Stojkov’s Game-Winner Lifts Firebirds Past 67’s in OT, 4-3
OTTAWA, Ont. — Kaden Pitre scored twice to pull the Firebirds out of a 2-0 hole, Gavin Hayes claimed the second spot on Flint’s all-time scoring list, and Marko Stojkov scored his first goal of the season in overtime to lift the Birds to a 4-3 OT win over the Ottawa 67’s on Saturday afternoon at TD Place.
With Flint trailing 2-0 with under four minutes to play in the second period, Pitre muscled around a defender at the offensive blue line and charged into the right circle. He played the puck to his forehand and snapped a shot through Max Donoso on the far side, cutting the Birds’ deficit to 2-1.
Pitre lit the lamp again early in the third period. This time he carried across the blue line on the left side with a defender in tow. From the top of the right circle he fired a wrist shot that beat Donoso high at the game was tied at two.
The Firebirds took their first lead of the game later in the third when Hayes and Braeden Kressler gained the zone with an odd-man rush. Hayes fed Kressler who held for a beat and snapped a wrist shot that Donoso stopped. The rebound bounced back to Hayes who was crashing the net. He slid the loose puck home and Flint led, 3-2.
Just 11 seconds later, Will Gerrior won a foot race to a loose puck along the end boards and flipped it to the top of the crease for the trailing Cooper Foster. Foster jammed a one-timer home and the game was tied at three.
In the final minute of overtime, Kressler wristed a shot from the left circle that was kicked to the opposite side of the zone by Donoso. While the goaltender scrambled to recover, Hayes snagged the rebound and fed Stojkov in the high slot. Stojkov slung a wrist shot past the lunging Donoso for the game-winning goal.
Ottawa grabbed its 2-0 lead thanks to a wrist shot goal from Chris Barlas in the first and a rebound goal from Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Luca Pinelli in the second.
Day made 26 saves on 29 shots for his second consecutive victory while the Birds outshot the 67’s 31-29 in the game, the fifth straight game they have outshot an opponent. The Firebirds improved to 13-11-1-1 with the win while the 67’s dropped to 14-8-2-0.
Flint will conclude its three-game road swing on Sunday afternoon in Kingston with a matchup with the Frontenacs. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Leon’s Centre.
Story: Brandon Mills // flintfirebirds.com