Firebirds Welcome Spitfires for a BOGO Wednesday
Flint, Mich. – The Windsor Spitfires and Flint Firebirds have seen plenty of one another over the past two seasons. Last year they met eight times in the regular season before duking it out in seven games in the Western Conference Finals. The rivalry reunites tonight in Flint for another BOGO Wednesday. Buy one ticket and get one FREE of equal or lesser value. Puck drop for Wednesday’s tilt is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET), and tickets are available from ETIX HERE.
Tonight marks the third of six meetings between these teams in the regular season and is the second of three games at the Dort. In three previous meetings this year, Flint has one win in the form of a shootout victory on the road. The Firebirds’ all-time record versus Windsor stands at 13-25-2-1 and is 8-12-0-0 at home. In total, 16 contests have been settled by a single goal in the series, more than Flint has recorded with any other opponent.
For the season, Flint ranks fourth in the West Division and sixth in the Western Conference with a mark of 23-23-3-1. Their record is 10-11-2-1 at home this year. When facing opponents within their own division, the Birds hold a mark of 13-8-2-0. The Spitfires lead both the West Division and the Western Conference with a record of 32-12-3-1. They’ve won their last four consecutive games and seven of their last ten, and sit at 13-9-1-0 on the road this year.
On special teams, Flint ranks 18th on the power play, converting at a 19.5% rate. The Spits rank third, scoring at a 24.5% clip on the power play. The Birds hold the 12th spot on the penalty-kill (PK), holding their opposition scoreless 77.4% of the time. Windsor’s PK ranks 14th with a success rate of 76.3%.
Players to Watch
Flint Firebirds (23-23-3-1, 4th West Division):
Amadeus Lombardi paces the Firebirds in goals and total points, now with 31 goals and 35 assists through 50 contests. He rides a seven-game point streak into tonight’s matchup, having netted six goals and collected seven helpers in that span. For the season, Lombardi is tied for the fifth-most goals and the sixth-most points in the OHL. Gavin Hayes and Riley Piercey are tied in second, each with 50 points. Hayes has 26 goals and 24 helpers and Piercey has 17 markers and 33 assists. Piercey also rides the team’s longest active point streak of eight games (5 G, 8 A).
Dmitry Kuzmin tops the rearguards with ten goals and a club-high 36 assists, including a goal and five helpers in the last five games. He’s also tied for the lead among defensemen with two shorthanded markers this season, is fourth in total points, tied for fourth in assists, and tied for tenth in goals among rearguards. Tristan Bertucci has been red-hot from the blue line of late, scoring four times and pitching in five assists in the last five contests.
Between the pipes, Will Cranley has now appeared in 37 games for Flint this season. He has 15 wins to his credit including one shutout. Cranley holds a 3.88 goals-against average (GAA) with a .885 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.
Windsor Spitfires (32-12-3-0, 1st West Division):
Matthew Maggio sits atop the leaderboard for Windsor in goals (40), assists (39), and total points (79) through 46 games. He’s also first in the OHL in goals and points, second in +/- rating at a +41, and is tied for eighth in assists. He has points in 12 straight games, consisting of 12 goals and 16 assists in that time. His is the longest active points streak in the OHL.
Brett Harrison ranks second for the Spitfires with 51 points (26 G, 25 A) in 42 games. In the 15 games he’s played as a member of the Spits, he’s logged ten tallies and eight helpers for 18 points. Jacob Maillet ranks third with 51 points (17 G, 34 A). Shane Wright played in the NHL and AHL before returning to the OHL after winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the World Juniors. In his seven games this season, he’s picked up 14 points (6 G, 8 A).
Rookie forward Liam Greentree carries points in seven consecutive games (6 G, 7 A), and leads all OHL rookies in goals (23), power-play goals (5), and game-winning goals (3), is tied for second in total points and ranks third with a .77 goals-per-game average.
Joey Costanzo has 18 victories in 29 appearances for Windsor this season, which is tied for the sixth-most wins in the league. His goals-against average (GAA) sits at 3.15 and his save percentage (SV%) is .899. Mathias Onuska has appeared in 23 games and picked up 13 wins. He carries a 4.14 GAA with a .870 SV%.
NHL: The Spitfires have five players with NHL ties, including Daniil Sobolev (Montreal Canadians), Matthew Maggio (New York Islanders), Brett Harrison (Boston Bruins), Jacob Holmes (Dallas Stars), and Shane Wright (Seattle Kraken).
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, and Ryan Ellis.
This evening’s game 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), 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 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 hit the road again for three games, beginning in Guelph Friday and then Owen Sound Saturday. Next Thursday they’ll battle the Spitfires again in Windsor. Flint’s next home game is Saturday, February 18 when the Kitchener Rangers are in town for a 7:00 p.m. (ET) start time. Tickets for the Birds’ next home game are available now from ETIX HERE.
Story: Brandon Mills / flintfirebirds.com
For more information, contact:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club