Mississauga, Ont. – Flint’s Connor Hicks made 40 saves and Ryan Moore recorded his league-leading 15th point of the season as Flint dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Mississauga Steelheads Friday night.
For the second consecutive game, the Firebirds scored in the final minute of the first period when Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) tallied his fourth goal in three games with 10.4 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) picked up a loose puck at the left-wing point in the Steelheads’ zone and blasted it toward the Mississauga net. Nick Caamano (Dallas Stars) deflected the puck from mid-air to Sherwood below the right-circle who ripped a shot past a diving Matthew Mancina to earn the Firebirds a 1-0 lead after one period of play. Caamano extended his point streak to all six games this season.
Flint doubled their lead when Moore scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season on a four-on-three power-play with 2:23 remaining in the second period. Smereck gathered a pass from Sherwood on the blue-line and dished the puck to Moore at the right circle. With Caamano screening the Steelheads’ goaltender, Moore found twine, earning the Firebirds a 2-0 lead. With the goal, Moore extended his point streak to all six games of the campaign as well and both Smereck and Sherwood record their second point of the night.
The Steelheads cut the lead in half with 4:52 remaining in the third period as Austin Osmanski (Buffalo Sabres) scored his first goal of the season far-side from the left-wing circle. Then, with the Mississauga net empty and the extra-attacker out, Sean Day (New York Rangers) tied the game with 17.5 seconds remaining in the contest. Day walked the blue-line to the right wing-side before rifling the puck from the far-circle through traffic, scoring to tie the contest 2-2 and eventually forcing overtime.
The Firebirds outshot the Steelheads 4-2 in overtime but were not able to light-the-lamp, needing a shootout to decide the winner.
Mississauga’s Michael McLeod (New Jersey Devils) scored on the first attempt for the Steelheads and Sherwood found the back-of-the-net for the Firebirds but Nathan Bastian (New Jersey Devils) recorded the shootout-winning goal for Mississauga.
Flint was outshot 42-34, but the Firebirds converted the only power-play goal of the night on two attempts. Flint was a perfect three-for-three on the penalty kill. Hicks was awarded second star honors making 40 saves on 42 Mississauga shots.
The Firebirds continue their three-game road trip Saturday night against the Erie Otters. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Penn. Saturday’s game can be heard live on 1330 WTRX Sports Radio here with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. The contest will also be televised live throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 460 for cable TV subscribers. Fans can watch the game live online at www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live App.
Photo Credit: Rena Laverty / Flint Firebirds