Firebirds Tame Greyhounds, Win 7-4 Wednesday
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. - Both Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) and Riley Piercey recorded four-point games Wednesday and Anthony Popovich made 28 saves on 32 shots to propel the Firebirds to a 7-4 victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in front of 3,767 fans at the GFL Memorial Gardens. The Firebirds have now won two-straight games and have picked up points in 4 of their last 5 contests, earning 7 of 10 possible points in that time.
The Firebirds came two seconds shy of beating their all-time franchise record for the fastest goal scored in a game. 19 seconds into the contest, the Firebirds centered a puck from behind the net to Jake Durham who lit-the-lamp to earn the Firebirds an early lead. Riley Piercey and Owen Lalonde were credited with assists on the goal.
Flint would increase their lead to two when Tyler Tucker (St. Louis Blues) dished a puck up the left-wing wall to lead a streaking Piercey who scored five-hole on a breakaway at 4:15.
Joe Carroll scored his first-of-three on the night for the Greyhounds at 5:05. While on a 2-on-1, Carroll passed the puck to Jaden Peca, who quickly sent it back to Carroll, scoring short-side, top-shelf above Popovich's right shoulder.
Dellandrea earned Flint a two goal lead again at 8:13 by using a defenseman as a screen to fire a puck past Bailey Brkin shortside from the left-wing circle. The Greyhounds relieved Brkin after the goal with Nick Malik, however, Brkin was assessed a five minute game misconduct for butt-ending a Firebirds' player on his way to the bench.
Carroll completed his hat trick on the next two goals. First, he scored on a backdoor pass at 18:08 from Robert Calisti at the right-wing point to bring the Greyhounds within one again. Flint led 3-2 after the first 20 minutes. Then, Carroll fired a one-timer past Popovich from the right circle as a Firebirds' penalty elapsed at 2:15 of the middle frame.
Jack Phibbs was dragged down on a breakaway opportunity, which awarded him a penalty shot. Phibbs scored far-side, blocker-side from the right-wing circle to earn Flint a 4-3 lead, where the game remained after two periods.
Dellandrea was awarded his second of the game at 0:37 of the third period. While skating up the left-wing, he sent a pass intended for Piercey that deflected off a Greyhounds' defenseman and into their net to increase Flint's lead to 5-3 and the eventual game-winning goal.
Jaromir Pytlik scored Sault Ste. Marie's final goal of the goal at 14:36 on a shortside play from the right side of the goal. Then, Piercey converted on a 2-on-1 with Dellandrea, far-side from the left-wing circle at 17:04 before Tucker added the empty net tally at 19:02.
Final shots favored the Greyhounds 32-29. Flint was 0-for-3 on the power-play and were a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill. Flint has been perfect on the penalty-kill in five of their last six games. Jake Durham was plus-six on the night while Piercey was plus-five.
Next up for Flint, the Firebirds will travel to Guelph from Sault Ste. Marie Thursday morning. Flint will face-off against the Storm Friday night in Guelph at 7:30 p.m. before hosting Guelph Saturday in Flint at 7 p.m.
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