GameDay Preview: Firebirds Face-Off in London Friday Night
|Flint Firebirds (6-9-2-0) at London Knights (6-9-2-0)|
|Date | Time||Friday, Nov. 10 | 7:30 p.m.|
|Location||London, Ont. | Budweiser Gardens (capacity 9,046)|
|Tickets||Online | (519) 681-0800 ext. 1|
|TV||– Rogers TV ch. 13 / 510 HD (London)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers ch. 465 & Cogeco ch. 496 (Ontario)
– Firebirds’ Broadcast Coverage
|Video Stream||OHL Live|
|Watch Party||The Barn in Fenton|
|Radio||WQUS 103.1 FM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 7:00p|
|Radio (Mobile)||US 103 App: Android | iPhone/iPad|
|Next Home Game||Saturday, Nov. 11 (Military Appreciation Night)|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
London, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds look to get back to their winning ways Friday night when the cluck faces-off against the London Knights on the road. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. at an expected sold-out Budweiser Gardens (capacity 9,046). The two teams met just 14 days prior with both having the exact same season record today, each at 6-9-2-0.
- Watch: GameDay Video Preview
Friday will mark the second of four meetings between the two teams and it will also be the final regular season meeting at the Budweiser Gardens for the Firebirds, who fell in London on Oct. 27. The two teams will meet at the Dort Federal Event Center for the third tilt on Dec. 28 and will finish the four game regular season set on Mar. 10.
This time Flint comes into the game missing a few key components, namely head coach Ryan Oulahen, who, along with forward Ethan Keppen and goaltender Luke Cavallin, are representing two of Hockey Canada’s three teams at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. In the quarter-finals Thursday night, Oulahen and Keppen posted a 5-1 victory for Canada White over Finland and Luke Cavallin backstopped Canada Red to a 4-3 win over Canada Black (Results).
Flint is 2-5-1-0 on the road and will be looking for their first ever win against the Knights who have only won once at home (1-4-2-0) in seven games this season. Both teams will enter the game with identical records of 6-9-2-0.
Both squads have had similar success with the man advantage so far this year. London’s power-play ranks 13th in the league at 17.8%, compared to the Firebirds’ 14th-ranked power-play at 17.3%. The penalty-kill, on the other hand, shows a wider variance. Flint is 69.9% on the penalty-kill, compared to the Knight’s 11th-ranked penalty-kill at 79.7%.
Firebirds & Knights Connection:
Nicholas Mattinen will be facing his former team for a second time when the two clubs collide Friday night. The Ottawa, Ont. native drew an assist on Nick Caamano’s second period power-play goal in his first game against the Knights. London drafted the rearguard in round six (110th overall) in the 2014 OHL Priority Draft. He spent two seasons with the Knights and was a member of the 2015-16 Memorial Cup Championship team in his rookie season. The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Mattinen in round six (179th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. In his first season with the Firebirds, he has tallied two goals and nine points and is one point away from his career-best, 10 points that he recorded in his rookie season with London.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (6-9-2-0, T-8th Western Conference):
Maurizio Colella currently leads the Firebirds in points with 18 (8G, 10A) in 17 games played this season. Nick Caamano (Dallas Stars) is tied with Ryan Moore for second on the Firebirds’ roster in points. Caamano is on a three-game goal-scoring streak and has 17 points (8G, 9A) in 17 games. Moore has four goals and 13 assists in 15 games.
CJ Clarke is on a two-game point-streak scoring once and adding one assist.
In net, Garrett Forrest has a 4.05 goals against average (GAA) and a .881 save percentage (SAV%). Forrest has earned all six Firebirds’ victories this season.
NHL: The Firebirds have three players that have NHL ties. Forward Nick Caamano signed with the Dallas Stars Stars while defenseman Fedor Gordeev and Nicholas Mattinen were both drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Additionally, Dennis Busby, Ty Dellandrea, Hunter Holmes, Ryan Littlejohn, Evan Morrison and Jack Wismer are six first-time eligible players to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft in June 2018. Busby, Dellandrea and Holmes were listed among NHL Central Scouting’s October ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2018 NHL Draft in June.
London Knights (6-9-2-0, T-8th Western Conference):
London is led up front by Robert Thomas (St. Louis Blues) who is 12th in the OHL in scoring with 22 points (12G, 10A) in 14 games. Thomas has recorded points in seven of his last eight games. Evan Bouchard has tallied 16 points (4G, 12A) in 17 games. Cliff Pu (Buffalo Sabres) has points in four of his last five games and has tallied three goals and three assists in that time.
