Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds will face-off against the Owen Sound Attack Saturday for the club’s 4th-annual Flint Tropics Night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center.
Flint is 1-2-0-0 in Flint Tropics Night games. Owen Sound played in the inaugural event, narrowly escaping with a 5-4 victory on Feb. 14, 2016. In 2017, Flint defeated the visiting Sarnia Sting by a final score of 7 – 5. Last season, in-state rival Saginaw Spirit claimed the victory in the yearly event 5-3.
Saturday marks the third of four meetings with the Attack this season, and the first of two in Flint. The Firebirds came up short in the first two away games in the series, both by a final score of 5 – 2. Last season, Flint went 1-3-0-0 versus the Attack, winning one of two in Owen Sound. All-time, the Firebirds are 2-12-0-0 versus Owen Sound and 1-5-0-0 in home games. In 14 total meetings between these clubs, five have been decided by a single goal and one required a shootout that ended in Flint’s favor.
Both teams were active Friday night. The Firebirds hosted the Oshawa Generals in what turned into a very close contest. Flint pulled within one in the final minute of play on Ty Dellandrea’s second goal of the night, but was unable to get the equalizer with the extra attacker as time expired. Kyle Harris and Vladislav Kolyachonok also scored for Flint. The Generals capitalized on three power-play chances to secure the 5 – 4 decision. Owen Sound was defeated by the Spirit 6-1 in Saginaw on Friday.
The Attack enters Saturday’s contest with a record of 27-24-2-2. They rank third in the Midwest Division and fifth in the 10-team Western Conference. They’ve won 5 of their last 10 games. Flint has picked up points in three of their last 10 games, and carries a season record of 10-43-4-0. The Firebirds are fifth in the West Division and 1oth in the Western Conference.
On special teams, Owen Sound has the 14th-best power play in the 20-team OHL, scoring 19.3% of the time. The Firebirds are 19th operating at 14.4%. The Attack rank 14th-best on the penalty-kill at 78.0% and Flint is 19th at 68.8%.
Get tropical with the Firebirds Saturday night! Inspired by the movie “Semi-Pro” starring Will Ferrell, the Firebirds will be wearing special themed jerseys, pants and socks throughout the game that are sure to impress everyone in attendance. Immediately following the game, there will be a live jersey auction, giving fans an opportunity to take home the game-worn Flint Tropics jersey of their choice. Proceeds will be donated to the Firebirds Charitable Foundation which benefits local youth organizations throughout Flint, Genesee County and Mid-Michigan. Additionally, the first 750 fans through the doors will receive Firebirds’ branded sunglasses! Also, there will be Flint Tropics’ themed t-shirts in the Firebirds’ merchandise store, The Birds Nest, for $25, beach towels for $30 and hockey pucks for $5. Special video clips from the movie Semi Pro, tropical themed music, Flint Tropics merchandise and many more fun and entertaining elements will take place throughout the night.
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 (10-43-4-0, 5th West Division):
Ty Dellandrea continues to lead the way for the Firebirds. He has the most assists (36) and total points (55) on the team through 49 games played. He is just four points shy of tying his career high (59) set in the 2017-18 season with Flint. Jake Durham has the most goals (33) and the second-most points (53) through 57 games. Durham has four points (2G, 2A) in the past three games. Ethan Keppen ranks third on the Firebirds’ roster with 48 total points (24G, 24A) in 57 games this season and has points in 17 of his last 19 games.
Riley McCourt tops Flint’s defensive troops in goals-scored (6), and now has 28 points in 39 games. He has points in nine of his last 10 contests and is ranked in the top 15 in points-per-game (0.72) among OHL defensemen. Blue-liner Vladislav Kolyachonok tops the freshman class of Firebirds with 26 points (4G, 22A) in 43 games-played after lighting-the-lamp Friday night against Oshawa.
In net, Luke Cavallin has compiled a 5.50 GAA and a .859 SAV% across 31 appearances. Emanuel Vella holds a 4.90 goals-against average (GAA) and a .874 save percentage (SAV%) in 35 appearances.
NHL: The Firebirds have two players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes) and Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars). In addition, Luke Cavallin, Kyle Harris, Ethan Keppen, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Eric Uba, Cody Morgan, Emmet Pierce and Jacob Winterton are eight first-time eligible skaters for the upcoming NHL Draft in June. Cavallin, Keppen, Kolyachonok and Uba were among the 50 OHL Players in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft.
Despite Flint playing in just their fourth season in the OHL, Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes) and Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) are two former Firebirds to play in the NHL. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) and Vili Saarijarvi (Detroit Red Wings) have played in NHL pre-season contests.
Owen Sound Attack (27-24-2-2, 3rd Midwest Division):
Third-year center Aidan Dudas (Los Angeles Kings) leads the Attack with 22 goals and 26 assists in 55 games. Adam McMaster played for the North Bay Battalion until the holiday break in December. He now ranks second for Owen Sound with 44 total points (14G, 30A) through 56 games-played. Rounding out the top three in offensive production on the post-trade-deadline Owen Sound roster is the Belarusian Maksim Sushko (Philadelphia Flyers). He has scored 15 times and added 26 helpers through 51 contests. Sushko snapped a five-game point streak (4G, 5A) in Friday night’s contest in Saginaw.
Brady Lyle leads all defenseman for the Attack with nine goals and 22 assists in 55 games this season. The first-year players on the squad are led by Griffin Wilson with four goals and nine assists on the campaign.
Between-the-pipes, Knoxville, Tenn. native Mack Guzda has appeared in 38 games, picking up 16 wins and two shutouts. Guzda has a goals-against average (GAA) of 3.49 and .882 save percentage (SAV%). Port Huron, Mich. native Andrew MacLean carries a 3.95 GAA with a .879 SAV% through 27 appearances. He has 11 wins and one shutout on the campaign.
NHL: Owen Sound has three players with NHL ties consisting of Maksim Sushko (Philadelphia Flyers), Aidan Dudas (Los Angeles Kings), and Trenton Borque (St. Louis Blues). Additionally, netminders Mack Guzda and Andrew MacLean were both named the 2019 NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings.
The list of notable Owen Sound alumni to play in the NHL includes Sean Avery, Wayne Simmonds, Mark Giordano, Bobby Ryan, Kirk Maltby, Josh Bailey, Joel Ward, Wayne Primeau, Brad Richardson, Andrej Sekera, Trevor Lewis, Andrew Shaw, Cody Ceci, Brian McGrattan, Kevin Weekes, and Paul Bissonnette.
Saturday evening’s contest against the Owen Sound Attack 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 6:30 p.m.
The game will also be televised live province-wide throughout Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 437 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 478 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.
Blue Line Club Menu:
Presented by Great Lakes Sandwich Co & Cafe, Saturday evening’s dinner menu for the Blue Line Club features crispy chicken parmesan, spaghetti with marinara sauce, chicken stir fry, fried rice, garden salad, dinner rolls with butter and assorted desserts. Saturday’s menu is available to all sponsors and season ticket holders for $12 per person. Dinner RSVPs are encouraged by emailing Karla Turner at email@example.com.
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club