Preview: Flint Faces-Off vs. Spirit Sunday in Saginaw
|Flint Firebirds at Saginaw Spirit|
|Date | Time||Sunday, Dec. 30 | 5:30 p.m.|
|Location||Saginaw, Mich. | Dow Event Center (capacity 5,527)|
|Tickets||Online | (989) 497-7747|
|TV||– OHL Action Pak: Live Rogers ch. 438 & Cogeco ch. 479 (Ontario)
– WNEM-TV5 Plus: Delayed 8:00pm Sunday Jan. 6 (Michigan)
– Firebirds’ Broadcast Coverage
|Video Stream||OHL Live|
|Radio||WQUS 103.1 FM (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 5:00p|
|Radio (Mobile)||US 103 App: Android | iPhone/iPad|
|Next Home Game||Wednesday, Jan. 2 vs. Saginaw: (Promotions)|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Saginaw, Mich. – After posting a 5-2 victory on home-ice Saturday vs. Windsor, the Firebirds will travel to Saginaw Sunday afternoon for game four of the I-75 Divide Cup, presented by Coors Light. Puck drop is set for 5:30 p.m. (ET) at the Dow Event Center.
Wednesday marks the second of four meetings in Saginaw this season and the fourth of eight total match-ups during the 2018-19 regular season. All-time, Flint is 11-14-0-2 against Saginaw. In away games, the Firebirds are 4-10-0-0 versus the Spirit. Of the 27 regular-season OHL games played between these two clubs, eight games have been 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 seasons, the Cup remained in Flint. Last season, the Spirit claimed the Cup, winning seven of eight meetings. The Spirit have won the first three contests this season, but Flint has gained momentum recently, winning two of their last three games.
On Saturday, the Firebirds posted a victory over the Windsor Spitfires on home ice before a capacity crowd of 4,111 fans (Watch Highlights). Four different Firebirds recorded multi-point games in a 5-2 decision. Saginaw utilized six different goal scorers in a 6-4 victory on home-ice against the Erie Otters.
On special teams, Saginaw has the fourth-best overall power play, converting on 25.0% of their opportunities. The Firebirds score 14.9% of the time with the man-advantage. The Spirit have killed 78.5% of their penalties successfully, which is league’s 13th-best penalty-kill. Flint has killed penalties at an overall rate of 69.0% this season.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (5-30-2-0, 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 netted his 23rd goal of the season last night to maintain his point-per-game average. He now has 37 points in 37 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 in 31 games. Eric Uba continues to deliver, posting another two-point game last and ranking third on the club with 14 goals and 12 helpers in 36 games. First-year forward Jacob Winterton leads all newcomers with seven goals-scored, and he has 15 total points through 37 matches.
On the blue line, newcomer Vladislav Kolyachonok has points in three-straight games, and now totals 15 points in 25 contests. Riley McCourt is also on a three-game streak (1G, 4A), and has 13 points in just 19 games-played this season.
In net, youngster Evan Morrison backstopped the Firebirds for his first career win on Saturday. In three appearances, he now has a 4.70 goals-against average (GAA) and a .843 save percentage (SAV%). Overage netminder Emanuel Vella holds a 5.06 GAA and a .869 across 23 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, Luke Cavallin, Kyle Harris, Ethan Keppen, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Eric Uba and Jacob Winterton are first-time eligible skaters for the upcoming NHL Draft in June. Cavallin, Keppen and Kolyachonok were named to November’s NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list.
Saginaw Spirit (20-11-2-2, 2nd West Division):
The Spirit are led by three American-born players. Cole Coskey (Zion, Ill.) rides a seven-game point streak (7G, 6A) into Sunday’s tilt, and has 37 overall points in 31 games-played this season. Defenseman Bode Wilde (New York Islanders) tops the squad with 27 assists, and now has 36 points in 29 contests. Wilde, who hails from Plymouth, Mich., is on a five-game point streak (3G, 7A) entering Sunday’s rivalry matchup. Jackson, Mich. native Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders) also averages just over a point per game with 35 points in 34 games.
Between the Pipes: Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona Coyotes) from Moskva, Russia, was the 13th overall selection in the 2018 OHL Import Draft. He was also 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 has one win in five appearances this season, with a GAA of 2.97 and a .885 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.
Sunday 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 5:00 p.m.
The game will also be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 438 for Rogers TV cable subscribers and channel 479 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 Sunday’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 8:00 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.
Next Home Game:
The Firebirds and Spirit will meet again at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center this Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Wednesday 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 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.
The contest is also another ‘Winning Wednesday.’ 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.
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.
For more information: