Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds have tied another milestone with five-consecutive victories. They seek to win their sixth-straight game and set a new franchise high against the Erie Otters on home ice Friday evening. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center (cap. 4,400) in Flint.
Flint enters Friday’s contest having won their last five contests and earning points in seven of their last eight games. Thursday night’s victory in Windsor also set a new franchise-best with four-consecutive road victories. The Firebirds have now claimed 13 of the last 16 points available.
Friday marks the first of four meetings between these two clubs, and the first of two in Flint this season. All-time, the Firebirds hold a record of 3-8-2-3 versus the Otters, and are 1-5-1-0 at the Dort Federal Event Center. Last season the ‘Birds went 1-2-1-0 in the series, picking up three of four possible points at home. Flint still seeks their first regulation victory on home ice against Erie. Six of the 16 contests between these clubs have required extra time.
The last time these teams met was December 28, 2018 at the Dort Federal Event Center. Erie got the upper hand that night, skating to a 9 – 2 decisive victory. Riley McCourt led the offense for Flint, recording one goal and one assist. Maxim Golod (2G, 2A) and Chad Yetman (1G, 3A) each recorded a four-point night for the visiting Otters.
The Firebirds enter Friday’s contest in third place in the West Division and fifth in the ten-team Western Conference with a record of 27-17-1-1. The Otters are currently fifth in the Midwest Division and eighth in the Western Conference with a 20-17-2-6 record. On home ice this year, the ‘Birds are 15-8-1-0 compared to Erie’s road record of 9-8-1-3. In their past 10 games, Flint has gone 7-2-0-1 and the Otters are 6-4-0-0.
The similarities between these clubs’ special teams is noteworthy for Friday’s contest. Flint’s penalty-kill (PK) ranks third at 82.2%. Erie’s penalty-killers are ranked first overall in the OHL at 82.9%. With the man-advantage, the Otters rank 20th in the league, converting at a rate of 17.3% and the Firebirds are 19th, scoring at a 17.7% clip.
Friday’s game marks the first-ever official ‘Flint Firebirds trading card pack giveaway,’ compliments of Commercial Graphics, for the first 1,000 fans in attendance. Friday will be the first-of-three sets released this season. The first edition of these one-of-a-kind collectible card packs feature: Jack Harper, Ethan Keppen, Braeden Kressler, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Riley McCourt, Cody Morgan, Anthony Popovich, Quinn Yule and Head Coach Eric Wellwood!
Also, fans can take advantage of the ‘Firebirds 4-Pack Friday,’ featuring 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 soft drinks, starting at just $60. Firebirds 4-Pack packages are only available for Friday games in advance of game day. For more information, contact the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office by calling (810) 744-0580 or email email@example.com.
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 (27-17-1-1, 3rd West Division):
Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) tops the stat sheet for Flint with 28 goals and 32 helpers for 60 points in 36 games-played. In the past five games Dellandrea has recorded 18 points (10G, 8A). He has scored twice in each of his last five games. Belarusian forward Evgeniy Oksentyuk sits second on the club with 22 goals and 29 assists for 51 points in 41 contests.
Riley McCourt holds several franchise records among defensemen, including most goals in a single season (13) and most career goals (23) and career points (91). For the season, McCourt ranks third in total offense with 13 goals and a team-high 34 assists for 47 total points in 46 games. His total points are fifth-most among OHL rearguards, his 13 tallies are tied for sixth, and his 34 helpers are tied for fourth. McCourt also has the sixth-highest points-per-game average among blue-liners at 1.02.
Overage forward Jake Durham is ranks fourth on the squad with 18 goals and 27 assists. He already owns the record for most games-played by any Flint Firebirds’ player (248). Durham ranks third all-time in goals-scored for the franchise with 71. Ryan Moore is the former Firebird who ranks second (behind Dellandrea) with 72.
Brennan Othmann leads the freshman class for the ‘Birds with 23 total points (10G, 13A) through 38 games. His point-total is tied for ninth among rookies in the league, his ten goals are eighth-most, and his 13 helpers are tied for eighth. Othmann needs just three more goals to tie Dellandrea for most-ever by a rookie for Flint.
In net, Anthony Popovich has played in 32 games this season. He’s earned 18 victories, which are tied for the most by any Flint netminder in a single season. Popovich’s goals-against average (GAA) is 3.74 and he has the ninth-best save-percentage (SAV%) in the league at .897. Cavallin has nine wins in 18 appearances and carries a 3.65 GAA and a .895 SAV%.
NHL: The Firebirds have five players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida Panthers) and Tyler Tucker (St. Louis Blues). Additionally, Evgeniy Oksentyuk was named to the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft.
Despite Flint being in the midst of just their fifth OHL season, three former Firebirds have already played in NHL regular-season games: Nick Caamano (Dallas Stars), Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes) and Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets). Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), Vili Saarijarvi (Arizona Coyotes) and Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) have played in NHL pre-season contests. In total, the team has produced an impressive 18 drafted or signed NHL players in that short time.
Erie Otters (20-17-2-6, 5th West Division):
Maxim Golod leads the Otters with 59 total points (18G, 41A) in 45 games-played. His total assists are tied for the tenth-most in the OHL. Chad Yetman ranks second on the club with a team-high 28 tallies and 21 assists through 43 contests. Hayden Fowler sits third with 38 points (17G, 21A) in 43 games.
Jamie Drysdale was the fourth-overall pick in the 2018 OHL Draft and leads all Erie defensemen with 38 points, which are ninth-most among OHL blue-liners. His 31 assists are tied for seventh and his 16 power-play assists are tied for fourth-most.
First-year forward Connor Lockhart has 18 points (7G, 11A) in 40 games-played to top the Otters’ freshman class.
Between the pipes, Daniel Murphy has made 31 appearances and earned 12 victories, including two shutouts. He carries a 3.35 goals-against average (GAA) and a .891 save-percentage (SAV%). Rookie netminder Aidan Campbell has appeared in 19 contests and picked up eight wins. His GAA is 3.70 and his SAV% is .872.
NHL: Defenseman Jacob Golden (Minnesota Wild) is the lone player on Erie’s roster with NHL ties. In addition, Jamie Drysdale, Hayden Fowler, Austen Swankler, Brendan Hoffmann and netminder Aiden Campbell were named to the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft. Drysdale is the third-ranked skater in North America and the second-ranked OHL player on the list.
Notable Otters’ alumni to play in the NHL are Connor McDavid, Connor Brown, Nikita Alexeev, Brad Boyes, Tim Connoly, Mike Rupp, Steve Montador, Carlo Coliaiacovo, Chris Campoli, Jason Ward and Dylan Strome.
Friday 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. Firebirds’ broadcaster Dominic Hennig will call the play-by-play action and Jack Sznewajs will provide color commentary on the Firebirds Hockey Network. Radio pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m.
The game will be televised live in high definition across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 461 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 492 for Cogeco TV cable subscirbers. 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 Friday’s game, 65 of the Firebirds’ 68 games throughout the 2019-20 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 2019-20 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 2019-20 season.
For more information:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club