Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds return home to the Dort Federal Event Center Friday evening to face-off against the North Bay Battalion. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) for the club’s inaugural ‘810 Night.’
Friday marks the first of two meetings between the two clubs and the only game against North Bay in Flint this season. All-time, the Firebirds are 1-4-0-1 against North Bay and are 1-2-0-0 against the Battalion on home-ice in Flint. Last season, the Battalion won both meetings, with one of the two games requiring a shootout.
Earlier this week, both teams fell by a final score of 4-1. Flint was defeated 4-1 by the Greyhounds in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. on Wednesday. Eric Uba scored his first OHL career goal in the contest. North Bay was edged 4-1 on home ice to the visiting Peterborough Petes on Monday in a matinee game on Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Fourth-year forward Brad Chenier scored his first marker of the season in the defeat.
On Thursday, North Bay announced that they had acquired veteran rearguard Theo Calvas from the Sarnia Sting. The 6-foot-5, 213-pound Calvas hails from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and is in his final year of eligibility in the OHL. In four games played for the Sting, he had one assist and a plus-3 rating. Last season, Calvas finished the season with three goals, 20 assists, 103 penalty minutes and a +29 rating.
The Firebirds are still without three defenseman: Dennis Busby (Lower Body Injury), Vladislav Kolyachonok (Immigration) and Riley McCourt (Upper Body Injury).
On special teams, the Battalion power play ranks second-best overall with a 31.8% success rate. Flint has yet to convert with the man-advantage. On home ice, the Firebirds are the 20th ranked team shorthanded, killing 70% of their penalties successfully. North Bay ranks 16th, killing 76.5% of their penalties.
To celebrate the Greater Flint Area, the Firebirds are offering the lowest individual ticket prices in franchise history, featuring $8 bronze level tickets and $10 silver level tickets. Also, the first 810 fans in attendance will receive a free Firebirds’ ’810’ shirt, compliments of PFCU. Additionally, there will be $8 glassware and a 10% discount in the Firebirds’ merchandise store, The Birds Nest.
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.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (0-7-0-0, 5th West Division):
Jacob Winterton leads all Flint Firebirds in points in his first season in the OHL. Winterton has four points (3G, 1A) in seven games. Ethan Keppen, Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Jake Durham and Kyle Harris are tied for second on the Firebirds’ roster with three points each, all in seven games. Winterton and Keppen lead the team in goals with three and Harris leads the Firebirds in assists, also with three.
Eric Uba scored his first-career OHL goal Wednesday night in Sault Ste. Marie. The Kitchener, Ont. native has two points (1G, 1A) in seven games this season
In net, Emanuel Vella holds a 5.68 goals-against average (GAA) and a .848 save percentage (SAV%) in six appearances. Luke Cavallin has a 5.46 GAA and a .848 SAV% across four 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 and forward Ethan Keppen were named to NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft, released Oct 1.
North Bay Battalion (2-5-0-0, 5th Central Division):
Justin Brazeau and Matthew Struthers lead ‘The Troops’ with 10 points in seven games each. They each have five goals and five assists thus far in the campaign. Brazeau is a 6-foot-6, 226-pound winger and Struthers is a 6-foot-2, 209-pound center. Defenseman David Maier leads all blue-liners for North Bay with six points (2G, 4A) in six games. Maier was the Battalion’s second-round draft pick in the 2018 OHL Import Draft. He hails from Klagenfurt, Austria.
Newcomer Cameron Peters leads the first-year players on the club with two points (1G, 1A) in six contests. The 16-year-old native of Toronto, Ont. was the team’s second-round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.
Between-the-pipes, netminder Christian Propp has appeared in six of the team’s seven regular-season games. He has a 5.34 goals-against average (GAA) and a .869 save percentage (SAV%), with two wins. Christian Purboo has appeared in one game, posting a 7.15 GAA and a .806 SAV%. Also appearing once this season, first-year goaltender Joe Vrbetic has a 3.67 GAA and a SAV% of .857.
NHL: The Battalion do not have any current members with NHL ties but four North Bay players attended NHL camps this year consisting of Justin Brazeau (San Jose Sharks), Kyle Potts (New York Rangers), Christian Propp (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Matthew Struthers (Carolina Hurricanes). Matthew Struthers was named to NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft, released Oct 1.
Three notable North Bay Battalion alumni to play in the NHL are Michael Amadio, Barclay Goodrow and Nick Paul. Dating back to the Brampton Battalion, seven notable alums to play in the NHL are Brent Burns, Sam Carrick, Matt Duchene, Thomas McCollum, Jason Spezza, Raffi Torres and Wojtek Wolski.
There will be no radio coverage as Friday’s game marks the third of only three conflicts throughout the 68-game season on the Firebirds’ official flagship radio station, US 103.1 FM.
However, the game will be televised live in North Bay on YourTV channel 12 / 700 (HD) for Cogeco cable subscribers. In addition, the game will also be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 455 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and 485 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, 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 Firebirds welcome the Kitchener Rangers to Flint on Saturday for the annual “First Responders Night” sponsored by Dort Federal Credit Union. Join us in thanking all first responders for their dedication to our community. First responders with valid identification will receive $5 off of a $16 Silver Level ticket. Admission to the Firebirds’ game earns fans a ticket to the ‘Battle of the Badges’ game between the Police & Firefighters that takes place beginning at 4 p.m. with doors set to open at 3:30 p.m.
Pre-game festivities include the annual “Save-a-Life” Expo from 5-6:45 p.m. at the Dort Federal Event Center’s second arena. The event is FREE to the public. Fire trucks, police cars and emergency medical service (EMS) ambulance vehicles will be available for the public to observe and experience. Fans will be able to enter and explore the vehicles and display trailers. Hands on demonstration, giveaway items and training from various participating fire responder branches will take place throughout the event.
Photo Credit: Danen Williams
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club