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 Flint Firebirds

First Place Knights Visit Firebirds on Saturday

March 2, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Flint Firebirds News Release


FLINT, Mich. - The Firebirds roll into Saturday night having won back-to-back games and seven of their last ten. Flint is getting hot at the right time and is in the midst of a battle for playoff positioning in the Western Conference. On the other side on Saturday is the London Knights, the OHL's leader with 88 points. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Dort Financial Center.

COMING IN HOT: The Firebirds swept a home-and-home series with the Windsor Spitfires over the last two days. First on Thursday at the WFCU Centre, Flint came from behind with three unanswered goals, erasing what had been a 4-2 deficit en route to a 5-4 win. Coulson Pitre scored twice, Connor Clattenburg had a goal and assist, and Gavin Ewles had a pair of helpers for the second-straight game. Nathan Day made 27 saves to earn the 40th victory of his OHL career.

Then on Friday, seven different players scored as the Birds hammered the Spits 7-3. Nolan Dann set a new career-high with four points, and Simon Slavicek and Oliver Peer each finished with a goal and two assists. Day again was strong between the pipes, turning aside 29 of 32 shots faced for his 22nd win of the season.

SERIES HISTORY: Saturday is the fourth and final meeting between these clubs this season, and is the second of two at the Dort Financial Center. The season series started with a 7-4 Firebirds victory in front of more than 9,000 fans at Budweiser Gardens on November 17. Coulson Pitre netted a hat trick to lead Flint to its lone victory over London to date. Since then, the Knights upended the Firebirds 5-3 at the Bud and 9-2 in Flint on February 7. The all-time record versus London stands at 9-19-1-2 with a 4-9-1-1 mark on home ice.

SCOUTING THE KNIGHTS: (42-13-1-3, 1st Midwest Division) -

Denver Barkey ranks third in the league in both assists (55) and total points (86). He leads the OHL with seven shorthanded tallies this season. Easton Cowan is second in scoring for London with 30 goals and 50 helpers. He ranks second across the league with 25 power-play assists and with six shorthanded markers. Cowan is on a league-leading 28-game point streak, accumulating 21 goals and 31 assists in that span. Center Jacob Julien sits third with 23 goals and 45 assists for 68 points.

In goal, Michael Simpson paces the field with 29 wins and a 2.60 goals-against average. He carries the third-best save percentage at .907 and he's tied for the third-most shutouts with three. He's appeared in 41 contests this season. Owen Willmore has played in 20 games and is credited with 13 victories. His GAA is 3.11 and he carries a .898 SV%.

The Knights have the league's top penalty kill, operating at an 84.4% efficiency. Their power play is ranked second, scoring at a 30.4% clip.

SCOUTING THE FIREBIRDS: (26-28-3-1, 3rd West Division):

Oliver Peer tops the Birds in scoring with 32 goals and 37 assists for 69 points in 57 games this season. Nolan Dann ranks second with 57 points, combining 24 goals with 33 helpers. Coulson Pitre is third in points (49) and second in goals scored (26) across 50 contests.

Nathan Day has 22 wins in 48 appearances in the campaign. His goals-against average is 3.77 and his save percentage is .866. Rookie Jacob Brown has four wins in 13 appearances and sports a 4.09 GAA with an .858 SV%.

The Firebirds rank 17th on the power play with a 17.7% conversion rate. Their penalty kill sits 13th in the OHL with a success rate of 78.5%.

ODDS & ENDS: The Firebirds have allowed three or fewer goals in nine of their past ten contests... After tonight's game, Flint's remaining regular-season schedule features six home games and only three on the road... The Birds are securely in the eighth and final playoff position in the Western Conference six points ahead of the Sarnia Sting in ninth. They are three points back of the seventh-place Erie Otters and four behind the Guelph Storm and Owen Sound Attack who are tied for fifth and sixth.

PROMOTIONS: Saturday's game is Country Night, sponsored by B 95 (95.1 FM)! There will be a mechanical bull in the lobby and local country artist Madison Olivia will be performing live pregame and singing the national anthems.

BROADCAST COVERAGE: This evening's game against the London Knights 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. Brian Gardner will call the play-by-play action on the Firebirds Hockey Network starting with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m.

All of the Flint Firebirds home and away games throughout the 2023-24 season can be watched anywhere in the world online at https://watch.chl.ca/ohl.

COMING UP: The Firebirds return to action on home ice Wednesday to host the Saginaw Spirit for the final time this season. The game is another Buy One Get One Wednesday when fans can buy any ticket and receive a second ticket of equal or lesser value for FREE. Puck drop for Wednesday's game is set for 7:00 p.m. and tickets are available now from ETIX.com.


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