Video: Comeback Not Enough as Firebirds Fall in Sudbury Friday
Sudbury, Ont. – CJ Clarke scored for the second consecutive night, Riley McCourt brought the game to within one and Ty Dellandrea increased his point-streak to seven games but the Firebirds could not complete the comeback bid. Flint outshot Sudbury 34-31, however the Wolves hung on for a 6-3 victory in front of 3,237 fans at the Sudbury Community Arena Friday night.
A bad bounce for the Firebirds led to Sudbury’s first goal, one minute into the game. David Levin’s intended pass from the right circle to Doug Blaisdell deflected off of McCourt’s stick and into the Firebirds’ net. The Wolves would make it 2-0 at 2:13 when Macauley Carson scored five-hole on a breakaway.
Sudbury increased their lead to three at 7:48. Kyle Rhodes made a good defensive play to keep the puck in the Firebirds’ zone on the left-wing wall. The puck bounced to Kirill Nizhnikov who scored shortside from the goal line below the left circle.
CJ Clarke would put the Firebirds on the board with 1:51 remaining in the first period. Max Kislinger chipped the puck up the left wall to a streaking Clarke who skated into Sudbury territory. After being pinned up and Jacob Collins coming for support, Clarke dug the puck free and scored on a wrap-around play. Flint trailed 3-1 after 20 minutes of play.
Then, while on 4-on-4 play, Maurizio Colella dished the puck in front from the left-wall that Ty Dellandrea let slide to Riley McCourt. McCourt pulled the puck to his backhand and played it past Marshall Frappier at 6:55 of the second period. The Firebirds were within one. The assists led to Dellandrea increasing his point-streak to seven games and Colella to four.
Levin scored his second of the game at 7:52 on a backhand shot from the slot, blocker-side. He recorded a hat-trick at 8:57 of the middle period on a highlight-reel play, pulling the puck between his legs to his backhand before scoring shortside, above the left-shoulder, from the right circle.
Then, both Zack Pilon and Rhodes were called for fighting, squaring off inside the Sudbury blueline at 10:52. Sudbury led 5-2 after 40 minutes, Flint outshot the Wolves 12-10 in the middle stanza.
Shane Bulitka would score Sudbury’s sixth goal at 2:45 of the third period, skating from the the Wolves’ zone and into the Firebirds’ slot before finding the net off the right post.
The Firebirds striked last when Jake Durham scored shortside from the bottom of the left circle. A shot from Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) rang off the cross bar and banked off the glass. Durham gloved the puck down and fired top shelf at 8:22.
The Firebirds outshot Sudbury 10-3 in the third period. Flint has now scored a power-play goal in 15 of their last 18 games, scoring once on seven tries Friday. The Firebirds were 5-for-6 on the penalty-kill. Luke Cavallin made 25 saves on 31 shots.
Next up for Flint, the Firebirds will travel to Barrie Friday night for a Saturday evening tilt at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised live in Barrie on Rogers TV channel 10 / 510 (HD) for Rogers TV cable subscribers and across the province of Ontario on channel 453 for Rogers TV cable subscribers & channel 472 Cogeco TV cable subscribers. In addition, the game can be heard on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM and worldwide online at www.us103.com.
Photo Credit: Amanda Ray / Flint Firebirds
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