Flint spoils the party at John Tavares Foundation Night at the Tribute Centre in Oshawa

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Published March 13, 2023 at 8:53 am

John Tavares meets a young fan at John Tavares Foundation Night at the Tribute Communities Centre.

The Flint Firebirds spoiled the Johnny T party Sunday night with an emphatic 5-1 win over the Oshawa Generals on a night when Oshawa honoured its former superstar for his support of local youth with the John Tavares Foundation.

Tavares, the current captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, dropped the puck Sunday night (after accepting an honourary Doctor of Laws from Ontario Tech University earlier in the day) for the ceremonial faceoff but the game went sideways from there for the reeling Generals,  who dropped all three games on the weekend to push their losing streak to seven.

The only reason Oshawa is still in a playoff spot at all – they hold onto the eighth and final position in the Eastern Conference – is the Kingston Frontenacs, with a 1-11 record over their past dozen games, are worse. That ‘one’ win, however, came Saturday against Peterborough and pulled the Fronts to within one point of Oshawa with just six games to go.

A big win against the top seeded Ottawa 67’s February on February 26 gave the Generals some confidence but seven losses since haven’t helped the cause and disappointing efforts against the Sudbury Wolves, Soo Greyhounds, Owen Sound Attack and Flint in the past four games have made things a little bleak.

Flint, who have now won six straight, tested Jacob Oster early and often and ran out to a 5-0 lead (with Gavin Hayes scoring twice) before Cameron Butler pulled one back late with his 24th of the season.

The injury-ridden Generals squad – Calum Ritchie has missed the last three games after getting injured against Sudbury and then team’s entire top line has missed time since – ran out of gas against Flint and now have to regroup for a home-and-home series against Ottawa on Wednesday and Saturday before a crucial match against Mississauga Sunday night at the Tribute Centre.

John Tavares, with Ontario Tech University President Dr. Steven Murphy and Chancellor Mitch Frazer, accepts an honourary Doctor of Laws from the Oshawa university

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