Video: Firebirds Tally 46 Shots on the Road in Defeat to Oshawa Friday
Oshawa, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds erased a three-goal deficit in the third period to tie the contest before eventually falling 5-3 to the Oshawa Generals in front of more than 5,500 fans at the Tribute Communities Centre Friday night. The Firebirds recorded 46 shots on goal while on the road and tied a franchise record of scoring a power-play goal in six consecutive games.
Ty Dellandrea posted a two-point game and Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) collected his seventh point in six games.
The first period was a tale of two halves, in terms of the balance of the game. Oshawa generated the first five shots on goal. After just ten minutes of play, the Generals led 2-0 and held the advantage in shots 5-1. Scoring first for the home team was Eric Henderson, assisted by Allan McShane and Kenny Huether. Renars Krastenbergs then collected his twelfth of the season, assisted by Serron Noel and Jack Studnicka (Boston Bruins). The Firebirds righted the ship in the second half of the opening frame, outshooting the Generals 5-4, but still trailed by two after 20 minutes.
Flint carried the momentum from the end of the opening period into the second stanza, outshooting Oshawa 15-1 over the first ten minutes. It was Oshawa, however, that would light the lamp again. This time it was William Ennis scoring his first career OHL goal on a shot from the point through traffic. The goal was assisted by Domenico Commisso and Hayden McCool. Shots on goal in the middle period favored the Firebirds by a margin of 24-5.
The third period was controlled by the Firebirds early. First, Hunter Holmes lit the lamp for his seventh goal of the campaign, assisted by Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) just 1:20 into the third. Gordeev worked his way deep into the Oshawa zone. While walking out in frot, Gordeev found Holmes backdoor who beat the former Flint netminder Kyle Keyser (Boston Bruins).
Less than three minutes later, Connor Roberts collected his tenth of the season on a two-on-one breakaway with Maurizio Colella. Unable to find a clear passing lane, Roberts opted to shoot rather than pass, finding twine glove-side to pull Flint within one. Ty Dellandrea earned the lone assist on the goal for his play through the neutral zone.
Before the midway point of the final frame, two minor penalties were called on Oshawa at the same time. With a shots-on-goal lead of 40-17 and a one goal deficit, Flint would get to work quickly with the two-man advantage. Just 20 seconds into the five-on-three power play, Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) fed Maurizio Colella, who fired a one-timer glove-side, top-shelf, tying the score at three 8:13 into the third. The goal was Colella’s team-leading 14th of the season. Ty Dellandrea earned his second assist of the game, eventually earning ‘Second-Star’ honors.
Oshawa would reclaim the lead with 6:04 remaining in regulation. While on the power-play, Hayden McCool was positioned in front of the net. From the right point, Matt Brassard (Vancouver Canucks) dished the puck to Jack Studnicka in the left corner. Studnicka slid the puck in front to McCool who redirected the disc between the legs of Cavallin for the eventual game-winning goal.
In the waning two minutes, Flint would pull netminder Cavallin to add the extra attacker. Earning the final tally of the contest was Kenny Huether, scoring into the empty frame with under a minute remaining. Brassard picked up the lone assist.
Ty Dellandrea was awarded second star honors with two assists on the night, Riley McCourt played in his first game as a Flint Firebird after being acquired from the Hamilton Bulldogs this week and goaltender Luke Cavallin made 22 saves on 26 shots.
Next up for Flint, the Firebirds will travel to Hamilton, Ont. for a 7 p.m. tilt at the FirstOntario Centre Saturday night. Radio pre-game coverage with Dominic Hennig will begin at 6:30 p.m. on US 103.1 FM in Flint and Mid-Michigan and online at www.us103.com. The game will also be televised live on Cable 14 in Hamilton and across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 458 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 489 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers.
Photo Credit: Keith Dotson / OHL Pucks & Stripes
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