Preview: Saginaw Visits Flint Wednesday for I-75 Divide Cup Contest
|Saginaw Spirit at Flint Firebirds|
|Date | Time||Wednesday, Jan. 2 | 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||Flint, Mich. | Dort Federal Event Center (Directions)|
|Tickets||Ticketmaster.com | (810) 744-0580|
|Promotions||– Winning Wednesday
– $2 Beers, $2 Hot Dogs and $2 Pop Corn
– “Firebirds Fight Hunger” Month
|TV||– OHL Action Pak: Live Rogers ch. 459 & Cogeco ch. 490 (Ontario)
– WNEM-TV5 Plus: Delayed 8:00pm Sunday Jan. 6 (Mich.)
– Firebirds’ Broadcast Coverage
|Video Stream||OHL Live|
|Radio||WQUS 103.1 FM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 6:30p|
|Radio (Mobile)||US 103 App: Android | iPhone/iPad|
|NHL Scouts Packet||Here|
|Next Home Game||Saturday, Jan. 5: Promotions|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds will host the Saginaw Spirit Wednesday, Jan 2 for game five of the I-75 Divide Cup, sponsored by Coors Light. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint.
Wednesday marks the third of four meetings in Flint this season and the fifth of eight total match-ups during the 2018-19 regular season. All-time, Flint is 11-15-0-2 against Saginaw. In home games, the Firebirds are 7-5-0-2 versus the Spirit. Of the 28 regular-season OHL games played between these two clubs, eight games were decided by just one goal, seven of which required overtime. Flint is 5-3 in one-goal games with Saginaw.
For the fourth consecutive year, the team who wins the most regular-season meetings between the two clubs will take home the coveted I-75 Divide Cup, sponsored by Coors Light. In each of the first two series, the Cup remained in Flint. Last season, the Spirit claimed the Cup, winning seven of eight meetings. The Spirit have won the first four contests this season, but Flint has gained momentum recently, winning two of their last four games, and looks to prevent the Spirit from clinching this season’s series.
On Sunday, Saginaw posted a 5-0 victory over the Firebirds at the Dow Event Center in front of more than 4,000 fans. Scoring once on the power-play, once on the game’s only penalty shot, and twice on fortuitous bounces in the slot, the Spirit capitalized on 50 shots-on-goal over an injury-ridden Firebirds’ squad. Veteran netminder Emanuel Vella played brilliant, posting 45 saves in the contest.
Flint will have a new look Wednesday as the club was busy completing two trades yesterday. The first, CJ Clarke was traded to Mississauga (details) before the Firebirds acquired first-round draft pick Cody Morgan from the Windsor Spitfires (details).
On special teams, Saginaw has the fifth-best road power play, converting on 22.8% of their opportunities. The Firebirds rank 15th at home, scoring 17.7% of the time with the man-advantage. The Spirit have killed 77.2% of their penalties in away games successfully, which is league’s 11th-best penalty-kill. Flint has killed penalties on home ice at an overall rate of 63.2% this season.
Along with the contest being the fifth I-75 Divide Cup game of the season, sponsored by Coors Light, Wednesday is also the fifth ‘Winning Wednesday’ of the season. The Firebirds offer amazing deals for all of their Wednesday home games featuring $2 Beers, $2 Hot Dogs, $2 Pop Corn, and…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.
Wednesday also begins 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, courtesy of Dort Federal Credit Union, AMD Urgent Care, Captain’s Quarters Lounge, Little Caesars Pizza and Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) Flint.
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.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (5-31-2-0, 5th West Division):
Flint is led by a pair of forwards who hail from Port Perry, Ontario, consisting of team captain Ty Dellandrea and assistant captain Jake Durham. Durham has 37 points (23G, 14A) in 38 games-played, and has posted 10 multi-point events in the campaign. Dellandrea leads the Firebirds with 20 assists, including two at home Saturday night. He now has 33 points (13G, 20A) in 32 games. Eric Uba posted another two-point game Saturday and ranks third on the club with 14 goals and 12 helpers in 37 games. First-year forward Jacob Winterton leads all newcomers with seven goals-scored, and he has 15 total points through 38 matches.
