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Video Preview: Firebirds Host Rival Saginaw Wednesday

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Saginaw Spirit (1-2-1-0) at Flint Firebirds (0-4-0-0)
Date | Time Wednesday, Oct. 3 | 7:00 p.m.
Location Flint, Mich. | Dort Federal Event Center (Directions)
Tickets Ticketmaster.com | (810) 744-0580
Promotions – Winning Wednesday
– $2 Beers, $2 Hot Dogs and $2 Pop Corn
TV – OHL Action Pak: Live Rogers ch. 433 & Cogeco ch. 474 (Ontario)
– WNEM-TV5 Plus: Delayed 8:00pm Sunday Oct. 7 (Mich.)
– 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
Media Notes Packet Here 
Next Home Game Saturday, Oct. 6: Hot Wing’s Birthday Party
Social Media @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook  | Instagram 

 

Flint, Mich. – The Saginaw Spirit will be in town Wednesday evening for the first of eight regular-season meetings with the Flint Firebirds. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Federal Event Center. The game marks the first ‘Winning Wednesday’ game this season. The Firebirds are offering amazing deals for all Wednesday home games, featuring $2 Beers, $2 Hot Dogs and $2 Pop Corn. Additionally, every fan in attendance will receive a ‘Winning Scratch Card’ with multiple different prizes featuring a grand prize winner that has the ability to pick between a 40-inch smart TV, an Xbox One, a Chromebook, a Firebirds’ team signed jersey, or a Firebirds suite. Also, 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.

The on-ice rivalry between Flint and Saginaw began in 1972 when the Saginaw Gears joined the IHL, the same league the Flint Generals joined in 1969. The team names have changed several times, as have the leagues they participated in: IHL, CHL, UHL and now OHL. The one constant, however, is that the fanbase from these two cities have always looked forward to the rivalry and the great games it has produced.

For the fourth consecutive season, the team who wins the most regular-season meetings between the two clubs will take home the coveted I-75 Divide Cup, presented by Coors Light. In each of the first two seasons, the Cup remained in Flint. Last season, the Spirit claimed the Cup, winning seven of eight meetings. Flint looks to jump to the early lead Wednesday, with the home crowd behind them.

Wednesday marks the first of four meetings at the Dort Federal Event Center this season and the first of eight total match-ups during the 2018-19 regular season. On home ice, the Firebirds are 7-3-0-2 versus the Spirit. Overall, Flint is 11-11-0-2 against Saginaw. There have been 24 OHL games played between Flint and Saginaw. 8 games, or 1/3 of the games, have been decided by 1 goal. 7 of which, required overtime. The Firebirds are 5-3 in those games.

Last game, forwards Jake Durham and Ethan Keppen scored for Flint, newcomers Evan Vierling and Jacob Winterton each earned their first OHL assists and Ty Dellandrea and Jack Wismer found their way onto the scoresheet, in a 4-2 defeat to the London Knights on home ice.

There are 10 players between both Flint and Saginaw’s active rosters that have NHL ties heading into Wednesday night.

 

Players to Watch:

Flint Firebirds (0-4-0-0, 5th West Division):
The leading returning scorers for the Firebirds are newly appointed captain Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Connor Roberts and assistant captain Jake Durham. Dellandrea, who was selected in the first-round 13th overall by the Dallas Stars in this past NHL Draft, recorded 59 points (27G, 32A) in 67 games with Flint last season. He was signed to a three-year NHL entry-level contract with Dallas Sep 26.

Connor Roberts finished the 2017-18 season with 35 points (18G, 17A) in 66 games and Jake Durham tallied 30 points (8G, 22A) in 68 games.

Durham currently leads all players on the Flint roster with three points (1G, 2A) in four games. Ethan Keppen holds the early edge in goals scored as the only player with two tallies in four contests. Forwards Kyle Harris, Jack Wismer and Jacob Winterton each have two points on the season, as does defenseman Hakon Nilsen.

Flint welcomed two newly acquired players to the squad on Tuesday, both from the London Knights. First, Flint claimed defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok (pronounced kol-ya-chaw-nawk) off OHL waivers. The 6-foot-2, 181-pound defenseman hails from the capital city of Belarus, Minsk. He earned his first-career OHL point and was plus-one in his first game with London on Sep. 21. He will wear #18 for the Firebirds.

Right-handed forward Lucas Rowe hails from Etobicoke, Ont. and was London’s first-round pick, 18th overall, in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. Last season, Rowe played in 25 regular-season games with the Knights, collecting a goal and an assist. This pre-season, he tallied three assists in four games. During the 2016-17 campaign, he picked up 35 points (18G, 17A) in 33 games with the Mississauga Reps AAA team of the GTHL.

In net, Emanuel Vella holds a 6.64 goals-against average (GAA) and a 0.822 save percentage (SAV%) in four appearances. Vella made 32 appearances a season ago, finishing with a 3.27 GAA and a .896 SAV%. Vella made 47 saves on 50 shots last Friday in Sarnia. Luke Cavallin appeared in 31 games last season and posted a 4.19 goals-against average (GAA) and a .872 save percentage (SAV%). This season, Cavallin has a 5.11 GAA and a 0.860 SAV% across three appearances, including stopping all 20 shots faced through two periods in Flint’s home opener Saturday night.

NHL: The Firebirds have three players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) and Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs). Additionally, five other Firebirds’ players attended NHL Camps: Hunter Holmes (Philadelphia Flyers), Riley McCourt (Dallas Stars), Hakon Nilsen (New York Islanders), Connor Roberts (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Emanuel Vella (New York Islanders). In addition, netminder Luke Cavallin and forward Ethan Keppen were named to NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list, released Oct. 1.

Saginaw Spirit (1-2-1-0, 4th West Division):
Albert Michnac and Cole Coskey have emerged as the scoring leaders for Saginaw early in the season. Michnac, the newly acquired forward from the Mississauga Steelheads, leads the Spirit with seven points (3G, 4A) in four games this season. He is one of only 11 players in the OHL to earn a point or more in four consecutive games to start the campaign. A trio of players are tied with four points each, including Jackson, Mich. native Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders), Plymouth, Mich. native Bode Wilde (New York Islanders) and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native Nicholas Porco.

Cole Perfetti was taken fifth overall in the first round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. The Whitby, Ont. native played last season with the Vaughan Kings AAA team of the GTHL. He scored 52 goals and added 73 helpers for a total of 125 points in just 65 games. So far, he leads all Saginaw newcomers in scoring with two goals in four games.

Between the Pipes: Returning goaltender Cameron Lamour appeared in 17 contests with the Spirit last season, posting a 4.16 GAA and a .867 SAV%. Lamour has a 5.23 goals-against average (GAA) and a save percentage (SAV%) of .791 in three appearances this season. Rookie netminder Tristan Lennox was Saginaw’s second-round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He has played in one regular-season game thus far, making 12 saves on 15 shots over 35 minutes. Ivan Prosvetov, (Arizona Coyotes) from Moskva, Russia, was the 13th overall selection in the 2018 OHL Import Draft. He was also selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Draft. Last season, in 36 regular-season appearances with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL, Prosvetov posted a 2.90 goals-against average (GAA) and a save percentage (SAV%) of .913. In two appearances with the Spirit this season, he has a 4.71 GAA and a .810 SAV%.

NHL: Saginaw has six players with NHL ties, including two players drafted by the Detroit Red Wings: Brady Gilmour and Reilly Webb. Other connected players include Damien Giroux (Minnesota Wild), Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders), Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona Coyotes) and Bode Wilde (New York Islanders). Additionally, Caleb Everett and Nicholas Porco were named to NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list, released Oct 1.

 

 

Broadcast Coverage:
Wednesday evening’s contest 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 with pre-game coverage beginning begin 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m.

The game will also be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 433 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and 474 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.

Through Saginaw’s partnership, the game will also be televised on a tape-delayed basis this Sunday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. on WNEM-TV5 Plus. The channel can be found on 5.2 via antennae over the air, channel 199 for Charter Cable subscribers and channel 4 for Comcast/Xfinity cable subscribers.

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.

 

Next Home Game:
The Firebirds will return to the Dort Federal Event Center this Saturday night at 7 p.m. for a tilt with the Guelph Storm. The opening face-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (ET). It’s Hot Wing’s birthday party as the Firebirds’ mascot turns three! The first 500 fans will receive free pom-pom’s and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free Firebirds’ magnet schedule.

All 34 individual game tickets for the Firebirds’ 2018-19 season are on sale now and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com here. Single game tickets are $12 for bronze, $16 for silver, $20 for gold and $26 for VIP seating.

 

For more information:

Dominic Hennig
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
dominic@flintfirebirds.com
(810) 519-9347

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