Preview: Firebirds Face-Off in Saginaw For I-75 Divide Cup Battle Saturday Night

Danen Williams
 Flint Firebirds (11-21-3-0) at Saginaw Spirit (17-13-3-0)
Date | Time Saturday, Dec. 30 | 7:05 p.m.
Location Saginaw, Mich. | Dow Event Center (capacity 5,527)
Tickets | (989) 497-7747
TV – OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 450 & Cogeco TV ch. 494 Live (Ontario)
– CW WBSF: Charter ch. 17 / 717 (HD) & Comcast ch. 15 / 236 (HD) Sunday at 3 p.m. (Mid-Michigan)
Firebirds Broadcast Coverage
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 Saturday, Jan. 6: Firebirds’ Fight Hunger
Social Media @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook  | Instagram 

Saginaw, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds head to Saginaw Saturday night for the club’s third game in three night’s. Puck drop for the I-75 Divide Cup battle, presented by Coors Light, is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Mich.

The Firebirds have won two of their previous three games, posting victories over the Sarnia Sting and London Knights. Last night, Flint came-from-behind three times to tie the contest against top-ranked Sault Ste. Marie but the Greyhounds scored with 15 seconds remaining to earn a 6-5 victory and extend their winning-streak to 22 games. Saginaw has lost their last two games and has scored one goal in both of those contests.

Saturday is the fifth-of-eight games scheduled between the Firebirds and Spirit this season and third-of-four in Saginaw. The Firebirds hold a 10-8-0-2 all-time record against Saginaw. Flint has faired best on home-ice, posting a 6-2-0-2 record and are 4-6-0-0 in Saginaw. The Firebirds have successfully secured the Coors Light I-75 Divide Cup for the two seasons of its existence after notching identical 5-2-0-1 records in the past two years.

The Spirit won the first game played this season, 5-3, on Nov. 1 in Saginaw. Flint’s Maurizio Colella registered 3 points (1G, 2A) and Jake Durham notched a goal and an assist. The Spirit increased their lead in the series with a 4-1 victory on Nov. 22. Saginaw’s Blade Jenkins had three points (2G, 1A) and Damien Giroux notched two points (1G, 1A). The Spirit won Nov. 24 in Saginaw and again in Flint on Dec. 15.

On special teams, the Firebirds were 2-for-3 on the power-play last night and are operating at 15.2% this season. The Spirit score on 12.7% of their power-plays. The Firebirds’ penalty kill is finding success 72.3% of the time while the Spirit get away at 77.2% when down-a-man.


Players to Watch:

Flint Firebirds (11-21-3-0, 5th West Division):
Both Ty Dellandrea and Maurizio Colella are tied for the team lead with 27 points this season. Dellandrea has 13 goals and 14 assists in 35 games while Colella has 12 goals and 15 assists in 34 games. Nicolas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs) leads all Firebirds’ defenseman with 21 points (5G, 16A) in 35 games this season.

CJ Clarke is on a two-game goal-scoring streak and has four points in his last three games. Defenseman Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) has scored in both the past two games as well. Smereck had a two-point night last night in Sault Ste. Marie.

Between-the-pipes, Garrett Forrest has played in 28 of the Firebirds’ games this season. Forrest has a 4.64 goals-against average (GAA) and a .864 save percentage (SAV%). Forrest has backstopped Flint to nine of eleven wins in net. Rookie goaltender Luke Cavallin earned his second-career OHL victory at home Thursday in the shootout over London. He has appeared in eleven games this season, and carries a 4.42 goals against average (GAA) and a .859 save percentage (SAV%). Cavallin was the highest selected goaltender in the 2017 OHL Priority Draft.

NHL: The Firebirds have three players that have been drafted by NHL teams consisting of Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes), Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Nicolas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs). Additionally, Dennis Busby, Ty Dellandrea, Hunter Holmes, Ryan Littlejohn, Connor Roberts and Jack Wismer are six first time eligible players to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft in June 2018. Busby, Dellandrea, Holmes, Roberts, and Wismer were listed among NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft.

Saginaw Spirit (17-13-3-0, 4th West Division):
The Spirit are led up front by forward Cole Coskey who has 33 points (16G, 16A) in 33 games this season however, he has been point-less in the past three games. Defenseman Marcus Crawford is second with 28 points (9G, 19A) in 33 games while Damien Giroux is third with 27 points (13G, 14A).

In net, Saginaw’s Evan Cormier (New Jersey Devils) is the ninth-best goaltender statistically in the OHL with a 2.94 GAA and a .910 SAV%. Cameron Lamour is the Spirit’s backup netminder with a 4.80 GAA and a .852 SAV%.

NHL: Three players on Saginaw’s roster have been drafted and/or signed by NHL teams consisting of Evan Cormier (New Jersey Devils), Brady Gilmour (Detroit Red Wings) and Keaton Middleton (Toronto Maple Leafs). Caleb Everett, Maxim Grondin and Blade Jenkins were listed among NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft.

Eight notable NHL players from the Saginaw organization are Paul Bissonnette (Arizona Coyotes), T.J. Brodie (Calgary Flames), Ben Chiarot (Winnipeg Jets), Dalton Prout (New Jersey Devils), Tom Pyatt (Ottawa Senators), Brandon Saad (Chicago Blackhawks), Chris Thorburn (St. Louis Blues) and Vincent Trocheck (Florida Panthers).


Broadcast Coverage:
Saturday evening’s contest against the Saginaw Spirit can be heard live on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM, online at 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 35 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s game against the Spirit will also be televised live province-wide throughout Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 450 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 494 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.  Through Saginaw’s partnership, the game will be re-broadcast on CW WBSF Charter channel 17 / 717 (HD) & Comcast channel 15 / 236 (HD) Sunday at 3 p.m. throughout Mid-Michigan. Along with Saturday’s game, 65 of the Firebirds’ 68 games throughout the 2017-18 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 2017-18 season can be watched anywhere in the world online on 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 2017-18 season.


Next Home Game:
The Flint Firebirds return home to the Dort Federal Event Center next Saturday, Jan. 6 to start off the Firebirds’ Fight Hunger month. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) vs. the Erie Otters. In partnership with the Foodbank of Eastern Michigan, fans can bring in five non-perishable food items to any Firebirds’ home game in the month of January to receive a complimentary sponsored silver level ticket, limit of four tickets per person.

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 here

For ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or email To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email


For more information:

Dominic Hennig
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
(810) 519-9347

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