For a while it looked like the Guelph Storm was on its way to snapping its eight-game losing skid Friday night at the Sleeman Centre.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first period, the Storm responded with four unanswered goals in the second period then scored early in the third to take a 5-3 lead and all the momentum.
Then the roof fell in.
Flint scored four consecutive goals in the third period to pull out the 7-5 win.
"In the third it was kind of 50/50 then for a couple of minutes we got into some mental lapses in the D zone and that just made the outcome the way it was," said Storm forward Eric Uba, who had two of the Storm goals.
"Mental lapses, guys not being urgent with the puck. You're in a game where it's close and you have to hit the blueline, get it deep and go from there."
Uba, one of the team's best players over a bad stretch of games, said of the losing streak: "It's unfortunate, but we've got a good group of guys in there and we're going to get out of this eventually."
Uba had three points on the night, as did linemates Pavel Gogolev and Cam Hillis along with defenceman Fedor Gordeev.
But too many mistakes, mental and physical, led to too many Flint goals and Nico Daws, showing a bit of rust, allowed six goals on 31 shots.
The game winner came when an ill-advised clearing pass up the middle of the ice by the Hillis was intercepted and a few seconds later was put past Daws by Flint's Ty Dellandrea.
Guelph had chances with Daws on the bench for the extra attacker, including putting one off the post, but the Firebirds held tough then put one into the empty net to seal the victory.
Flint's final three goals came in a span of just under five minutes late in the third.
Storm coach George Burnett said the turning point came in the third period when a Storm goal was waved off after the referee ruled Hillis pushed both the puck and Flint goaltender Anthony Popovich's pad over the goal line.
"The turning point was I thought we made it 6-3 and we pushed Poppy in and the goal wasn't allowed," Burnett said.
But the coach said that once again it was veteran players making mistakes that led to the loss.
"Most of our poor decisions were made by guys we have to have on the ice in those situations," Burnett said. "Giveaways ... lost battles ... very little pressure up the ice the first two periods.
"We don't have enough guys getting the job done right now."
The same two teams go at it again Saturday night in Flint. Sunday the Storm is in London.
Next home game isn't until Feb. 5.