GAME RECAP: GENS 5 FIREBIRDS 3
Friday, January 12th, 2018: Oshawa Generals vs. Flint Firebirds
Tonight, the Oshawa Generals welcomed the Flint Firebirds to town for their first of two meetings of this season. The Generals were looking to rebound after a busy week of games resulted in a 1-1-1-0 record. Prior to puck drop, the Oshawa Generals helped to honour the players and staff from both the Generals and the Firebirds for their achievements in International Events.
Just two minutes into the game, after an aggressive forecheck in the offensive zone and some pretty passing Allan McShane setup Eric Henderson on the backdoor for his 6th goal of the season to give the Gens a 1-0 lead. The line of Henderson, McShane and Huether were buzzing once again as they created two solid chances down low that just didn’t connect. Minutes later, in another display of superb passing ability Studnicka and Noel helped to set up Renars Krastenbergs for his 12th goal of the season making it 2-0. All four lines were rolling as each generated numerous quality scoring chances. Despite the Generals dominating most of the offensive zone time, Keyser had to come up big in the latter stages of the period making two incredible pad saves. As the Firebirds put on the pressure, William Ennis and Ty Dellandrea dropped the mitts after a battle in front of the net escalated. The Gennies continued to attack even in the dying seconds making sure that Cavallin saw his fair share of shots before the final period buzzer. At the end of one, the Gens held a 2-0 lead and the edge in shots 9-6.
The Firebirds came out on a mission to open the second as they aimed to cut into their deficit. Through the first five minutes, the play was mostly in the defensive end and Keyser had to stand tall to keep the lead intact. Keyser was locked in stopping anything that came his way and absolutely robbed a golden opportunity for Flint on a point-blank shot. The Gens PK unit went to work midway through the period where they did a good job of limiting Flint’s time and space, even creating two short-handed breakaways. At 4:18 of the period, William Ennis beat a screened Cavallin to tally his first career OHL goal and give the good guys a 3-0 lead. However, there was no quit in the Firebirds as they continued to pepper Keyser with shots hoping to get on the board before the end of the period. Keyser was the difference maker in the second stopping all 24 shots faced in the period. After two, the home team had a 3-0 lead despite being outshot 30-14.
Just over a minute into the third, Hunter Holmes scored on a rebound chance to cut the Gens lead to 3-1. Minutes later, the Firebirds continued their onslaught as Connor Roberts finished off a pretty passing play to make it a one-goal game, 3-2. Midway through the third, Flint had an incredible opportunity on a 5-on-3 powerplay to get back to even. Wasting no time, Maurizio Colella rifled home a shot to tie the game 3-3. The Generals got back-to-back opportunites on the PP that saw plenty of action between glorious scoring chances, a ridiculous pad save from Keyser and massive centre ice hits. Much to the elation of the home crowd, the Generals would capitalize on the PP when Hayden McCool scored a ridiculous between the legs tip to restore the lead 4-3. Trying to get right back into it the Firebirds found themselves on the rush but was stymied by a spectacular left pad save from Keyser. The Gennies began to feel the momentum shift in their favour when they generated a solid amount of sustained offensive zone pressure which saw Matt Brassard creating all sorts of chances. With over two minutes remaining Flint pulled their goalie in search of the equalizer. Kenny Huether sealed the deal with 48.3 seconds left as he scored the empty-net goal to put the Gens up 5-3. The Oshawa Generals would emerge victorious by the final score of 5-3. Final shots were Oshawa 27 Flint 46.
Tomorrow the boys will be in Kingston for the start of an important home and home series with divisional opponent Frontenacs, game time is set for 3:30 pm and will be broadcast on Sportsnet. Finally, the Gens will head back to Oshawa to conclude the home and home series with the Frontenacs on Sunday, January 14th, puck drop is set for 6:05 pm.
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