Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – Flint scored two power-play goals and two shorthanded goals en-route to a 5-3 victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds before more than 3,500 fans at the Essar Centre Saturday night. The win was Flint’s fourth in the last five games, earning nine out of a possible 10 points in that span. The six-game series completed with the road team winning each contest this season.
Firebirds’ Captain Alex Peters opened the scoring for the Firebirds when he buried a shorthanded goal for his seventh tally of the season at 15:27 of the first period. Peters stole the puck in the neutral-zone and rifled a shot from the left-circle, over the shoulder of Matthew Villalta to earn Flint a 1-0.
Then, Greyhounds’ captain Blake Speers (New Jersey Devils) responded 2:01 later with his 10th goal of the season after he cleaned-up a rebound on his backhand that beat Connor Hicks to even the score 1-1.
Flint and Sault Ste. Marie remained tied 1-1 after the first period with the Firebirds outshooting the Greyhounds 13-8.
Zachary Senyshyn (Boston Bruins) earned the Greyhounds their first lead of the game at the 13:56 mark of the second period after he collected a pass from Morgan Frost at the right-wing wall, skated into the Flint zone and deked to his backhand to slide the puck five-hole past Hicks for his 33rd goal of the season on the power-play.
Flint tied the game 2-2 on the power-play when Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) netted his seventh goal of the season after he cranked a one-timer from Mathieu Henderson at the top of the right-circle, beating Villalta high-blocker side. Sherwood’s assist extended his point streak to 30 points (13G, 17A) in 14 games, dating back to Dec. 30, 2016.
Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) regained the Firebirds’ lead 1:24 later when he buried his 27th goal of the season, on the power-play, after he fired a wrist-shot over the glove of Villalta from the right-circle for the Firebirds’ 3-2 lead. After scoring on the play, Sherwood has 14 goals in his past 10 contests. Moore tallied an assist as well, which extended his point streak to five games and now has eight points (4G, 4A) in that time.
Sault Ste. Marie evened the score 50 seconds later when Boris Katchouk (Tampa Bay Lightning) scored his 26th goal of the season, shorthanded, after he stole the puck at center-ice, deked to his backhand and tucked the puck short-side on Hicks to make the score 3-3 with 1:26 remaining in the middle period.
The two clubs remained tied 3-3 after 40 minutes of play with Flint leading in shots 25-14.
Jake Durham scored the eventual game-winning goal for Flint 3:22 into the third period when Caamano dropped a pick to Durham at the right-circle who ripped a shot from that beat Villalta five-hole.
Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) sealed the game for the Firebirds when he buried his 26th goal of the season, shorthanded, on an empty net with 24 seconds remaining in the final period. Caamano recorded his seventh goal in his past eight contests.
The Firebirds outshot the Greyhounds 35-23. Flint was two-for-five on the power-play and seven-for-eight on the penalty-kill. The Firebirds scored two shorthanded goals. Sherwood collected first star honors after scoring once and collecting an assist. Smereck earned the second star after tallying two points on the night. Hicks picked up the victory making 20 saves on 23 shots.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds are back at the Dort Federal Event Center this Sunday, Feb. 12 as Flint hosts the Guelph Storm for a 4 p.m. puck drop. Sunday’s contest is highlighted by a “Firebirds Family 4 Pack,” featuring 4 silver level tickets, 4 medium sodas, 4 hot dogs, 4 game programs and 4 pom poms. A value of $102 for $64. Sunday is also Dort Federal Credit Union Family Day where the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive free thunderstix, in addition to balloon twisters, bounce houses and face painters throughout the game.
Single game tickets for the Flint Firebirds 2016-17 season are $12 for Bronze, $15 for Silver, $19 for Gold and $25 for VIP seating. All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Parking has been reduced to $5 dollars which is new this season. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online by clicking ticketmaster.com.
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