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Preview: Firebirds begin five-game road-trip in Ottawa Friday

Flint Firebirds at Ottawa 67’s
Date | Time Friday, Jan. 17 | 7:00 p.m.
Location Ottawa, Ont. | TD Place (capacity 9,500)
Tickets Online | (613) 232-6767
TV – Rogers TV ch. 22 / 510 HD Live (Ottawa)
– OHL Action Pak: Cogeco TV 487 & Rogers TV 462 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 Saturday, January 25th: Backpack Night
Social Media @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook  | Instagram 

Ottawa, Ont. – The Firebirds launch a three-road-games-in-three-days weekend Friday night against the OHL’s top-ranked Ottawa 67’s. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. at the TD Arena (cap. 9,500) in Canada’s capital city.

Saturday marks the second of two meetings between the two clubs, and the only contest in Ottawa this season. All-time the Firebirds hold a record of 4-3-1-0 versus the 67’s, and a 1-2-1-0 record in Ottawa. Last season the clubs split the series, with each team winning on their home ice. The 67’s ended the 2019-20 regular season in first place in the 20-team OHL.

The Firebirds enter Friday’s contest in third place in the West Division and sixth in the Western Conference with a record of 22-16-1-0. The 67’s are currently leading the East Division, the Eastern Conference and the league with a record of 31-7-0-0. Flint’s record in away games stands at 8-8-0-0 compared to Ottawa’s home-ice record of 16-3-0-0. In their last ten games the Firebirds have gone 4-5-1-0 and Ottawa is 9-1-0-0 in that span.

On special teams this season Flint’s penalty-kill ranks second in the league, finding success at a rate of 82.2%. Ottawa’s penalty-killers are ranked fifth at 80.9%. With the man-advantage, the 67’s rank first in the league, converting at a rate of 30.6% and the Firebirds are 20th, scoring at a 16.9% clip.

 

Players to Watch:

Flint Firebirds (22-16-1-0, 3rd West Division):
Belarusian forward Evgeniy Oksentyuk tops the club with 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points in 34 contests. He currently rides the longest point streak in the OHL and in Firebirds’ franchise history at 16 games (12G, 16A).Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) carries a five-game point-streak (7G, 8A) in OHL play. For the season, he ranks third for Flint with 18 goals and 23 helpers in 29 games.

Defenseman Riley McCourt recently surpassed former Firebird Matt Henderson for most goals scored by a defenseman in a Firebirds’ uniform with 21 pots in the orange and navy blue. McCourt’s 87 total points with Flint are just three-shy of tying the record for all-time points by a Firebirds’ rearguard. For this season, McCourt is second in total offense with 11 goals and a team-high 31 assists for 42 total points in 39 games. His total points are fourth-most among OHL rearguards, his 11 tallies are tied for sixth, and his 31 helpers are fourth.

Brennan Othmann leads the freshman class for the ‘Birds with 20 total points (8G, 12A) through 31 games. His point-total is tied for eighth among rookies in the league, his eight goals are tied for seventh-most and his 12 helpers are tied for eighth.

Between the pipes, Luke Cavallin hails from nearby Ottawa in Kanata, has seven wins in 14 appearances and carries a 3.75 GAA with the ninth-best SAV% at .898. Anthony Popovich has played in 28 games this season. He’s earned 15 victories, which are tied for the fifth-most in OHL. His goals-against average (GAA) is 3.76 and he has the eighth-best save-percentage (SAV%) in the league at .897.

NHL: The Firebirds have five players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida Panthers) and Tyler Tucker (St. Louis Blues). Additionally, Evgeniy Oksentyuk was named to the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft.

Despite Flint being in the midst of just their fifth OHL season, three former Firebirds have already played in NHL regular-season games: Nick Caamano (Dallas Stars), Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes) and Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets). Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), Vili Saarijarvi (Arizona Coyotes) and Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) have played in NHL pre-season contests. In total, the team has produced an impressive 18 drafted or signed NHL players in that short time.

Ottawa 67’s (31-7-0-0, 1st East Division):
Marco Rossi leads the 67’s with 26 goals and 48 helpers in just 32 games-played. His 48 assists and 74 total points both rank first in the OHL. Rossi is also first in the league with a points-per-game average of 2.31. He also ranks fifth in the OHL in power-play assists with 18. Austen Keating ranks second on the club with 57 total points (20G, 37A) through 37 contests. Joseph Garreffa has 24 tallies and 32 assists for 56 points in 28 games.

Defenseman Noel Hoefenmeyer (Arizona Coyotes) tops the blue-line unit for Ottawa with 15 goals and 39 assists in 38 games-played. His 54 total points are the most by any defender in the OHL, and his total goals and total assists each rank second in their respective categories. Hoefenmeyer’s 20 power-play helpers are third among all OHL skaters.

Rossi, Keating, Garreffa and Hoefenmeyer join teammate Jack Quinn to earn the top five spots in the league for plus/minus ranking. Quinn’s 30 tallies are the third-most in the OHL.

First-year player Jack Beck tops the freshman class for Ottawa with four goals and nine assists in 33 contests.

Between the pipes, Cedric Andree has appeared in 29 games and ranks inside the top three among OHL netminders in several categories. He’s tied for the most wins at 22 and ranks second in shutouts with three this season. His goals-against average (GAA) ranks second at 2.39 and his .918 save-percentage (SAV%) is the third-best. Rookie netminder Will Cranlee has 11 appearances this season, earning nine victories with a .862 SAV% and a 3.60 GAA.

NHL: Ottawa’s roster features five players with NHL including Mitchell Hoelscher (New Jersey Devils), Graeme Clarke (New Jersey Devils), Kevin Bahl (New Jersey Devils), Nikita Okhotyuk (New Jersey Devils) and Noel Hoefenmayer (Arizona Coyotes). Additionally, Marco Rossi, Jack Quinn and goaltender Will Cranley were all listed on the NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft.

Ottawa alumni to play in the NHL include Logan Couture, Petr Mrazek, Gary Roberts, Kris Draper, Brian Campbell, Bobby Smith, Denis Potvin, Doug Wilson, Andrew Cassels, Shean Donovan, Doug Crossman, Randy Cunneyworth, Michael Peca, Chris Simon, Petr Mrazek, Travis Konecny, Kevin Weekes, and Darren Pang. 

 

Broadcast Coverage:
Friday evening’s contest against the Ottawa 67’s 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. Firebirds’ broadcaster Dominic Hennig will call the play-by-play action on the Firebirds Hockey Radio Network. Pregame coverage will begin 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m.

Friday’s game will also be televised live in Ottawa on channel 22 / 510 (HD) for Rogers TV cable subscribers. The game will also be televised live throughout the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak in high definition on channel 462 for Cogeco TV cable subscribers and channel 487 Rogers 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, 64 of the Firebirds’ 68 games throughout the 2019-20 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 2019-20 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, $149.99 for all 68 home and away Firebirds games and $179.99 for all 1,360 OHL games throughout the 2019-20 season.

 

For more information:

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

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