Firebirds Look to Carry Momentum Into London Tonight

Flint, Mich. – After picking up three of the four possible points at home over the weekend, the Firebirds travel to London to face the second-place Knights tonight. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Budweiser Gardens.

On Friday night, the Birds played a tight game with the OHL-leading Ottawa 67’s, picking up one point in an eventual 6-5 overtime defeat. Tristan Bertucci (2 G, 1 A) and Riley Piercey (1 G, 2 A) each picked up three points in the contest while Will Cranley posted 28 saves against the high-powered Ottawa offense. The Owen Sound Attack were in town for Flint Generals Night Saturday for some old-school hockey that delighted the nearly 3,800 fans at the Dort Financial Center. That night Tristan Bertucci (2 A), Gavin Hayes (2 A), Simon Slavicek (1 G, 1 A), and Dmitry Kuzmin (2 A) picked up two points each while the birthday boy Nathan Day recorded his eighth win of the season with a 33-save performance.

Tonight marks the third of four meetings between these teams in the regular season and is the second of two games at the Bud. In two previous meetings this year the road team has claimed the victory. Flint’s all-time record versus London stands at 7-16-1-2, with a 3-9-0-0 mark at Budweiser Gardens and have won three of the last four meetings at the Bud. The Firebirds have gone 6-3-1-0 in tilts with opponents from the Midwest Division in the current campaign.

For the season, Flint ranks fourth in the West Division and sixth in the Western Conference with a mark of 23-22-3-1. Their record is 13-11-1-0 on the road to date. London leads the Midwest Division and ranks second in the Western Conference, sitting at 32-13-1-0. On home ice the Knights have gone 15-9-1-0.

On special teams, Flint ranks 18th on the power play, converting at a 19.8% rate. They’ve scored three tallies with the extra man in the last two games. The Knights rank eighth, scoring at a 22.3% clip on the power play. The Birds hold the 13th place on the penalty-kill (PK), holding their opposition scoreless 77.2% of the time. London’s PK ranks fourth with a success rate of 80.5%, but it’s only operating at 78.8% at home this season, which is the tenth-best PK at home.

Players to Watch

Flint Firebirds (23-22-3-1, 4th West Division):

Amadeus Lombardi paces the Firebirds in goals and total points, now with 30 tallies and 33 assists through 49 contests. In his current point streak of six games, he’s scored five times and assists on an additional five tallies. For the year, Lombardi is tied for the sixth-most goals and the ninth-most points in the OHL. Gavin Hayes and Riley Piercey are tied in second, each with 49 points. Hayes has 25 goals and 24 helpers and Piercey has 17 markers and 32 assists. Piercey also rides the team’s longest active points streak of seven games (5 G, 7 A).

Dmitry Kuzmin tops the rearguards with nine goals and a club-high 36 assists, including five helpers in the last four games. Tristan Bertucci is next with 35 total points (6 G, 29 A). He also has a points streak through his past four games, having scored three times and assisted on five goals.

Between the pipes, Will Cranley has now appeared in 36 games for Flint this season. He has 15 wins to his credit including one shutout. Cranley holds a 3.75 goals-against average (GAA) with a .888 save percentage (SV%). Rookie netminder Nathan Day has eight wins in 20 appearances. His GAA is 4.44 and he carries an SV% of .852.

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.

London Knights (32-13-1-0, 1st Midwest Division):

George Diaco (20 G, 35 A) and Sean McGurn (19 G, 36 A) are tied atop the statistics for the Knights with 55 points each. In third is Denver Barkey, who’s scored 13 times and assisted on 30 goals.

Atop the defenders is Logan Mailloux with 17 goals and 19 assists. Among all league rearguards, he ranks first in power-play goals (10) and is tied in second for total goals scored. Rookie defender Oliver Bonk has nine goals and 20 helpers for 29 points. Among all OHL freshmen, Bonk ranks fourth in helpers, is tied for sixth in points and seventh in points-per-game average at 0.64, and is tied for tenth in goals.

NHL: The Knights also have six players with NHL ties, including Ryan Winterton (Seattle Kraken), Max McCue (San Jose Sharks), Landon Sim (St. Louis Blues), Isaiah George (N.Y. Islanders), Logan Mailloux (Montreal), and Jackson Edward (Boston). Additionally, Oliver Bonk is the highest-ranked (18th overall) defensemen on the NHL Central Scouting’s 2023 Midseason Rankings. Easton Cowan, Denver Barkey, and goalie Zach Bowen also made the list.

Notable London Knights alumni to play in the NHL include Brendan Shanahan, Patrick Kane, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, Corey Perry, David Bolland, John Carlson, Dino Ciccarelli, Bo Horvat, Nazem Kadri,  Patrick Maroon, Rick Nash, Kyle Quincey, Steve Smith, Chris Tierney, Matthew Tkachuk and Nikita Zadorov.

Broadcast Coverage:

This evening’s game against the London Knights can be heard live on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM, online at, 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 6:40 p.m. (ET).

The game will be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 463. 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 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 return to home ice Wednesday to host the Western Conference’s first-place Windsor Spitfires for a BOGO Wednesday. Buy one ticket and get one FREE of equal or lesser value. Puck drop for Wednesday’s tilt with the Spits is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET), and tickets are available from ETIX HERE.

Story: Brandon Mills /

For more information, contact:

Jack Sznewajs
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club

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