Hockey roundup: Tag Bertuzzi scores two goals for Flint; Roque joins Blashill with Soo honor
Tag Bertuzzi, the son of former Detroit Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi and the cousin of current Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi, scored two goals, including the winning goal in the Flint Firebirds' 4-3 victory over the host Windsor Spitfires in Game 1 of the Western Conference final at the WFCU Center on Saturday night.
Bertuzzi, who played for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies from 2014-17, scored 21 goals in 63 games this season. He has four goals and three assists for seven points in 13 playoff games with Game 2 scheduled for Monday in Windsor.
“I’m a Michigan guy so I know plenty as far as what the Firebirds are about," Bertuzzi said when he was acquired by Flint in 2021 from the Hamilton Bulldogs for conditional fourth- and seventh-round picks in the 2025 OHL draft.
Also Saturday, Sahil Panwar, who led Michigan's Honeybaked U16 team with 62 points during the 2017-18 season, had an assist, two shots, won 10-of-18 faceoffs and was plus-1. Westland's Gavin Hayes was scoreless with one shot.
Livonia's Ryan Abraham scored twice for the Spitfires, who went 7-0-0-1 during eight regular-season meetings against the Firebirds.
Roque joins Blashill with Soo honor
Sault Ste. Marie native and Olympic silver medalist Abby Roque became the latest person to be presented a key to the city on May 14.
Former Red Wings coach and Soo native Jeff Blashill was also honored in 2021.
Roque has been called hockey's next female superstar, a cover girl on Sports Illustrated's preview of the 2022 Winter Games and the first indigenous player on the United States women's national team in Beijing.
Blashill, fired by the Red Wings on April 30 after posting a 204-261-71 record during seven years in Detroit, is an assistant coach with Team USA at the world hockey championship in Finland.
Before Saturday's 3-2 overtime victory over Sweden, Blashill posed for a photo with the rest of the U.S. coaching staff: Head coach and former New York Rangers coach Dave Quinn and assistants Dan Granato of the Buffalo Sabres and Mike Hastings of Minnesota State.
Ex-Spits announcer Quinn dead at 79
The Ontario Hockey League paid tribute this week to former Windsor Spitfires play-by-play announcer Dave Quinn, who died at age 79 on Monday.
"Known to many as ‘Quinner', Dave became an iconic voice at CFRB in Toronto after getting his start as the first radio voice of the Windsor Spitfires," the OHL said in a statement. "He’d also join long-time OHL builder and general manager Sherry Bassin on Global TV broadcasts, bringing fans the OHL Game of the Week.
"The League extends condolences to Dave’s family and friends following this difficult loss. He was a tremendous supporter of the Ontario Hockey League."
A former CKLW/CKWW sports director who covered the Windsor-Detroit sports scene for more than 10 years, Quinn was the voice of Spitfires hockey from 1975-1987 and chronicled Wayne Maxner's rise to Detroit Red Wings coach (34-68-27 record from 1981-82) after Maxner led the Spitfires to the OHL final in 1980.
"It is with a deep sadness I had to say goodbye to my husband David, one of the kindest and most gentle humans on earth who passed away after a valiant 8 month struggle with his health," his wife Charmaine Quinn posted on Facebook.
"Dave had an amazing career starting in radio in his home of Montreal, moving on to being a political reporter in Ottawa, but his love of sports changed his direction to be a sportscaster in Ottawa then on to CKLW - Big 8, CKWW, CBC & his final stop at CFRB radio in Toronto for 25 years.
"Dave interviewed some of the greatest sports legends in the world, had many friends, loved his animals, had a passion for hockey and golf & his life was truly fulfilled. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and pets."