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Preview: Firebirds host the Niagara IceDogs Saturday for ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ Night with Joe Kocur
Niagara Ice Dogs (12-8-3-2) at Flint Firebirds (8-16-2-0)
Date | Time Saturday, Dec. 2 | 7:00 p.m.
Location Flint, Mich. | Dort Federal Event Center (Directions)
Tickets Ticketmaster.com | (810) 744-0580
Promotions Teddy Bear Toss
 Joe Kocur Appearance
TV – OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 467 & Cogeco TV ch. 467 Live (Ontario)
Video Stream OHL Live
Radio WQUS 103.1 FM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 6:30p
Radio (Mobile) US 103 App: Android | iPhone/iPad
Live Stats Here
Media Notes Packet Here 
Next Home Game Friday, Dec. 15 vs. Saginaw (Buy Tickets)
Social Media @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook  | Instagram 

Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds play their second game of a three-game weekend Saturday Night in Flint. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. against the Eastern Conference’s Niagara IceDogs at the Dort Federal Event Center for the third-annual “Teddy Bear Toss” Night with Joe Kocur.

Niagara comes to Flint ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a road record of 5-5-2-1. The IceDogs sit second in the Central Division. Flint enters the contest ranked fifth in the West Division, with a home record of 6-9-1-0. It will be the first of two games between Flint and Niagara this season and the only contest in Flint. Last season the teams split the season series with one win each. Over the past five seasons, Flint holds a record of 4-3-1-0 against the IceDogs. The Firebirds have not lost to Niagara on home ice during that time.

On special teams the Firebirds are operating at 14.9% on the power-play and 70.3% on the penalty-kill. Niagara’s power-play is scoring at a 19.5% clip while the penalty-kill is at 84.4%, third-best in the league.

 

Promotions:
Saturday is the Firebirds’ third-annual “Teddy Bear Toss” Night. Fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used teddy bears or stuffed animals to the game and after the Firebirds score their first goal, fans can launch them onto the ice. The stuffed animals will be collected and donated to the Ennis Center for Children, Hurley Medical Center, Michigan State Police and the Whaley Children’s Center. Last year, the Firebirds donated more than 1,000 stuffed animals to the local charities. Fans are asked to bring and throw their stuffed animals in bags so that they stay dry for the kids.

Also on Saturday, four-time Stanley Cup Champion and former Detroit Red Wing Joe Kocur will be signing autographs on the arena concourse from 6-7:30 p.m. The First 1,000 fans through the door will receive a free Joe Kocur photo card to get autographed.

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.comFor ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or domg@flintfirebirds.com. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email karla@flintfirebirds.com.

 

Players to Watch:

Flint Firebirds (8-16-2-0, 5th West Division):
There is a four-way competitive race for the team lead in points. Maurizio Colella and Ty Dellandrea currently lead the Firebirds with 18 points (8G, 10A) each. Jake Durham and Nicholas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs) are also tied with 15 points (3G, 12A) each. Mattinen leads all defensemen on the team in assists and points.

Rookie forward Kyle Harris notched his first-career two goal game Friday night and Jack Wismer picked up a two assist night. Connor Roberts scored his first goal in a Firebirds’ uniform against his former team on Friday.

Between-the-pipes, Garrett Forrest has played in 22 of 26 games, including 21 starts this season. Forrest has a 4.63 goals against average (GAA) and a .866 save percentage (SAV%). Forrest has backstopped Flint to all eight wins in net this season. Rookie goaltender Luke Cavallin received a couple of starts last week against both the Saginaw Spirit and the Kingston Frontenacs and has appeared in eight games this season with a 5.54 goals against average (GAA) and a .842 save percentage (SAV%). Cavallin was the highest selected goaltender in the 2017 OHL Priority Draft.

NHL: The Firebirds have three players with NHL ties consisting of Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs), Nicholas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes). Additionally, Dennis Busby, Ty Dellandrea, Hunter Holmes, Ryan Littlejohn, Evan Morrison, Connor Roberts and Jack Wismer are seven first time eligible players to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft in June 2018. Busby, Dellandrea, Holmes, Roberts, and Wismer were listed among NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft.

Niagara IceDogs (12-8-3-2, 2nd Central Division):
Kirill Maksimov leads the IceDogs in both goals and points and is on an eight-game point-streak. He has registered 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points in 23 games played this season. Maksimov has been red-hot on the power play this year as he is currently tied for second in the OHL with eight tallies on the man-advantage. Ben Jones (Vegas Golden Knights) and Akil Thomas are tied for second in points for Niagara. Jones has registered for 26 points (11G, 15A) in 25 games played and shares the second-place tie with eight goals on the power-play. Thomas also has 26 points in 25 games, registering six goals and a team-leading 20 assists. Danial Singer is currently on a four-game point-streak.

In net, Stephen Dhillon is tied for the fourth-most wins of any goaltender with twelve this season. He enters the contest as the seventh-best goaltender statistically with a 2.85 goals against average (GAA) and a .907 save percentage (SAV%). Back-up netminder Colton Incze has played in five games this season and carries a 3.69 goals against average (GAA) and a .881 save percentage (SAV%).

NHL: Niagara has two players with NHL ties consisting of Ben Jones (Vegas Golden Knights) and Kirill Maksimov (Edmonton Oilers). Additionally, Akil Thomas was named to the NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft.

 

Broadcast Coverage:
Saturday evening’s contest against the Niagara IceDogs 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 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s game against the IceDogs will also be televised live province-wide throughout Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 467 for both Rogers TV and 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 Saturday’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.

 

Blue Line Club Menu:
Presented by King’s Catering, Saturday evening’s dinner menu for the Blue Line Club features roast beef, rosemary & garlic roasted chicken breast, mashed potatoes & gravy, caribbean mixed vegetables, green salad with all the fixing’s, dinner rolls and for dessert, apple pie and assorted cookies. Saturday’s menu is available to all sponsors and season ticket holders for $15 per person. Dinner RSVPs are encouraged by emailing Karla Turner at karla@flintfirebirds.com.

 

Next Home Game:
Flint returns home to the Dort Federal Event Center on Friday, Dec. 15. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. against in-state rival, the Saginaw Spirit for game four of the I-75 Divide Cup, presented by Coors Light.

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.comFor ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or domg@flintfirebirds.com. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email karla@flintfirebirds.com.

 

Photo Credit: Danen Williams / Flint Firebirds

 

For more information:

Dominic Hennig
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
dominic@flintfirebirds.com
(810) 519-9347

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