Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds host the Windsor Spitfires in their second of three-straight games this weekend on Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Financial Center. Great seats are still available HERE.
The Firebirds enter Saturday’s contest in third place in the West Division with a record of 7-5-0-0. The Spitfires sit fifth in the West, with a 6-6-0-2 record. On home ice this year, the ‘Birds are 4-4-0-0 compared to Windsor’s road record of 3-2-0-1. Saturday marks the second of eight meetings between these clubs, and the second of four games to be played in Flint this season. All-time, the Firebirds hold a record of 12-18-1-0 versus Windsor and are 8-8-0-0 at the Dort Financial Center. Last season the ‘Birds won three of six games in the series.
The last time these clubs met was November 3 in Flint. The Spits got the upper hand that night, skating away with a 6-2 victory. Windsor was led by a hat trick from Matthew Maggio, who earned first-star honors in the contest for his four-point performance (3 G, 1 A). Kyle McDonald scored twice for the visitors and Ethan Miedema recorded a goal and assist. For the Firebirds, Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) scored his fifth goal and ninth point of the season and defenseman Luca D’Amato potted his first OHL goal along with an assist. Between the pipes, Xavier Medina stood tall with 36 saves on 38 shots from Flint. Across the ice, Luke Cavallin made 28 saves on 34 shots.
On special teams, the Firebirds are converting with the man-advantage at a 15.1% rate, which ranks them 16th in the OHL. Flint converted on both power-play chances versus Erie Friday night. Windsor has scored at a success rate of 18.2%, which places them 13th. Flint is killing penalties at an 87.0% clip, ranking them second in the 20-team OHL. The Spitfires’ penalty-kill has shown a success rate of 67.3%.
Saturday’s game is First Responders Night to benefit The Hundred Club, Sponsored by Dort Financial Credit Union. All Police, Fire, and EMS employees will receive a FREE ticket at the box office with a valid ID. There also will be a Battle of the Badges game from 4:30-5:30 pm. Admission to the Battle of the Badges event is free with a ticket to the Firebirds’ game. The night is made possible by the following sponsors: Dort Financial Credit Union, The DM Burr Group, Medstar, LJ Inc., The View Newspaper Group, and Complete Towing. The Hundred Club will also be the 50/50 raffle partner for the night.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (7-5-0-0, 4th West Division):
Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) continues to top the stats for Flint with ten goals and six assists for 16 total points through 12 games. Othmann is followed on the stats sheet by a pair of defensemen. Tyler Deline has two goals and eight assists in 12 contests. Dmitry Kuzmin (Winnipeg Jets) has one goal and eight assists through ten games played. Kuzmin’s 0.90 points-per-game average is eighth-best among OHL blueliners. Rookie center men Coulson Pitre (5 G, 3 A) and Amadeus Lombardi (3 G, 5 A) sit close behind with eight total points.
In net, Luke Cavallin has appeared in 11 games thus far. He carries a goals-against average (GAA) of 3.19. His save percentage (SV%) is .903. Cavallin has earned six wins, with one of them being a shutout. Rookie netminder Ian Michelone played one full game, making 32 saves on 33 shots in the 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 November Players to Watch List. More recently, both defenseman Tristan Bertucci and netminder Nathaniel Day were 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.
Windsor Spitfires (6-6-0-2, 5th West Division):
Wyatt Johnston (Dallas Stars) leads the Spits with 16 total points (8 G, 8 A) through 14 games. Will Cuylle ranks second for Windsor in scoring with nine tallies and four helpers for 13 points in 14 contests. His three game-winning goals are tied for third-most in the OHL. Kyle McDonald also has 13 points in 14 games played, including seven goals and six assists.
Defenseman Louka Hanault leads the rearguards with three goals and six assists through 11 games played in total. Ethan Miedema continues to top the freshman class for Windsor with 11 total points (4 G, 7 A).
Detroit, Michigan native Xavier Medina has appeared in nine contests for the Spitfires, earning four victories. The second-year goaltender carries a 3.29 goals-against average (GAA) and a .883 save-percentage (SV%). Rookie netminder Kyle Downey has two wins in seven appearances. His GAA sits at 4.35 and he has a .858 SV%.
NHL: Windsor’s roster features four players with NHL ties, consisting of Will Cuylle (New York Rangers), Wyatt Johnston (Dallas Stars), Pasquale Zito (Detroit Red Wings), and Daniil Sobolev (Montreal Canadians). Additionally, Livonia, Michigan native Ryan Abraham was listed on the 2021 NHL Central Scouting November Players to Watch List.
Notable Windsor alumni to play in the NHL include Ed Jovanovski, Matt Cooke, Cory Stillman, Jason Spezza, Steve Ott, Jason York, Josh Bailey, Tim Gleason, Mike Rupp, Cam Fowler, Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Kyle Wellwood, Eric Wellwood, Todd Warriner, Steve Downie, Jamie Allison, and Ryan Ellis.
Saturday evening’s contest against the Windsor Spitfires 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 468 (4468 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 Wednesday night to host their in-state rival, the Saginaw Spirit, in another installment of the I-75 Divide Cup, presented by Coors Light. 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:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
(810) 519-9347 ext. 223