By Carl Chimenti
Flint, Mich. – Three power-play goals were scored Saturday night between both Flint and Guelph, with the Storm earning the winning-goal at 4:05 of overtime en-route to a 3-2 victory over the Firebirds.
It was a great effort by the Firebirds as they lead twice in the game and came up with a valuable point extending their point streak to six games (5-0-1-0) against the Storm. This was the second meeting between the two teams this season after Flint beat Guelph 7-1 at home on October 11. The two teams will wrap up the four game-set with a pair of games at the Sleeman Center, in Guelph later on this season.
Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) who was selected as the first star of the game had a goal and an assist and ran his goal streak to three games and C.J. Clarke scored for the Firebirds. Ryan Moore, who had a dominant game with a number of great scoring chances and Maurizio Colella had an assist each.
Garrett Forrest was excellent in net as he stopped 42 of 45 shots. Guelph out-shot Flint 45-40 in the game.
Ryan Merkley and Garrett McFadden had a goal and an assist each and James McEwan scored the overtime winner for the Storm and was the third star. Anthony Popovich was the second star with 38 saves.
Special teams played a key role in the game as the Flint Firebirds were 1/2 on the power-play while Guelph scored twice in five chances with the man-advantage.
The Firebirds came out in the opening period with jump and were rewarded as they scored a power-play goal to open up the scoring at 11:24.Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) scored his eighth of the season and ran his goal streak to three games in a row as he scored from in front. Ryan Moore started the play with a pass from the point down low to Maurizio Colella and Colella managed to get the puck to Caamano in front. Caamano was able to get his stick on the puck and re-direct the puck past Popovich. Colella and Moore drew the assists.
Guelph tied the game with a power-play goal at 17:54. Off the face-off, Nate Schnarr won the draw and the puck went to Ryan Merkley and from the slot he faked the shot and the let go a wrist shot that beat Forrest on the blocker side. Nate Schnarr (Arizona Coyotes) had the only assist.
In the final seconds of the period Moore had a great scoring chance as he received a pass in front and let go a back-hander that Popovich turned away. Guelph out-shot Flint 17-10.
A scoreless second period was full of scoring chances but both teams failed to convert.
In the early going Forrest had to be sharp as he was forced to make three quality saves and then saved his best save in the final few seconds going post to post to deny Guelph defenseman Dmitri Samorvkov (Edmonton Oilers).
The Firebirds dominated most of the second period as they out-shot the Storm 18-15, coming up with a number of scoring chances of their own. Ryan Moore just missed on a wrap-around early on and later in the period hit the cross-bar. C.J.Clark, Caamano and Colella came close as well but in the end both teams skated off after forty minutes dead-locked at 1-1.
The Firebirds went ahead at the mid-way point of the final stanza as Fedor Gordeev let go a shot from the left point towards the net and the puck deflected off of C.J. Clarke’s skate in front past Popovich. Clarke’s second goal of the season came at 9:31 and was assisted by Caamano and Gordeev.
The Storm tied the game at 12:25 as they converted for a second time on the power-play this time with a two man-advantage. Garrett McFadden finished off a passing play that included Cam Hillis and Ryan Merkley. The goal wrapped up the scoring in regulation sending the game into overtime.
Both the Storm and the Firebirds brought the crowd to their feet early in overtime with Caamano just missing on a scoring chance with Popovich out of position and the Storm coming back and hitting the goal post.
The rest of the overtime featured numerous odd-man rushes until McEwan ended it at the 4:05 mark.
Upcoming Home Game:
The Firebirds will return home to the Dort Federal Event Center next Saturday, Nov. 11 for Military Appreciation Night. All veterans, active duty and military personnel with valid identification will receive complimentary admission. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Dort Federal Event Center. The first 2,000 fans through the door will also receive a free official team poster calendar, courtesy of Commercial graphics. Additionally, there will be a silent auction of military themed Firebirds’ jerseys on the concourse throughout the game with all proceeds benefiting Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. BSMA is a private nonprofit organization in the United States that provides support for mothers who have sons or daughters in active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Single game tickets for the Flint Firebirds 2017-18 season are $12 for Bronze, $16 for Silver, $20 for Gold and $26 for VIP seating. All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office and online at ticketmaster.com. For ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Danen Williams
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