Preview: Firebirds Look to Even Series in Owen Sound Tuesday
|Game 66/68: Flint Firebirds (32-25-3-5) at Owen Sound Attack (45-15-2-2)|
|Date | Time||Tuesday, Mar. 14 | 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||Owen Sound, Ont. | Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre (capacity 3,300)|
|Tickets||Online | (519) 371-7452|
|TV||– Rogers TV ch. 53 / 510 HD Live (Owen Sound)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 450 & Cogeco TV ch. 494 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||Saturday, Mar. 18 vs. London (Tickets)|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Owen Sound, Ont. – With only three games remaining in the 68-game regular season, the Firebirds travel to Owen Sound Monday for a Tuesday night tilt with the Attack for the fourth and final time this campaign. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre (capacity 3,500).
Flint has earned at least one point in 10 of their last 11 games, likewise the Firebirds have scored one power-play goal in 10 of their last 11 games. The Firebirds are 13-16-0-3 on the road this season but have won three of their past four contests away from Flint. The Firebirds are also 5-2-2-1 in their past 10 games. Owen Sound won their previous game, 9-3, against the Sarnia Sting on Sunday. The Attack are 25-4-1-2 on home-ice this season and are 4-1-0-0 in the past five games at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. In their past five games, Owen Sound has averaged 5.8 goals per-game.
On special teams, Flint holds the ninth-best penalty kill in the OHL, operating at 79.9%, while the Attack owns the third-ranked penalty kill in the OHL at 84.2%. The Firebirds have lit-the-lamp 14 times in their last 15 games with the man-advantage, while Owen Sound has the second-best power-play in the OHL, clicking at 26.8%. The Attack also scored three power-play goals in their last game on Sunday against the Sarnia Sting.
Owen Sound leads the season series 2-1 with the FIrebirds winning the first contest, 2-0, on Sep. 24 at the Dort Federal Event Center. The Attack would win the next two contests, 5-2 on Nov. 18 and 4-0 on Feb. 15 (Watch Highlights).
With three games remaining in the season, Flint sits in seventh-place in the Western Conference with 72 points, two points behind the Rangers in the sixth spot. Owen Sounds is third in the Western Conference and has 94 points in 64 games thus far. (See OHL Standings Here)
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (32-25-3-5, 7th Western Conference):
Nick Caamano (Dallas Stars), Maurizio Colella, Ryan Moore and Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) are four Flint Firebirds to watch Sunday afternoon.
Ryan Moore is seventh in OHL scoring and leads the Firebirds with 87 points (39G, 48A). Moore has 12 points in the last eight games and has racked up 20 goals in the last 27 contests.
Kole Sherwood’s seven-game point streak was stymied on Sunday against the Windsor Spitfires but he has recorded 14 points (4G, 10A) in his last eight games and is 11th in the OHL with 81 points (33G, 48A) in 57 games this season. Sherwood also recorded a 14-game point-streak from Dec. 30, 2016 to Feb. 12, 2017 and is 11th among all OHL Skaters with 81 points in 57 games this season.
Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) scored two goals Sunday night, has 29 points (19G, 10A) in the last 27 contests and has 15 goals in his past 19 games. Caamano is third on the Firebirds’ roster with 34 goals and 28 assists in 64 games played.
Additionally, Maurizio Colella has tallied 13 points (6G, 7A) in his past 12 contests and has 17 goals and 22 assists in 62 games. Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) is currently riding a three-game point streak where he has tallied five points (1G, 4A). Smereck has eight goals and 36 assists in 59 games thus far. Mathieu Henderson recorded two assists in his last game against the Spitfires and extended his point streak four games. Henderson is eighth among all OHL defenseman in scoring with 54 points.
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 18-11-1-3 and is statistically the ninth-best goaltender in the OHL with a 3.10 GAA and a .888 SAV%. Garrett Forrest is 13-13-2-2 and is statistically the 16th-best goaltender in the OHL with a 3.43 GAA along with a .891 SAV%. Forrest made 32 saves on 36 shots in the Firebirds’ 4-3 overtime loss against Windsor on Sunday.
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).
Owen Sound Attack (45-15-2-2, 3rd Western Conference):
Nick Suzuki, an expected first-round draft pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, is fifth among all skaters in scoring with 42 goals and 47 assists in 61 games. Petrus Palmu extended his point streak to eight games after tallying three points in his last game against the Sting and is sixth in the OHL in points with 89 points (37G, 52A). Kevin Hancock is ninth in the OHL in points with 82 and is currently riding a nine-game point streak where he has racked-up 14 points (4G, 10A).
Seven Attack players are also ranked among the top North American skaters for the upcoming 2017 NHL Draft which takes place June 23-24 in Chicago. Nick Suzuki (#16), Jonah Gadjovich (#60), Markus Phillips (#62), Maksim Sushko (#73) and Sean Durzi (#139), Kevin Hancock (#148) and Zachary Roberts (#180) are ranked among North American skaters respectively.
Between-the-pipes, Michael McNiven (Montreal Canadiens) is 37-9-2-2 and statistically the top-ranked goaltender in the OHL with a 2.24 GAA and a .918 SAV%. McNiven made 21 saves on 24 shots in the Attack’s 9-3 victory over the Sting on Sunday and is tied for the league-lead shutouts with six. Emanuel Vella is 8-3-0-1 with a 3.10 GAA and a .878 SAV%.
NHL: Three players on the Owen Sound roster have been drafted by NHL clubs consisting of Jacob Friend (Los Angeles Kings), Michael McNiven (Montreal Canadiens) and Matt Schmalz (Los Angeles Kings).
16 notable Owen Sound Attack alumni to play in the NHL are Sean Avery, Kirk Maltby, Wayne Primeau, Kevin Weekes, Paul Bissonnette, Mark Giordano, Trevor Lewis, Brian McGrattan, Andrew Shaw, Brad Richardson, Stefan Ruzicka, Cody Ceci, Bobby Ryan, Andrej Sekera, Wayne Simmonds and Joel Ward.
Tuesday evening’s contest against the Attack 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 35 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, the game will be televised live in Owen Sound on channel 53/510 (HD) for Rogers TV cable subscribers and throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 450 for Rogers TV subscribers and 494 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers. Fans can also watch the game live online at www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live App.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds return home for the final time of the 68-game regular season next Saturday, March 18th against the London Knights. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. for ‘Fan Appreciation Night,’ featuring prizes at the doors for fans, giveaways and other memorable items throughout the night. In addition, the Firebirds are teaming up with the Whaley Children’s Center for a donation drive where fans can bring in three personal care items to receive a sponsored ticket to the game, limit four tickets per person, while supplies last. Items needed are tooth brushes, tooth paste, deodorant, feminine products and body wash, with the limited tickets being sponsored by Oasis Payroll Services.
Tickets are $12 for Bronze, $15 for Silver, $19 for Gold and $25 for VIP seating. 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. Flint Firebirds 2017 ‘Three-Game Playoff Packages’ and individual game tickets are on sale now! The Firebirds first two home dates for the OHL Playoffs will be during the week of March 27th & will likely be weekday games. Early bird season tickets for the 2017-18 season may be reserved with a $50 deposit per seat. Please contact Kevin Mays for more information at (810) 744.0580 ext. 223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Rena Laverty
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