Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – The Firebirds won an intense Game 4 in Sault Ste. Marie Thursday to take a 3-1 series lead over the Greyhounds in the Western Conference Semifinals. Tucker Tynan made his second start of the series and turned aside 33 of 36 shots. Luke Cavallin started his 10th consecutive game of the postseason, making 39 saves on 41 shots to pick up his seventh playoff victory. Braeden Kressler (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Sahil Panwar scored in regulation for Flint before Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) lit the lamp in overtime to bring his club back to Flint with a chance to advance. Jack Thompson (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Tye Kartye (Seattle Kraken) scored for the Greyhounds.
Much like how Game 3 started on Tuesday, the Greyhounds came out and controlled the game early on. While Flint struggled to maintain any sort of sustained possession in the Soo zone, the Hounds were able to set up and make several passes before sending pucks on the net. As a result, the home team took an early two-goal lead. First, with one of Flint’s forwards laying on the ice in Sault Ste. Marie’s zone, the Hounds rushed up-ice the other way. Rory Kerins (Calgary Flames) made the initial breakout pass to Cole MacKay who carried up the right-wing side. He made a short drop-pass at the top of the right circle to Jack Thompson. Thompson’s slapper beat Cavallin near-side for the defenseman’s sixth of the postseason at 5:11.
Next, in the eighth minute of play and with the Greyhounds on the power play, Tye Kartye passed from the top of the left circle to MacKay below the goal line to Cavallin’s right. MacKay returned the feed to Kartye for a quick one-timer that found twine glove-side for his seventh, assisted by MacKay and Kerins.
Late in the opening frame, momentum began to shift in Flint’s direction. Once established in Soo’s end, Amadeus Lombardi passed to Dmitry Kuzmin (Winnipeg Jets) at the left point. Kuzmin waited for congestion in front of Tynan and cycled the net. He outwaited the traffic and found Braeden Kressler in the slot who sent it behind the goaltender for goal number three of the postseason, logged at 16:17.
Finally, with just over a minute remaining in the opening frame, Sahil Panwar skated to the top of the right circle and hit the brakes. He stickhandled briefly before sniping a top-corner shot for his third of the postseason at 18:59, assisted by Brennan Othmann.
First-period shots ended 17-11 to the Hounds’ advantage, and faceoffs also went Sault Ste. Marie’s way 16-12. Flint went scoreless on one power-play opportunity, while the Greyhounds scored once on two chances.
The second period was played with increased intensity but without any scoring. The Firebirds outshot the Greyhounds 12-7. Faceoffs again favored the Soo 15-12. Sault Ste. Marie had the lone chance on the man-advantage, but Flint’s penalty kill stood strong.
The third period was more nail-biting action, with plenty of huge saves from both netminders. Both clubs had a couple of scrambles in front of the opposing net with plenty of open looks, but the score remained knotted at two through the end of regulation. Flint was both outshot and outdrawn by a margin of 13-6. Both teams had one power-play chance but neither could convert.
In the eighth minute of the extra period, Zack Terry’s slapshot from the left point was blocked by a Soo defender. The puck caromed across the zone to Othmann in the right circle. Othmann’s ensuing one-timer slipped past Tynan on the glove side to secure the win. The goal was Othmann’s eighth of the playoffs, logged at 8:37 and assisted by Terry and Gavin Hayes.
Final shots ended at 41-36, advantage Greyhounds. The Soo outdrew the Birds 49-39 in the contest. Sault Ste. Marie scored the lone power-play tally of the game with our chances, and Flint finished scoreless on three opportunities.
Next Up: Game 5 of the series will return to Flint Saturday. Puck drop for the fifth game will be 7:00 p.m. (ET), and tickets are available from ETIX HERE, in person at the Dort Financial Center box office, or by calling (810) 744-0580.
Story: Brandon Mills / flintfirebirds.com
For more information, contact:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
(810) 742-2004 ext. 223