FLINT – The Flint Firebirds had a rough third period on Saturday night in front of 4,259 at the Dort Federal Event Center, suffering several penalties and surrendering three unanswered goals in a 5-2 loss to the Oshawa Generals. Despite the loss, Flint only needs one more point to secure its first playoff berth in franchise history.
The Firebirds held the lead twice in the game, the first coming on the power play late in the opening frame after Kole Sherwood blasted home a slap shot. Oshawa drew even halfway through the second period on a goal by Mason Kohn.
Just a couple of minutes later, though, Jack Phibbs capitalized on a rebound from a CJ Clarke shot when the puck flipped over the goaltender and into the net.
Then in the third, penalties began to build up for Flint and Oshawa would register two goals from Joe Manchurek and one from Domenic Commisso.
It was a completely different game at home on Friday against the Sudbury Wolves. Flint fell behind 2-0 but used a late second-period goal to be the catalyst to a 4-2 comeback win.
With 15 seconds left in the second, things quickly shifted in Flint’s favor. Ty Dellandrea’s wrist shot beat the goalie on the glove side 13:24 into the final period, Jalen Smereck’s wrist shot from the point caromed off of multiple defenders and found its way into the net, tying the game.
The game-winning goal turned out to be a beautiful play after Ryan Moore skated behind the net to grab the puck and quickly sent a no-look pass to Maurizio Colella, who buried it into the open net. Moore then got his own tally once Sudbury pulled their goaltender.
Flint traveled to Sarnia last Wednesday, taking a 6-3 win with a ferocious and relentless offensive effort from the opening puck drop.
All it took was 31 seconds and Flint was on the board. Colella sent it toward the net on a sharp angle shot and Moore deflected it in. Later in the period, Ryan Littlejohn scored his first career Ontario Hockey League goal off a one-timer from Sherwood.
Then Sherwood would score his own on a long wrist shot after a nice set up from Smereck, putting the Firebirds up by three.
Thirty-four seconds into the middle stanza, Alex Peters buried a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.
Just 37 seconds in, Colella passed it from behind the net and Moore sent the one-timer into the top shelf. Jordan Kyrou would add one more for Sarnia but it wouldn’t be enough.
Between the pipes, Garrett Forrest made 29 saves.