Interstate 75 rivals Flint Firebirds and Saginaw Spirit both posted victories on Friday as the Ontario Hockey League exhibition season got underway.
Forward Connor Roberts netted a hat-trick and added an assist as Flint upended the reigning OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs 5-2. Roberts was traded by Hamilton to Flint midway through the 2017-2018 season. Overage goalie Emanuel Vella, acquired from the Mississauga Steelheads in an off-season trade, picked up the win for Flint.
And Greater Sudbury product Cameron Lamour registered the shutout as Saginaw blanked the North Bay Battalion 3-0. Lamour is entering his second full season in Saginaw and is expected to share crease duties with Russian-born Ivan Prosvetov, who is a top goalie prospect of the Arizona Coyotes of the Ontario Hockey League.
PHOTO: Connor Roberts et al of the Flint Firebirds.