He’s always been more of a team-first player, but this past week Flint Firebirds center Ty Dellandrea got to celebrate something that’s all him.
On Wednesday night he potted his 73rd career goal with the Firebirds, passing former teammate Ryan Moore as the leading goal scorer in the franchise’s history.
He did it in dramatic fashion, too, as the third and clinching goal capped off his second OHL hat trick.
RECORD-BREAKING— Flint Firebirds (@FlintFirebirds) November 21, 2019
And just like that, @tydellandrea has become the all-time leading goal scorer in #FlintFirebirds history! What better way to do it than with a hat-trick. Congrats, Captain!
3-1, Firebirds!#ThisIsFlint | #FLNTvsSAR pic.twitter.com/KQNL4yxRav
#️⃣2️⃣ career hat-trick— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) November 21, 2019
#️⃣1️⃣ in @FlintFirebirds all-time goal-scoring
Take a bow @tydellandrea! @DallasStars prospect nets his 7️⃣3️⃣rd career #OHL marker to top the club list. pic.twitter.com/AplSGTirIi
It was a nice moment for Dellandrea, who sacrifices some of the glamour of putting up gaudy point totals by being an all-situations workhorse on a Flint club that doesn’t surround him with a ton of help. He’s currently fifth in the OHL in terms of face-offs taken, winning a whopping 61.4 percent of them, which ties him for the league lead among regular draw-takers.
He didn’t need the help to boost his stock, but last week’s hat trick will also bolster his odds of making Canada’s World Junior team in a few weeks, which would be another big milestone. Dellandrea has represented Canada internationally a few times in the past, but playing in the World Juniors is one especially shiny prize that many young hockey players dream of.
Come the second week of January, however, it will be all Flint, all the time for Dellandrea as the club continues on their playoff push, which is off to a rousing start so far. And if he’s true to his current reputation, guiding the lowly Firebirds to playoff success before he leaves for the pros would probably be Dellandrea’s most proud accomplishment yet.
North American Juniors
Windsor Spitfires center Curtis Douglas keeps rolling along in the OHL, continuing a multi-week stretch of great play for himself and his team. His big shorthanded breakaway goal last week helped Windsor extend their current point streak to 13 games (11-0-2). Individually, Douglas has 20 points over his past 13 contests.
Riley Damiani extended his ongoing point streak to eight games with three points in three games. Unfortunately for him, however, his Kitchener Rangers squad is really struggling, going 2-8 in their past 10 matches and firing their head coach on Monday. If their ship doesn’t get righted soon, it’s possible that Damiani, who will likely turn pro in the spring, could be on the move before the OHL trade deadline.
Finally, finally, finally: the Texas Stars are back in the win column.
It was a real liptstick-on-a-pig kind of victory, coming 7-6 in a game that needed a shootout, but when you’ve racked up 12 losses in a row, beggars can’t be choosers. Texas also showed some impressive fortitude in the Saturday contest, overcoming a 4-2 deficit. It was also the first time all season that the team won a game after trailing through two periods.
“We got down 4-2, and the bench was really great,” head coach Derek Laxdal said, as reported by 100 Degree Hockey. “I thought the guys on the bench did a good job keeping them up. There’s a lot of good conversation on the bench. And when we talked about it, that the players have to create their own energy.”
“It feels amazing and kind of a weight lifted off our shoulders,” added Nick Caamano. “But you just got to keep it rolling from here. One is not enough. We just got to keep going.”
Caamano had three points in the game (one goal and two apples), but it was Joel L’Esperance who was named the contest’s first star after netting one goal, one helper, and the game-winning shootout tally. Jason Robertson had two goals and an assist, putting him in a tie with Emil Djuse for the club’s scoring lead, while Gavin Bayreuther had a goal and an assist.
It was a tough start to the season for Jacob Peterson, barely playing any minutes on an always-deep Frolunda club in the SHL, but give the speedy forward credit: he’s fighting his way up the lineup. He’s been getting more minutes lately and is now up to seven points in 19 games after this nifty assist last week:
Albin Eriksson’s loan to MODO in the Allsvenskan is over sooner than expected after he, MODO and his parent club, Skelleftea, all agreed to end it early. The reason? Eriksson wasn’t getting any ice time on the veteran-heavy roster — which makes one wonder why MODO agreed to take him in the first place. It looks like he might play in Sweden’s top junior league, the SuperElit, for the foreseeable future.