Preview: Firebirds Look to Continue Winning-Ways Tonight in Niagara
|Game 41: Flint Firebirds (20-17-1-2) at Niagara IceDogs (13-20-4-3)|
|Date | Time||Friday, Jan. 13 | 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||St. Catharines, Ont. | Meridian Centre (capacity 5,580)|
|Tickets||Buy Online | (905) 687-3641|
|TV||– Cogeco TV channel 10/700 HD Live (Niagara)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 439 & Cogeco TV ch. 480 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|
|Next Home Game||Friday, Jan. 20 vs. Soo (Tickets)|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Niagara, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds hit the road this weekend after posting an 11-2 victory over the Saginaw Spirit Tuesday night. Next up, the Firebirds face-off against the Niagara IceDogs Friday night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Meridian Centre (capacity 5,580) and a sell-out crowd is expected.
The two clubs will play their final game against each other this season after Flint shutout the IceDogs in their previous meeting 4-0 at the Dort Federal Event Center on Dec. 2, 2016. The Firebirds are 4-1-1-0 in their last six games and have scored a combined 18 goals in their previous two contests.
Flint scored a franchise-high 11 goals in their previous game against the Spirit on Tuesday night. The Firebirds improved their road record to 7-11-0-2 and have won three of their past four contests away from the Dort Federal Event Center. Niagara is 9-9-1-2 on home-ice and are 3-6-1-0 in their past ten contests. On the penalty kill, the Firebirds have killed 41 of their last 44 penalties, operating at 93% in their last 10 games. Flint’s penalty kill ranks 8th overall in the OHL. The IceDogs have the fourth-most penalty minutes per game with 14.3, while Flint is 12th with 11 per game.
Niagara earned a 6-3 victory on home-ice Thursday night over the Ottawa 67’s. IceDogs’ Johnny Corneil recorded his first career OHL hat-trick while Ben Jones had two goals and two assists. Newly acquired winger Kirill Maksimov had a goal and an assist in his IceDogs debut while goaltender Stephen Dhillon made 43 saves. The IceDogs are 4-5-1-0 in their last 10 games and are 3-1-1-0 in their last five in Niagara.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (20-17-1-2, 8th Western Conference):
Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) scored a career-high five goals in two periods and ended-up with seven points on the night Tuesday. Sherwood is in the midst of a six-game point streak and has 16 points in his last six games (6G, 9A) including 20 goals and 26 assists in 36 games played. Friday night will be Sherwood’s 100th career OHL game. Moore has nine points in the last five games and is ninth among all OHL skaters with 52 points. Moore is also currently in a tie for third most shorthanded goals scored in the OHL with three this season. Newly acquired Maurizio Colella tallied three points on Tuesday and has four points in two games with his new club. Colella has eight goals and 12 assists in 37 games this season. Captain Alex Peters collected three assists Tuesday last game and has nine points (3G, 6A) in his last four games. Peters has five goals and 16 assists in 40 games this journey. Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) tallied one goal and one assist in the last game and has 25 points in 36 games played. Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) picked-up two assists Tuesday and has eight points (3G, 5A) in his last four contests. Caamano has 18 goals and 22 assists in 40 games played. Mathieu Henderson is fourth on the Firebird’s roster in scoring and is second among all OHL defenseman in points with 39. Jake Durham scored his fourth goal of the season last game and has goals in consecutive games. Durham has six points in 38 games this season. Also newly acquired, C.J. Clarke, picked-up an assist in his first shift with his new club and had two points on Tuesday. Clarke has six goals and seven assists in 28 games played. Fedor Gordeev tallied two assists last game and has three goals and four assists in 38 games thus far.
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, Connor Hicks is 13-7-0-2 and statistically the sixth-best goaltender in the OHL with a 2.89 GAA and a .891 SAV%. Hicks made 25 saves on 27 shots in the last game against the Spirit and has won his past four games. Garrett Forrest is 6-9-1-0 with a 3.52 GAA along with a .880 SAV%.
Niagara IceDogs (13-20-4-3, 9th Eastern Conference):
Leading the IceDogs in scoring is defenseman Ryan Mantha (New York Rangers) with nine goals and 24 assists in 38 games played. Johnny Corneil is second on the IceDog’s roster in points with 34 after recording a hat-trick Thursday night vs. Ottawa. Ben Jones had a four-point night Thursday and is third on the roster in scoring with 10 goals and 19 assists in 34 games thus far.
Between-the-pipes, Stephen Dhillon is 11-16-3-3 with a 3.44 GAA and a .914 SAV%. Rookie Colton Incze is 1-4-1-0 and played in the IceDogs last game. Incze has a 4.39 GAA, along with a .888 SAV%.
NHL: Niagara has two players that have been drafted by NHL clubs consisting of Aaron Haydon (Dallas Stars) and Ryan Mantha (New York Rangers).
15 notable NHL players from the Niagara organization are Andrew Agozzino, Darren Archibald, Luca Caputi, Matt Correnete, Alex Friesen, Dougie Hamilton, Freddie Hamilton, Tom Kuhnhackl, Jamie Oleksiak, Brendan Perlini, Alex Pietrangelo, Brett Ritchie, Andrew Shaw, Ryan Strome, Mark Visenti.
Fans unable to make the trip to Niagara can listen to the game 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 Niagara on channel 10 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers and throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 439 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 480 for Cogeco TV subscribers. (Broadcast Information). Fans can also watch the game live online at www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live App.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds return back to Flint Friday, Jan. 20 against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. During the month of January, fans may bring in three or more canned or boxed food items to receive a complimentary Silver Level ticket. Fans may drop off donated food at the Flint Firebirds Merchandise Store to receive the discount.
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. 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.
Photo Credit: Aaron Bell / OHL Images
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