Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds complete a busy weekend of OHL action on home ice Saturday, hosting the Sarnia Sting for a West Division battle. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center.
Saturday night’s tilt marks the sixth of eight meetings between these clubs this season, and the third of four in Flint. The Firebirds have picked up points in each of the first two home games against the Sting. For the season, Flint holds a 1-3-1-0 record in the series, and an all-time record of 14-14-1-0 against the Bees.
The last time these teams met, Flint had only one win in their past seven contests. This time the Firebirds have points in four of their past seven, and they’ve picked up points in three straight home games. Also, the new faces in the Flint lineup have jumped in and contributed to the scoresheet right away. Cody Morgan has suited up for five games, recording three points. Emmet Pierce brings a large physical presence with his 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame. He scored in his first OHL game on Thursday night and defenseman Tyler Deline has played solid defense and chipped in a point in his first game with the Firebirds last week.
Last night the Hamilton Bulldogs capitalized on a tying goal in the final minute of regulation to force overtime. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) gained three points in the contest and now has eight points (1G, 7A) in his past three. Forwards Jake Durham and Jack Wismer recorded two points, as did defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok. Sarnia dropped a 10 – 2 decision on home ice to the first-place Ottawa 67’s Saturday night. Hugo Leufvenius scored once and picked up an assist, both with the man-advantage.
On special teams, Sarnia has the eighth-best power-play away from home, converting on 21.7% of their chances. Flint is operating at 17.1% while on the man-advantage at home, which ranks 16th. While shorthanded on the road, Sarnia has the 16th-best penalty kill, successfully killing 73.5% of their penalties. The Firebirds are killing penalties at a 63.8% clip in their own barn.
Saturday, is the fourth-annual “Firebirds Backpack Night.” In partnership with the Foodbank of Eastern Michigan, there will be a silent auction for 12 authentic custom Firebirds’ player backpacks, which will be stitched with Flint Firebirds players’ last name, number and the Firebirds’ logo. There will be a minimum retail value of $250 worth of products or services inside each bag from local sponsors on the arena concourse. Please visit the Foodbank table on the concourse to view the auction packages and learn how to bid. The link is bidpal.net/FFH and the auction will end on 1/30/19. A donation of $100 can feed a child for an entire school year. All 50/50 proceeds on this night will benefit The School Backpack Program.
This also weekend continues 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 sponsored Silver Level ticket to any home Firebirds’ game in the month of January, courtesy of Dort Federal Credit Union, AMD Urgent Care, Captain’s Quarters Lounge, Little Caesars Pizza and Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) Flint.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (7-33-3-0, 5th West Division):
Jake Durham leads the Firebirds in goals-scored (27) and points (44) in 43 games played. He is currently tied for ninth in goals in the OHL and has seven points in his last four games. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) also averages more than a point-per-game. In 37 contests, he has 41 points (14G, 27A) and is on a three-game point streak. Ethan Keppen rides a five-game point streak and ranks third in offensive production with 30 total points (13G, 17A) through 43 games. Jack Wismer has six points (2G, 4A) in his past four games.
First-year defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok leads the newcomers and the defenseman with 22 points (2G, 20A) in 31 appearances since joining Flint after the season had started. He has seven points in the past four games and his points-per-game average is inside the top 20 among defensemen in the OHL this season. Riley McCourt is tied for eighth among all blue-liners in the league with three power-play goals. He tops Flint’s defensive troops with five overall goals, and now has 17 points in 25 games. Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes) has two points in two games since making his first appearance of the season on Thursday.
In net, Emanuel Vella holds a 5.11 goals-against average (GAA) and a .867 save percentage (SAV%) in 26 appearances. Luke Cavallin made 35 saves on 41 shots by the Bulldogs last night, and has compiled a 5.20 GAA and a .860 SAV% across 23 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. Luke Cavallin, forward Ethan Keppen and defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok were named to November’s NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft.
Sarnia Sting (18-18-5-2, 3rd West Division):
Hugo Leufvenius leads Sarnia in goals and points through 42 games. He now has 25 goals and 26 assists for 51 total points. He added a goal and a helper versus the 67’s Saturday night. Ryan McGregor (Toronto Maple Leafs) sits second in total points (47) and leads his team with 32 assists in 41 games-played. Franco Sproviero ranks third with 14 goals and 24 assists in 40 contests.
First-year forward Jacob Perrault is having a solid performance. He tops the newcomers on the Sting with 37 points (19G, 18A) in 38 games-played. The defensive unit is led by Mitch Eliot (Vancouver Canucks), who hails from Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Eliot has nine goals and 24 assists through 42 games played.
In net, Ethan Langevin has each made 27 appearances and earned 12 wins. He carries a 3.66 goals-against average (GAA) and a .878 save percentage (SAV%). Former Saginaw netminder Cameron Lamour has a 5.10 GAA and a SAV% of .836 in 15 total appearances. Lamour has two victories in the campaign.
NHL: The Sting have two players with NHL ties, including Ryan McGregor (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Grosse Pointe, Mich. native Mitch Eliot (Vancouver Canucks). Forward Jamieson Rees was also listed on the November NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft.
13 notable Sting’s alumni to play in the NHL are Reid Boucher, Eric Boulton, Daniel Carcillo, Jakob Chychrun, Alex Galchenyuk, Matt Martin, Connor Murphy, Dalton Prout, Brett Ritchie, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Spooner, Nail Yakupov and Pavel Zacha.
Saturday evening’s contest against the Sarnia Sting 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 be televised live in Sarnia on YourTV channel 6 / 700 (HD) for Cogeco TV cable subscribers. Additionally, the game will be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 440 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 481 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. 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.
Blue Line Club Menu:
Presented by Great Lakes Sandwich Co & Cafe, Saturday evening’s dinner menu for the Blue Line Club features baked chicken, red skin potatoes, chicken alfredo pasta, garden salad and dinner rolls. The menu is available to all sponsors and season ticket holders for $12 per person. Dinner RSVP’s are encouraged by emailing Karla Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds will embark on a five-game road trip before returning to the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center to host the London Knights on Wednesday, January 30. The game will be another ‘Winning Wednesday.’ The Firebirds offer amazing deals for all of their Wednesday home games: Featuring $2 Beers, $2 Hot Dogs, $2 Pop Corn, and…Every time the Firebirds win at home on a Wednesday, each fan in attendance will receive a free ticket to the next Wednesday home game.
To redeem a Winning Wednesday ticket, please visit the Dort Federal Event Center box office following the Winning Wednesday game during normal business hours or prior to the next Wednesday game beginning at 9 a.m.
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 Credit Union Event Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com here.
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club