Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds will host the Sarnia Sting for the club’s annual ‘School Day Game’ Wednesday. Puck drop is set for 11:00 a.m. (ET) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center (cap. 4,400) in Flint.
Flint enters Wednesday’s contest having won the past two games. Overall, Flint holds a record of 12-5-0-0 for the season, which is their best start ever. In home games, the Firebirds are 8-1-0-0. The ‘Birds are tied for first in the West Division and first overall in the Western Conference. For Sarnia, after starting the season 0-7-0-0, the Sting have posted a 9-1-0-0 record in their past 10 games. Sarnia carries a record of 9-8-0-0, and they rank fourth in the West Division and eighth in the Western Conference. In road games this season, the Bee’s are 5-3-0-0.
Wednesday is the third consecutive year that the Firebirds and Sting will meet in Flint for a morning School Day game. The Firebirds currently hold a 2-0 record in those games. Ironically, in each of the previous two School Day games, a Firebird has recorded a hat-trick: Nick Caamano (Nov. 15, 2017) and Jake Durham (Nov. 7, 2018).
Wednesday morning also marks the third of eight regular-season meetings between these clubs this campaign, and the second of four games in Flint. All-time, Flint holds a record of 15-17-2-0 in games against the Sting. In home games, the ‘Birds are 11-5-1-0 in the series. Last season Flint finished with an overall record of 3-4-1-0 versus the Sting, and were 3-0-1-0 on home ice.
This season, the Firebirds won the first meeting in Flint on September 29. That night, Flint scored a season-high eight goals to defeat the Sting 8 – 5. The Sting evened the series in Sarnia on November 1, when they skated to a 7 – 5 victory. Sean Josling recorded a hat trick, Ryan Roth had a four-point night (2G, 2A) and Jamieson Rees (Carolina Hurricanes) logged four helpers to lead the Sting’s offense.
On special teams this season, with the man-advantage, the Sting are the OHL’s fourth-best team, scoring at a 29.2% clip. Flint converts at a rate of 14.7% on the power play. The Firebirds are killing penalties at a rate of 75.0%, which is 15th-best in the OHL. The ‘Birds have the league’s fourth-best penalty kill at 85.7% on home ice. Sarnia’s penalty-killers rank 14th at 75.4% efficiency.
Of note, the Firebirds have not allowed a power-play goal in 6 of their last 8 games. In the other two, Flint only allowed 1 goal both games. The Firebirds are 23/25 on the penalty-kill in those contests.
More than 2,500 students are expected from various area schools throughout Flint, Genesee and Shiawassee County. There will be educational messages ranging from leadership to perseverance displayed throughout the event on the video board from Firebirds’ Associate Coach Ryan Kuwabara, forward and alternate captain Ethan Keppen, goaltender Luke Cavallin and defenseman Owen Lalonde and Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson. Additionally, a discounted ticket rate of $5 is available all students, teachers & chaperones. The Firebirds also offer amazing deals for all Wednesday home games, featuring $2 Hot Dogs, $2 Popcorn and $2 sodas!
Season ticket holder’s seats will be reserved but are able to relocate if wanted. Please contact the Dort Federal Event Center box office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (810) 744-0580.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (12-5-0-0, T-1st Western Conference):
Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) and Evgeniy Oksentyuk continue to lead the way for Flint with 19 points each. Dellandrea is expected to play in his 200th regular-season OHL game with the Firebirds on Wednesday. He currently has seven goals and team-high 12 assists and rides a five-game point streak (1G, 4A). Dellandrea is the Firebirds’ all-time leader in assists (96) and points (165), but now needs only three more goals to tie for the all-team lead in goals-scored, which currently sits at 72 from Ryan Moore.
Evgeniy Oksentyuk has eight goals and eleven helpers to rank second on the squad. Defenseman Riley McCourt ranks third on the team with six goals and ten assists for 16 total points. His 16 points have him tied for eighth-most among all OHL defenseman, and his six goals have him tied for fifth in the same category. Jake Durham leads the team in goals-scored with nine, and he ranks fourth in total points with 15. Durham is ranked fourth all-time for the Firebirds’ franchise with 120 total points. Nick Caamano, who now plays for the Dallas Stars, currently occupies the third spot with 122 total points. Jack Phibbs is currently in the midst of a three-game point-streak.
Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida Panthers) ranks second among Flint’s blue-liners with 12 total points (4G, 8A) through 17 games. Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes) is tied for the eighth-best plus/minus rating among rearguards at +11.
Between the pipes, Anthony Popovich has played in 11 games this season. His eight victories are tied for fifth-most in the OHL. He carries the OHL’s 8th-best save-percentage (SAV%) of .906 and the 9th-best goals-against average (GAA) of 3.21. Luke Cavallin has four wins in seven appearances, and he carries a 3.93 GAA with a .891 SAV%.
NHL: The Firebirds have four players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), and Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida Panthers). In addition, Evan Vierling was named to the 2020 NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list.
Sarnia Sting (9-8-0-0, 8th Western Conference):
Sean Josling leads the Sting on the stat sheet with 34 points (16G, 18A). His 34 points and his 16 goals are both tied for fourth-most in the league. Jamieson Rees (Carolina Hurricanes) ranks second with ten goals and 14 assists in only 11 games. Rees is on a 10 game point-streak. Ryan Roth is tied for the league-lead in game-winning goals with four. He has 24 total points (9G, 15A) in 17 games played.
The Sarnia rearguards are led by Eric Hjorth who has five goals and nine assists through 16 contests. Ryan Mast is a first-year blue-liner who’s six assists equal the most points by a rookie on the club.
The Sting added netminder Jordan Kooy (Vegas Golden Knights) via a trade with the London Knights last month. Kooy has appeared in seven contests this season and posted a 4.60 goals-against average (GAA) with a save-percentage (SAV%) of .853. Second-year netminder Ethan Langevin has played in twelve games for the Sting this season. He holds a 5.04 GAA along with a .863 SAV%.
NHL: The Sting have four players with NHL ties, including Grosse Pointe, Mich. native Mitch Eliot (Vancouver Canucks), Ryan McGregor (Toronto Maple Leafs), Jamieson Rees (Carolina Hurricanes) and Jordan Kooy (Vegas Golden Knights).
13 notable Sting’s alumni to play in the NHL are Reid Boucher, Eric Boulton, Daniel Carcillo, Jakob Chychrun, Alex Galchenyuk, Matt Martin, Connor Murphy, Dalton Prout, Brett Ritchie, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Spooner, Nail Yakupov and Pavel Zacha.
Wednesday morning’s contest against the Sarnia Sting 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 Firebirds Hockey Network (FHN). Pregame coverage will begin 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 10:30 a.m. New this season, fans can watch the FHN TV Pregame Show live on Facebook and Twitter, also beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The game will be televised live in Sarnia on channel 6 / 700 (HD) for Cogeco TV cable subscribers and across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 466 for both Cogeco TV and 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 Wednesday’s game, 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.
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:
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club