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Preview: Firebirds and Bulldogs Collide in Hamilton Saturday

Flint Firebirds (12-24-3-0) vs. Hamilton Bulldogs (26-9-3-3)
Date | Time Saturday, Jan. 13 | 7:00 p.m.
Location Hamilton, Ont. | FirstOntario Centre (capacity 17,383)
Tickets Ticketmaster | (905) 529-8500
TV – Cable 14 / 814 HD in Hamilton Live (Rogers & Cogeco)
– OHL Action Pak channel Rogers 458 & Cogeco 489 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
Next Home Game Wednesday, Jan. 17: Firebirds’ Fight Hunger
Social Media @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook | Instagram

Hamilton, Ont. – The Firebirds continue their three-game road-trip Saturday night against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the FirstOntario Centre (capacity 17,383).

Games in Hamilton are a homecoming for seven Firebirds’ players that hail from hometowns within 45 miles of the FirstOntario Centre, including C.J. Clarke, Fedor Gordeev, Kyle Harris, Hunter Holmes, Riley McCourt, Jack Phibbs and Jack Wismer.

Between the two teams, there are nine players that have ties with both clubs heading into Saturday’s game. Current Firebirds’ Maurizio Colella, Jake Durham, Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs), Riley McCourt and Connor Roberts have a history in Hamilton. While former Firebirds’ Will Bitten (Montreal Canadiens), Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars), Nick Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Ryan Moore now play for the Bulldogs.

Saturday marks the second and final game between Flint and Hamilton this season. All-time, the Firebirds are 2-1-1-1 against Hamilton with Flint winning the last two games by identical 4-3 scores. Four of the five games between the two clubs so far have been decided by one goal with three games needing more than regulation to find a winner. The home team has won in the last three contests as well.

The Bulldogs enter Saturday night with the third-most points in the OHL, holding a 26-9-3-3 record and are first in the OHL’s Eastern Conference. They currently rank fifth in the 60-team CHL, The Firebirds stand fifth in the West Division with a record of 12-24-3-0.

On special teams, the Firebirds have been scoring at a 15.9% clip on the power-play overall. Maurizio Colella’s goal with the man-advantage last night in Oshawa extended the Firebirds’ power-play scoring streak to six consecutive games, tying the franchise record. Flint’s penalty-kill comes into the game at 73%. The Bulldogs penalty-kill unit finds success 82.5% of the time, ranking them third-best in the OHL. Hamilton is scoring at 25.2% on the man-advantage, which is second-best in the league.

Players to Watch:

Flint Firebirds (12-24-3-0, 5th West Division)
Ty Dellandrea holds the team lead in assists and points after collecting two assists in last night’s game. Dellandrea has 30 points (13G, 17A) in 39 games played this season. Maurizio Colella leads all Firebirds in goals and has 29 points (14G, 15A) in 38 games. Jake Durham ranks third on the club, earning five goals and 14 assists for 19 points.

Ethan Keppen, Jack Wismer and Riley McCourt are tied for rookie point-production on the Flint roster. Keppen has nine points (7G, 2A) in 34 games while Wismer has nine points (4G, 5A) in 38 games. McCourt has scored once and earned eight assists in just 27 games this season.

Between-the-pipes, Garrett Forrest has played in 29 games this season. He has a 4.72 goals-against average (GAA) and a .862 save percentage (SAV%). He has backstopped Flint to nine of 12 wins in net. Rookie goaltender Luke Cavallin has appeared in 14 games this season, including last night’s contest in Oshawa. He has a 4.37 GAA and a .856 SAV%.

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

Hamilton Bulldogs (26-9-3-3, 1st East Division)
Newly acquired Robert Thomas (St. Louis Blues) joined the Bulldogs last night in the team’s 5-1 victory over London, collecting two assists and earning ‘First Star’ honors. Thomas recently helped Team Canada win a gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, NY. He currently holds the lead in points for Hamilton, having scored 20 goals and 28 assists for 48 points in 28 games this season. Thomas will carry a twelve-game point streak into tonight’s contest, having tallied five goals and 18 assists in that time.

Will Bitten (Montreal Canadiens) ranks second on the Bulldogs in assists and points this season, recording 32 assists and 45 overall points in 41 games played. Bitten is ranked second in the OHL with 19 power-play assists. Third on the squad in scoring is Brandon Saigeon with 22 goals and 22 assists for 44 points in 38 games. Saigeon is tied for the league lead with 12 power-play goals.

In net, Kaden Fulcher (Detroit Red Wings) leads the team with a 2.75 GAA and a .904 SAV% over 34 games played. He has 21 wins, tying him for third-best in the OHL. He is tied for the league-lead in shutouts with three. Fulcher backstopped his club to last night’s victory in London. Backup Nick Donofrio, who hails from nearby Ypsilanti, MI has made nine appearances and has posted a 3.12 GAA and a .893 SAV%. He has earned five wins and one shutout.

NHL: Hamilton now has nine players with NHL ties, including Will Bitten, (Montreal Canadiens), Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars), MacKenzie Entwistle (Arizona Coyotes), Kaden Fulcher (Detroit Red Wings), Nicolas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs), Riley Stillman (Florida Panthers), Matthew Strome (Philadelphia Flyers), Marian Studenic (New Jersey Devils) and Robert Thomas (St. Louis Blues). Additionally, netminder Nick Donofrio was listed among NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft.

The Belleville Bulls relocated to Hamilton in the summer of 2015. Notable Bulls’ alumni to play in the NHL are Steve Bancroft, Jonathan Cheechoo, Doug Gilmour, Al Iafrate, Darren McCarty, Marty McSorley, Darren Pang, Richard Panik, Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban, Scott Thornton and Mike Vellucci.

 

Broadcast Coverage:
Saturday evening’s contest against the Hamilton Bulldogs 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 Bulldogs will also be televised live in Hamilton on Cable 14 / 814 (HD) for both Rogers TV and Cogeco TV cable subscribers. In addition, the game will be televised live province-wide throughout Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 458 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and 489 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, 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.

 

Next Home Game:
The Flint Firebirds return home to the Dort Federal Event Center this Wednesday, Jan. 17 to continue the Firebirds’ Fight Hunger month. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) vs. the Sarnia Sting. 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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