Rookie Scoring Lifts Flint to 5-1 Holiday Victory in Guelph Monday
Guelph, Ont. – Rookie's Dennis Busby, Ty Dellandrea and Hunter Holmes each lit-the-lamp, Kole Sherwood recorded his 100th-career OHL point and Garrett Forrest made 29 saves in a 5-1 victory over the Guelph Storm before a sell-out crowd of more than 4,700 fans at the Sleeman Centre Monday afternoon.
Ty Dellandrea opened the scoring for the Firebirds 6:47 into the first period after he redirected a shot from Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) at the right-circle that beat Liam Herbst glove-side for his 10th goal of the season. The power-play tally was Dellandrea's sixth point in his last six games and Sherwood picked up his first of three assists on the night.
The Firebirds doubled their lead when Dennis Busby netted his second goal of the season after he banged-home a rebound in the slot. Sherwood received a pass at the right-circle from Ryan Moore on a two-on-one and one-timed the puck that Herbst saved initially, but the rebound kicked-out to a wide-open Busby in the slot who found twine. Sherwood's assist on the play was his 100th-career point in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
3:55 later, while on a two-on-one with Hunter Holmes, Luke Kirwan fired a shot on goal from the right circle. Holmes was crashing the net and batted the puck out of mid-air, earning Flint a 3-0 lead with 5:59 remaining in the opening frame.
The Firebirds led 3-0 after 20 minutes of play, with all three goals coming from rookies in their first season in the OHL. Flint also had a 17-8 shot advantage after the first period.
Moore extended the Firebirds lead 3:28 into the second period when he buried his 34th goal of the season after he finished-off a tic-tac-toe play from the right circle. Ryan Littlejohn collected a pass from Maurizio Colella in the slot and dished the puck to Moore at the right circle who fired the puck through the legs of a Guelph defender and into net to increase Flint’s lead to 4-0. Moore’s goal earned him 17 points (9G, 8A) in his last 10 games and has 15 tallies in his previous 18 contests.
After Dellandrea's second goal on the ice was ruled illegal at 4:05 of the second frame, Guelph's Anthony Popovich replaced Herbst between-the-pipes.
The Firebirds scored their fifth consecutive goal when Colella notched his 13th of the season after Sherwood picked-off a pass at the left-circle, skated to the right-side of the net and with patience, fed a pass to Colella backdoor who tapped the puck past Popovich for a 5-0 lead with 3:01 remaining in the middle period. Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) tallied his third assist of the night and has now racked-up 37 points (16G, 21A) in his past 18 games.
The Firebirds led 5-0 after the second frame and had a 26-18 shot advantage.
Nick Deakin-Poot netted the lone goal for the Storm at 8:44 of the third period after he corralled a pass from Ralph at the right circle and rifled a shot past Forrest glove-side. The Firebirds would eventually win the contest 5-1 and sweep the season series, 4-0, over the Guelph Storm.
The Firebirds outshot Guelph 42-30. Flint scored once on seven power-play chances and were a perfect three-for-three on the penalty kill. Sherwood earned first star honors after recording three assists. Colella got the second star after scoring once and tallying an assist and Moore collected the third star after putting-up two points. Forrest made 29 saves on 30 shots. The Firebirds completed a season sweep of the Guelph Storm after winning all four contests. Kole Sherwood recorded his 100th-career point in the OHL.
Upcoming Home Games:
The Flint Firebirds return home to the Dort Federal Event Center Friday, Feb. 24 to host the North Bay Battalion. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. in the second and final meeting this season. The Firebirds are teaming up with Talk Today – The Canadian Mental Health Association and locally with Genesee Health System and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Genesee County (NAMI) for “Mental Health Awareness Night.” Additionally, Friday is also UM-Flint Night where $10 discounted tickets are available for all faculty, staff and student’s with valid identification. Saturday, the Firebirds are on home-ice vs. the Sarnia Sting. The Firebirds are teaming up with the United Auto Workers and the United Way for a fundraising night, featuring auction items on the arena concourse and 50-50 raffle’s throughout 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. All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Parking has been reduced to $5 dollars which is new this season. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online by clicking ticketmaster.com.
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