Preview: Firebirds Face Windsor Saturday in Flint
|Windsor Spitfires at Flint Firebirds|
|Date | Time||Saturday, Dec. 29th | 7:00 p.m.|
|Location||Flint, Mich. | Dort Federal Event Center (Directions)|
|Tickets||Ticketmaster.com | (810) 744-0580|
|Promotions||– Superhero Night|
|TV||– YourTV channel 11 / 700 HD Live (Windsor)
– OHL Action Pak: Rogers TV 463 & Cogeco TV 463 Live (Ontario)
– Broadcast Information
|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|
|Social Media||@FlintFirebirds | Facebook | Instagram|
Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds play their second of back-to-back home games during the holiday week Saturday night. Flint plays host to the Windsor Spitfires. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center.
Saturday marks the third of six meetings between the Firebirds and Spitfires this season, and the second of three in Flint. The first time these clubs collided, the Firebirds defeated the Spitfires 3-1. Emanuel Vella picked up his first victory between the pipes in a Firebirds’ uniform, making 34 saves on 35 shots. The following night, Windsor evened the series on their home ice (Watch Highlights). Last season, the Firebirds posted a 2-4-0-0 record against the Spitfires. All-time, Flint holds an overall record of 6-12-1-0 versus Windsor and are 4-6-0-0 against the Spitfires in Flint.
Most recently, the Firebirds were unable to solve the Erie Otters last night, dropping a 9-2 decision in front of a capacity crowd of nearly 4,000 in Flint (Watch Highlights). The Windsor Spitfires faced the Knights, losing 8-6 in a wild match before a capacity crowd of more than 9,000 in London (Watch Highlights).
Saturday is the third time that Firebirds’ Eric Wellwood will face the Windsor Spitfires as a Head Coach in the OHL. Wellwood currently resides in Windsor and played for the Spitfires from 2007-10, winning back-to-back Memorial Cup Championships in 2009 & 2010. Wellwood later went on to be drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers and recorded 10 points in 31 NHL games before sustaining a career ending injury.
Flint forward Ethan Keppen is expected to play in his 100th regular-season OHL game Saturday. He currently ranks fourth in point-production for Flint, and has already recorded career highs in assists (14) and overall points (23) for a season. He sits one goal shy of tying his personal best, which was a 10-goal campaign a year ago.
On special teams, the Firebirds are 16th in the OHL on the man-advantage at home, scoring 17.0% of the time. The Spitfires have the league’s 16th-best road power play, capitalizing on 14.8% of their opportunities. On home ice, Flint is killing penalties at a rate of 60.6%. Windsor’s penalty-kill shuts down the opposition’s power play at a 76.9% clip in away games.
Saturday is the Firebirds’ inaugural Superhero Night. Local superhero submissions from fans will be printed off and posted on the concourse walls at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center for fans to read throughout the game.
Additionally, the Firebirds have launched a superhero cape donation drive to benefit the Flint Firebirds Foundation, which was created to support education, healthy living and youth sports in Genesee County and surrounding areas. Fans are able to donate $1, $5 or $10 to the foundation and in return, they can write their name on a cape of their choice. Those capes are on display throughout the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center for all fans to recognize.
Also, bring out your ‘inner Thor’ as all fans will receive thunderstix courtesy of Dort Federal Credit Union. Popular superheroes will also be available for photos and to interact with on the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center concourse throughout the game.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (4-30-2-0, 5th West Division):
Jake Durham leads the Firebirds in goals and total points, and is on a point-per-game pace for the season. He has logged 22 goals and 14 assists for 36 total points in 36 games played. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) is second in offensive production, and also maintains a point-per-game average. In 30 games played, Dellandrea has 13 goals and 18 assists. Second-year forward Eric Uba lit-the-lamp in Friday’s home defeat to the Erie Otters. He now has 13 tallies and 11 helpers for 24 points in 35 games-played.
Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs) scored the game-winning goal against Windsor the first time these clubs met this season. He currently leads the blue-liners in scoring with three goals and 14 assists in 31 games played. First-year defender Vladislav Kolyachonok picked up another assist last night and has produced 14 points in 24 games since joining the team. Riley McCourt scored the Firebirds’ first goal last night and has recorded back-to-back two point games. McCourt has 12 points (4G, 8A) in 18 games this season.
Goaltender Evan Morrison recorded his first-career OHL home start last night. In two games, he has a 6.06 goals-against average (GAA) and a .818 save percentage (SAV%). Emanuel Vella carries a 5.06 GAA and a .869 save percentage SAV% in 23 appearances. Luke Cavallin has compiled a 5.39 GAA and a .855 SAV% across 19 appearances.
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.
Windsor Spitfires (15-17-2-1, 4th West Division):
Cole Purboo leads the Spitfires with 28 points (15G, 13A) in 35 games. Daniel D’Amico had a two-point game yesterday, and now has 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points in the same number of contests. Curtis Douglas (Dallas Stars) added another goal in London last night, and now ranks third in total points for Windsor with 23 across 34 games this season.
Will Cuylle tops the first-year players in offensive production for the Spitfires with 18 points (11G, 7A) on the campaign. Connor Corcoran (Vegas Golden Knights) leads the defensive unit in scoring with six goals and 12 helpers.
Newcomer Kari Piiroinen has backstopped the Spitfires to four wins this season. He has appeared in 14 games, and has posted one shutout. His goals-against average (GAA) is 3.93 and he has a save percentage (SAV%) of .886. Colton Incze has made eight appearances, winning twice and logging a 3.88 GAA with a .883 SAV%.
NHL: The Spitfires have two players with NHL ties, consisting of Curtis Douglas (Dallas Stars) and Connor Corcoran (Vegas Golden Knights). In addition, defenseman Lev Starikov and netminder Kari Piiroinen were named to November’s NHL Central Scouting’s North American ‘Players to Watch’ list.
Notable Windsor alumni to play in the NHL include Ed Jovanovski, Matt Cooke, Cory Stillman, Jason Spezza, Steve Ott, Jason York, Josh Bailey, Tim Gleason, Mike Rupp, Cam Fowler, Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Kyle Wellwood, Todd Warriner, Steve Downie, Jamie Allison, Ryan Ellis and Firebirds’ head coach Eric Wellwood.
Saturday’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.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live in Windsor on YourTV channel 11 / 700 (HD) Cogeco TV cable subscribers. The game will also be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 463 for both Rogers TV and 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 Saturday’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.
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, Saturday evening’s dinner menu for the Blue Line Club features rosemary garlic chicken, Swedish meatballs, macaroni and cheese, red skin potatoes, steamed vegetables, garden salad, dinner rolls and assorted desserts. 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 return to home ice on Wednesday, Jan. 2 when they face their in-state rivals the Saginaw Spirit.
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.
To redeem a Winning Wednesday ticket, please visit the Dort Federal Event Center box office following the Winning Wednesday game during normal business hours or prior to the next Wednesday game beginning at 9:00 a.m. (ET).
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.
Photo Credit: Todd Boone / Flint Firebirds
For more information: