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Preview: Firebirds Begin Five-Game Road Trip Friday in Mississauga

CWP Photography
Flint Firebirds at Mississauga Steelheads
Date | Time Friday, Jan. 18 | 7:00 p.m.
Location Mississauga, Ont. | Paramount Fine Foods Centre (capacity 5,612)
Tickets Online | (905) 502-9100
TV – OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV 463 & Cogeco TV 463 Live (Ontario)
Video Stream OHL Live
Radio WQUS 103.1 FM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 6:30p
Radio (Mobile) US 103 App: Android | iPhone/iPad
Live Stats Here
Next Home Game Wednesday, Jan. 30: (Promotions)
Social Media @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook  | Instagram 

Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds begin a five-game road trip Friday evening when the club faces-off against the Mississauga Steelheads. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre (capacity 5,612).

All-time, the Firebirds are 3-3-0-1 against the Steelheads and are 1-1-0-1 in Mississauga. Saturday marks the second of two meetings between the ‘Birds and Fish this season, and the only battle in Mississauga. The last time these teams met was early November in Flint. Former Steelheads’ goaltender Emanuel Vella made 44 saves between the pipes for Flint, nearly earning the victory against his former club. The Firebirds held the lead after the first and second periods, but a power-play goal in the final minute of regulation gave the Steelheads the 5 – 4 edge before time expired. In the only meeting in Mississauga last year, Vella was named ‘First Star’ after stopping all 29 of Flint’s shots for a 4-0 shutout victory.

Mississauga enters the contest with a record of 18-19-4-1. They are ranked fourth in the Central Division. The Steelheads are winless in their past five games. Flint sits fifth in the West Division, and holds a record 8-33-3-0. The Firebirds have three wins and one overtime point in their past five games.

On special teams, the Steelheads rank 8th in the OHL with the man-advantage, scoring at a rate of 23.2%. Flint is 19th at 14.9%. Mississauga has the 10th best penalty-kill, shutting down the opposition 79.7% of the time. The Firebirds kill penalties on the road at a 69.4% clip, which ranks 19th in the league. 

 

Players to Watch:

Flint Firebirds (8-33-3-0, 5th West Division):
Jake Durham leads the Firebirds in goals-scored (30) and points (48) through 44 games-played. He is currently tied for sixth in goals in the 20-team OHL and has six points (2G, 4A) in his past two contests. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) also averages more than a point-per-game. In 38 contests, he has 46 total points (15G, 31A). Dellandrea has accumulated 13 points (2G, 11A) in his past four games. Eric Uba ranks third for the Firebirds in points with 15 goals and 17 helpers in 43 games. Uba has four points in the last two games. Ethan Keppen is fourth on the Firebirds’ roster with 31 points (14G, 17A) in 44 games. Keppen enters Friday night’s contest on a six-game point streak.

First-year defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok leads the newcomers and defenseman with 23 points (2G, 21A) in 32 appearances. He has eight points in the past five games (2G, 6A), and his points-per-game average is inside the top 20 among defensemen in the OHL this season. Kolyachonok will play for Team Orr in the upcoming 2019 Sherwin Williams CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game. Riley McCourt tops Flint’s defensive troops in goals-scored with five, and now has 19 points in 26 games. Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes) has two points in three games since making his first appearance of the season last Thursday.

In net, Emanuel Vella holds a 4.97 goals-against average (GAA) and a .872 save percentage (SAV%) in 27 appearances. Vella has three wins on the season, including his last start against the Sarnia Sting. Luke Cavallin has compiled a 5.20 GAA and a .860 SAV% across 23 appearances. Cavallin has two wins and one overtime defeat in his past three starts.

NHL: The Firebirds have two players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes) and Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars). In addition, Luke Cavallin, Kyle Harris, Ethan Keppen, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Eric Uba, Cody Morgan, Emmet Pierce and Jacob Winterton are eight first-time eligible skaters for the upcoming NHL Draft in June. Luke Cavallin, forward Ethan Keppen and defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok were named to November’s NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft.

Despite Flint playing in just their fourth season in the OHL, Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes) and Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets) are two former Firebirds to play in the NHL. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) and Vili Saarijarvi (Detroit Red Wings) have played in NHL pre-season contests.

