Firebirds Set to Battle Owen Sound on Flint Generals Night
Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds took the OHL’s top team, the Ottawa 67s, to overtime last night before settling for one point in a 6-5 overtime defeat. Tonight, the club welcomes the Owen Sound Attack to Flint for the second-annual Flint Generals Night sponsored by Shea Automotive. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Financial Center tonight.
Last night, the Firebirds rallied to tie the OHL’s first-place 67s in the final minute and force overtime. With goaltender Will Cranley on the bench for the extra attacker, Tristan Bertucci shot from the point for his second goal of the night with only 46 remaining in regulation. Bertucci (2 G, 1 A) and Riley Piercey (1 G, 2 A) each picked up three points in the contest. Will Cranley posted 28 saves against the high-powered Ottawa offense. The Birds’ newest defender, 16-year-old defender Grayden Strohack, made his debut with the club last night, finishing with a +1 rating.
Tonight marks the first of four meetings between these teams in the regular season and is the first of two games at the Dort. Flint’s all-time record versus Owen Sound stands at 7-17-1-0, with 11 total contests being settled by a single goal. The all-time record does not include the Western Conference Quarterfinals matchup a year ago which the Firebirds took in Game 7 at the Dort Financial Center.
On home ice, Flint holds a 4-8-1-0 mark 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 22-22-3-1. The Attack rank second in the Midwest Division and fourth in the Western Conference at 25-15-4-1 to date. Flint’s home record sits at 9-11-2-1 compared to the Attack’s mark of 12-9-0-1 in road games.
On special teams, Flint ranks 18th on the power play, converting at a 19.7% rate. The Attack ranks eighth, scoring at a 22.0% clip. The Birds hold the 14th place on the penalty-kill (PK), holding their opposition scoreless 76.9% of the time. Owen Sound’s PK ranks seventh with a 79.9% success rate.
Promotion: The Flint Generals and Muskegon reignite their rivalry this Saturday, February 4 at 3:30 p.m. at the Dort Financial Center as a part of Flint Generals Night sponsored by Shea Automotive. The Flint Firebirds will wear specialty ‘General Rally’ jerseys to be auctioned off after the game at 7:00 p.m. The first 1,000 fans in the door will receive a FREE reusable hand warmer courtesy of Shea Automotive. The alumni game is free to attend with the purchase of a Flint Firebirds ticket that can be found at Etix.com HERE or at the Dort Financial Center Box Office.
Also, a Meet-and-Greet will be held with the alumni players in Arena 2 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased with a Firebirds ticket on Etix.com or at the Dort Financial Center Box Office. The Meet-and-Greet is sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings in Flint Township & Luigi’s Restaurant.
Additionally, alumni jerseys are available for auction NOW until 6:15 p.m. on the DASH auction app or website. Text DASH to 66866 to download the app or visit the link HERE. All proceeds will benefit the Kris Perani foundation. Jersey auction winners will be able to pick up their jerseys in the Bird’s Nest during the Firebirds game tonight.
Players to Watch
Flint Firebirds (22-22-3-1, 4th West Division):
Amadeus Lombardi continues to lead the Firebirds in scoring with 62 total points, including 29 goals and 33 assists through 48 games. He has seven points (4 G, 5 A) in the last five contests, and is tied for ninth in both goals and points by any player in the OHL. Riley Piercey climbed into the second spot with a three-point (1 G, 2 A) performance against Ottawa last night. He now has 48 points in 48 games, stemming from 16 goals and 32 helpers. Piercey carries a six-game points streak, with four tallies and seven helpers during that time. Gavin Hayes ranks third on the club with 25 goals and 22 assists for 47 points in 47 games.
Atop the offensive statistics for the defensive players is Dmitry Kuzmin, who has nine goals and a team-high 34 helpers after playing 48 games. He’s tied with Sam Sedley from the Attack for the fourth-most assists among OHL rearguards, and Kuzmin is fourth in total points. Second-year rearguard Tristan Bertucci (6 G, 27 A) is next with 33 points, and he’s recorded six points (3 G, 3 A) in his past three tilts.
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 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.
Owen Sound Attack (25-14-4-1,2nd Midwest Division):
Colby Barlow tops the stats for the Attack with 36 goals and 27 assists through 42 games. League-wide, he ranks first in game-winning tallies (10), second for goals, fifth for power-play scoring (11), and eighth in total points (63). Barlow has points in four-straight games, during which time he’s scored six goals. Cedrick Guindon is second with 17 goals and 38 helpers for 55 points. He’s tied for eighth in assists in the league, and also has points in four-straight tilts (2 G, 3 A). Deni Goure is in third with 50 points (21 G, 29 A) in 38 contests. His eight power-play markers are tied for ninth-most in the league.
The Attack’s defenders are topped by Sam Sedley with five goals and 34 assists. Among OHL defensemen, Sedley ranks fourth in assists and is tied for sixth for point total. Nolan seed ranks second among the Bear’s rearguards with 22 points (4 G, 18 A) for the year.
In goal, the Bears use two netminders equally. Nick Chenard has 11 wins in 23 appearances. He carries a 3.53 goals-against average (GAA) and a save percentage (SV%) of .886. Corbin Votary has ten wins in 24 appearances. His GAA stands at 3.64 and he also holds a .886 SV%.
NHL: The Attack have three players with NHL ties, consisting of Cedrick Guindon (Montreal Canadians), Servac Petrovsky (Minnesota Wild), and Kaleb Lawrence (Los Angeles Kings). Colby Barlow is the highest-ranked draft-eligible OHL skater, ranking tenth of all North-American players on the NHL Central Scouting’s 2023 Midseason Rankings. Former Firebirds’ defenseman James Petrovski also made the list.
The list of notable Owen Sound alumni to play in the NHL includes Sean Avery, Wayne Simmonds, Mark Giordano, Bobby Ryan, Kirk Maltby, Josh Bailey, Joel Ward, Wayne Primeau, Brad Richardson, Andrej Sekera, Trevor Lewis, Andrew Shaw, Cody Ceci, Brian McGrattan, Kevin Weekes, Nick Suzuki, and Paul Bissonnette.
This evening’s game against the Owen Sound Attack 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 6:40 p.m. (ET).
The game will be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 467. 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 travel to London, Ontario Monday to face the Western Conference’s second-place Knight at Budweiser Gardens. Then on Wednesday, they return home to host the 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 / flintfirebirds.com
For more information, contact:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club