Flint, Mich. - Despite outshooting the Generals, Oshawa was able to post a 5-2 victory over the Firebirds at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint Saturday Night. Ty Dellandrea scored a power-play goal and Kyle Harris netted one at even strength. Luke Cavallin made 29 saves on 33 shots.
The Firebirds opened the scoring just 2:37 into the first period. Max Kislinger made a neutral-zone pass to Jack Phibbs on the right-wing boards in front of the Oshawa bench. Phibbs fired shot off the far pad of netminder Kyle Keyser, which rebounded to the left-wing side. Kyle Harris one-timed the rebound past Keyser for his fifth of the season.
Oshawa would even the score at 13:44 of the opening frame on a broken play in the Firebirds’ defensive end. Danil Antropov chipped the puck off the right-wing boards, sending it past two Firebirds in the process. Brendan Harrogate collected the loose puck and fired a shot, far-side, past Cavallin for his seventh of the season. Antropov collected the lone assist.
Near the 19-minute mark of the first, Kenny Huether received a break-out pass off the right-wing wall and stick-handled into the right-wing circle. He passed across the slot to Eric Henderson on Cavallin’s blocker side. Instead of one-timing the pass from just outside the crease, he kicked the puck to his stick before sending a drop pass back to Hayden McCool who trailed him on the play. McCool fired a wrister past Cavallin to give the visitors their first lead of the contest.
First period shots favored the Generals 18 - 13. Flint trailed by a goal. Both teams came up empty in one power-play opportunity in the first 20 minutes.
Oshawa extended the lead to a pair at 6:56 of the middle frame on a wraparound goal by Antropov. He reached high above his head and gloved the puck down as he skated through the slot and darted around the cage to Cavallin’s glove side. Before the goaltender could reset against the opposite post, Antropov snuck the puck just inside the post at ice level for his 14th of the season. Kyle MacLean assisted on the play.
Less than a minute later, Nick Wong scored his 16th of the season, assisted by Harrogate. Flint outshot the Generals 8 - 7 in the second period. They also held Oshaway at bay, killing all three short-handed situations.
Ty Dellandrea pulled the home team back within a pair on the power play at 2:20 of the third period with his team-leading 23rd of the season. Oshawa attempted to clear the puck around the boards from behind their own net. Dellandrea kicked the puck with his left skate, preventing it from clearing the zone. He then carried deep into the right circle, where he fired a wrister, shortside, top shelf, just inside the near post. Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) was credited with the assist on the play.
For the balance of the game, the Firebirds had a slight edge in shots and a big edge in scoring opportunities. Despite creating several odd-man rushes on the Generals’ defense, Keyser stood tall in goal. With more than two minutes remaining in the contest, Cavallin was summoned to the bench for an extra attacker. A melee at center ice ensued, stopping the clock with 1:49 remaining. After the penalties were handed out, the Firebirds were left shorthanded. Hayden McCool scored his second of the game into an empty net to bring the final count to 5 - 2. Jack Studnicka (Boston Bruins) earned the assist.
Next up for Flint, the Firebirds will head to Sarnia Sunday. Puck drop is set for 2:05 p.m. at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia, Ont. The game will be televised live on YourTV channel 6 / 700 (HD) for Cogeco TV cable subscribers in Sarnia. Additionally, the game can be heard live on the radio on US 103.1 FM in Flint & Mid-Michigan and around the world on www.us103.com with pre-game coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m.
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