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Preview: Firebirds & Spitfires Face-Off in Windsor Thursday

Flint Firebirds at Windsor Spitfires
Date | Time Thursday, Jan. 10 | 7:05 p.m.
Location Windsor, Ont. | WFCU Centre (capacity 6,450)
Tickets Online | (519) 254-5000
TV – Cogeco TV channel 11 / 700 HD Live (Windsor)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV 439 & Cogeco TV 480 Live (Ontario)
Video Stream OHL Live
Radio WQUS 103.1 FM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 6:30p
Radio (Mobile) US 103 App: Android | iPhone/iPad
Live Stats Here
Next Home Game Friday, Jan. 11 vs. Hamilton: (Promotions)
Social Media @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook  | Instagram 

Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds play one on the road Thursday, before back-to-back home games Friday and Saturday in Flint. First, the Firebirds face-off vs. the Windsor Spitfires at 7:05 p.m. (ET) at the WFCU Centre (capacity 6,450).

Flint enters this three-game weekend on a hot streak. They’ve won two games in a row, and four of their last seven contests. Last weekend, the Firebirds defeated the Sudbury Wolves and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in back-to-back home games. The Spitfires also won four of their past seven, dropping contests to Mississauga, London and Flint.

Thursday day marks the fourth of six meetings between the Firebirds and Spitfires this season, and the second of three in Windsor. The first time these clubs collided, the Firebirds defeated the Spitfires 3-1. Emanuel Vella picked up his first victory between the pipes in a Firebirds’ uniform, making 34 saves on 35 shots. The following night, Windsor evened the series on their home ice. In their most recent battle, the ‘Birds defeated the Spits 5-2 in front of a sold-out home crowd of more than 4,000 fans at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint.

Last season, the Firebirds posted a 2-4-0-0 record against the Spitfires. All-time, Flint holds an overall record of 7-13-1-0 versus Windsor and a 2-7-1-0 record at the WFCU Centre.

Recently-acquired forward Cody Morgan is expected to appear in his 100th career OHL game on Thursday. Morgan was a member of the Windsor organization until New Year’s Day this season. Additionally, forward Emmet Pierce was acquired by the Firebirds Thursday and is expected to make his debut with Flint Thursday in Windsor.

On special teams, the Firebirds are scoring 10.6% of the time with the man-advantage on the road. The Spitfires have the league’s 13th-best home power play, capitalizing on 20.8% of their opportunities. In away games, Flint is killing penalties at a rate of 70.5%, which is 14th-best in the OHL. Windsor’s penalty-kill shuts down the opposition’s power play at an 85.7% clip in home games, which is the league’s fifth-best.

 

Players to Watch:

Flint Firebirds (7-32-2-0, 5th West Division):
Jake Durham leads the Firebirds in goals and total points, and is on a point-per-game pace for the season. His 26 goals have him tied for eighth out of 382 players who have recorded at least one tally in the OHL this season. Durham has added 16 assists for 42 total points in 41 games played. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) is second in offensive production, and also maintains a point-per-game average. Sunday, Dellandrea showed his play-making abilities with assists on four of Flint’s six goals. In 35 games-played, Dellandrea has 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 total points. Second-year forwards Eric Uba and Ethan Keppen each have 28 points to tie for third in scoring. Uba lit-the-lamp and picked up an assist in Sunday’s triumph over the Soo Greyhounds, and now has 15 goals and 13 assists. Keppen has points in three straight games (2G, 1A), and five points in his past five tilts. For the season, Keppen has 12 goals and 16 helpers in 41 contests.

Jack Wismer has also been on a hot streak of late, producing three points (1G, 2A) in his past three games.

First-year defender Vladislav Kolyachonok scored his first OHL goal on Sunday, and now has five points (1G, 4A) in the past two games. In 29 games with the Firebirds, Kolyachonok has 19 total points (1G, 18A). Similarly, Michael Bianconi found twine for his first goal in the league in the same game. Flint’s newest rearguard is Tyler Deline, who has one point in two matches since signing with the club last week.

Luke Cavallin got the nod in net for both games last weekend. He now has four wins, and has compiled a 5.39 goals-against average (GAA) and a .855 save percentage (SAV%) across 22 appearances. The veteran Emanuel Vella carries a 5.15 GAA and a .868 SAV% in 25 appearances. Vella has backstopped the ‘Birds to two victories thus far.

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, Emmet Pierce, Eric Uba, Cody Morgan and Jacob Winterton are eight first-time eligible skaters for the upcoming NHL Draft in June. Cavallin, Keppen and Kolyachonok were named to November’s NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list.

Windsor Spitfires (18-19-2-1, 4th West Division):
Cole Purboo enters the contest with 100 career OHL points. The third-year forward is on a four-game point streak (4G, 2A), and has 34 points (19G, 15A) in 40 games for the season. Daniel D’Amico is also on a four-game streak (2G, 4A). He ranks second in total points, with 16 goals and 17 helpers through 39 contests. Curtis Douglas (Dallas Stars) ranks third in offensive production, with 16 goals and 12 assists in 39 games-played.

Will Cuylle tops the first-year players in offensive production for the Spitfires with 25 points (17G, 8A) in 35 games. Connor Corcoran (Vegas Golden Knights) leads the defensive unit in scoring with six goals and 13 helpers.

Between the pipes, Newcomer Kari Piiroinen has backstopped the Spitfires to six wins this season, including one shutout. He has appeared in 17 games, and has a goals-against average (GAA) of 3.91 and a save percentage (SAV%) of .883. Colton Incze has made 11 appearances, winning three times and logging a 4.07 GAA with a .877 SAV%.

NHL: The Spitfires have two players with NHL ties, consisting of Curtis Douglas (Dallas Stars) and Connor Corcoran (Vegas Golden Knights). In addition, defenseman Lev Starikov and netminder Kari Piiroinen were named to November’s NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list.

Notable Windsor alumni to play in the NHL include Ed Jovanovski, Matt Cooke, Cory Stillman, Jason Spezza, Steve Ott, Jason York, Josh Bailey, Tim Gleason, Mike Rupp, Cam Fowler, Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Kyle Wellwood, Todd Warriner, Steve Downie, Jamie Allison, Ryan Ellis and Firebirds’ head coach Eric Wellwood.

 

Broadcast Coverage:
Thursday’s contest 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 with pre-game coverage beginning begin 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday’s game will be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 439 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 480 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 Thursday’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 return to home ice for Friday and Saturday night games this weekend. Friday night, Flint hosts the Hamilton Bulldogs for a 7:00 p.m. game. Grab your friends or the family and join us on Friday nights for ‘Firebirds 4 Pack Fridays!’ Catch entertaining OHL hockey at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan. Fans can get 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 soft drinks starting at just $60.

Firebirds 4 Pack packages are only available for Friday games in advance of game day. For more information, contact the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office by calling (810) 744-0580 or email mary@dorteventcenter.com.

Friday and Saturday nights’ games are also part of the “Firebirds Fight Hunger” month. In partnership with the Foodbank of Eastern Michigan fans can bring in five non-perishable food items to the Firebirds’ merchandise store, The Birds Nest, at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center for a complimentary Silver Level ticket, courtesy of Dort Federal Credit Union, AMD Urgent Care, Captain’s Quarters Lounge, Little Caesars Pizza and Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) Flint.

 

For more information:

Dominic Hennig
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
dominic@flintfirebirds.com
(810) 519-9347

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