Preview: Firebirds Head to Saginaw for Tuesday Night Battle
|Game 40: Flint Firebirds (19-17-1-2) at Saginaw Spirit (15-16-5-2)|
|Date | Time||Tuesday, Jan. 10 | 7:05 p.m.|
|Location||Saginaw, Mich. | Dow Event Center (capacity 5,527)|
|Tickets||Ticketmaster.com | (989) 497-7747|
|TV||– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 440 & Cogeco TV ch. 481 Live (Ontario)
– CW WBSF: Charter ch. 15 & Comcast ch. 17 Sunday at 1 p.m. (Mid-Michigan)
– Comcast ch. 900 Sunday at 6 p.m. (Michigan)
|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|
Saginaw, Mich. – After posting a 7-2 victory on home-ice Saturday night against the Guelph Storm, the Firebirds will travel to Saginaw to face the Spirit this Tuesday, Jan. 10. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Dow Event Center (capacity 5,527).
The Firebirds have won five of the past six games against Saginaw including the most recent contest between the two clubs after Mathieu Henderson scored a highlight-reel goal with eight seconds remaining in overtime to earn Flint a 3-2 victory (Highlights). Flint holds a 3-1 series lead in the best-of-eight Coors Light I-75 Divide Cup race this season and have won eight of 12 total contests since the rivalry was renewed last September. Additionally, through the past 10 games between the two clubs, more than 33,500 fans have experienced the renewed Flint & Saginaw rivalry, averaging 3,360 spectators each contest.
The Firebirds are 6-11-0-2 on the road this season but have won two of their last three contests away from the Dort Federal Event Center. The Spirit hold an 11-6-3-0 record on home-ice but have only earned victories in two of their last five contests at the Dow Event Center. On the penalty kill, the Firebirds have killed 39 of their last 42 penalties, operating at 93% in their last nine games. Flint’s penalty kill ranks 8th overall in the OHL. The Firebirds have scored four power-play goals in four games against the Spirit this season.
Flint currently sits four points or one spot ahead of ninth-place Saginaw in the Western Conference. The Firebirds have 41 points in 39 games, while the Spirit have 37 points in 38 games (OHL Standings). The Spirit have taken the third-least amount of penalties this season, averaging 10.11 minutes per game.
OHL Trade Deadline: The Firebirds acquired forward Maurizio Colella from the North Bay Battalion Friday, Jan. 6 (More Information). In his first game with the Firebirds Saturday, Jan. 7, Colella scored his first goal in a Firebirds’ uniform on just his third shift of the game at the Dort Federal Event Center (Highlights). Since then, the Firebirds also traded for C.J. Clarke from the Peterborough Petes Monday (Jan. 9) evening (More Information). Clarke may make his debut in a Firebirds’ uniform Tuesday night in Saginaw. Also on Monday, the Spirit traded their captain Mitchell Stephens to the London Knights for potentially seven draft picks in upcoming OHL Priority Selections. (Complete List of OHL Trades)
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (19-17-1-2, 8th Western Conference):
Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) tallied three points in Saturday night’s game against the Guelph Storm and has nine points (2G, 7A) in his last five games. Sherwood has 15 goals and 24 assists in 35 games played. Everett Clark recorded three assists on Saturday and has 10 goals and 17 assists in 36 games this season. Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) scored two goals and picked-up an assist Saturday and has six points (3G, 3A) in his last three contests. Caamano has 18 goals and 21 assists in 39 games played. Moore has 17 points in the last 18 games and is 11th among all OHL skaters with 47 points. Moore is also currently in a tie for third most shorthanded goals scored in the OHL with three this season. Captain Alex Peters gathered a prominent assist in the last game and has six points (3G, 3A) in his last three contests. Peters has five goals and 13 assists in 39 games. Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) tallied two assists in the last game and has 23 points in 35 games played. Newly acquired Maurizio Colella scored a goal in his first game with his new club and has seven goals and 10 assists in 36 games played. Along with Colella, newcomer C.J. Clarke is another notable player to potentially watch Tuesday in Saginaw. Rookie Ty Dellandrea scored on Saturday and has six goals and five assists in 29 games played. Jake Durham scored his third goal of the season last game and have four points in 37 games this season. Mathieu Henderson is fourth on the Firebird’s roster in scoring and is second among all OHL defenseman in points with 38.
Samuel Duchesne, Jake Durham, Fedor Gordeev and Jack Phibbs are first-time eligible players to be selected in the NHL Draft in June 2017.
In net, Connor Hicks is 12-7-0-2 and is statistically the sixth-best goaltender in the OHL with a 2.93 GAA and a .889 SAV%. Hicks made 20-of-22 saves in Saturday’s game against the Guelph Storm. Garrett Forrest is 6-9-1-0 with a 3.52 GAA along with a .880 SAV%.
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).
Saginaw Spirit (15-16-5-2, 9th Western Conference):
Leading the Spirit in scoring is Hayden Hodgson with 20 goals and 19 assists in 37 games played. Hodgson tallied two assists in the Spirit’s last game against the Erie Otters. After Stephen’s (Tampa Bay Lightning) departure, Kris Bennett is now second on the Spirit’s roster in scoring and picked-up three points on Saturday. Bennett has 11 goals and 16 assists in 38 games this journey. Filip Hronek is tied for 14th best-defenseman in the OHL with 25 points (5G, 20A) in 29 games this season. Hronek recorded two points in his first game back with Saginaw after competing for the Czech Republic at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Montreal and Toronto.
Between the Pipes, Evan Cormier (New Jersey Devils) is 13-9-4-2 and is statistically the 10th best goaltender in the OHL with a 3.09 GAA and a .906 SAV%. Cormier made 21 saves on 23 shots in Saginaw’s last game against Erie. Rookie Brendan Bonello is 2-5-1-0 with a 4.16 GAA and a .856 SAV%.
NHL: Saginaw has four players that have been drafted by NHL clubs consisting of Evan Cormier (New Jersey Devils), Filip Hronek (Detroit Red Wings), Keaton Middleton (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Markus Niemelainen (Edmonton Oilers).
Eight notable NHL players from the Saginaw organization are Paul Bissonnette (Arizona Coyotes), T.J. Brodie (Calgary Flames), Ben Chiarot (Winnipeg Jets), Dalton Prout (Columbus Blue Jackets), Tom Pyatt (Ottawa Senators), Brandon Saad (Columbus Blue Jackets), Chris Thorburn (Winnipeg Jets) and Vincent Trocheck (Florida Panthers).
Tuesday night’s contest against Saginaw 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 throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 440 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 481 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.
For media inquiries, contact: