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Preview: Firebirds Battle Pennsylvania’s Erie Otters Saturday Night in Flint

Erie Otters (12-20-6-1) at Flint Firebirds (11-23-3-0)
Date | Time Saturday, Jan. 6 | 7:00 p.m.
Location Flint, Mich. | Dort Federal Event Center (Directions)
Tickets Ticketmaster.com | (810) 744-0580
Promotions – ‘Firebirds’ Fight Hunger’ Month
TV – OHL Action Pak: Rogers ch. 460 & Cogeco ch. 491 (Ontario)
– Firebirds’ Broadcast Coverage
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 Wednesday, Jan. 17: Firebirds’ Fight Hunger
Social Media @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook  | Instagram 

Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds are home for the first time in 2018 Saturday night when the club hosts the Erie Otters. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint.

Saturday marks the second of four games between Flint and Erie this season and the final meeting in Flint. Erie earned the first victory of the series on Nov. 18. The Otters come to Flint with a road record of 2-14-3-1 this season. Last season, two of the four games between these clubs went to overtime, with one contest requiring a shootout before it was settled. Overall, Erie sits just six points ahead of Flint in the Western Conference Standings, with Flint having played two fewer games thus far.

The Firebirds have several players entering the contest with momentum in their favor. Ty Dellandrea has earned six points in the past five games. C.J. Clarke has earned five points in the past five, and Flint’s Captain Jalen Smereck has tallied five points in the last four contests. Jack Wismer is also heating up, scoring in two of the last three games.

In the 68-game OHL regular season, Erie has recorded at least 50 wins in their past four-consecutive seasons. The Otters’ are recently most known for producing forward Connor McDavid. McDavid was selected as the first-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. He played for Erie from 2012-15 and is currently on the cover of the EA Sports NHL 18 video game for PlayStation and Xbox. In 82 NHL games last season, McDavid recorded 100 points (30G, 70A) for Edmonton. McDavid could be playing for Erie as an overager this season. In regards to talent in the OHL, 26.4% of all players on NHL opening day rosters are alumni of the OHL, which is more than any other league in the world.

On special teams, Flint has been hot of late, scoring a power play goal in each of their past four games. The Firebirds are converting at 15.5% overall on the power-play while Erie is at 17.3%. After successfully killing seven of their last eight penalties, spanning the last three games, Flint’s penalty-kill has improved to 72.9% while Erie is at 76.1%.

 

Players to Watch

Flint Firebirds (11-23-3-0, 5th West Division):
Ty Dellandrea and Maurizio Colella are tied with the team-lead in points, each earning 27 on the year. Dellandrea leads the team in goals with 13. Defenseman Nicolas Mattinen leads the team with 17 assists. He also sits third on the team in points, leading all defenseman with 22.

In net, Garrett Forrest carries a 4.72 goals-against average (GAA). He has a save percentage of .862% (SAV%). Forrest has appeared in 29 games, including last night’s game in Sarnia. Luke Cavallin has a 4.58 GAA and a .857 SAV% in 12 games played this season.

NHL: The Firebirds have three players with NHL ties consisting of Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes), Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Nicolas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs). Additionally, Dennis Busby, Ty Dellandrea, Hunter Holmes, Ryan Littlejohn, Connor Roberts and Jack Wismer are six 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.

Erie Otters (12-20-6-1, 5th Midwest Division):
The Otters will be without Taylor Raddysh who has 44 points on the season. He helped Team Canada win the gold medal in yesterday’s IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Final in Buffalo, New York. In the tournament, the Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick tallied two goals and three assists in seven games played.

Kyle Maksimovich currently leads the Erie squad with 48 points in 39 games played. He has scored 22 times and assisted on 26 tallies. Second on the team is Novi, Mich. native Ivan Lodnia (Minnesota Wild) with 18 goals and 26 helpers in 39 games played. Owen Headrick has earned the third-most points (not counting Raddysh) for Erie this season, collecting 26 points in 37 games.

Erie’s Jordan Sambrook is a draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2016 NHL Draft. The Markham, Ont. native has points in his last two games.

In goal, Troy Timpano leads the team with an .875 SAV% and a GAA of 3.71 in 22 appearances. Timpano had the start in net last night when the Otters fell to the Saginaw Spirit in overtime 4 – 3. Goaltender Anand Oberoi has appeared in 17 games this season and posted a 3.87 GAA and a SAV% of .876%.

NHL: Erie has 3 players with NHL ties as well, including Taylor Raddysh (Tampa Bay Lightning), Ivan Ladnia (Minnesota Wild) and Jordan Sambrook (Detroit Red Wings). Forward Maxim Golod of the Otters was also listed among NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2018 NHL Draft in June.

10 notable Otters of their 38 alumni that played in the NHL are Brad Boyes, Chris Campoli, Carlo Colaiacovo, Alex DeBrincat, Connor McDavid, Ryan O’Reilly, Nick Palmieri, Michael Rupp, Dylan Strome and Jason Ward.

 

Broadcast Coverage:
Saturday evening’s contest against the Erie Otters 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.

The game will also be televised live throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 460 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 491 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 Saturday’s game, 65 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 Wednesday, Jan. 17 to continue the Firebirds’ Fight Hunger month. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) vs. the Erie Otters. In partnership with the Foodbank of Eastern Michigan, fans can bring in five non-perishable food items to any Firebirds’ home game in the month of January to receive a complimentary sponsored silver level ticket, limit of four tickets per person. Wednesday’s game also marks the fifth “College Night” this season, featuring $2 beers and $2 hot dogs for all fans in attendance. All college students with valid identification will also receive $2 off admission.

Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 / Bronze, $16 / Silver, $20 / Gold and $26 / VIP seating (Seating Chart). All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (810) 744-0580, in-person at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com here

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

 

For more information:

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

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