Between-the-pipes, Joseph Raaymakers holds a 5-1-1 record after being acquired by London from Sault Ste. Marie in a trade on Oct. 17. Raaymakers is statistically the fifth-best goaltender in the OHL with a 2.55 GAA and a .909 SAV%. Jordan Kooy has notched a 3.92 GAA and a .873 SAV% in six games with London this season.
London has one player with local ties to the Flint area. Dalton Duhart, son of Flint General’s enforcer Jim Duhart, hails from Grand Blanc, Mich. Duhart is expected to make his seventh appearance for the Knights this season Friday. The six-foot, 180-pound left-handed center was the 47th overall pick in this year’s OHL Priority Selection by London.
NHL: Seven players on the Knight’s roster have been signed by NHL teams consisting of Jesper Bratt (New Jersey Devils), Alex Formenton (Ottawa Senators), Max Jones (Anaheim Ducks), Victor Mete (Montreal Canadiens), Sam Miletic (Pittsburgh Penguins), Cliff Pu (Buffalo Sabres) and Robert Thomas (St. Louis Blues). Jacob Golden (Minnesota Wild) is the lone London player that has been drafted but not signed.
29 notable London Knights alumni to play in the NHL are David Bolland, John Carlson, Dino Ciccarelli, Michael Del Zotto, Max Domi, Sam Gagner, Bo Horvat, Michael Hutchinson, Nazem Kadri, Patrick Kane, Chris Kelly, Sergei Kostitsyn, Oli Maatta, Mitch Marner, Patrick Maroon, Steve Mason, Marc Methot, Vladislav Namestnikov, Rick Nash, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Shanahan, Steve Smith, John Tavares, Chris Tierney, Jarred Tinordi, Matthew Tkachuk, Austin Watson, Dennis Wideman and Nikita Zadorov.
Friday evening’s contest against the London Knights can be heard live on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM, online at www.us103.com or by downloading the US 103 app here. Dominic Hennig will call the play-by-play action on the Flint Firebirds Hockey Radio Network. Pregame coverage will begin 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 7:00 p.m.
Friday’s game against the Knights will also be televised live in London on channel 13 / 510 (HD) for Rogers TV cable subscribers. Additionally, the game will be televised live throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 465 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 496 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers. OHL fans with cable television in Ontario can add the OHL Action Pak to their television plan to catch the Firebirds in action, home or away all season long. Along with Friday’s game, 64 of the Firebirds’ 68 games throughout the 2017-18 season are also scheduled to be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak.
All Flint Firebirds home and away games throughout the 2017-18 season can be watched anywhere in the world online on www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live app. OHL Live is a league video streaming platform that delivers high quality live and on-demand coverage of all regular season and playoff games annually. The cost is $6.99 per game, $69.99 for Flint Firebirds away games only, $179.99 for all 68 home and away Firebirds games and $279.99 for all 1,360 OHL games throughout the 2017-18 season.
Next Home Game:
The Flint Firebirds return home to the Dort Federal Event Center this Saturday, Nov. 11 for the club’s third-annual “Military Appreciation” game. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. (ET) vs. division rivals, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Complimentary Silver Level tickets are available for all veterans and active duty military personnel. The first 2,500 fans through the door will also receive a free official team calendar poster, courtesy of The View Newspapers, Commercial Graphics, Northgate Packaging, DM Burr Group and Little Caesars. Additionally, there will be a silent auction of 10 player autographed military themed Firebirds’ jerseys on the concourse throughout the game with all proceeds benefiting Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. BSMA is a private nonprofit organization in the United States that provides support for mothers who have sons or daughters in active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
There will also be a special military discount for Firebirds’ spirit wear at the merchandise store throughout the game. Brigadier General, Michael A. Stone of the Michigan Army National Guard will conduct the ceremonial puck drop along with local World War II veteran, 91 year old Jeriel Ponder of the U.S. Navy. Additionally, fans will see a live ‘swearing in’ ceremony on the ice during the first intermission, a Color Guard ceremony prior to puck drop, and an on-ice shoot-out during the second intermission between four of the local military service branch representatives. Military vehicles will be on display and a special Firebirds’ military t-shirt will be available for sale at the merchandise store.
Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 / Bronze, $16 / Silver, $20 / Gold and $26 for VIP seating. All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office and online at ticketmaster.com. For ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Robert Riehl
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