Storm edged in shootout as Flint extends winning streak
FLINT, Mich. – It took five rounds of a shootout for the Flint Firebirds to edge the Guelph Storm 4-3 in Ontario Hockey League play Saturday night at Flint’s Dort Federal Event Center to extend their winning streak to 12 games.
It was also Guelph’s third loss to the Firebirds in Flint’s winning streak as they had earlier fallen 7-5 at the Sleeman Centre Jan. 24 and 4-1 in Flint the following night.
Flint scored single goals in the first and second periods before the Storm netted three goals in a span of less than six and a half minutes to lead with just over nine and a half minutes to go in regulation time. But Flint tied it with 2:44 to go and overtime didn’t produce a goal.
Flint stayed alive in the shootout when Riley McCourt, the third shooter of the Firebirds, scored to offset a goal by Guelph’s first shooter Cedric Ralph. Dennis Busby’s goal gave Flint the win.
Cam Hillis scored twice in regulation time for the Storm while Pavel Gogolev had a goal and an assist. Single assists were awarded to Eric Uba, Daniil Chayka, Michael Bianconi and Luka Profaca.
Jack Phibbs tallied twice in regulation time for Flint while Quinn Yule had the other goal. Assists went to Emmet Pierce with two and Busby, Phibbs, Connor Roberts and Yule with one apiece.
Flint outshot the Storm 40-27 and each team was scoreless on two power plays.
Owen Bennett was charged with the shootout loss for the Storm. He had 37 saves while former Storm netminder Anthony Popovich had 24 saves for Flint.
The shootout loss, the fifth of the season for the Storm, leaves Guelph third in the Midwest Division and sixth in the Western Conference at 27-19-2-5. They’re three points ahead of the Owen Sound Attack (26-21-3-3), six ahead of the Erie Otters (22-20-4-7) and nine ahead of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (25-28-2-0). They’re also six behind the Windsor Spitfires (31-15-5-0) and nine behind Flint (34-17-1-1).
The Storm are to start a three-game homestand Monday as they’re to host Sault Ste. Marie at 2 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre. They’re also to play there against London Friday at 7:30 p.m. and the Niagara IceDogs (17-32-4-1) Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.
The Storm have 15 games to go in their regular season and nine of them are at home.
Firebirds 4 Storm 3 (SO)
- Guelph Sports Journal