The Firebirds started quickly in the game.
Markas Samenas had been looking for his first goal as a Firebird and found it at 3:13 of the opening period as he banged in a puck in front of the London net. Samenas had six goals a year ago in the QMJHL while playing for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, before joining Flint after being selected in the 2023 CHL Import Draft.
What appeared to be a second early Firebird goal was nullified after a review determined that the play was offside. However, Flint cashed in once more before the end of the opening 20 minutes when a Coulson Pitre shot from the left side found the back of the Knight goal.
Pitre scored the next two goals of the game to complete a natural hat trick by the 8:53 mark of the second period and Flint had a 4-0 lead.
London put a puck into the Firebirds net on a power play but, as happened to Flint in the first period, it was called back after the play was ruled offside following a review.
Jacob Julien scored the Knights OHL-leading eighth short-handed goal of the season to put London on the scoreboard with just under eight minutes remaining in the second period, but Simon Slavicek got that right back 59 seconds later as he tipped in a goal on the power play to make it 5-1 at the end of two periods.
Julien’s second of the game got the Knights to within three goals once again just over five minutes into the final period.
Once again, the Firebirds responded as Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Braeden Kressler put Flint in front by four at the 12:31 mark.
London kept pressing and picked up back-to-back goals for the first time on the night, as Kasper Halttunen and Sam Dickinson scored one minute and 36 seconds apart to make it 6-4 for the Firebirds and set up a frantic final 4:11.
The Knights pulled goalie Owen Willmore who had entered the London net after the third Flint goal, but the Firebirds held and then got an empty-netter from Gavin Hayes to complete the scoring and end the Knights’ four-game winning streak.
Flint outshot London 40-30.
The Firebirds were 3-for-5 on the power play.
The Knights were 0-for-3.
Both Denver Barkey and Easton Cowan were held off the scoresheet as both saw eight-game point streaks come to an end.
Bouchard’s offence bright spot in Edmonton
It has been a difficult start to the season for the Edmonton Oilers. The team does have two wins in two games since former Erie Otters head coach Chris Knoblauch took over behind their bench, but they still sit seven points out of a playoff spot. Evan Bouchard’s offence has been a plus for a team that is sitting below expectations.
The “Bouch bomb” has been blasted from the point on Edmonton’s power play and has helped the Oilers to eight overall on the man advantage. Bouchard himself is averaging a point per game with three goals and 12 assists in 15 games. Bouchard spent from 2015-19 in London
London makes their first trip to Pennsylvania on Saturday, Nov. 18 to square off against the Erie Otters.
The teams split a pre-season series played in St. Thomas and London and then the Otters came to Budweiser Gardens on Oct. 20 and left with a 5-3 victory.
This will be the second of six meetings between the two clubs.
Coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.
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