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Firebirds Kick Off First ‘3-in-3’ of the Year, Host Otters Tonight at 7 PM

Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds will take to the ice for back-to-back home games to kick-off their first ‘3-in-3’ weekend of the year. First, the Erie Otters return to Flint for a Friday night tilt. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Financial Center. Great seats are still available HERE.

The Firebirds enter Friday’s contest in fourth place in the West Division with a record of 6-5-0-0. The Otters sit fifth in the Midwest, with a 4-9-1-0 record. On home ice this year, the ‘Birds are 3-4-0-0 compared to Erie’s road record of 3-5-1-0. All-time, Flint carries a record of 10-7-2-3 against Erie, with a home record of 4-4-2-0. So far this season, Flint has won all four games against the Otters.

The last time these clubs met was October 30 in Erie. That night, Flint came out on top 6-2. Luke Cavallin had another stellar performance in goal, making 42 saves on 44 shots for the win. Amadeus Lombardi and Zacharie Giroux each found twine twice, with Giroux also picking up an assist for a three-point night. Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) and Braeden Kressler (Toronto Maple Leafs) also had a two-point night with one goal and one assist each. The Otters were led by Elias Cohen with a two-point contest (1 G, 1 A).

In the four games between Flint and Erie, Brennan Othmann leads all players with six total points, including four goals and two assists. Zacharie Giroux has scored three times and chipped in two helpers. Braeden Kressler has averaged a point-per-game with two goals and two assists through the four meetings. Erie is led by Elias Cohen with two tallies and an assist for three total points versus the Firebirds this year.

On special teams, the Firebirds are converting with the man-advantage at an 11.8% rate, which ranks them 18th in the OHL. Erie has scored at a success rate of 17.2%, which places them 15th. Both teams rank inside the top five on the penalty-kill. Flint is killing penalties at an 85.7% clip, ranking fourth in the league. The Otters’ penalty-kill ranks second in the OHL with an 86.5% success rate.

Players to Watch:

Flint Firebirds (6-5-0-0, 4th West Division):
Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) continues to top the stats for Flint with eight goals and five assists for 13 total points through 11 games. Four Flint players are tied with seven points each. Rookie Coulson Pitre has four goals and three assists, and Dmitry Kuzmin (Winnipeg Jets) has one goal and six assists.  Pitre and Kuzmin have each played in nine games. Amadeus Lombardi has three goals and four helpers and rearguard Tyler Deline has two goals and five assists, each through 11 contests.

In net, Luke Cavallin has appeared in ten games thus far. He carries a goals-against average (GAA) of 3.32. His save percentage (SV%) is .898. Cavallin has earned five wins, with one of them being a shutout against the Otters on opening night in Flint. No OHL starting netminder has more than one shutout thus far in the 2021-22 season. Rookie netminder Ian Michelone played one full game, on October 29 at Erie, making 32 saves on 33 shots for his first-career OHL victory. Nathaniel Day played the final 18 minutes of a road game in Saginaw and turned aside all four shots faced.

NHL: The Firebirds have three players with NHL ties consisting of Braeden Kressler (Toronto Maple Leafs), Dmitry Kuzmin (Winnipeg Jets), and Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers). Also, Gavin Hayes was recently named to the 2021 NHL Central Scouting October Players to Watch List. More recently, defenseman Tristan Bertucci and netminder Nathaniel Day were both among the 24 OHL players named to Hockey Canada’s Under-17 roster to participate at the inaugural Capital City Challenge. The Capital City Challenge is a four-team tournament featuring three men’s under-17 teams and Canada’s National Women’s Team to take place November 26 to December 1 at TD Place in Ottawa.

Despite Flint playing in just five OHL seasons thus far, Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes / Detroit Red Wings), Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets), and Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) are three former Firebirds to play in the NHL. Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) and Firebirds’ alumni Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), Vili Saarijarvi (Detroit Red Wings) and Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) have all played in NHL pre-season contests. In total, the team has produced 21 signed or drafted players into the NHL.

Erie Otters (4-9-1-0, 5th Midwest Division):

Centerman Brett Bressette leads in scoring for the Otters, with eight goals and seven assists for 15 total points in 14 games played. Third-year center Elias Cohen sits second with a point-per-game average with 13 points (7 G, 6 A) in 13 games. Connor Lockhart (Vancouver Canucks) sits third with 3 G and 7 A for 10 points in 12 contests.

The Otters are backstopped by a pair of first-year netminders. Nolan Lalonde has made 11 appearances, posting a 3.75 goals-against average (GAA) and a save-percentage (SV%) of .880. He’s credited with all fours Erie victories. Marshall Nicholls has played in four contests and carries a 3.08 GAA with a SV% of .895.

NHL: Connor Lockhart (Vancouver Canucks) is the lone player on Erie’s roster with NHL ties. Additionally, Daniel D’Amato attended the Vegas Golden Knights main camp this preseason and was recently called up by the Henderson Silver Knights (AHL), Vegas’ minor league team.

Notable Otters’ alumni to play in the NHL are Connor McDavid, Alex DeBrincat, Connor Brown, Nikita Alexeev, Brad Boyes, Tim Connoly, Mike Rupp, Steve Montador, Carlo Coliaiacovo,  Jason Ward and Dylan Strome.

Broadcast Coverage:

Friday evening’s contest against the Erie Otters 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). Pregame coverage will begin prior to puck drop at 6:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday evening.

The game will also be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 466 (4466 HD) 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. Also, all Flint Firebirds’ home and away games throughout the 2021-22 regular season can be watched anywhere in the world online on 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 $6.99 for 24-hour access, $24.99 for monthly access, $109.99 for all-access to the 2021-22 Firebirds and OHL season, or $159.99 for all-access to the entire 2021-22 CHL season.

Next Home Game: The Firebirds return to home ice Saturday night to host the Windsor Spitfires for the second time this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET). Tickets are on sale NOW here: ETIX.

Story: Brandon Mills/flintfirebirds.com

 

For more information, contact:
Jack Sznewajs
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
jack@flintfirebirds.com
(810) 519-9347 ext. 223

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