Preview: Firebirds and Otters Battle in Erie, Penn. Saturday
|Game 42: Flint Firebirds (20-18-1-2) at Erie Otters (28-9-2-1)|
|Date | Time||Saturday, Jan. 14 | 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||Erie, Penn. | Erie Insurance Arena (capacity 6,833)|
|Tickets||Buy Online | (814) 452-4857|
|TV||– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 438 & Cogeco TV 479 Live (Ont.)|
|Video Stream||OHL Live|
|Radio||WTRX 1330-AM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 6:30p|
|Radio (Mobile)||Sports Xtra 1330 App: Android | iPhone/iPad|
|Next Home Game||Friday, Jan. 20 vs. Soo (Tickets)|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Erie, Pa. – After earning points in four of their past five games, the Flint Firebirds will travel to Erie to face the Otters on Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Erie Insurance Arena (capacity 6,833).
The Firebirds lost their previous contest, 5-2, against the Niagara IceDogs last night. Flint is 7-12-0-2 on the road this season, but have won two of their past three contests away from the Dort Federal Event Center. Erie is 20-0-1-1 on home-ice this season and are 6-3-0-1 in their past ten games. On the penalty kill, the Firebirds have killed 47 of their last 51 penalties, operating at 92% in their last 11 games. Flint’s penalty kill ranks 7th overall in the OHL operating at 82.9%, while the Otters own the fourth-best penalty kill in the league operating at 84%. The Firebirds have scored 20 goals in their past three games.
The two clubs will play their third of four games this season after the Otters took the first two contests. Erie won the first game on Oct. 8 5-3 at the Erie Insurance Arena. The Otters slid by the Firebirds in their most recent contest eight days ago, where captain Alex Peters tied the game late for Flint, but Darren Raddysh scored the overtime winner to seal a 4-3 victory over the Firebirds.
Erie won their last game, 8-0, against the Ottawa 67’s Friday night. The Otters have played 22 games on home-ice this season and haven’t suffered a regulation loss. Erie owns the best power-play in the OHL clicking at 24.7%. The Otters have also scored the most goals in the league with 178, while Flint is 13th with 133 goals-for.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (20-18-1-2, 8th Western Conference):
Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) put-up one goal and one assist in his last game against the Niagara IceDogs and is riding a seven-game point streak and has 18 points (8G, 10A) in his last seven games. Sherwood has 21 goals and 27 points in 37 games played. Moore has 11 points in the last six games and is eighth among all OHL skaters with 54 points. Moore is also currently in a tie for third most shorthanded goals scored in the OHL with three this season. Peters scored his sixth goal of the season Friday and has 10 points (4G, 6A) in his last five games. Peters has six goals and 16 assists in 41 games this journey. Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) has 25 points in 37 games played. Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) has eight points (3G, 5A) in his last five contests and third on the Firebird’s roster with 18 goals and 22 assists in 41 games played. Mathieu Henderson is fourth on the team in scoring and is third among all OHL defenseman in points with 39.
C.J. Clarke, Samuel Duchesne, Jake Durham, Fedor Gordeev and Jack Phibbs are five first-time eligible players to be selected in the NHL Draft in June 2017.
In net, Connor Hicks is 13-7-0-2 and statistically the seventh-best goaltender in the OHL with a .891 SAV% and a 2.93 GAA. Hicks made 39 saves on 42 shots in his last game against the IceDogs. Garrett Forrest is 6-9-1-0 with a .880 SAV% and a 3.52 GAA.
NHL: The Firebirds currently have two players that have signed contracts with NHL clubs. Forward Kole Sherwood signed a three-year NHL contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets (July 2015) and defenseman Jalen Smereck signed a three-year NHL contract with the Arizona Coyotes (October 2016). Flint’s Nicholas Caamano was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the most recent NHL Draft in June 2016. Along with Caamano, Sherwood and Smereck, four more Flint Firebirds competed in NHL training camps this fall: Everett Clark (St. Louis Blues), Connor Hicks (Detroit Red Wings), Luke Kirwan (Detroit Red Wings) and Alex Peters (Carolina Hurricanes).
Erie Otters (28-9-2-1, 3rd Western Conference):
Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks) leads the Otters in scoring and is second among all OHL skaters in points with 34 goals and 35 assists in 36 games. Second on Erie’s roster is Taylor Raddysh (Tampa Bay Lightning) who scored in his last game against the Ottawa 67’s and has the fourth-most points in the OHL with 66. Darren Raddysh tallied two assists on Friday and scored the OT winner against the Firebirds on Jan. 6. Raddysh leads all OHL defenseman in scoring with 11 goals and 34 assists in 34 games thus far.
Between-the-pipes, Troy Timpano is 25-4-0-0 and is statistically the fourth-best goaltender in the OHL with a .906 SAV% along with a 2.46 GAA. Joseph Murdaca is 2-1-0-1 and collected his first OHL shutout, making all 12 saves against the 67’s on Friday. Murdaca owns a .924 SAV% and a 2.01 GAA.
NHL: Seven players on the Otters roster have been drafted by NHL teams consisting of Erik Cernak (Los Angeles Kings), Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks), Warren Foegele (Carolina Hurricanes), Kyle Pettit (Vancouver Canucks), Taylor Raddysh (Tampa Bay Lightning), Jordan Sambrook (Detroit Red Wings) and Dylan Strome (Arizona Coyotes).
34 notable Otter’s alumni to play in the NHL are Nikita Alexeev, Jesse Black, Michael Blunden, Brad Boyes, Chris Campoli, Tim Connolly, Carlo Colaiacovo, Scott Dobben, Josh Disher, Sean Dixon, Patrick Dovigi, Chester Gallant, Mitch Gaulton, Luke Gazdic, Jaroslav Janus, Josh Kidd, Brian Lee, Connor McDavid, Greg McKegg, Adam Munro, Adam Nittel, Ryan O’Marra, Ryan O’Reilly, Nick Palmieri, Jeff Paul, Anthony Peluso, Colin Pepperall, Geoff Peters, Jason Robinson, Michael Rupp, David Shields, Zack Torquato, Jason Ward and Andrew Yogan.
Fans unable to make the trip to Erie can listen to the game live on 1330 AM WTRX Sports Radio in Flint & Mid-Michigan and around the world online on the Sports Xtra 1330 Radio app here. Pregame coverage with Dominic Hennig will begin 35 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, the game will be televised live throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 438 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 479 for Cogeco TV subscribers. (Broadcast Information). Fans can also watch the game live online at www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live App.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds return back to Flint Friday, Jan. 20 against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. During the month of January, fans may bring in three or more canned or boxed food items to receive a complimentary Silver Level ticket. Fans may drop off donated food at the Flint Firebirds Merchandise Store to receive the discount.
Single game tickets for the Flint Firebirds 2016-17 season are $12 for Bronze, $15 for Silver, $19 for Gold and $25 for VIP seating. Prices are unchanged from last season and all seats are reserved / assigned seating. Parking has been reduced to $5 dollars which is new this season. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online by clicking ticketmaster.com.
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