Firebirds Conclude Preseason Play Friday Night in Sarnia
Sarnia, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds play their final 2023 preseason contest on Friday night against the Sting in Sarnia. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena.
HOW IT HAS GONE:
Flint opened its preseason on September 9 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor with a 5-3 loss to the Spits. The Firebirds jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period but Windsor responded with four consecutive goals to take the lead for good. Nathan Day had the net for Flint and made 23 saves on 28 shots faced while Windsor’s Carter Froggett stopped 36 of the 39 shots in the Spitfires’ net.
The two teams met again the next day in Flint at Flint Iceland Arenas, a game that the Firebirds took by a final of 5-4. Coulson Pitre had two goals and an assist and Nolan Dann put up a goal and two assists and netted the game-winner in the third period. Jacob Brown made 26 saves on 30 shots in Flint’s net and Windsor split goaltending duties between Ian Michelone, who stopped 15 of 18, and Joey Costanzo, who made nine saves on 11 shots.
Thursday was the third and final tilt between the Birds and Spits, again at the WFCU Centre. Flint jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period and kept their foot on the gas, outscoring Windsor 7-3. Returning forward Simon Slavicek lit the lamp three times, including the game’s first and last tallies. Rookie netminder Jacob Brown earned his second win in as many OHL starts, this time with a 30-save performance. Daks Klinkhammer posted a two-point effort with a goal and an assist, and rookie defender Jack D’Arcy finished with two assists and a +4 rating. Newcomers Jeremy Martin and Max Anderson also found the back of the net for the first time in their initial OHL preseasons.
SCOUTING THE STING:
Sarnia lost a long list of veteran players at the end of last season and is now in a rebuilding phase. The Sting have played three of their five preseason games thus far. First, they split a home-and-away series with the London Knights with both contests ending with a final score of 3-2. Then on Wednesday night, the Bees dropped the Windsor Spitfires 5-1 at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena. Four netminders have shared ice time thus time, led by sophomore Nick Surzycia who’s made 47 saves on 50 shots across 75 minutes of play.
On the scoresheet, Northville, Michigan native Zach Filak leads the charge with six points (2 G, 4 A). Ryan Brown, Sarnia’s first-round selection (17th overall) in the 2023 OHL Priority Selection, ranks second in points with five, and is the only Sting player with three goals in three games. Marko Sikic (1 G, 2 A) and Brighton, Michigan’s Lukas Fischer (3 A) are tied in the third spot.
Flint is without forwards Gavin Hayes, Coulson Pitre, Ethan Hay, defenseman Tristan Bertucci and goaltender Nathan Day for Friday’s game, all of whom are participating in NHL training camps. Each of those six players skated in one of the Firebirds’ three preseason games thus far.
The Firebirds launch the 2023-24 regular season on the road on September 29 against the Soo Greyhounds in the GFL Memorial Gardens at 7:07 p.m. The Firebirds then return home the next night for Opening Night on Saturday, September 30 against the Kitchener Rangers at 7:00 p.m.
2023-24 Season Memberships remain on sale! Memberships start as low as $408 for the full season. Benefits for full-season membership holders include FREE parking ($340 value), $102 of ticket savings for all of the 2023-24 season, (4) complimentary tickets to regular-season games in Saginaw, (2) buddy vouchers to bring a friend to any Firebirds’ game, any game unused ticket redemption and an exclusive invitation to team and player events.
Single-game Tickets are on sale NOW! on Etix.com and at the Dort Financial Center Box Office. The Box Office is open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
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