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Preview: Final Home 'I-75 Divide Cup' Game vs. Rival Saginaw

February 1, 2019 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Flint Firebirds News Release

A crowd watches the Flint Firebirds at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center
A crowd watches the Flint Firebirds at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center
(Flint Firebirds)

Flint, Mich. - The Firebirds will host their in-state rival, Saginaw Spirit, for the final time of the season Friday night. Puck drop for game six of the I-75 Divide Cup, sponsored by Coors Light, is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint.

There are 10 players with NHL ties between both Flint and Saginaw's current rosters Friday night which include the Firebirds' Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes) and Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) and the Spirit's Brady Gilmour (Detroit Red Wings), Damien Giroux (Minnesota Wild), Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders), Ryan McLeod (Edmonton Oilers), Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona Coyotes), Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers), Reilly Webb (Detroit Red Wings) and Bode Wilde (New York Islanders). Six more players between the two teams are among the 50 OHL Players in NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings' 'Players to Watch' list for the upcoming NHL Draft in June.

Friday marks the final of four meetings in Flint this season and the sixth of eight total match-ups during the 2018-19 regular season. All-time, Flint is 11-16-0-2 against Saginaw. In home games, the Firebirds are 7-6-0-2 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.

Prior to dropping their past two games, Saginaw recorded a 16-1-1-0 record in their last 18 games. Both teams now enter the contest on a two-game skid, with one win in their past three contests. Flint has won 4 of their last 11 games and has points in 5 of their last 11.

On Wednesday, the Spirit dropped an 8 - 2 decision to the Storm in Guelph (Highlights). Flint had a one-goal advantage after the first period versus the Western Conference's top-ranked London Knights on Wednesday before eventually surrendering a 4 - 3 defeat at the Dort Federal Event Center (Highlights). Three of the newest players on the Firebirds' roster lit the lamp, starting with Emmet Pierce scoring for the first time against his former club. Evan Vierling and Cody Morgan netted the other two goals. Luke Cavallin made 41 saves between the pipes to keep Flint in striking distance.

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 five contests this season, thus tying the Cup series at two wins each.

Images from this story

A crowd watches the Flint Firebirds at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center
A crowd watches the Flint Firebirds at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center


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