The Sarnia Sting visited the Flint Firebirds on Friday night. It was the second part of a three-in-three for the Sting this weekend.
Aidan Hughes made his second straight start in goal for Sarnia. At the opposite end, rookie goaltender Luke Cavallin got the nod for Flint.
After a scoreless opening frame, we’ll move right into the second.
In the second period, Sting forward Jordan Ernst started things off with a high-flying powerplay rush in on the Flint goalmouth. Ernst sent a standard rocket shot on net, but Cavallin spread out large to make a high shoulder stop.
With the pace of the game having stepped up, Sting forward Jonathan Ang opened the scoring. Thanks to Hugo Leufvenius battling in the corner, a Flint defender sent a high stick towards Leufvenius’s face. Reacting to the contact, Leufvenius’s hands flew to his mouth. But, in doing so, he lightly tossed the puck away from him. Ang was right there to step in. Recovering the puck to the right of Cavallin, Ang faked as if he was going to wrap around the net, then pulled the puck back towards himself before tucking it into the goal. Not quite Doug Gilmour-esque, but it was perfectly fine for this occasion.
As the Sting took the lead, some frustration mounted on the ice for the Firebirds. After a Flint skater made a late shot on Hughes as the whistle went, a scrum broke out on the side wall. Sting defenceman Nick Grima dropped the gloves with Firebirds forward Jake Durham, and Grima took Durham down to the ice. Five-minute penalties for fighting were assessed to each.
With 40 seconds remaining in the second, Firebirds forward Connor Roberts tied the game at ones.
In the third, the two sides would again swap goals. First, Sting forward Anthony Salinitri scored his third goal in the last two games. The goal was largely driven thanks to a massive open-ice hit from Sting defenceman Kelton Hatcher. As Hatcher’s hit forced a turnover, the Sting headed the other way. Ang and Drake Rymsha drew the official assists on Salinitri’s twenty-first goal of the season.
Firebirds draft-eligible forward Ty Dellandrea tied the game at twos with a goal late in the third period.
When the game went to overtime, Flint forward Maurizio Colella scored the winner twenty-three seconds into extra time. Tonight’s final score was 3-2 for the Firebirds.
The Sting take on the London Knights in another installment of the Battle of the 402! The game is Sportsnet’s CHL Saturday Showcase game of the week.