Flint, Mich. - Down 3-0 in the second period, the Firebirds scored two goals to bring the game within one but the Sarnia Sting rallied for a 6-3 victory over the Firebirds on Wednesday night. Maurizio Colella recorded a three-point night and Ty Dellandrea tallied two points.
The Firebirds had an impressive effort on special teams in the contest. Flint scored a power-play goal for the eighth game in the past nine games. They also added a short-handed tally. The penalty-kill held Sarnia’s third-ranked power play at bay, successfully killing all three penalties. Maurizio Colella and Jalen Smereck each extended their point-streaks to five games. Ty Dellandrea picked up his tenth point in the past four games against Sarnia. The Sting's Kyrou, a second-round draft pick to the St. Louis Blues earned a three-point night, all assists.
Sarnia scored two first-period goals. The first goal came at the 8:13 mark when Adam Ruzicka (Calgary Flames) fired a wrist-shot off the far post from the top of the left-wing circle. The goal was Ruzicka’s 21st of the season, assisted by Jordan Kyrou (St Louis Blues). A minute and a half later, Theo Calvas scored through traffic, assisted by Jonathan Ang (Florida Panthers). Firebirds' goaltender Garrett Forrest was relieved by Luke Cavallin after the goal. Forrest made three saves on five shots.
The two teams would trade goals six seconds apart in the second period. First, the lead was extended to three for the visitors just 3:27 in. Drake Rymsha (Los Angeles Kings) recorded his 21st of the season on a bad bounce for the Firebirds. The play was assisted by Ang and Nick Grima.
Off the ensuing face-off, Maurizio Colella carried the puck along the left-wing boards into the offensive zone. He made a tape-to-tape pass to Connor Roberts streaking up the middle. Roberts fired a hard, rising shot that beat the visiting netminder Aidan Hughes blocker-side. The goal was Roberts’ ninth of the season, assisted by Colella and Ty Dellandrea.
With a man in the box for the home team, Maurizio Colella broke up a Sarnia pass and took off through the neutral zone. Jake Durham read the play and was able to keep pace alongside Colella to force a 2-on-0 shorthanded breakaway. Colella passed to Durham, who quickly fed the puck back to Colella at the mouth of the goal crease. Colella was able to one-time the puck past an outstretched Hughes to cut the deficit to one. For Colella, it was his team-leading 16th tally of the season. Durham picked up his 16th assist.
Sarnia went on to record three unanswered goals to start the third period. The first goal was Adam Ruzicka’s second of the night and 22nd of the season, scored 1:56 into the final frame. Assisting on the goal were Jordan Kyrou and Michael Pezzetta (Montreal Canadiens). The next goal came 37 seconds later, this time Pezzetta finding twine with Ruzicka assisting. Finally, Ruzicka scored his third goal and fourth point of the night at the 6:55 mark, assisted by Kyrou and Calvas.
Flint would add a power-play goal with 8:34 remaining in the contest to pull within three. Off the face-off, the puck found its way back to Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) at the point. Smereck passed across the zone to the opposite point for Dellandrea. Dellandrea found Colella down low to right of the net. Colella sent the return pass back to Dellandrea who was at the right-wing circle. Dellandrea fired a shot that beat Hughes far-side over the right shoulder for the final tally of the night. Colella and Smereck earned the assists on the play.
Luke Cavallin made 30 saves on Sarnia's 34 shots. Flint is now 12-9 all-time against Sarnia and 6-4 on home-ice in Flint vs. the Sting.
Next Home Game:
The Flint Firebirds return home to the Dort Federal Event Center this Saturday, Jan. 20 to continue the Firebirds’ Fight Hunger month. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) vs. the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. In partnership with the Foodbank of Eastern Michigan, fans can bring in five non-perishable food items to any Firebirds’ home game in the month of January to receive a complimentary sponsored silver level ticket, limit of four tickets per person.
Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 / Bronze, $16 / Silver, $20 / Gold and $26 / VIP seating (Seating Chart). All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (810) 744-0580, in-person at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com here.
For ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email email@example.com.
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