Firebirds Honor Local First Responders, Host Generals Tonight – Flint Firebirds – Flint Firebirds

Firebirds Honor Local First Responders, Host Generals Tonight – Flint Firebirds – Flint Firebirds

Flint, Mich. – The Firebirds return home for back-to-back home games this weekend. First up, the Oshawa Generals are in town tonight for First Responder Appreciation Night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) tonight at the Dort Financial Center.
Tonight is Flint’s annual First Responders Appreciation Night, presented by Dort Financial Credit Union. The Battle of the Badges Game will be played from 4-5 p.m. (ET) prior to the game, and feature local Police versus local Firefighters. Admission to the Battle of the Badges is free with a ticket to the Firebirds game. There will be a Touch-a-Truck event in the main parking lot from 5:30-6:45 p.m., where fans will be able to interact with our local heroes from local police, fire, and EMS teams. The 50/50 proceeds will also benefit the 100 Club, which contributes money each year for the benefit of public servants who have lost their life or become disabled in the line of duty. Tickets for tonight’s home game are available now from Etix HERE.
Flint enters tonight’s contest with a record of 6-5-0-0, ranking them second in the West Division and third in the 10-team Western Conference. The Generals stand fourth in the East Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 5-4-0-1 record. The Firebirds won their most recent game in Saginaw on Wednesday by a final score of 7-2. Braeden Kressler (Toronto Maple Leafs) posted four points (2 G, 2 A) to lead the Birds on the scoresheet, and overage netminder Will Cranley (St. Louis Blues) made 27 saves on 29 shots for his fifth victory in the young season. The Generals’ most recent tilt was a thrilling 3-2 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs last night in front of over 4,000 fans at the Tribute Communities Centre.
Tonight marks the first of two meetings with the Generals and the only contest scheduled in Flint between these clubs. This is also the first time the Birds are facing an opponent from the East Division this year. The last time these teams saw one another was February 9, 2020. The Firebirds went a perfect 2-0-0-0 against the Generals during the 2019-20 season. That night the Firebirds emerged with a 5-3 triumph on the road in Oshawa. All-time, Flint holds a record of 3-6-0-0 against the Generals, and have gone 2-3-0-0 on home ice in the series.
On special teams, the Firebirds have converted on 19.6% of their power-play chances, ranking them ninth in the league. The Generals have found success 20.7% of the time, which is currently eighth-best in the OHL. Flint has killed off 77.8% of their penalties, the 12th-best rate in the league. Oshawa has the 15th-ranked penalty kill at a 75.0% efficiency.
Players to Watch
Flint Firebirds (6-5-0-0, 3rd West Division):
Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) continues his red-hot play with 19 points (9 G, 10 A) through 11 games. He’s accumulated points in 10 of the 11 games to date and carries a five-game points streak (3 G, 5 A) into tonight’s contest. Currently, Othmann ranks second in the league in points and is tied for first in goals. Amadeus Lombardi (Detroit Red Wings) is second with five goals and eight assists for 13 points, which is tied for the 12th most in the OHL. Tied for third are Gavin Hayes (Chicago Blackhawks) and Riley Piercey, each with 12 points in 11 games. Hayes currently rides a three-game point streak (3 G, 3 A) into tonight’s game, and Piercey has lit the lamp five times this year plus chipped in seven helpers.
Dmitry Kuzmin (Winnipeg Jets) tops the defensive unit with ten points, which are all assists thus far. He ranks third among all OHL blue-liners in helpers to date. Also noteworthy is forward Braeden Kressler (Toronto Maple Leafs). Kressler rejoined his teammates only three games ago, but already has four goals and three assists in that span. He holds the league’s second-best points-per-game average at 2.33 currently.
Flint carries a trio of netminders, led by overage veteran Will Cranley (St. Louis Blues). Cranley has played in nine games, and comes in with a 3.40 goals-against average (GAA) and a .908 save percentage (SV%) with five wins so far. He’s tied for the fifth-most wins and no goalie has won more than six. Second-year goalie Nathaniel Day has appeared in four games this season, posting a 4.07 GAA and .864 SV% with one victory. Boe Piroski made 10 saves on 11 shots in a 20-minute appearance thus far.
