Firebirds Earn Second Consecutive Victory over Hamilton with 4-3 Win.
Flint, Mich. - Hunter Holmes scored the game-winning goal 1:38 into overtime to lift the Flint Firebirds over the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-3 at the Dort Federal Event Center. Flint's Kyle Harris potted two goals, Jack Wismer notched two assists and Connor Roberts scored his first goal in a Firebirds' uniform against his former team as well. The Firebirds have now won two consecutive games over Hamilton, both in Flint.
The Firebirds found paydirt early in the first period when Kyle Harris found the back-of-the-net past visiting netminder Nick Donofrio on his blocker-side just 2:33 into the game. The play started with Ethan Keppen carrying the puck into the Hamilton zone. From the left point, he passed the puck cross-ice to Jack Wismer. Wismer took a slapshot that Donofrio was able to save with his right pad but the rebound found Harris streaking in from the top of the left-wing face-off circle. It was Harris' second goal of the season and first of the night. Harris lit-the-lamp again at the 9:04 mark of the opening period. He gained his second goal of the night and third of the game on a centering pass from Wismer, who won a puck battle in the corner. Wismer emerged with the puck, sent a tape-to-tape pass to Harris and the ensuing wrist shot beat Donofrio low to the blocker side.
At 13:07 of the opening frame, Connor Roberts scored his fourth of the season and first goal as a Firebird against his former team. He scored off a cross-ice pass from Ty Dellandrea that made it through traffic in the slot and found Roberts in position and ready. He sniped the puck home blocker-side of the visiting netminder. The Firebirds led 3-0 and were ahead 8-6 in shots after one period of play. Goaltender Donofrio was done for the evening, with Kaden Fulcher (Detroit Red Wings) replacing him in the second period. Just over six minutes into the second period, Hamilton's Marian Studenic (New Jersey Devils) narrowed the gap to two with a wrist shot from between the circles. Assists on the play were credited to Brandon Saigeon and MacKenzie Entwistle (Arizona Coyotes).
Less than five minutes into the third period and with Flint's Jake Durham in the penalty box for a kneeing minor, Ty Dellandrea shot down the ice on a shorthanded breakaway. Hamilton's defender interfered with his attempted shot, resulting in a penalty shot awarded. Ty stick-handled into the left face-off circle and as he skated back to center, he lifted a rising wrist-shot toward the top-right corner of the net that missed the goal. The game remained tied 3-3 after regulation. The Firebirds only needed 1:38 of overtime to claim the victory. Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) picked up his own rebound behind the Hamilton goal and slid the puck in front to Hunter Holmes. Holmes was poised and ready in the slot, lifting a one-time shot glove-side past goaltender Kaden Fulcher to win the game.
Flint was a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty-kill but did not score on three man-advantage. Forrest picked up his eighth victory on the season.
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Ontario Hockey League Stories from December 12, 2017
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