Firebirds Fight to the End, Fall 4-3 to Attack in Owen Sound

Owen Sound, Ont. – The Firebirds visited the Owen Sound Attack on Wednesday in hopes of extending their lead in the playoff race. After earning a 2-0 lead early, four-straight goals from Owen Sound led to their eventual 4-3 win on home ice. Amadeus Lombardi netted his 43rd goal of the season on the first power play of the night. Simon Slavicek and Tristan Bertucci netted the other markers for Flint. Nathan Day got the nod in goal for the Birds, making 25 saves on 29 shots. On the opposite end of the ice, the Attack started Carter George in his tenth game of the season, and he posted his seventh win in his tenth game with a 34-save performance.

The teams had plenty of back-and-forth action through more than seven minutes before the game’s first power play was awarded to the Firebirds. Tristan Bertucci received a pass from Coulson Pitre at the left point and sent it ahead to Lombardi at the near half boards. Lombardi carried to the top of the left circle before sniping the top corner on the glove side at 7:48.

In total, both teams had three chances with the man advantage, but Lombardi’s marker stood as the lone tally of the opening frame. Shots were tied at 13 per side, but the Birds won 12 of 19 faceoffs through the first 20 minutes.

Simon Slavicek singlehandedly doubled Flint’s lead after intercepting a pass between the points in his offensive end and winning the foot race to the Attack’s goal. He faked backhand as he traversed the crease, then pulled forehand at the last second. He tucked the puck to the left of George’s right skate for his 12th of the campaign at 4:43, unassisted.

Then Owen Sound would convert on a power-play chance to cut their deficit in half at 6:39. Cedrick Guindon carried up the left wing side but was unable to find a passing lane to his teammate that crashed the net. Instead, Guindon carried through the corner and behind Day. As he turned toward the right circle he drew the defender from between the circles, and slipped a pass across to Ethan Burroughs inside the left circle. Burroughs’ one-timer went low blocker and in for his 22nd of the year.

On another power play less than two minutes later, Servac Petrovsky snapped a rising shot from the center point into traffic. Deni Goure got the blade of the stick on the shot, redirecting it past Day to the glove side for his 29th at 8:10. Sam Sedley also assisted on the tying marker.

The score remained knotted at a pair going into the second intermission. The Attack outshot Flint 8-5 and won nine of 15 draws in the middle frame. The Bears scored on both of their power-play situations while the Birds went 0-for-1.

A bad bounce off the boards in the Firebirds zone during four-on-four play resulted in a breakaway for Sam Sedley on Day. He showed patience and waited for Flint’s goaltender to commit before sending the puck behind him from a wide angle to the left of the cage. Sedley netted his seventh of the season unassisted at 6:04 to give the home team their first lead of the night.

On the power play again two minutes later, Servac Petrovsky one-timed a high shot from above the right circle, which Day kicked to his right. Colby Barlow redirected the rebound back into the slot, and while Day was trying to recover Guindon tapped it in for his 20th at 8:24.

Flint continued to fight and pulled within one at the 15:33 mark with yet another goal scored on the man advantage. A deflected puck went directly to Tristan Bertucci at the top of the left point, and the second-year defenseman leaned into a heavy one-timer that found twine high to the glove side for his 11th of the season. Amadeus Lombardi and Gavin Hayes combined for the assists.

Still trailing by a goal, Bench Boss Ted Dent called Day to the bench and sent the extra attacker in with over a minute to go. The Birds maintained pressure in the Attack’s end and generated several shot attempts. Defenders sacrificed the body and George backstopped the penalty kill until time expired.

Owen Sound won 4-3 despite being outshot 37-29 by the Firebirds. Flint finished with the 1-draw advantage in the faceoff circles 29-28. The Attack went 3-for-8 on the power play and the visiting Birds ended up scoring on two of five chances.

Next Up: The Firebirds return to the Dort Financial Center for back-to-back home games this weekend. First, on Friday the Firebirds will celebrate a special St. Patrick’s Day game, brought to you by the Crim Foundation when they host the Hamilton Bulldogs. The team will be wearing specialty St. Patrick’s Day jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game with the proceeds set to benefit the CANUSA games. Then on Saturday, March 18th, the Firebirds welcome in the Western Conference-leading London Knights for the final time this year. Prior to the game, the Firebirds will honor their Overage players: Riley Piercey, Tyler Deline, and Will Cranley in a special pregame ceremony to celebrate their OHL careers. Additionally, it will be Dover Doors night where the first 2,000 fans will receive a FREE keychain tape measurer courtesy of Dover Doors. Tickets for both games this weekend are available now from ETIX.COM HERE.

Story: Brandon Mills /

For more information, contact:

Jack Sznewajs
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club

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