Preview: Firebirds Begin Three-Game Road Trip Friday in Mississauga
After earning a perfect 4-0 record on home ice, the Firebirds (4-1-0) hit the road for a three-game road trip beginning Friday night against the Mississauga Steelheads (1-4-0). The Firebirds and the Steelheads face off for the first of two games this season, Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. (ET) at the Hershey Centre (capacity 5,612) in Mississauga.
Last season, Flint recorded a 2-1 victory over the Steelheads in the Firebirds’ first visit to Mississauga on Oct. 4. before the Steelheads won the rubber match 3-0 in Flint on Dec. 11.
The Firebirds return home Friday, Oct. 14 against the Mississauga Steelheads for “Pink Out Night.” Sponsored by McLaren Flint, the Firebirds are teaming up to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Wear pink and help the Firebirds “Pink Out the Rink” Friday, Oct. 14 at the newly renovated Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich.
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. Fans can purchase tickets online here at ticketmaster.com or for more information, contact Matt Dewire at email@example.com.
Players to watch:
The Firebirds are in the midst of a three-game winning streak and coming off a 5-4 overtime victory against the Ottawa 67’s Sunday afternoon, improving Flint’s record to 4-0 on home ice. Flint currently sits atop the 20-team Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with eight out-of-a-possible 10 points in five games played.
The top two scorers throughout the OHL are Flint’s Ryan Moore with 14 points and Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) with 13 points in five games played. Both Moore and Caamano, along with rookie Ty Dellandrea, are riding five-game point streaks. Luke Kirwan recorded the game-winning overtime goal against the 67’s Sunday afternoon and has racked-up three goals and one assist in two games played since returning from the Detroit Red Wings Main Camp. Firebirds’ Jalen Smereck, who signed a three-year NHL contract with the Arizona Coyotes Thursday, has recorded four assists in just two games since playing in his first NHL preseason game with the Coyotes on Monday Sept. 26 vs. the Los Angeles Kings. Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospect Kole Sherwood has tallied three goals and two assists for five points in two games with the Firebirds this season.
In net, Flint’s Connor Hicks holds a 2-0 record with a 3.96 goals against average and a .892 save percentage after returning from the Detroit Red Wings Main Camp this fall. In one game this season, Garrett Forrest has a 1-0-0-0 record, with a 0.00 GAA and a 1.00 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).
Samuel Duchesne, Jake Durham, Fedor Gordeev and Jack Phibbs are first-time eligible players to be selected in the NHL Draft in June 2017.
Mississauga has lost four of their first five games this season and are coming off a 4-2 loss against the Spitfires in Windsor Thursday night. The Steelheads are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference and hold a 1-3 record on home ice at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. The Steelheads have three players tied for the team lead in points: Nathan Bastian has three goals and one assist in two games played, Nicolas Hague recorded two goals and two assists in five games and Owen Tippett has one goal and three assists in five games played this season.
Between-the-pipes, Mississauga’s Matthew Mancia has played in four games and has posted a 1-3 record with a 4.30 goals against average, along with a .867 save percentage. Jacob Ingham has played in two games thus far and holds a 0-1 record while recording a 4.05 goals against average and .813 save percentage.
NHL: Mississauga’s Alex Nylander has signed a three-year NHL contract with the Buffalo Sabres while six other Steelheads have been drafted by NHL clubs consisting of Nathan Bastian (New Jersey Devils), Sean Day (New York Rangers), Michael McLeod (New Jersey Devils), Jacob Moverare (Los Angeles Kings), Austin Osmanski (Buffalo Sabres) and Vili Saarijarvi (Detroit Red Wings). Stephen Gibson also competed in the Columbus Blue Jackets Main Camp.
Friday’s contest against the Mississauga Steelheads 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 at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, the game will be televised live in Mississauga on channel 10 / 510 (HD) for Rogers TV cable subscribers and throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 434 for cable TV subscribers. Fans can also watch the game live online at www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live App.
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