Saturday Highlights: Firebirds strike for seven in big win
FLINT 7 – GUELPH 2
The Flint Firebirds claimed a big two points on home ice, creating more distance between themselves and the Guelph Storm in the Western Conference playoff chase as Kole Sherwood (15), Nicholas Caamano (17, 18) and Everett Clark all had three points in a 7-2 victory. Flint scored three times in the opening eight minutes of the game as Jake Durham (3) and Maurizio Colella (7) both found the back of the net before Sherwood made it 3-0. Ryan Moore (20) and Ty Dellandrea (6) would also score in the win as the Firebirds remain four points ahead of Saginaw in the West Division and trail third place Sarnia by just one. Flint outshot Guelph 33-22. Nick Deakin-Poot (2) and Isaac Ratcliffe (18) scored goals for Guelph as the Storm suffer their fourth straight loss.
SAGINAW 4 – ERIE 2
Elsewhere in Michigan, the Saginaw Spirit stopped the mighty Erie Otters on home ice for the second time this season as Kris Bennett (10, 11) had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 victory. Edmonton Oilers prospect Markus Niemelainen (1) and sophomore forward Kirill Maksimov (6) also had goals as the Spirit won their second home game in as many nights. Kyle Pettit (17) and Patrick Fellows (8) scored for the Otters who return to home ice for three straight contests next week. With a Guelph loss in Flint, Saginaw’s lead on the Storm stretches to five points while the Spirit remain four back of Flint for the final playoff spot.
OWEN SOUND 5 – WINDSOR 1
The Owen Sound Attack are one win away from tying a club record after winning their ninth straight game in a 5-1 decision over the visiting Windsor Spitfires. 2017 NHL Draft prospect Jonah Gadjovich (19, 20, 21) netted his first OHL hat-trick while Ethan Szypula (5) and Matt Schmalz (10) also got on the scoresheet. The Attack outshot the Spitfires 41-21, climbing to within four points of second place Erie in the Midwest Division with their 25th win. Owen Sound captain Santino Centorame collected four assists while Michael McNiven made 20 saves, being beaten just once on a goal by Windsor’s Gabriel Vilardi (14). The Spitfires see their three game winning streak come to an end as they are five points back of Sault Ste. Marie in the West Division.
OTTAWA 6 – KINGSTON 2
The Ottawa 67’s scored six times on 24 shots, defeating the visiting Kingston Frontenacs 6-2 as goaltender Leo Lazarev stood tall with a 43-save afternoon. 67’s coach Jeff Brown made his return to the bench as Tye Felhaber (13) led the way with a goal and two assists. Nolan Gardiner (2), Austen Keating (11), Travis Barron (6), Artur Tyanulin (17) and Patrick White (15) also scored in the offensive outburst. Kingston goals came from Stephen Desrocher (6) and Tyler Burnie (1). The Ottawa win brings them to within one point of Kingston in the East Division. The 67’s take a 3-2 lead in the season series that features three more meetings between the two clubs.
SARNIA 5 – SUDBURY 2
Overage winger Jaden Lindo (12) had a goal and an assist to help the Sarnia Sting snap a six game skid with a 5-2 win over visiting Sudbury. Jordan Ernst (5), Troy Lajeunesse (12), Connor Schlichting (1) and Anthony Salinitri (17) also scored for the Sting as they outshot the Wolves 42-22. Sudbury’s Dmitry Sokolov (27, 28) scored twice for the third straight game, but couldn’t help the Wolves dodge defeat. Netminder Jake McGrath made 37 saves in the loss as Sudbury falls three points back of sixth place Ottawa in the Eastern Conference.
PETERBOROUGH 5 – NORTH BAY 2
Scott Smith turned aside 42 of the 44 shots he faced, leading the Peterborough Petes over visiting North Bay 5-2. Wingers Josh Coyle (6) and Nikita Korostelev (19) each had a goal and an assist as the Petes pull into a first place tie with Oshawa atop the East Division with a record of 22-13-1-3. Adam Timleck (12), Logan DeNoble (24) and Steven Lorentz (12) also scored for Peterborough while Jonathan Ang had a pair of assists. North Bay suffers its ninth straight loss as Justin Brazeau (8, 9) scored both goals in defeat. Steve Harland had assists on both markers as North Bay went 2-for-6 on the man advantage.
HAMILTON 3 – NIAGARA 1
The Hamilton Bulldogs took another duel of the dogs, improving to 4-0 this season against Niagara as Los Angeles Kings prospect Matt Luff had three assists in a 3-1 home ice win. Niki Petti (8, 9) followed up a four point outing on Friday with a pair of goals while Will Bitten (14) had a goal and two helpers. Dawson Carty made 25 saves in goal as Hamilton holds down fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Johnny Corneil (13) scored the lone goal for Niagara as the IceDogs have lost three straight on the road. Colton Incze turned away 35 shots for the IceDogs as they continue to trail North Bay by two points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
SAULT STE. MARIE 6 – BARRIE 1
The Soo Greyhounds followed up a six goal output on Friday in Kitchener with another six in a 6-1 road win over the Barrie Colts. New York Rangers prospect Tim Gettinger (18, 19) had two goals and two assists as the Hounds scored six unanswered in the big win. Noah Carroll (3) scored his first goal as a Greyhound before Zach Senyshyn (24), David Miller (14) and Blake Speers (1) tacked on additional goals. Sault Ste. Marie outshot Barrie 37-21, going 2-for-4 on the power play as Matthew Villalta made 20 saves in the win. Lucas Chiodo (13) scored Barrie’s only goal as the Colts fall to 12-22-3-1. The Greyhounds lead the OHL with a 29-9-2-0 record.