Preview: Guelph Storm Visit Flint Saturday
|Game 39: Flint Firebirds (18-17-1-2) vs. Guelph Storm (14-9-2-2)|
|Date | Time||Saturday, Jan. 7 | 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||Flint, Mich. | Dort Federal Event Center (Directions)|
|Tickets||Ticketmaster.com | (810) 744-0580|
|Promotions||– Firebirds Fight Hunger for Food Bank
|TV||– Rogers TV ch. 20/510 HD Live (Guelph)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 495 & Cogeco TV ch. 464 Live (Ontario)
|Video Stream||OHL Live|
|Radio||WTRX 1330-AM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 6:30p|
|Radio (Mobile)||Sports Xtra 1330 App: Android | iPhone/iPad|
|Game Notes||Here (Coming Soon)|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds wrap-up the weekend home-stand with a Saturday night tilt against the Guelph Storm. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Dort Federal Event Center for the first of four games between the two clubs this season.
The Firebirds and the Storm both lost their Friday night contest’s as Guelph fell in Windsor 5-2, and Flint picked up one point, dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the Erie Otters. After the loss, the Firebirds still hold one of the best home records in the OHL at 12-6-1-0. On the penalty kill, the Firebirds have killed 35 of their last 37 penalties, operating at 95% in their last eight games. Flint’s penalty kill ranks 10th in the OHL overall, but are fifth-best while operating on home-ice at 87.1%.
Guelph is 4-5-0-1 in their past ten games and are 5-11-2-1 on the road this season. The Storm have lost three-straight contests and have allowed five goals in each of their last two games. Guelph has the seventh-best power-play in the OHL clicking at 19%. Guelph is second in the league in penalty minutes with 558, while the Firebirds are in 12th with 423.
The two clubs will meet for the first time this season after the Storm won three of the four games the previous season. Guelph won the first contest 5-3 on Nov. 7, but Flint followed up with a 5-2 victory at the Sleeman Centre on Nov. 20 (Highlights). The Storm won the next game 4-1 on Jan. 10 and the Firebirds ended the 2015-16 campaign with a 5-3 loss on Mar. 19.
The Firebirds sit two spots ahead of the Storm who are in 10th place in the Western Conference. Flint has 39 points in 38 games, while Guelph has 32 points in 37 contests.
Saturday’s contest may the first game newly acquired Maurizio Colella will dawn a Firebirds’ jersey (More Information). Also on Friday, Guelph acquired Liam Hawel from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in exchange for Noah Carroll and a third-round pick in the 2021 OHL Draft.
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.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (18-17-1-2, 8th Western Conference):
Captain Alex Peters collected two goals in Friday night’s game against the Otters and has five points (3G, 2A) in his last two contests. Peters has five goals and 12 assists in 38 games played. Dennis Busby scored his first OHL goal on his birthday Friday night. Busby now has one goal and seven assists in 32 games this season. Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) tallied an assist in the last game and has 21 points in 34 games played. Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) picked-up an assist as well and has 16 goals and 19 assists in 38 games. Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) collected an assist Friday and has six points (1G, 5A) in his last four games. Sherwood has 14 goals and 22 assists in 34 games played. Moore has 15 points in the last 18 games and is 11th among all OHL skaters with 45 points. Moore is also currently in a tie for third most shorthanded goals scored in the OHL with three this season. Mathieu Henderson is second on the Firebird’s roster in scoring and dropped to second among all OHL defenseman in points Friday night, now with 38.
Samuel Duchesne, Jake Durham, Fedor Gordeev and Jack Phibbs are first-time eligible players to be selected in the NHL Draft in June 2017.
In net, Connor Hicks is 11-7-0-2 and statistically the seventh-best goaltender in the OHL with a 2.97 GAA and a .888 SAV%. Garrett Forrest is 6-9-1-0 and played in the Firebirds game Friday. Forrest made 24 saves on 28 shots and now has a 3.52 GAA along with a .880 SAV%.
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).
Guelph Storm (14-19-2-2, 10th Western Conference):
Isaac Ratcliffe leads the Storm’s roster in scoring with 17 goals and 16 assist in 38 games played. Second on the team in scoring is Givani Smith (Detroit Red Wings) who tallied an assist in Friday night’s game against the Spitfires. Smith has 18 goals and 12 assists in 35 games this season. First-pick overall in the most recent 2016 OHL Draft, defenseman Ryan Merkley, is third in scoring on the Storm’s roster and leads all rookie skaters with 31 points.
Between-the-pipes, newly acquired Liam Herbst from the Ottawa 67’s is 8-13-2-1 and played Friday in Windsor. Herbst made 36 saves on 41 shots and has a .900 SAV% along with a 3.46 GAA. Rookie Anthony Popovich is 6-7-0-1 with a 4.30 GAA and a .890 SAV%.
NHL: After Noah Carroll (Carolina Hurricanes) was traded Friday afternoon, Givani Smith (Detroit Red Wings) is the lone player on Guelph’s roster that has been drafted in the NHL.
42 notable Storm alumni to play in the NHL are Craig Anderson, Jamie Arniel, Eric Beaudoin, Chris Beckford-Tseu, Ken Belanger, Todd Bertuzzi, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Michael Caruso, Dan Cloutier, Sylvain Cloutier, Jeff Cowan, Matt D’Agostini, Kevin Dallman, Drew Doughty, Aaron Downey, Dan Girardi, Chris Hajt, Dwayne Hay, Peter Holland, Greg Jacina, Cam Janssen, Kevin Klein, Manny Malhotra, Tom McCollum, Kent McDonnel, Brian McGrattan, Rumun Ndur, Jeff O’Neill, Dan Paille, Ryan Parent, Mike Prokopec, Matt Ryan, Martin St. Pierre, Charlie Stephens, Alek Stojanov, Danny Taylor, Fedor Tyutin, Ryan VandenBussche, Herbert Vasiljevs, Brian Wesenberg, Brian Willsie and Jamie Wright.
Saturday night’s contest against Guelph can be heard 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 & Jim Duhart will begin 35 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, the game will be televised live in Guelph on channel 20/510 (HD) for Rogers TV cable subscribers and throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 464 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 495 for Cogeco TV subscribers. (Broadcast Information). Fans can also watch the game live online at www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live App.
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