Firebirds Fight Back, Beat Otters in OT, 4-3
ERIE, Pa. — Gavin Hayes scored to tie the game and force overtime and Coulson Pitre netted the game-winning goal in OT as the Flint Firebirds beat the Erie Otters, 4-3, on Saturday night at Erie Insurance Arena. Jacob Brown made 31 saves on 34 saves to earn the win in Flint’s net.
With Flint trailing, 3-2, late in the third period, Braeden Kressler circled below the net and worked his way to the high slot. He ripped a shot that Ben Gaudreau stopped but the rebound found Zacharie Giroux. Giroux zipped a pass to the back side for Hayes who guided it home, tying the game at three.
From there the game moved to overtime where Brown and Gaudreau held tight into the final minute of OT. At the end of a long shift, Giroux led a rush into the attacking zone. He fed the trailing Pitre at the top of the left circle for a one-timer that hit paydirt for the game-winning goal.
The Otters controlled the first period of play and took the lead in the first Sam Alfano ripped a pass from the right-wing half-boards to the far side of the slot for Brett Bressette. He settled the puck on his backhand then pulled it forehand before tucking it around Brown’s outstretched left pad.
The Birds punched back ten minutes later when Nolan Dann made a similar pass from the left wall to Pitre across the hash marks. Pitre buried it low on the glove side, evening the score at 1-1.
Erie again took the lead near the middle point of the second period. Malcolm Spence carried up the left side and sent a late pass to Carey Terrance for a near-side one-timer from inside the right circle that made the score 2-1.
Flint answered the bell and tied it just before the second intermission. Pitre found Dann in front of the net. He made a forehand-to-backhand move and flipped the puck low Gaudreau’s right skate, tying things at two.
Giroux picked up two assists during his 150th OHL game, Pitre had two goals and an assist and Dann recorded one goal and two assists. Brown earned the win with 31 saves in his third career OHL start. The Firebirds improved to 8-8-1-1 with the win and Erie dropped to 8-7-3-0.
Flint returns to action on Friday night on the road in London for their first meeting of the season with the Knights. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens.
Story: Brandon Mills // flintfirebirds.com