Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds were trailing the OHL's first place Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4-1 with 10 minutes left in the game. Flint rallied for three-unanswered goals within 4:13 of each other to force overtime and eventually knock off the Greyhounds in a 5-4 shootout victory. The two clubs will face-off again in Flint Friday night at the Dort Federal Event Center. (Buy Tickets)
Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) opened the scoring for the Firebirds 4:02 into the first period after he fired a shot from the right-circle that beat Sault Ste. Marie's Joseph Raaymakers far-side over his right shoulder. Sherwood’s goal extended his point-streak to nine consecutive games tallying 10 goals and 11 assists for 20 points in those contests. Sherwood also extended his goal-streak to five consecutive games, scoring nine times during the streak.
The Greyhounds evened the score at 14:18 of the first period when David Miller scored on the power-play after he tapped-in a backdoor pass from Blake Speers (New Jersey Devils).
Colton White (New Jersey Devils) earned the Soo their first lead of the game when he scored with 1:28 remaining in the opening frame after he danced around a defender and ripped a shot from the left-circle, beating Connor Hicks glove-side to put the Greyhounds up 2-1. The Greyhounds then doubled their lead 32 seconds later after Speers fired a shot from the high-slot that beat Hicks high-glove side for his third goal of the season. Sault Ste. Marie led 3-1 after the first period of play.
1:06 into the second period, David Miller scored the Greyhounds' final goal of the night. Noah Carroll (Carolina Hurricanes) dished the puck to Miller back-door who tapped the puck past a sprawling Hicks to increase the Greyhounds' lead to 4-1 where the game remained after two periods of play.
Ryan Moore began Flint's 'three-goal's in 4:13' comeback. The Firebirds cut the deficit to two goals when Moore scored at the 9:55 mark of the third period after he deked to his backhand on a breakaway, beating a diving Raaymakers to make the score 4-2. Moore’s goal extended his point-streak to 11 points in the last five consecutive games.
Jake Durham brought Flint within one goal 2:50 later when he notched his fifth tally of the season firing home a rebound from Alex Peters, short-side, from the left-circle.
The Firebirds evened the score with their third consecutive goal 1:23 later when Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) scored his 19th goal of the season after he backhanded a shot from the left-circle that beat Raaymakers.
After Flint scored three goals in the third period to even the score 4-4, the two clubs needed the extra frame for the second time in three games this season to decide the winner.
The Firebirds controlled most of the play in the overtime period, outshooting the Soo 5-2 but neither team could find twine, forcing a shootout.
Blake Speers scored the first goal for the Greyhounds after he scored on a backhand-forehand shot.
Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) tied the shootout 1-1 for the Firebirds after he skated in on the left-wing-side and fired a shot on the ice from the left-circle that beat Raaymakers.
After Hicks made four-consecutive saves, Caamano sealed the game for Flint when he went forehand-backhand, beating Raaymakers glove-side to complete the comeback for the Firebirds.
Flint outshot the Greyhounds 43-29. The Firebirds were scoreless four power-plays but were three-for-four on the penalty kill. Moore earned first star honors after he scored once. Sherwood collected the third star after he scored his 23rd goal of the season. Hicks made 25 saves on 29 shots.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds return back to Flint Friday, Jan. 20 against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. During the month of January, fans may bring in three or more canned or boxed food items to receive a complimentary Silver Level ticket. Fans may drop off donated food at the Flint Firebirds Merchandise Store to receive the discount.
Single game tickets for the Flint Firebirds 2016-17 season are $12 for Bronze, $15 for Silver, $19 for Gold and $25 for VIP seating. Prices are unchanged from last season and all seats are reserved / assigned seating. Parking has been reduced to $5 dollars which is new this season. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online by clicking ticketmaster.com.
Photo Credit: Amanda Ray / Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
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