadeus Lombardi added the secondary assist.

The Sting found the answer quickly. First, Nolan DeGurse picked up a puck behind the net that Cavallin didn't know where it was. He wrapped it around from behind the net to an open near-side post to make it a one-goal game 7:45 into the opening frame with Ethan Ritchie and Nolan Dann assisting. Then, after the Firebirds killed off the first penalty of the game, Sarnia capitalized on the Flint line change. A nice passing play from DeGurse and Sikic found an open Theo Hill on the near-post who tied things up 10:14 into the period.

Flint was ready to answer. Less than three minutes later, Amadeus Lombardi worked the wall, slipped by a defender and found a releasing Gavin Hayes who slipped one under the glove short-side on Gaudreau for his 12th of the year. Tyler Deline added the secondary assist as well for Flint.

The Firebirds led 3-2 after the opening 20 minutes, with shots reading 12-8 Sting who outdrew the 'Birds 15-9 as well while going 0-for-1 on the man-advantage.

Simon Slavicek got the offense rolling 3:25 into the 2nd. After good pressure from Tag Bertuzzi forced the pass up the wall, Slavicek stole the puck at the blue line, carried it to the top of the circles and snapped one low to the glove of Gaudreau for his fourth of the year making it 4-2 Flint.

Flint took a 5-2 lead on a short-handed gift after that. Fanning on the clearing attempt was Nolan Burke in his own end, it found its way right to the tape of Ethan Hay in the slot who ripped one high to the glove of Gaudreau for his fourth of the year 10:51 into the 2nd. They added a powerplay tally on another dazzling play from Lombardi. He head-faked three separate times behind the net, forcing Gaudreau to scramble. He then slipped it to the far post for Ethan Keppen who put home his second of the game. Slavicek added the secondary assist for his first career multi-point game in the OHL.

The Sting answered almost immediately. A harmless carry into the zone by Easton Wainwright led to a shot that deflected off D'Amato in the slot and pinballed behind Cavallin. Ryder McIntyre added the lone assist on the goal coming at 18:20 of the 2nd. Sarnia outshot Flint 10-8 during the middle frame and outdrew them 13-11.

Again, the Firebirds struck early to start the 3rd. Off the face-off, Othmann slipped a puck in front of the net for Sahil Panwar who buried his 12th of the year making it 7-3 Flint 1:43 into the final frame.

A penalty-filled 3rd Period saw the game finally conclude with the Flint outshooting the Sting 10-7 and outdrew them as well 9-6.

Next Up: The Firebirds will travel to Sarnia again Friday evening at 7:05 p.m. ET before returning home next Saturday to host the Sting in game three of three consecutive meetings. It will be Flint Generals Night at the Dort Financial Center with more information coming out early this week. Tickets are on sale NOW here: ETIX.

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