Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds will play their final home game of the 2018-19 season Saturday when they host the Sarnia Sting in front of an expected capacity crowd in Flint. Puck drop for the fourth-annual ‘Fan Appreciation Night’ is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center.
Flint has won three of their last four games and are 4-1-1-0 through their past six games, earning nine out of a possible 12 points in that time. The Firebirds have also won three of their last four games on home-ice in Flint.
Saturday night’s tilt marks the seventh of eight meetings between these clubs this season and the final of four in Flint. All-time, Flint is 15-14-1-0 against Sarnia and is 9-5-1-0 on home-ice in Flint vs. the Sting. This year, the Firebirds are 2-3-1-0 against Sarnia and are 2-0-1-0 on home-ice, picking up points in all three home games. The teams will meet again Sunday afternoon in Sarnia at 2 p.m. to conclude the OHL regular season.
The last time these two teams met was Jan. 12, when the Firebirds posted a 6 – 2 victory over the Sting in Flint. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) recorded a five-point night, scoring once and contributed assists on four other goals. Jake Durham recorded a four-point night, scoring his second hat-trick of the campaign against Sarnia and adding a helper. Eric Uba also had his fourth three-point game of his young career, assisting on three of the Firebirds’ markers.
The Sting enter the contest with a record of 27-32-5-2 for 61 points in 66 games. They are in third place in the West Division and seventh place in the 10-team Western Conference. The Sting clinched a playoff spot with a shootout victory over Windsor Friday. Sarnia is 4-6-0-0 in their last 10 games, compared to Flint’s record of 5-3-2-0 in the last 10. The Firebirds have a season-record of 15-45-6-0 and rank fifth in the West Division and 10th in the Western Conference.
On special teams, Sarnia has the 13th-best power play, converting on 20.5% of their chances. Flint is operating at 15.1% while on the man-advantage, which ranks 19th in the OHL. While shorthanded, Sarnia has the ninth-best penalty kill, successfully killing 78.2% of their penalties. The Firebirds are killing penalties at a 70.0% clip.
It’s the Firebirds’ annual ‘Fan Appreciation Night’ and post-game player autograph session. Also, Hockey Hall of Famer Willie O’Ree, who is credited with being the first black player to play in the NHL will be in attendance Saturday night (Watch Video).
O’Ree’s 22-year pro career included two seasons with the Boston Bruins. He played two games in 1957-58 and 43 in 1960-61, earning a total of four goals, four assists and 26 penalty minutes. He had five 30-goal seasons in the minors and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018 as a builder of the sport.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Firebirds want to say thank you for another great season of Firebirds’ Hockey. There will be many free giveaways on tap including the Firebirds team picture to the first 2,500 fans through the doors, compliments of Commercial Graphics. Fans can stay after the game to meet-and-greet the Firebirds’ players during a post-game autograph session in the lobby.
Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to take home Dort Federal Credit Union thundersticks and foam pucks, 277 Firebirds’ players ‘Big Heads’ compliments of Landaal Packaging Systems, 1,000 lanyards compliments of PFCU, fan appreciation scratch-offs and many more giveaways!
Also, in special appreciation of Firebirds’ season ticket holders, for every paid season ticket, they will receive one complimentary ticket of equal value to bring a friend for Saturday night’s game.
Early bird ticket packages for the Flint Firebirds’ 2019-20 OHL season are on sale now. A $50 deposit reserves your seat for next season! The special early bird price deadline is Tuesday, April 30th and fans can secure their seats for next season at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday. For additional pricing and ticket information, fans can call the box office at (810) 744-0580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 ticketmaster.com here.
Players to Watch
Flint Firebirds (15-45-6-0, 5th West Division):
Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) averages more than a point-per-game. He has 60 points (21G, 39A) in 58 games. Jake Durham leads the team in goals-scored (35) and has a career-high 56 points through 66 contests. NHL Draft hopeful Ethan Keppen also has 56 points in 66 games. Keppen has points in 23 of his last 28 games and has recorded 31 points in that time. Evan Vierling is in the midst of a four-game point streak and has eight points in the past six games.
Riley McCourt leads the defensemen with six goals and 32 total points in 47 games. The freshman class is led by defenseman NHL Draft hopeful Vladislav Kolyachonok. He has 29 points (4G, 25A) in 52 games with Flint.
In net, Luke Cavallin has won his last three straight games. He carries a 5.27 GAA and a .863 SAV% across 35 appearances. Emanuel Vella holds a 4.72 goals-against average (GAA) and a .880 save percentage (SAV%) in 41 appearances. Vella backstopped Flint to the win in the shootout Thursday in Windsor.
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. Cavallin, Keppen, Kolyachonok and Uba were among the 50 OHL Players in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft.
Despite Flint playing in just their fourth season in the OHL, Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes) and Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) are two former Firebirds to play in the NHL. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Vili Saarijarvi (Detroit Red Wings) and Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) have played in NHL pre-season contests.
Sarnia Sting (27-32-5-2, 3rd West Division):
Hugo Leufvenius leads Sarnia in goals-scored and points through 65 games. He now has 36 goals and 42 assists for 78 total points. Ryan McGregor (Toronto Maple Leafs) sits second in total points (76) and leads his team with 51 assists in 60 games-played. Franco Sproviero ranks third with 22 goals and 37 assists in 63 contests.
First-year forward Jacob Perrault tops the newcomers on the Sting with 53 points (28G, 25A) in 61 games-played. The defensive unit is led by Mitch Eliot (Vancouver Canucks), who hails from Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Eliot has 17 goals and 37 assists through 61 games played.
In net, freshman goalie Ethan Langevin has each made 41 appearances and earned 16 wins. He carries a 3.79 goals-against average (GAA) and a .878 save percentage (SAV%). Former Saginaw netminder Cameron Lamour has a 4.63 GAA and a SAV% of .853 in 29 total appearances. Lamour has six 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 Hugo Leufvenius was among the 50 OHL Players in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings ‘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 and Gary Patterson will provide color commentary on the Firebirds Hockey Network (FHN). 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 446 for both Rogers TV and 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 pulled pork sliders, cheesy chicken philly sliders, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, Mexican corn, potato salad or garden salad and assorted desserts. Saturday’s menu is available to all sponsors and season ticket holders for $12 per person. Dinner RSVPs are encouraged by emailing Karla Turner at email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Todd Boone / Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club