After being acquired in a trade with the Windsor Spitfires Tuesday, the Cody Morgan is expected to make his debut in a Firebirds’ uniform. Morgan was a first-round (12th overall) selection by the Kingston Frontenacs in the 2017 OHL Draft. The Richmond, Ont. native has recorded 30 points (12G, 18A) in 96 career OHL games.
On the blue line, newcomer Vladislav Kolyachonok had points in three-straight games prior to Sunday, and now totals 15 points in 26 contests. Riley McCourt also surrendered a three-game streak (1G, 4A), and has 13 points in just 20 games-played this season.
Overage netminder Emanuel Vella stopped 45 of 50 shots in Saginaw on Sunday, and now holds a 5.05 GAA and a .871 across 24 appearances. Second-year goaltender Luke Cavallin has a 5.39 GAA and a .855 SAV% after appearing in 19 contests. Vella and Cavallin each have two wins between the pipes.
NHL: The Firebirds have three players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) and Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs). In addition, seven Flint Firebirds are first-time eligible skaters for the upcoming NHL Draft in June: Luke Cavallin, Kyle Harris, Ethan Keppen, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Cody Morgan, Eric Uba and Jacob Winterton. Cavallin, Keppen and Kolyachonok were named to November’s NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list.
Saginaw Spirit (21-11-2-2, 2nd West Division):
Three American-born players lead the Spirit in scoring. Cole Coskey (Zion, Ill.) rides an eight-game point streak (8G, 7A) into Sunday’s tilt, and has 39 overall points in 32 games-played this season. Defenseman Bode Wilde (New York Islanders) tops the rearguard squad with 28 assists, and now has 37 points in 30 contests. Wilde, who hails from Plymouth, Mich., is on a six-game point streak (3G, 8A) entering Wednesday’s rivalry matchup. Jackson, Mich. native Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders) netted two goals against Flint on Sunday. He also averages just over a point per game with 35 points in 37 contests.
Between the Pipes: Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona Coyotes) from Moskva, Russia, was the 13th overall selection in the 2018 OHL Import Draft, and selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Draft. In 27 appearances with the Spirit this season, he has a 3.32 goals-against average (GAA) and a .894 save percentage (SAV%), along with 17 wins and two shutouts. Prosvetov earned victories in back-to-back starts Friday and Saturday night. Newcomer Tristan Lennox posted his first career shutout over the Firebirds on Sunday, stopping all 23 shots-faced. He now has two wins in six appearances this season, with a GAA of 2.38 and a .906 SAV%.
NHL: Saginaw has six players with NHL ties, including two players drafted by the Detroit Red Wings: Brady Gilmour and Reilly Webb. Other connected players include Damien Giroux (Minnesota Wild), Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders), Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona Coyotes) and Bode Wilde (New York Islanders). Additionally, Nicholas Porco was named to NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list, released in November.
12 notable Spirit alumni to play in the NHL are Cody Bass, Paul Bissonnette, T.J. Brodie, Matt Corrente, Filip Hronek, Jan Mursak, Jamie Oleksiak, Dalton Prout, Tom Pyatt, Brandon Saad, Chris Thorburn and Vincent Trocheck.
Wednesday evening’s contest 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 begin 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m.
The game will also be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 459 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 490 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 Wednesday’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.
Through Saginaw’s partnership, the game will also be televised on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, January 6th at 8 p.m. (ET) on WNEM-TV5 Plus. The channel can be found on 5.2 via antennae over the air, channel 199 for Charter Cable subscribers and channel 4 for Comcast/Xfinity cable subscribers.
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.
Blue Line Club Menu:
Presented by Great Lakes Sandwich Co & Cafe, Wednesday evening’s dinner menu for the Blue Line Club features meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, steamed vegetables, garden salad and dinner rolls. The menu is available to all sponsors and season ticket holders for $12 per person. Dinner RSVP’s are encouraged by emailing Karla Turner at [email protected].
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds host the Sudbury Wolves at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center this Saturday, Jan. 5. The game is part of 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 Silver Level ticket, courtesy of Dort Federal Credit Union, AMD Urgent Care, Captain’s Quarters Lounge, Little Caesars Pizza and Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) Flint.
Photo Credit: Danen Williams
For more information: