Preview: Firebirds Continue Road-Swing Friday in Kitchener
|Game 29: Flint Firebirds (9-17-2-0) at Kitchener Rangers (18-10-2-0)|
|Date | Time||Friday, December 8th | 7:30 p.m.|
|Location||Kitchener, Ont. | Kitchener Memorial Auditorium (capacity 7,777)|
|Tickets||Online | (800) 265-8977|
|TV||– Rogers TV ch. 20 / 510 HD Live (Kitchener)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV 451 & Cogeco TV 493 Live (Ontario)
|Video Stream||OHL Live|
|Radio||WQUS 103.1 FM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 7:00p|
|Radio (Mobile)||US 103 App: Android | iPhone/iPad|
|Next Home Game||Friday, Dec. 15 vs. Saginaw (Buy Tickets)|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Kitchener, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds continue their four-game road-swing this Friday night when the club faces-off against the Kitchener Rangers. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium (capacity 7,777).
Friday marks the third of four games this season between the Firebirds and Rangers and final game in Kitchener. Last season the Firebirds posted a winning record of 2-1-1-0 against the Rangers. In five road games in Kitchener since the Firebirds’ inception in 2015, 34,808 fans have watched the Firebirds and Rangers battle with an average 6,961 spectators per game. The Firebirds have a 3-2-0-0 record at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Overall, Flint is 4-5-1-0 against the Rangers and are tied 1-1 this season.
Between both clubs, eight players with NHL ties are expected to play in Friday night’s game highlighted by Rangers’ defenseman Logan Stanley who was a first-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2016 NHL Draft. Stanley was acquired in a trade with the Windsor Spitfires on Aug. 8.
The Firebirds have won two of their past three games, earning four out of a possible six points last weekend. The Rangers have had success on home-ice as of late. Prior to Tuesday’s loss to the Windsor Spitfires, Kitchener won eight consecutive home games.
On special teams, Flint is operating at 71.9% on the penalty-kill and has killed 13 of their last 14 penalties successfully. Kitchener is 10th in the OHL when down a man at 80.5% and are also 10th on the power-play at 20.7%. Flint scores 14.5% of the time on man-advantage.
Kislinger to Represent Germany in France:
Firebirds’ forward Max Kislinger was one of 23 players and the only OHL player selected to represent his homeland of Germany at the upcoming 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships – Division I. Announced Monday, Dec. 4, Kislinger will play for the German Under-20 National Team (Official Announcement). The Group A tournament will be held in Courchevel and Meribel, France from Dec. 10-17. Kislinger left Flint on Nov. 25 and will return to Genesee County when the Firebirds’ host the London Knights on Dec. 28. To be eligible as a “junior,” a player cannot be born earlier than 1998. Last year, Germany placed 2nd in Division I A. To follow along, or for a complete tournament schedule, statistics and live video streams, click here.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (9-17-2-0, 5th West Division):
Maurizio Colella leads the Firebirds in points with 20 (9G, 11A). Ty Dellandrea is second on the Firebirds’ roster with with 19 points, recording eight goals and 11 assists. Nicholas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs) leads all Firebirds’ defenseman with 18 points (5G, 13A) and has notched eight points in his last nine games. Newly acquired Connor Roberts has garnered three points including two goals in four games with the Firebirds.
Between-the-pipes, Garrett Forrest has played in 23 of 28 games. Forrest has a 4.70 goals against average (GAA) and a .864 save percentage (SAV%). Forrest has backstopped Flint to eight of nine wins in net this season. Rookie goaltender Luke Cavallin earned his first-career OHL victory in Windsor Sunday afternoon and has appeared in nine games this season with a 5.17 goals against average (GAA) and a .851 save percentage (SAV%). Cavallin was the highest selected goaltender in the 2017 OHL Priority Draft.
NHL: The Firebirds have three players with NHL ties consisting of Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs), Nicholas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes). Additionally, Dennis Busby, Ty Dellandrea, Hunter Holmes, Ryan Littlejohn, Evan Morrison, Connor Roberts and Jack Wismer are seven 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.
Kitchener Rangers (18-10-2-0, 1st Midwest Division):
Adam Mascherin (Florida Panthers) is 11th in the OHL in points and leads the Rangers with 35 (19G, 16A) this season. Mascherin has scored goals in five consecutive games, earning 10 points and eight goals in that time. Mascherin is on a seven-game point-streak. Joseph Garreffa is second on the Rangers’ roster with 29 points (5G, 24A) in 30 games and has points in four of his last five games.
As a defenseman, Logan Stanley (Winnipeg Jets) is fourth on the Rangers’ roster in points with 22 (7G, 15A) in 28 games played. Former Firebird Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) is fifth in points for the Rangers acquiring 21 (12G, 9A) in 19 games this season. Sherwood was sent to Kitchener in a trade on Oct. 17 after being returned from the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
In net, Luke Richardson is the 13th best goaltender statistically with a 3.49 GAA and a .891 SAV%. Richardson has won three-consecutive games between-the-pipes. Along with Richardson playing in 21 games for the Rangers this season, Kitchener’s Anthony Dumont-Bouchard has played in seven games and Chris McGonigle has played in six games. Dumonth-Bouchard has a 2.14 GAA and a .928 SAV% while McGonigle has a 4.07 GAA and a .857 SAV%.
NHL: Five players on the Rangers’ roster have ties to NHL teams consisting of Connor Bunnaman (Philadelphia Flyers), Connor Hall (Pittsburgh Penguins), Adam Mascherin (Florida Panthers), Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Logan Stanley (Winnipeg Jets). Bunnaman, Sherwood and Stanley have signed contracts with their respective NHL clubs.
21 notable Kitchener Rangers’ alumni to play in the NHL are Brian Bellows, Andre Benoit, Shawn Burr, David Clarkson, Paul Coffey, Boyd Devereaux, Steve Downie, John Gibson, Dale Hunter, Nazem Kadri, Jakub Kindl, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Lashoff, Al MacInnis, Don Maloney, Wayne Presley, Mike Richards, Larry Robinson, Derek Roy, Jeff Skinner and Scott Stevens.
Friday evening’s contest against the Kitchener Rangers 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 7:00 p.m.
Friday’s game against the Rangers will also be televised live in Kitchener on channel 20 / 510 (HD) for Rogers TV cable subscribers. Additionally, the game will be televised live province-wide throughout Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 451 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 493 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 Friday’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:
Flint returns home to the Dort Federal Event Center on Friday, Dec. 15. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. against in-state rival, the Saginaw Spirit for game four of the I-75 Divide Cup, presented by Coors Light.
Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 / Bronze, $16 / Silver, $20 / Gold and $26 for VIP seating. All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office and online at ticketmaster.com. For ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or email@example.com. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Jason F. Voll
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