Firebirds Come up Short in Guelph, 3-2
GUELPH, Ont. – Nolan Dann scored and recorded his 100th OHL point and Tristan Bertucci had a pair of assists but the Flint Firebirds were beaten by the Guelph Storm, 3-2, on Friday night at the Sleeman Centre. Nathan Day turned in a strong 26-save performance, but a power-play goal in the third propelled the Storm to the win
The Firebirds opened the scoring in the first shortly after an unsuccessful power play. Bertucci carried in on a two-on-one with Daks Klinkhammer to his left. The Dallas Stars prospect ripped a shot that Brayden Gillespie stopped but the rebound sat loose for Matthew Wang. He chipped it home on the short side from the bottom of the right circle for his second of the season to make the score 1-0.
Guelph then struck for a pair of goals early in the second period to vault itself ahead. After Day kicked aside two quick shots down low and with all kinds of traffic in front of him, Jake Karabela picked up the loose puck between skates and found a hole glove-side for his fourth of the season. Then the Firebirds turned the puck over in their defensive end and Max Namestnikov gathered the puck, spun, and rifled a shot top shelf. He netted his ninth of the season and gave Guelph its first lead of the night.
With less than five minutes remaining in the second period, Bertucci slapped a hefty shot from the right point. A defender blocked the shot in the slot, but the rebound went to Dann at the inner edge of the far circle. His backhander disappeared under Gillespie for a moment before trickling between his legs and across the goal line to tie the game at two.
Early in the third Flint handed the OHL’s second-best power play a four-minute opportunity with a double minor for high sticking. Although the Birds killed off the first two minutes, Charlie Paquette gathered a rebound to Day’s right and rifled it behind him during the second minor. His seventh of the season put Guelph ahead. Day was called to the bench with just north of a minute left to go and the Firebirds threatened but could not crack Gillespie again as Flint came up short, 3-2.
Bertucci had two assists and Dann netted his 47th career OHL goal, which also was his 100th OHL point. Flint dropped to 7-8-1-1 with its second consecutive loss while Guelph improved to 10-6-0-0.
Flint will continue its road trip Saturday night on the road in Erie against the Otters. Puck drop at the Erie Insurance Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Story: Brandon Mills // flintfirebirds.com