Firebirds Host First-Place 67’s Tonight
Flint, Mich. – The Ottawa 67’s sit atop the OHL standings, and were recently ranked sixth in the Kia CHL Top Ten Rankings for the 60-team Canadian Hockey League. The Firebirds are looking past rankings and will try to snap a three-game skid in front of their home crowd. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Financial Center tonight.
Tonight marks the second of only two meetings between these teams in the regular season, and the only game at the Dort. The 67’s claimed the first win at the TD Place in Ottawa in December, by a final score of 6-2. The Firebirds led 1-0 after the first period and the game was tied 2-2 after 40 minutes. The home 67’s turned up the heat to score four unanswered in the final frame, led by Cameron Toinai with three points (1 G, 2 A). Zacharie Giroux and Amadeus Lombardi led Flint on the scoresheet with two points (1 G, 1 A) each.
All-time, the Firebirds have points in six of 11 games versus Ottawa with a record of 4-5-1-1. Four of the meetings have been settled by a single goal. On home ice, Flint holds a slight 3-2-0-0 edge in the series. For the season, Flint comes in ranked fourth in the West Division and seventh in the Western Conference with an overall record of 22-22-2-1. The 67’s rank first in the East Division and first in the Eastern Conference at 32-9-2-2 in the campaign. Flint’s home record sits at 9-11-1-1 compared to Ottawa’s mark of 14-6-2-1 in road games.
On special teams, Flint ranks 18th on the power play, converting at a 19.0% rate. The 67’s rank third, scoring at a 24.1% clip. The Birds hold the 13th place on the penalty-kill (PK), holding their opposition scoreless 77.1% of the time. Ottawa’s PK ranks second with an 84.9% success rate.
Promotion: Tonight is National Women and Girls in Sports Nights in Flint. The night includes a panel beginning at 5:30 p.m. that will be led by several successful women in the industry including Detroit Red Wings Reporter/Host Carley Johnston, the OHL’s first women linesperson Kirsten Welsh, USA Hockey Arena Program Coordinator Hannah McGowan and the Flint Firebirds own Creative Content Coordinator Riley Fox.
The panel is free to attend with the purchase of any Firebirds ticket, which can be found at Etix HERE. You can RSVP your spot to the panel NOW by simply clicking HERE to sign-up.
Players to Watch
Flint Firebirds (22-22-2-1, 4th West Division):
Amadeus Lombardi continues to lead the Firebirds in scoring with 60 total points, including 29 goals and 31 assists through 47 games. He’s tied for eighth in the OHL in goals and tenth in points and rides a four-game points streak into tonight’s tilt with four tallies and three helpers in that span. Gavin Hayes ranks second on the club with 24 tallies and 21 helpers for 45 points in 46 tilts. Riley Piercey has reclaimed the third spot with 45 points (15 G, 30 A) through 47 contests. He rides a five-game points streak, having picked up three goals and five assists in that span, in addition to a Gordie Howe hat trick last weekend.
Atop the offensive statistics for the defensive players is Dmitry Kuzmin, who has nine goals and a team-high 33 helpers after playing 42 games. Second-year rearguard Tristan Bertucci (4 G, 26 A) is next with 30 points.
Between the pipes, Will Cranley has now appeared in 35 games for Flint this season. He has 15 wins to his credit including one shutout. Cranley holds a 3.68 goals-against average (GAA) with a .890 save percentage (SV%). Rookie netminder Nathan Day has seven wins in 19 appearances. His GAA is 4.54 and he carries an SV% of .847.
NHL: The Firebirds have six players with NHL ties consisting of Will Cranley (St. Louis Blues), Amadeus Lombardi (Detroit Red Wings), Gavin Hayes (Chicago Blackhawks), Braeden Kressler (Toronto Maple Leafs), Dmitri Kuzmin (Winnipeg Jets), and Artem Guryev (San Jose Sharks). Additionally, Coulson Pitre, Tristan Bertucci, Ethan Hay, Blake Smith, and goaltender Nathan Day were listed on the NHL Central Scouting’s 2023 Midseason Rankings.
Despite Flint playing in just seven OHL seasons thus far, Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina/Detroit), Kole Sherwood (Columbus), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas), Tyler Tucker (St. Louis), and Will Bitten (St. Louis) are five former Firebirds to play in the NHL. Riley Piercey (Detroit) and Gavin Hayes (Chicago) played in NHL preseason contests this year, joining Firebirds’ alumni Ethan Keppen (Vancouver), Vili Saarijarvi (Detroit), and Jalen Smereck (Arizona). The team has produced 24 signed or drafted players into the NHL.
Ottawa 67’s (32-9-2-2, 1st East Division):
Overage forward Logan Morrison tops the offensive production for the 67’s with 63 points (22 G, 41 A) through only 40 contests. In the six games he’s skated with Ottawa since they acquired him from Hamilton, Morrison has contributed two goals and six assists. He also ranks fifth in the OHL in both assists and points-per-game average (1.58). Former Spirit defender Pavel Mintyukov now ranks second for the 67’s with 59 points (17 G, 42 A) in 46 tilts. He ranks first among all league rearguards in goals, assists, and points, and is second in points per game (1.28) and fifth for power-play tallies (6). Cameron Toinai is third with 17 goals and 33 assists for the year.
Between the pipes, Max Donoso has appeared in 33 games thus far. He’s recorded 22 victories and carries a goals-against average (GAA) of 2.46 with a save percentage (SV%) of .908. He ranks first in GAA, third in SV%, and has the second-most wins in the OHL. Collin MacKenzie has a 2.06 GAA and a .920 SV% with ten wins through 16 appearances.
NHL: Ottawa has five players with NHL ties on their current roster, including Tyler Boucher (Ottawa), Jack Beck (Calgary), Vinzenz Rohrer (Montreal), Pavel Mintyukov (ANA), and Jack Matier (Nashville). In addition, Luca Pinelli, Brad Gardiner, Cooper Foster, Chris Barlas, and Matthew Mayich were named to the NHL Central Scouting’s 2023 Midseason Rankings.
Ottawa alumni to play in the NHL include Logan Couture, Petr Mrazek, Gary Roberts, Kris Draper, Brian Campbell, Bobby Smith, Denis Potvin, Doug Wilson, Andrew Cassels, Shean Donovan, Doug Crossman, Randy Cunneyworth, Michael Peca, Chris Simon, Petr Mrazek, Travis Konecny, Kevin Weekes, and Darren Pang.
This evening’s game against the Ottawa 67’s 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. Jack Sznewajs will call the play-by-play action on the Firebirds Hockey Network (FHN), starting with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. (ET).
The game will be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 466. 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.
All Flint Firebirds’ home and away games throughout the 2022-23 regular season can be watched anywhere in the world online at https://watch.chl.ca/ohl. CHL TV is the league’s new and improved video streaming platform that delivers high-quality live and on-demand coverage of all regular season and playoff games annually. The cost is $7.99 for 24-hour access, $29.99 for monthly access, $119.99 for all access to the 2022-23 Firebirds and OHL season, or $179.99 for all access to the entire 2022-23 CHL season.
Up Next: The Firebirds have another big home game Saturday when the Owen Sound Attack invades the Dort.
Before the Firebirds game, Saturday will be an alumni game between the Flint Generals vs Muskegon Fury from 3:30-5:00 p.m. For access to the alumni game, you must purchase a ticket for the Saturday, February 4th game upon entering the arena concourse. There will also be a post-game Meet & Greet event in Arena 2 with both the Generals & Fury Alumni from 5:30-6:30 p.m. following the game. Tickets for the Meet & Greet event will be $20 and can be purchased at the Dort Financial Center Box Office Window or on Etix.com, while supplies last.
Following the Alumni Game, the Firebirds will be hosting the Owen Sound Attack at 7:00 p.m. for Generals Night, sponsored by Shea Automotive. Your Flint Firebirds will be wearing specialty Flint Generals throwback jerseys during the game and will be live-auctioned off following the conclusion of the Firebirds game. All jersey-auction proceeds are to benefit the Flint Firebirds Foundation.
Tickets for Saturday’s home contests this weekend are available from ETIX HERE.
Story: Brandon Mills / flintfirebirds.com
For more information, contact:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club