NHL: The Firebirds have six players with NHL ties consisting of Will Cranley (St. Louis Blues), Amadeus Lombardi (Detroit Red Wings), Gavin Hayes (Chicago Blackhawks), Braeden Kressler (Toronto Maple Leafs), Dmitri Kuzmin (Winnipeg Jets), and Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers). Additionally, Coulson Pitre, Tristan Bertucci, Ethan Hay, and goaltender Nathan Day were listed on NHL Central Scouting’s 2023 Preliminary Draft Rankings.
Despite Flint playing in just seven OHL seasons thus far, Alex Nedeljkovic (Detroit), Kole Sherwood (Columbus), and Ty Dellandrea (Dallas) are three former Firebirds to play in the NHL. Brennan Othmann (NY Rangers), Riley Piercey (Detroit), and Gavin Hayes (Chicago) all played in NHL preseason contests this year, joining Firebirds’ alumni Ethan Keppen (Vancouver), Vili Saarijarvi (Detroit), and Jalen Smereck (Arizona). In total, the team has produced 24 signed or drafted players into the NHL.
Oshawa Generals (5-4-0-1, 4th East Division):
The Generals have two players tied for the lead in points, each with 11 in 10 GP. Sophomore forward Calum Ritchie, a projected first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, comes in with five goals and six assists, including the OT winner last night in Hamilton. Third-year forward Stuart Rolofs has four goals and seven assists. On the blue line, Lleyton Moore tops the one goal and nine helpers for eight total points.
Between the pipes, second-year netminder Patrick Leaver returns after backstopping the Generals in 49 contests a year ago. He’s won five games and carries a 3.00 goals-against average (GAA) with a save percentage (SV%) of .893. Carter Bickle has made two appearances and posted a 3.02 GAA with a SV% of .893.
NHL: Brett Harrison (Boston Bruins) is the lone skater for Oshawa with NHL ties. In addition, Calum Ritchie and defender Blake Smith were named to the 2023 NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List for October. Ritchie was one of only three OHL’ers to receive an “A” rating by the pro scouts in their first list released for the next draft.
Nearly 200 of Oshawa’s alumni have played in the NHL, including Bobby Orr, Ted Lindsay, Eric Lindros, John Tavares, Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Arnott, Dan Hinote, Boone Jenner, Alex Delvecchio and Claude Julien.
Broadcast Coverage:
Tonight’s contest against the Oshawa Generals can be heard live on the radio throughout Flint & Mid-Michigan on US 103.1 FM, online at or by downloading the US 103 app here. Jack Sznewajs will call the play-by-play action on the Firebirds Hockey Network (FHN), starting with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. (ET).
Tonight’s game will also air live across the province of Ontario on the OHL Action Pak on channel 468 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.
All Flint Firebirds’ home and away games throughout the 2022-23 regular season can be watched anywhere in the world online on CHL TV is the league’s new and improved video streaming platform that delivers high-quality live and on-demand coverage of all regular season and playoff games annually. The cost is $7.99 for 24-hour access, $29.99 for monthly access, $119.99 for all-access to the 2021-22 Firebirds and OHL season, or $179.99 for all-access to the entire 2021-22 CHL season.
Next Up: The Firebirds will host the Mississauga Steelheads tomorrow (Sunday) at the Dort Financial Center for their annual Trick-or-Treat at the Rink game. The contest is also another Family Sunday FUNday, Halloween style. Fans can get up to four FREE children’s tickets (12 & under) with two paid adult tickets PLUS two pumpkins for only $36.00. The offer is only available at the Dort Financial Center Box Office and only while supplies last. Every fan in attendance is encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat around the rink. There will be a children’s Halloween costume parade on the ice during the first intermission. There will also be a Family Costume Contest during the game, including great prizes to the top four winners. Fans can also bring a carved pumpkin to enter into a contest with four additional great prizes. Tickets for Sunday’s home game are available now from Etix HERE.
Story: Brandon Mills /
For more information, contact:
Jack Sznewajs
Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club
[email protected]


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