Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds erased a 2-0 deficit to comeback and earn a 3-2 overtime victory over the Owen Sound Attack in Flint’s fourth-annual “Flint Tropics Night” on Saturday. Jake Durham (34) scored the overtime winner 17 seconds into the extra frame. Ethan Keppen (25) and Eric Uba (18) scored the two regulation goals for the Firebirds. Emanuel Vella earned his sixth win between the pipes, making 27 saves on 29 shots.
The Attack scored the game’s first goal 25 seconds into the opening frame. Trenton Bourque (St. Louis Blues) snapped a shot through traffic from high between the circles that found its way over Emanuel Vella’s right shoulder and into the net for his fourth of the season, unassisted. Bourque contributed to the second goal, as well. While on the power-play, he launched a slapshot on net from the right point. Kaleb Pearson redirected the shot past Vella for his 11th of the campaign at 14:24. Defenseman Carter Robertson picked up the second assist. After 20 minutes, Flint trailed 2 – 0 despite leading in shots 10-0.
Flint put tallied one on the board early in the second to cut the deficit to one. Jack Wismer carried into the offensive zone on the right-wing side, with Cody Morgan skating up the middle and Ethan Keppen to the left. Wismer made the cross-ice pass to Morgan who slid it to Keppen. Keppen fired a shot shortside past Mack Guzda’s blocker for his 25th of the season. Wismer and Morgan assisted on the tally, scored at 1:19 of period two. Second-period shots favored the Firebirds 13 – 9 for a two-period advantage of 23 – 18.
The Firebirds tied the game at two at the 8:16 mark of the third. A defensive takeaway at the blue line prevented the Attack from breaking out of their own zone and resulted in the puck finding Eric Uba moving high between the circles. He turned and blasted a shot just inside the left post for his 18th of the season. The game remained tied at the end of regulation. Shots after 60 minutes were 33 – 29 with the Firebirds on top.
In the five-minute overtime period, Flint needed only 17 seconds to seal the victory. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) won the initial face-off back to Vladislav Kolyachonok, who passed the puck to Jake Durham on the left-wing wall. Durham curled back to his defensive zone before gaining a burst of speed. He rocketed up ice and carried all the way in on net, leaving two Attack defenders behind in the process. He used a backhand to forehand deke across the slot before lifting a shot past Guzda’s left glove. The goal was Durham’s team-leading 34th of the season, scored on the only shot of the extra frame.
Flint was unable to convert on five chances with the man-advantage, Flint held Owen Sound to one of three on the power play. The Firebirds are now 2-2-0-0 on ‘Flint Tropics Nights.’
Next up for the Firebirds, Flint will travel to Guelph for a Monday afternoon holiday contest at the Sleeman Centre. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. (ET) in the “Family Day” match-up.
Photo Credit: Todd Boone / Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
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