Video: Clarke Scores in Third Consecutive Game, Barrie Steals Firebirds’ Third Period Lead to Win 4-3 Saturday
Barrie, Ont. -The Firebirds departed Flint, Mich. at 2 p.m. (ET) Wednesday afternoon. Since then, they have travelled more than 700 miles and played three hockey games. Thursday night the ‘Birds picked up a point in a shootout loss to the North Bay Battalion. The Sudbury Wolves got the upper hand Friday night. Saturday night was a strong effort by the Firebirds, but the top line for the Barrie Colts combined for three goals and four assists, leading to the 4 – 3 victory in front of more than 3,000 fans at the Barrie Molson Centre.
C.J. Clarke scored his third goal in the three-straight games to give Flint the early lead. Garrett Forrest made 39 saves on 43 shots to keep his team within striking distance in the contest. On special teams, the penalty-kill unit was successful in all four situations faced. The Firebirds’ power-play scored twice in five chances. Maurizio Colella and Max Kislinger also lit the lamp.
Barrie led in shots 7 – 2 halfway through the first period. Flint’s Max Kislinger opened the scoring with his seventh of the season. He stripped a Barrie player of the puck and stick-handled along the left-wing boards with speed through the neutral zone. Connor Roberts paced him from the right side on a two-on-one. Kislinger faked a pass to Roberts, then fired a wrist shot that beat netminder Kai Edmonds far-side up high. The goal came at the 11:56 mark of the first.
Barrie would then score two goals 20 seconds apart, to tie, and then claim the lead. At 12:57 Lucas Chiodo found twine for his 19th of the season. Ryan Suzuki made a tape-to-tape pass across the circles on a two-on-one to set up the play. Ben Hawerchuk earning the second assist. At 13:17 Dmitry Sokolov (Minnesota Wild) scored his 32nd goal of the season and first of three on the night. The assists were credited to Aaron Luchuk (Ottawa Senators) and Andrei Svechnikov. The assists extended both Luchuk and Svechnikov’s point-streak’s to 11 games.
With less than six minutes remaining in the second period, the Firebirds would score back-to-back power-play goals. Colella earned his 19th of the season with a two-man advantage at the 14:02 mark. From the right point, Colella made a spin move to shake a defender. He fired a wrister from the faceoff dot in the right circle that beat Edmonds far side, tying the game at two. Riley McCourt picked up his second point in two nights with an assist. Connor Roberts added the other helper. Flint has now scored a power-play goal in 16 of the last 19 games.
Just 90 seconds later, with one Colts’ player still in the sinbin, C.J. Clarke batted-the-puck out of mid-air for his 12th of the season at point-blank range. Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) and rookie Ethan Keppen collected the assists. For Clarke, the goal was his third of the three-game road trip.
After Flint’s third goal, Barrie opted to put Leo Lazarev in net in relief of Edmonds. The Firebirds had scored three goals on 15 shots against Edmonds. Lazarev would make saves on all 11 shots faced for the remainder of the contest. Two-period shot totals favored the Colts 28 – 16.
Sokolov found a way to solve Forrest again on a highlight-reel goal early in the third period to tie the game at three. His second goal of the night and 33rd of the season came at the 2:50 mark, assisted by defenseman Joey Keane and Luchuk.
With 7:15 remaining in regulation Dmitry Sokolov completed the hat-trick, putting the Colts ahead by one. His rising wrist shot came from Forrest’s left, just in front of the goal line. Svechnikov and Luchuk earned the assists.
The Firebirds pulled Forrest for the extra attacker for the second time in three games, but to no avail. Barrie held on for the 4 – 3 victory. The final shots-on-goal favored the Colts, 43 – 26. These same teams meet again Wednesday night at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint.
Next up for Flint, spend your Valentine’s Day with the Firebirds this Wednesday, Feb. 14 when Flint takes on Barrie at 7 p.m.
It’s ‘Carload Night.’ Sponsored by Black Rock Bar & Grill in Davison, ‘Carload Night’ allows fans to load up friends, co-workers and family members in one vehicle for a flat rate of $35. Cars, mini-vans, RVs, campers and buses are welcome! One price of $35, plus parking, for all vehicles translates into reserved silver level admission for all guests in the vehicle. The Firebirds remind all fans to be safe and responsible and make sure that everyone is buckled up inside the vehicle. Wednesday is also the Firebirds’ “Boots for Kids” donation drive. Fans who donate a new pair of boots to the Firebirds’ Merchandise Store will receive a complimentary sponsored silver level ticket. Additionally, it’s “College Night,” featuring $2 beers and hot dogs for all fans in attendance. All college students with valid identification will also receive $2 off admission.
Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 / Bronze, $16 / Silver, $20 / Gold and $26 / VIP seating (Seating Chart). All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (810) 744-0580, in-person at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com here.
Photo Credit: Danen Williams / Flint Firebirds
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