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Preview: Firebirds wrap-up preseason tonight vs. Saginaw at Iceland Arenas

Saginaw Spirit at Flint Firebirds
Date | Time  Saturday, Sep. 14 | 7:00 p.m.
Location  Flint, Mich | Iceland Arenas
Tickets  – Free for Season Ticket Holders
– $10 General Admission at the Door
TV – None (preseason)
– Firebirds’ Broadcast Coverage
Video Stream – None (preseason)
Radio – None (preseason)
Radio (Mobile) – None (preseason)
Live Stats  Here
Social Media  @FlintFirebirds   | Facebook  | Instagram 

Flint, Mich – The Flint Firebirds will host their in-state rival, the Saginaw Spirit, in the Firebirds’ only home exhibition game of the 2019 Pre-Season this Saturday, September 14th. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Firebirds’ official practice facility, Flint Iceland Arenas on Elms Rd. in Clayton Township. Tickets are free for all Firebirds’ season ticket holders. Parking is free for all fans. General admission seating is $10 and can be purchased in advance at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office or at Iceland Arena’s.

Saturday marks the fourth and final preseason game for Flint this exhibition season, and the only game played in Flint. The Firebirds posted a 7-5 road victory in Guelph on Saturday, Aug. 31, scoring four unanswered goals to rally for the victory. On Wednesday, the club travelled to Windsor and outscored the Spitfires 3 – 2 while missing 10 players, with 7 gone to NHL Training camps.

Last night, Flint defeated the Spirit in Saginaw to improve to 3 – 0. Flint scored three-unanswered goals in the third period to rally for a 7-5 victory over the Saginaw Spirit Friday to improve to 3-0. Jake Durham recorded a hat-trick, Evgeniy Oksentyuk tallied three assists, Michael Bianconi scored twice, including the game-winner, and goaltender Peyton Grainer recorded 41 saves for his first victory in his first-career OHL preseason game.

Saginaw is now 2-2-0-0 in the preseason this year. They fell 8 – 5 to the Petes in Peterborough in their first exhibition contest on Aug. 30 before posting victories over the Kitchener Rangers and North Bay Battalion.

Flint finished preseason action last year with a 2-3-0-0 record. All-time, Flint is 8-12-0-0 in exhibition games. The Firebirds and Spirit have met eight times in the preseason over the last four years, and Flint has won four of them. At home in exhibition contests between these rivals, Flint’s record is 2-1-0-0. In the regular season, all-time, Flint is 10-20-0-2 versus the Spirit and 6-8-0-2 on home ice.

The Firebirds had a record nine players attend NHL training camps ahead of the 2019-20 OHL campaign: Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Jake Durham (Columbus Blue Jackets), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida Panthers), Riley McCourt (Boston Bruins), Cody Morgan (Detroit Red Wings), Evgeniy Oksentyuk (Arizona Coyotes) and Anthony Popovich (Detroit Red Wings).

On special teams this preseason, Saginaw ranks first in the league at 33.3% success, scoring on three of nine chances. Flint has scored one power-play goal on 11 opportunities for a conversion rate of 9.1%. The Spirit have killed 13 of 15 shorthanded situations, which is an 86.7% efficiency. The ‘Birds have killed 5 of 7 penalties, which is a 71.4% rate.

 

Promotions & Ticket Info:
Fans are encouraged to bring their skates and helmets as there will be a free “skate with the team” opportunity immediately following the game. Rental skates will be available for $3 for those without skates. Players along with team mascot, Hot Wing, will be available to meet and greet, sign autographs and pose for pictures during the public skate.

New Firebirds’ merchandise will be on sale in the lobby. Intermission activities during the event will feature a shootout intra-squad competition with the Squirt (9 & 10 year olds) Junior Firebirds. The second intermission will feature a chuck-a-puck with prizes consisting of a Firebirds’ team-signed jersey and a Nick Caamano game used Bauer Nexus stick.

 

Players to Watch:
Brennan Othmann has made an impressive showing in the three exhibition games this season. His three goals rank him second among all rookies in the OHL, and his five points (3G, 2A) rank him third. He sits tied for the team lead in points with Evgeniy Oksentyuk who also has five points but in only two games-played. Veteran forward Jake Durham has four goals in two games and is leading the squad in goals-scored. Defensemen Riley McCourt and Michael Bianconi each have scored two goals in three games.

Between the pipes, Evan Morrison has made two appearances. He’s made 32 saves on 37 shots-faced for a 4.10 goals-against average (GAA) and a save-percentage (SAV%) of .865. Two of the three wins thus far are credited to Morrison. Peyton Granger made his first start in the OHL last night in Saginaw, and picked up his first victory. He logged a .891 SAV% with a 5.00 GAA. Luke Cavallin has not played a full game in the preseason, but does have 20 saves on 22 shots for a .909 SAV%.

The Spirit are led by forward Cole Perfetti and defenseman Mitchell Smith on the stat sheet. Perfetti has lit the lamp once and added five helpers for six points in three games-played. Smith also has a goal and five assists, but in four preseason contests. Rearguard Mason Millman (Philadelphia Flyers) has only played two contests, but ranks third on the club with five points (1G, 4A).

Ivan Prosvetov has made two appearances in goal for the Spirit thus far, earning one victory and posting a 3.00 GAA with a SAV% of .918. Tristan Lennox played once and also has a GAA of 3.00 with a .857 SAV%. Carter Tahk has appeared in three games, earning one win and logging a 6.10 GAA with a .787 SAV%.

 

Broadcast Coverage:
There will be no live radio or television coverage for Saturday evening’s contest. However, throughout the regular season, all 68 games 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 with pre-game coverage beginning 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

65 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. 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 2019-20 regular 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 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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