Preview: Firebirds Host Sarnia on Flint Tropics Night Saturday
|Game 55: Flint Firebirds (26-23-1-4) vs. Sarnia Sting (26-23-5-1)|
|Date | Time||Saturday, Feb. 18 | 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||Flint, Mich. | Dort Federal Event Center (Directions)|
|Tickets||Ticketmaster.com | (810) 744-0580|
|Promotions||– Flint Tropics Night|
|TV||– Cogeco cable ch. 6 / 700 (HD) (Sarnia)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV ch. 435 & Cogeco TV ch. 476 Live (Ontario)
|Video Stream||OHL Live|
|Radio||WTRX 1330-AM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show at 6:30p|
|Radio (Mobile)||Sports Xtra 1330 App: Android | iPhone/iPad|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds are back on home-ice this Saturday against the Sarnia Sting for the second-annual “Flint Tropics Night.” Puck drop for the sixth-of-eight meetings between the two clubs is set for 7 p.m. at the newly renovated Dort Federal Event Center in Flint.
Saturday’s contest is a pivotal match-up as the Firebirds hold a 4-1 record vs. Sarnia this season but Flint is one point behind the Sting in the Western Conference standings, while the Firebirds have played one less game.
Flint won the first game, 7-4, on Oct. 1 and earned a victory in the next contest, 3-1, on Nov. 17. The Firebirds would win the next two games at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena, 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 15 and 5-4 on Jan. 4. However, Sarnia won the most recent contest, 6-1, on Jan. 27.
The Firebirds are 16-8-1-1 on home-ice and are 3-0-0-1 in their last four contests in Flint. The Firebirds are now 5-2-0-1 in their last eight games, earning 11 out of 16 points in that span. Sarnia lost their previous contest, 6-3, against the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday. The Sting are 8-14-3-1 on the road this season and are 1-4-0-0 in their past five games away from the Progressive Auto Sales Arena. Sarnia has scored the fifth-most goals in the league with 205, but have surrendered the fourth-most goals against with 217. Flint is 13th in goals-for with 173 and 10th in goals-against with 187.
The Sting sit one spot ahead of the Firebirds in seventh-place. Flint holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference and are one point behind Sarnia. The Sting have 58 points in 55 games, while Flint has 57 points with one game in-hand.
Saturday’s contest against the Sting will be the second-annual “Flint Tropics Night.” Inspired by the movie “Semi-Pro” starring Will Ferrell, the Firebirds will be wearing special themed jerseys, pants and socks throughout the game that are sure to impress everyone in attendance. Immediately following the game, there will be a live jersey auction, giving fans an opportunity to take home the game-worn Flint Tropics jersey of their choice. Proceeds will be donated to the Firebirds Charitable Foundation which benefits local youth organizations throughout Mid-Michigan.
The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive complimentary leis. Special video clips from the movie Semi Pro, tropical themed music, Flint Tropics merchandise and many more fun and entertaining events will take place throughout the night.
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. 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.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (26-23-1-4, 8th Western Conference):
Nick Caamano, Ryan Moore and Kole Sherwood are three Flint Firebirds to watch Saturday night
After scoring the lone goal in Saginaw Friday night, Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) has racked-up 32 points (15G, 17A) in his past 16 games. He has 14 goals in his past 12 contests and has 62 points in 46 games this season.
Ryan Moore is sixth among all OHL skaters in scoring and leads the Firebirds with 71 points (32G, 39A). Moore has 13 goals in the last 16 games and is currently in a tie for third most shorthanded goals scored in the OHL, with three this season. Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) has 17 points (11G, 6A) in the last 16 contests and has seven goals in his past 10 games. Caamano is third on the Firebirds’ roster with 26 goals and 24 assists in 53 games played.
Additionally, Maurizio Colella tallied an assist Friday night against the Saginaw Spirit and has 11 goals and 16 assists in 51 games this season. Ty Dellandrea has four points (2G, 2A) in the last four contests and has eight goals and eight assists in 43 games this journey.
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, Garrett Forrest is 10-11-1-2 and is statistically the 13th-best goaltender in the OHL with a 3.26 GAA along with a .893 SAV%. Forrest made 34 saves on 37 shots in the Firebirds loss to Saginaw on Friday. Connor Hicks is 15-11-0-2 and is statistically the ninth-best goaltender in the OHL with a 3.19 GAA and a .882 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).
Sarnia Sting (26-23-5-1, 7th Western Conference):
Jordan Kyrou (St. Louis Blues) is tied for fourth in points in the OHL, leads the Sting roster in production and is in the midst of an impressive 19-game point streak where he has registered 32 points (10G, 22A) in that span. Kyrou has 23 goals and 50 assists in 53 games thus far. Drake Rymsha scored a goal against the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday and has 23 goals and 23 assists in 52 games this season. Anthony Salinitri (Philadelphia Flyers) has 19 goals and 25 assists in 53 games played. Adam Ruzicka is second among all OHL rookies with 37 points (20G, 17A) in 49 games played.
Between-the-pipes, Justin Fazio is 19-15-3-1 and is statistically the 17th-best netminder in the OHL with a 3.47 GAA, along with a .900 SAV%. Aidan Hughes is 6-6-2-0 and played in the Sting’s last game. Hughes made 36 saves on 41 shots and has a 4.39 GAA and a .877 SAV%.
Four Sting players are also ranked among the top North American skaters for the upcoming 2017 NHL Draft which takes place June 23-24. Adam Ruzicka (#27), Ryan McGregor (#79) and Nicholas Grima (#209). Aidan Hughes is ranked at No. 28 for netminder’s in North America.
NHL: Four players on the Stings’ roster have been drafted by NHL teams consisting of Filip Helt (St. Louis Blues), Jordan Kyrou (St. Louis Blues), Jaden Lindo (Pittsburg Penguins) and Anthony Salinitri (Philadelphia Flyers).
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 night’s contest against the Sting 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 Sarnia on channel 6 / 700 (HD) for Cogeco cable subscribers and province-wide throughout Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 435 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 476 for Cogeco TV subscribers (Broadcast Information). Fans can also watch the game live online at www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live App.
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