Mississauga Steelheads (10-6-2-0, 2nd Central Division):
Cole Carter is tied for the lead on the Steelheads’ roster in scoring with 49 points (26G, 23A) in 40 games played. Alan Lyszczarczyk hails from Wallington, New Jersey and began the season in Owen Sound. He’s now tied for the lead in points for Mississauga with 49 points (21G, 28A) through 38 contests. In his past 10 games, Lyszczarczyk has accumulated 9 goals and 12 assists. Thomas Harley, a defenseman from Syracuse, New York sits third on the scoresheet with six tallies and 28 helpers in 42 games. Harley was recently named an alternate captain for Team Cherry in the upcoming 2019 Sherwin Williams CHL / NHL Top Prospects game.

First-year forward James Hardie tops the Steelheads’ freshman class with eight goals and four assists after playing in 36 games. A new addition to the Mississauga lineup is former Firebirds’ forward C.J. Clarke, who played in 133 games for Flint across the past three seasons. On Friday, Clarke is expected to play his seventh game since the trade and his first game against his former teammates.

Between-the-Pipes, goaltender Jacob Ingham (Los Angeles Kings) has a save percentage (SAV%) of .892 and a 3.43 goals-against average (GAA). He has backstopped the Steelheads to 16 victories in 37 appearances. First-year netminder Joe Ranger has earned the win in one of six games played this season, posting a 4.06 GAA and a .858 SAV%.

NHL: Jacob Ingham (Los Angeles Kings) is currently the only Mississauga player with NHL ties on the roster. In addition, Thomas Harley, Cole Schwindt and Keean Washkurak were named to November’s NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list for the upcoming NHL Draft.

Mississauga alumni to play in the NHL include Trevor Carrick, Dylan DeMelo, Spencer Martin, Stuart Percy, Alexander Nylander and Owen Tippett.

 

Broadcast Coverage:
Friday evening’s contest in Mississauga 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. Dominic Hennig will call the play-by-play action on the Flint Firebirds Hockey Radio Network. Pregame coverage will begin 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m.

The game will be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 463 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 463 for 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. Along with Friday’s game, 65 of the Firebirds’ 68 games throughout the 2018-19 season are also scheduled to be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak.

All Flint Firebirds home and away games throughout the 2018-19 season can be watched anywhere in the world online on www.ohllive.com or on the OHL Live app. OHL Live is a league 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 per game, $69.99 for Flint Firebirds away games only, $179.99 for all 68 home and away Firebirds games and $279.99 for all 1,360 OHL games throughout the 2018-19 season.

 

 

Next Home Game:
Flint will compete in four more road games before returning home to the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center on Wednesday, Jan 30. The London Knights will be in town for their final appearance of the season. The game marks another ‘Winning Wednesday’. The Firebirds are offering amazing deals for all Wednesday home games, featuring $2 Beers, $2 Hot Dogs and $2 Pop Corn. Also, every time the Firebirds win at home on a Wednesday, each fan in attendance will receive a free ticket to the next Wednesday home game.

The game on Jan 30 will also conclude the “Firebirds Fight Hunger” month. In partnership with the Foodbank of Eastern Michigan, fans can bring in five non-perishable food items to the Firebirds’ merchandise store, ‘The Birds Nest,’ at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center for a complimentary sponsored Silver Level ticket to any home Firebirds’ game in the month of January, courtesy of Dort Federal Credit Union, AMD Urgent Care, Captain’s Quarters Lounge, Little Caesars Pizza and Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) Flint.

Additionally, There are 12 custom Firebirds’ backpacks, stitched with players’ last name, number and Firebirds’ logo up for bid on an online auction until Jan. 30. All have a minimum retail value of $250 worth of products or services inside each bag! Fans can bid now here: http://bidpal.net/FFH

Single game tickets for all Firebirds games are $12 Bronze, $16 Silver, $20 Gold and $26 VIP seating (Seating Chart). All seats are reserved / assigned seating. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (810) 744-0580, in-person at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com here.

Photo Credit: CWP Photography

 

For more information:

Dominic Hennig
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
dominic@flintfirebirds.com
(810) 519-9347

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