Slavicek’s Hat Trick Powers Flint to 7-3 Win in Windsor
WINDSOR, Ont. – Simon Slavicek had a hat trick and five different Flint skaters recorded multi-point games as the Firebirds cruised past the Windsor Spitfires, 7-3, on Thursday night at the WFCU Centre.
Flint came out firing and grabbed the lead early in the first period. Grayden Strohack rifled a shot on net that Windsor netminder Joey Costanzo stopped but Slavicek corralled the rebound. He slid it past Costanzo and in to give the Firebirds a 1-0 lead.
Less than a minute later the Birds gained possession on their own blue line and Nolan Dann charged into the attacking end. He found Daks Klinkhammer inside the right circle who gathered the pass and snapped a shot past Costanzo’s glove, extending the Flint advantage to 2-0.
With less than two minutes to play in the opening frame, Jack D’Arcy hit Klinkhammer for a shot that was blocked by Costanzo. The rebound found its way to Nathan Aspinall in front of the net. He strode to his left and snuck a shot through the short side of Costanzo, pushing the Firebirds’ lead to three.
They added to that lead in the second via a power play goal. Zacharie Giroux blasted a shot on net that was stopped by Costanzo but the rebound bounced to Jeremy Martin in front of the net. Martin stuffed the puck past Costanzo and Flint’s lead swelled to 4-0.
The Spitfires got themselves on the board with a power play strike of their own minutes later. A loose puck rolled on its end into the attacking zone and Liam Greentree won the race to it. He deked to his backhand and roofed a shot past Jacob Brown’s glove to make the score 4-1. Later, with the team’s skating 4-on-4, Aidan Castle finished off a feed from Greentree and Windsor cut the deficit to two.
Then, in the third period, Windsor brought itself within one as Tanner Winegard took the puck at the point and sent a wrist shot sailing through traffic. It got through the bodies in front of the net and beat a screened Brown to make the score 4-3.
But Flint would answer, first when Max Anderson chased down a loose puck in the attacking left wing corner. Costanzo had left his net to attempt to play the puck and could not return to position in time as Anderson sent a shot past him to extend the Firebirds lead to 5-3.
Later in the third with Flint on a power play, Slavicek positioned himself in front of the net and buried a rebound for his second goal. He completed the hat trick when he caught up to a loose puck and guided it into the empty net, pushing the lead to its 7-3 final.
Slavicek’s hat trick pushed his preseason goal total to a team-leading four, Klinkhammer had a goal and an assist and D’Arcy, Giroux and Marko Stojkov each had two assists. The Firebirds will conclude their preseason schedule on Friday night in Sarnia against the Sting. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Progressive Auto Sales Arena.