Firebirds Open Preseason on Saturday Night in Windsor
WINDSOR, Ont. – The Flint Firebirds begin the 2023 preseason on Saturday night with a trip to see the division rival Windsor Spitfires. It’s the first of four preseason games for the Birds, three of which will take place against the Spits, with two coming at Windsor’s WFCU Centre.Puck drop for the preseason opener across the Detroit River in Windsor is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Firebirds will host Windsor for the second of their preseason matchups on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. at Flint Iceland Arena.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Headlining an impressive group of returning players for Flint is right wing Gavin Hayes, who finished second on the 2022-23 squad in both goals and points. Hayes put up 41 goals and 40 assists in 66 games played, becoming just the third player in franchise history to hit the 40-goal mark. A 2022 third-round selection of the Chicago Blackhawks, Hayes signed an entry-level contract with Chicago in April.
Defenseman Tristan Bertucci (2nd round, Dallas), right wing Coulson Pitre (3rd round, Anaheim), goaltender Nathaniel Day (6th round, Edmonton) and center Ethan Hay (7th round, Tampa Bay) were each selected in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft and will play their first games since being drafted by their respective franchises.
Among the group of fresh faces is 2023 OHL Priority Selection first-round draft choice Jeremy Martin will get his first taste of the OHL. The 15th overall pick in the draft tallied 28 goals in 32 games for the Toronto Marlboros U16 in the Greater Toronto Hockey League during the 2022-23 season. Other newcomers to the forward group include 2023 CHL import draft selection Markas Samenas, a 6-fot-5 forward who reentered the import draft following a season with Acadie-Bathurst in the QMJHL, and 2023 second-round pick Jimmy Lombardi.
BEHIND THE BENCH:
Head coach Ted Dent returns for his third season at the helm of the Firebirds. Over his first two seasons, Dent has guided the Birds to a 77-49-5-5 record and back-to-back postseason appearances. He will be assisted by Reijo Ruostalainen, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with 14 seasons of coaching experience, Paul Flache, who returns to Flint where he had previously been an assistant coach from 2016-18, and Saverio Posa, back for his second season with the Firebirds.
The Firebirds will play their lone home preseason game on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. at Flint Iceland Arena against the Spitfires. Admission is free for season membership holders and general admission tickets will be on sale at the door for $10, cash only. Flint will round out its preseason schedule with games at Windsor on September 21 and at Sarnia on September 22.
The Firebirds regular season begins on the road on September 29 against the Soo in the GFL Memorial Gardens at 7:07 p.m. They return home the next night for Opening Night on September 30 against the Kitchener Rangers at 7:00 p.m.
2023-24 Season Memberships remain on sale! Memberships start as low as $408 for the full season. Benefits for full-season membership holders include FREE parking ($340 value), $102 of ticket savings for all of the 2023-24 season, (4) complimentary tickets to regular-season games in Saginaw, (2) buddy vouchers to bring a friend to any Firebirds’ game, any game unused ticket redemption and an exclusive invitation to team and player events.
Single-game Tickets are on sale NOW! on Etix.com and at the Dort Financial Center Box Office. The Box Office is back to its regular scheduled business hours from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Continue to follow @FlintFirebirds on all social media channels to learn more about team movement, ticket sales, promotions, giveaways, and MORE ahead of the 2023-24 season.