Preview: Firebirds & Greyhounds Collide in the Soo Wednesday
|Game 31 of 68: Flint Firebirds (9-18-3-0) at Soo Greyhounds (26-3-2-0)|
|Date | Time||Wednesday, Dec. 13 | 7:07 p.m.|
|Location||Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. | Essar Centre (capacity 4,928)|
|Tickets||Online | (866) 775-9422|
|Video Stream||OHL Live|
|Radio||WQUS 103.1 FM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 6:30p|
|Radio (Mobile)||US 103 App: Android | iPhone/iPad|
|Next Home Game||Friday, Dec. 15 vs. Saginaw (Buy Tickets)|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds will play their fourth consecutive road-game Wednesday against the red-hot Soo Greyhounds. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
The Greyhounds enter the contest with 26-3-2-0 record, sitting 1st in the West Division. They are in the midst of an OHL-best 17-game winning streak. Flint stands 5th in the West Division with a 9-18-3-0 record. Wednesday will be the third of six games between the two clubs this season, with Sault Ste. Marie claiming the first two victories. Last campaign, the Firebirds split the season series with the Greyhounds, 3 – 3.
Three of the last five Firebirds’ games have been decided in overtime. The Firebirds knocked off the Eastern Conference’s first-place Hamilton Bulldogs 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 1 before earning two points against the defending CHL Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires, winning 4-3 on Dec. 3rd. Last Friday, Flint earned a point in Kitchener, falling 5-4 in the extra frame. In eight one-goal games this season, the Firebirds have only one loss in regulation, posting a 4-1-3-0 record in that span.
On special teams, the Greyhounds are tied for the league’s third-best average, scoring on 25.2% of their opportunities. Their penalty kill ranks sixth in the OHL, finding success 81.1% of the time. Flint has scored on 14.7% of their chances with the man advantage, and has killed off 70.7% of the short-handed situations this season.
Players to Watch
Flint Firebirds (9-18-3-0, 5th West Division):
Maurizio Colella currently leads the Firebirds in goals and points with 24 points, including ten goals, in 29 games played this season. Ty Dellandrea is second on the Firebirds’ roster with 20 points (9G, 11A) in 30 games. Nicolas Mattinen has tallied 19 points (4G, 13A) in 30 games from the blue line, and leads all defensemen on the squad in goals, assists, and points.
Between-the-pipes, Garrett Forrest has played in 25 of 30 Firebirds’ games this season. Forrest has a 4.72 goals-against average (GAA) and a .864 save percentage (SAV%). Forrest has backstopped Flint to eight of nine wins in net. Rookie goaltender Luke Cavallin earned his first-career OHL victory in Windsor on December 3rd and has appeared in nine games this season. He has a 5.17 goals against average (GAA) and a .851 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 Nicholas Mattinen (Toronto Maple Leafs). Additionally, Dennis Busby, Ty Dellandrea, Hunter Holmes, Ryan Littlejohn, Evan Morrison, Connor Roberts and Jack Wismer are seven 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.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (26-3-2-0, 1st West Division):
Morgan Frost leads the Greyhounds with 32 assists and 47 points in 30 games played. His point-total is good for third-best in the league. Boris Katchouk is second on the team and fifth in the OHL in scoring with a total of 45 points (27G, 18A). Katchouk also holds the league-lead in short-handed goals, with 4 on the season. Conor Timmins is third with 6 goals and 28 assists for 34 points in 30 games played.
In goal, Matthew Villalta is ranked first in the OHL among goaltenders with eight or more starts with a 2.54 goals against average and has a .906 SAV% in 22 games played. In 14 appearances this season, back-up netminder Tyler Johnson has posted a 2.80 GAA and a SAV% of 90.7%.
The Greyhounds have seven players that have NHL ties as well, including Noah Carroll (Carolina Hurricanes), Morgan Frost (Philadelphia Flyers), Tim Gettinger (New York Rangers), Boris Katchouk (Tampa Bay Lightning), Jack Kopacka (Anaheim Ducks), Conor Timmins (Colorado Avalanche) and Matthew Vilalta (Los Angeles Kings). Additionally Barrett Hayton and Rasmus Sandin we’re named to the NHL Central Scouting’s November ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft.
25 notable Greyhounds’ alumni to play in the NHL are Jeff Beukeboom, Bob Boughner, Jeff Carter, Dan Clouthier, Paul Coffey, Trevor Daley, Ray Emery, Adam Foote, Ron Francis, Wayne Gretzky, Craig Hartsburg, Ric Jackman, Dustin Jeffrey, Tyler Kennedy, Denny Lambert, Greg Millen, Ted Nolan, Nathan Perrott, Bob Probert, Wayne Simmons, Brad Staubitz, Steve Sullivan, Joe Thornton, Rick Tocchet, John Vanbiesbrouk, and Josef Vasick.
Wednesday evening’s contest against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 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.
Wednesday’s game is one of only three games on the 68-game schedule that will not have live television coverage.
However, all Flint Firebirds home and away games throughout the 2017-18 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 2017-18 season.
Next Home Game:
Flint returns home to the Dort Federal Event Center this Friday, Dec. 15. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. against in-state rival, the Saginaw Spirit for game four of the I-75 Divide Cup, presented by Coors Light.
Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 / Bronze, $16 / Silver, $20 / Gold and $26 for VIP seating. All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office and online at ticketmaster.com. For ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or email@example.com. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information: