London, Ont. – The Firebirds hit the road for an away battle with the London Knights Friday evening. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at the Budweiser Gardens (capacity 9,046) in London, Ontario.
Friday marks the second of four meetings between the two clubs this season, and the first of two games in London. On Sep. 29, the Knights became the first team to defeat the Firebirds in a home-opener, skating away with a 4-2 victory in front of more than 3,800 fans at the Dort Federal Event Center. Jake Durham and Ethan Keppen each scored for Flint. Grand Blanc, Mich. native Dalton Duhart scored the game’s first goal, one of two he’s logged on the season.
London’s Evan Bouchard has played in seven NHL games this season with the Edmonton Oilers and Alex Formenton has played in nine games with the Ottawa Senators. Both have returned from their NHL clubs today but neither are expected to play in tonight’s contest.
All-time, the Firebirds have one victory over the Knights. Flint has yet to earn a win at The Budweiser Gardens. Last year, however, two of the four games between them were settled by a single goal, with Flint’s one victory coming in a shootout at the Dort Federal Event Center.
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On special teams, the Knights rank 18th on the power play at home, scoring on 8.0% of their opportunities. Flint has scored on 6.1% of their chances with the man-advantage, but they have yet to pick up a power-play tally in a road game. London has the league’s best penalty kill, shutting the opposition down 89.6% of the time. The Firebirds are killing penalties at a 78.3% clip, which is 12th-best in the OHL.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (0-14-1-0, 5th West Division):
Flint captain Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) leads all Firebirds in offensive production with 13 points in 15 games played. First-year forward Jacob Winterton has six goals, which is the most among Flint players. With three assists on the season, he ranks second in total points with nine in 15 games. Ethan Keppen has five goals and eight total points for the third-best offensive production through 15 contests.
Fedor Gordeev leads the rearguards with 6 points in 11 games played on the season.
In net, Emanuel Vella holds a 5.62 goals-against average (GAA) and a .852 save percentage (SAV%) in 11 appearances. Luke Cavallin has a 6.09 GAA and a .843 SAV% across 10 appearances.
NHL: The Firebirds have three players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) and Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs). Additionally, five other Firebirds’ players attended NHL Camps this past off-season: Hunter Holmes (Philadelphia Flyers), Riley McCourt (Dallas Stars), Hakon Nilsen (New York Islanders), Connor Roberts (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Emanuel Vella (New York Islanders). In addition, netminder Luke Cavallin, forward Ethan Keppen and defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok were named to NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft, released Oct 1.
London Knights (7-4-2-0, 3rd Midwest Division):
The Knights are led in points by Cole Tymkin, who has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in 13 games played. He has five multi-point games in the campaign. Nathan Dunkley ranks second with a point-per-game average. He has three goals and ten assists, which ties him for the most helpers on the squad, in 13 contests. Connor McMichael has the most goals for the Knights, with nine, and the third-most overall points, with 12.
Adam Boqvist, the Chicago Blackhawks’ first-round selection (8th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft, leads all blue-liners on the team with 11 points in 11 games however, he is listed as a day-to-day with an upper body injury.
Between the pipes, netminder Jordan Kooy (Vegas Golden Knights) has the OHL’s best goals-against average (GAA) at 1.84. He also has the highest save percentage (SAV%) at .936. He has earned five wins in six appearances. Kooy made 21 saves on 23 shots-faced in London’s 4-2 win in Flint on Sept. 28. Joseph Raaymakers has two wins in seven appearances, and a 3.14 GAA with a SAV% of .906.
NHL: The Knights have seven players with NHL ties on their current roster consisting of Adam Boqvist (Chicago Blackhawks), Evan Bouchard (Edmonton Oilers), Liam Foudy (Columbus Blue Jackets), Alex Formenton (Ottawa Senators), Jacob Golden (Minnesota Wild), Jordan Kooy (Vegas Golden Knights) and Alec Regula (Detroit Red Wings). London also had four players listed on NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft, released Oct 1: Matvei Guskov, Nathan Dunkley, Connor McMichael, and Andrew Perrott.
29 notable London Knights alumni to play in the NHL are David Bolland, John Carlson, Dino Ciccarelli, Michael Del Zotto, Max Domi, Sam Gagner, Bo Horvat, Michael Hutchinson, Nazem Kadri, Patrick Kane, Chris Kelly, Sergi Kostitsyn, Oli Maatta, Mitch Marner, Patrick Maroon, Steve Mason, Marc Methot, Vladislav Namestnikov, Rick Nash, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Shanahan, Steve Smith, John Tavares, Chris Tierney, Jarred Tinordi, Matthew Tkachuk, Austin Watson, Dennis Wideman and Nikita Zadorov.
Due to a scheduling conflict, Friday evening’s contest in London will not be broadcast live on the radio in Michigan. However, fans can listen to Friday night’s game in London via Mixlr live audio. Dominic Hennig will have the play-by-play action beginning at 7:30 p.m. Radio coverage will resume on Saturday, when the Firebirds host the the Ottawa 67’s at 3 p.m.
Friday’s game against the Knights will also be televised live in London on channel 13 / 510 (HD) for Rogers TV cable subscribers. Additionally, the game will be televised live throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 462 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 487 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, 65 of the Firebirds’ 68 games throughout the 2018-19 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 2018-19 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 2018-19 season.
Next Home Game:
The Flint Firebirds return home to the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center this Saturday, Nov. 3 when the club hosts the Ottawa 67’s. It’s the Firebirds’ inaugural ‘Youth Sports Night’ with puck drop set for 3 p.m. (ET). The Flint Firebirds encourage active youth lifestyles and look forward to showcasing the diversity of youth sports in Genesee County and its surrounding areas. To show support for youth sports, the Firebirds are offering free admission to all athletes K-12 wearing their team jersey with a paid adult ticket (1 free child per adult). Additionally, the first 1,000 fans will receive a free drawstring bag, compliments of PFCU.
The Firebirds would also like to offer sports teams, organizations, or associations the chance to promote their program at a Flint Firebirds home game. The offer includes 15 Silver Level tickets & 1 complimentary concourse table for $150.00 (total value $490). If a concourse table is not needed, the Firebirds are offering a special group rate of $10 Silver Level tickets for groups of 10 or more.
Photo Credit: Robert Riehl
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club