Preview: Firebirds Battle the Frontenacs in Kingston Sunday
Kingston, Ont. - The Firebirds will play the final of three consecutive road gamesÂ in three days Sunday afternoon against the Frontenacs. Puck drop is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Leon's Centre (cap. 5,700) in Kingston.
SundayÂ marks the first of two meetings with the Front's this season, and the only contest in Kingston. The Frontenacs are 6-2-0-0 in eight total matches between the two clubs since Flint's inception into the OHL. Flint has one victory in four contests at Leon's Centre, which was last season when the 'Birds won both games.
The last time these teams met was March 1 in Flint. That night, the 'Birds skated to a 3 - 2 victory backstopped by a 30-save performance from Luke Cavallin. Kingston-area native Emmet Pierce was named 'First Star' for recording a goal and an assist in the victory. Jack Phibbs also lit the lamp and was named the game's 'Third Star.'
The Firebirds enter Sunday'sÂ contestÂ in third place in the West Division and sixth in the Western Conference with a record of 22-17-1-1. The Frontenacs are currently fifth in the East Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 12-23-2-2. Flint's record in away games stands at 8-9-0-1 compared to Kingston's home-ice record of 8-9-1-0. In their last ten games the Firebirds have gone 4-4-1-1 and the Front's are 3-7-0-0 in that span.
There a few milestones worth noting prior to Sunday's puck-drop. Forward Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks) needs just one point to hit 100 career points. Connor Roberts is expected to play in his 100th career game with the Firebirds, which will be game number 185 in the league. Riley Piercey also played in his 100th regular-season OHL contest Saturday night in Peterborough and Riley McCourt's 88 total points with Flint are just two-shy of tying the record for all-time points by a Firebirds' defenseman.
OnÂ special teamsÂ this season Flint's penalty-kill ranks second in the league, finding success at a rate of 81.6%. Kingston's penalty-killers are ranked 20thÂ at 68.8%. With the man-advantage, the Frontenacs rank 13thÂ in the league, converting at a rate of 20.1% and the Firebirds are 20th, scoring at a 16.7% clip.
Players to Watch:
Flint Firebirds (22-17-1-1, 3rdÂ West Division):
Belarusian forward Evgeniy Oksentyuk tops the club with 21 goals and 27 assists for 48 points in 36 contests. Oksentyuk carried Flint's longest-ever point-streak at 17 games (13G, 16A) until last night's shutout in Peterborough. Defenseman Riley McCourt recently surpassed former Firebird Matt Henderson for most goals scored by a defenseman in a Firebirds' uniform with 21 pots in the orange and navy blue. For this season, McCourt is second in total offense with 11 goals and a team-high 32 assists for 43 total points in 41 games. His total points are fourth-most among OHL rearguards, his 11 tallies are tied for sixth, and his 32 helpers are fourth. Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars) ranks third for Flint with 18 goals and 24 helpers in 31 games.
Brennan Othmann leads the freshman class for the 'Birds with 21 total points (9G, 12A) through 33 games. His point-total is tied for eighth among rookies in the league, his nine goals are eighth-most and his 12 helpers are tied for ninth. Othmann was the second-overall pick by the Firebirds in the 2019 OHL Draft and will face-off against former Don Mills Flyers AAA teammate Shane Wright, who was selected first-overall in April.
In net, Anthony Popovich has played in 29 games this season. He's earned 15 victories, which are tied for the seventh-most in OHL. Popovich's goals-against average (GAA) is 3.71 and he has the ninth-best save-percentage (SAV%) in the league at .899. Cavallin has seven wins in 15 appearances and carries a 3.75 GAA along with a .897 SAV%.
NHL:Â The Firebirds have five players with NHL ties consisting of Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida Panthers) and Tyler Tucker (St. Louis Blues). Additionally, Evgeniy Oksentyuk was named to the NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft.
Despite Flint beingÂ inÂ the midst of just theirÂ fifthÂ OHL season, three former Firebirds have already played in NHL regular-season games:Â Nick CaamanoÂ (Dallas Stars), Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes) and Kole Sherwood (Columbus Blue Jackets). Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), Vili Saarijarvi (Arizona Coyotes) and Jalen Smereck (Arizona Coyotes) have played in NHL pre-season contests. In total, the team has produced an impressive 18 drafted or signed NHL players in that short time.
Kingston Frontenacs (12-23-2-2, 5thÂ East Division):
Zayde Wisdom leads the Frontenacs on the scoresheet with 35 points (20G, 15A) in 39 games-played. First-year forward Shane Wright also has 20 tallies and ranks second in total points with 33 in 35 contests. Jordan Frasca is third with 11 goals and 19 assists through 39 games.
Rearguard Jakob Brahaney leads the Frontenacs in assists (20), and tops the blue-line troops in total points with 22 in 37 games-played.
In goal, Christian Propp has appeared in 28 games, earning 10 victories along with a 4.32 goals-against average (GAA) and a .871 save-percentage (SAV%). Ryan Dugas has five wins in 19 appearances, and he carries a 4.26 GAA with a .884 SAV%.
NHL:Â Kingston is currently playing without any active NHL ties on their roster. However, Zayde Wisdon, Jake Murray and Martin Chromiak were named to the NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft.
A few notable former Kingston Frontenacs to play in the NHL are Sean Avery, Sam Bennett, Phil Bourque, Paul Coffey, Lawson Crouse and Philipp Grubauer.
Sunday afternoon's contest can be heardÂ live on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM, online atÂ www.us103.comÂ or by downloading theÂ US 103 app here. Firebirds' broadcasterÂ Dominic Hennig will call the play-by-play action with pre-game coverageÂ beginning 30 minutes prior to puck drop at 1:30 p.m.
Sunday'sÂ game will be televised live inÂ KingstonÂ onÂ YourTV Channel 13 / 700 (HD) forÂ Cogeco TV cable subscribers. The game will also be televised live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 468 for both Cogeco TV and Rogers 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 withÂ Sunday's game, 65 of the Firebirds' 68 games throughout the 2019-20 seasonÂ are also scheduled to be televised live across the province of OntarioÂ on the OHL Action Pak.
All Flint Firebirds home and away games throughout the 2019-20 season can be watched anywhere in the world online onÂ www.ohllive.comÂ or on theÂ OHL Live app.Â 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 2019-20 season.
Flint Firebirds atÂ Kingston Frontenacs
Date | Time Sunday, Jan. 19 | 2:00 p.m.
Location Kingston, Ont.Â | Leon's Centre (capacity 5,700)
Tickets Ticketmaster.comÂ | (613) 650-5000
TV -Â Cogeco TV ch. 13 / 700 HD Live (Kingston)
- OHL Action Pak: Cogeco TVÂ 468 & Rogers TVÂ 468 Live (Ontario)
Video Stream OHL Live
Radio WQUSÂ 103.1 FMÂ (Flint & Mid-Michigan) | Pregame Show: 1:30p
Radio (Mobile) US 103 App:Â AndroidÂ |Â iPhone/iPad
Next Home Game Saturday, January 25th:Â Backpack Night
Social Media @FlintFirebirdsÂ Â |Â FacebookÂ Â |Â InstagramÂ
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