Preview: Firebirds Host Guelph Sunday Afternoon for Dort Federal Credit Union Family Day
|Game 51: Flint Firebirds (25-21-1-4) vs. Guelph Storm (18-28-3-2)|
|Date | Time||Sunday, Feb. 12 | 4:00 p.m.|
|Location||Flint, Mich. | Dort Federal Event Center (Directions)|
|Tickets||Ticketmaster.com | (810) 744-0580|
|Promotions||– Dort Federal Credit Union Family Day
– Firebirds Four Pack
|TV||– Rogers TV ch. 20 / 510 HD Live (Guelph)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 461 & Cogeco TV ch. 492 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|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds will play their third game in less than five days when the club hosts the Guelph Storm Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is set for 4:00 p.m. at the newly renovated Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.
The Firebirds enter Sunday afternoon’s contest winning four of their last five games, while earning nine out of a possible 10 points in that span.
Flint and Guelph will play the third-of-four games between each other this season after the Firebirds claimed the first two contests, 7-2 on Jan. 7 and 4-3 in overtime on Feb. 3 (Highlights). Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Ryan Moore have combined for 12 points in the two games against the Storm this season.
The Firebirds hold a 15-8-1-1 record on home-ice this season and are 2-0-0-1 in their past three contests in Flint. The Storm are 8-16-2-1 on the road this campaign and are 1-2-0-0 in their past three games away from the Sleeman Centre. Flint’s penalty kill now ranks ninth overall in the OHL, operating at 82.1%, while Guelph’s power-play is ninth in the OHL at 18.9%. Despite the Firebirds having the 20th-ranked power-play in the OHL at 13.3%, Flint scored two goals with the man-advantage against the second-ranked penalty kill of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Saturday night. The Storm lost their last game, 7-5, against the Greyhounds on Friday and are 4-5-0-1 is their past ten contests. Guelph averages the fourth-most penalty minutes per-game at 13.4, while Flint is eighth with 11.8 per-game.
Flint sits two spots ahead of Guelph in eighth-place. The Storm have 41 points in 51 games, while the Firebirds are in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 55 points, only one point behind seventh place Sarnia with a game-in-hand.
Sunday’s contest is highlighted by a “Firebirds Family 4 Pack,” featuring 4 silver level tickets, 4 medium sodas, 4 hot dogs, 4 game programs and 4 pom poms. A value of $102 for $64. Sunday is also Dort Federal Credit Union Family Day where the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive free thunderstix, in addition to balloon twisters, bounce houses and face painters throughout the game.
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. 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 (25-21-1-4, 8th Western Conference):
Nick Caamano (Dallas Stars), Ryan Moore and Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) are the three Flint Firebirds to watch Sunday afternoon.
Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) is currently riding a 14-game point streak where he has racked-up 31 points (14G, 17A) in that time. He has 13 goals in his past 10 contests and has 27 goals and 34 assists in 44 games this season. Sherwood’s point-streak dates back to Dec. 30, 2016.
Ryan Moore is currently in the midst of a five-game point-streak and is seventh among all OHL skaters with 66 points this season. Moore has 10 goals in the last 13 games and is currently in a tie for third most shorthanded goals scored in the OHL, with three this season. Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) has 17 points (11G, 6A) in the last 14 contests and has seven goals in his past eight games. Caamano is third on the Firebirds’ roster with 26 goals and 24 assists in 51 games played.
Additionally, Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) tallied a goal in Saturday’s game against Sault Ste. Marie and has seven goals and 28 assists in 48 games thus far. Captain Alex Peters buried his seventh goal of the season against the Greyhounds and has 26 points in 51 games this season. Jake Durham scored in his last game and has three points (2G, 1A) in his last three contests. Durham has seven goals and three assists in 49 games this journey.
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, Garrett Forrest is 9-10-1-2 and is statistically the 13th-best goaltender in the OHL with a 3.33 GAA along with a .888 SAV%. Connor Hicks is 15-10-0-2 and is the ninth-best goaltender in the OHL with a 3.16 GAA and a .882 SAV%. Hicks made 20 saves on 23 shots in the victory over the Greyhounds Saturday.
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 (18-28-3-2, 10th Western Conference):
Isaac Ratcliffe leads the Storm in scoring with 23 goals and 19 assists in 50 games played. Rookie defenseman Ryan Merkley leads all rookie skaters in points with 36 and is second on Guelph’s roster with seven goals and 29 assists in 45 games. Merkley was the first-pick overall in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. Givani Smith (Detroit Red Wings) is third on the team in scoring with 20 goals and 14 assists in 48 games thus far.
Five Storm players are also ranked among the top North American skaters for the upcoming 2017 NHL Draft which takes place June 23-24 in Chicago. Isaac Ratcliffe (#20), Nate Schnarr (#32), Dmitri Samorukov (#122), Nicholas Deakin-Poot (#135) and Albert Michnac (#162) are ranked among North American skaters respectively.
Between-the-pipes, Liam Herbst is 12-17-3-1 and played in the Storm’s last game against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Herbst made 34 saves on 40 shots and has a 3.59 GAA and a .898 SAV%. Anthony Popovich is 6-11-0-1 with a 4.75 GAA along with a .873 GAA.
NHL: The lone player on Guelph that has been drafted by an NHL club is Givani Smith (Detroit Red Wings).
42 notable Guelph 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.
Sunday afternoon’s contest against the Storm 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 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 461 for Rogers TV subscribers and 492 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers. Fans can also watch the game live online at www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live App.
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