IIHF World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend – Game Preview: Flint Firebirds at Guelph Storm

The Guelph Storm host the Flint Firebirds on Friday October 4th for their first of four meetings this season. Guelph won last season’s head to head series 4-0 and outscored the Firebirds 27-9 in those games.

October 4th is the IIHF World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend as we celebrate the female game across the country. Meet Olympian and NHL All-Star participant Renata Fast during the first intermission of Friday’s game for a meet and greet.

Flint has had a strong start to the 2019-2020 season with a 3-1-0-0 record heading into Friday night, with 1stround import pick Yevgei Oksentyuk leading the team with 6 points in 4 games. Friday’s game also marks the return of OHL Champion goaltender Anthony Popovich who spent his first 3 seasons with the Storm before being dealt to the Firebirds in September.

The Guelph Storm split their home and home series with the Owen Sound Attack last weekend to give them a 1-1-0-1 record heading into Friday’s game with rookie Andrei Bakanov leading the Storm in scoring with 2 goals and 3 points in 3 games played.

Guelph Storm

The Guelph Storm finished in 4th place in the Western Conference with 90 points last season heading into the post-season. The Storm finished off the Kitchener Rangers in 4 games in the opening round of the playoffs by outscoring the Rangers 22-6. In the 2nd round, Guelph fell behind 3-0 to the London Knights before the Storm were able to win 4 straight games and win the series in game 7 in London. Guelph and Saginaw faced-off in the Western Conference Finals with Saginaw taking a 3-1 series lead before the Storm once again came back to win the series in 7 games. In the OHL Championship Series, the Ottawa 67’s took a 2-0 series lead, but the Storm battled back and won four consecutive games to win their fourth championship in team history.

The Storm have a few returning players from last season’s championship team including captain Cam Hillis, Keegan Stevenson, Cedric Ralph, Pavel Gogolev, Ty Collins, Owen Lalonde, Zack Terry, Daniil Chayka, Fedor Gordeev and goaltender Nico Daws.

This season, the Storm will begin their rebuild, as they have half of their former roster moving on from junior hockey, which will lead to an increase of rookies in the lineup.

Newly drafted players in the lineup include Danny Zhilkin (1st Round), Andrei Bakanov (1st Round – Import Draft), Jacob Maillet (2nd Round), Marko Sikic (3rd Round), Cooper Walker (5th Round), Clark Hiebert (9thRound – 2017) and Owen Bennett (4th Round – 2018)

Also, forwards Ben McFarlane and Matthew Papais and defencemen Luka Profaca return to the Storm lineup after playing some games last season with the Storm. Defencemen Colin Campbell made the roster as a free agent, Eric Uba joins the Storm via trade with Flint and Josh Wainman was acquired from Hamilton via trade in September.

Guelph has two players that have been drafted to NHL clubs including Cam Hillis (MTL – 3rd Round) and Fedor Gordeev (TOR – 5th Round, Traded to MIN)

Flint Firebirds

The Firebirds finished last season in 19th place with 38 points and got the second overall draft pick in the 2019 OHL Draft.

Flint has a few returning leaders from last season, that should help compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Some of the returning leaders consist of captain Ty Dellandrea, Jake Durham, Ethan Keppen, Cody Morgan, Jack Wismer and 2nd overall pick in the 2018 OHL Draft Evan Vierling.

Flint also has some new players joining the team this season that include D Tyler Deline (2018 Draft), D Jack Harper (2018 Draft), G Peyton Grainer (via Free Agency) and G Anthony Popovich (via. Trade with Guelph Storm). Flint is also joined by newly drafted LW Brennan Othmann (1st Round, 2nd Overall), Braeden Kressler (2nd Round, 28th Overall), Zacharie Giroux (3rd Round, 57th Overall) and Yevgeni Oksentyuk (1st Round, 5thOverall – Import Draft).

Flint has four players that have been drafted to NHL clubs including Dennis Busby (ARI – 5th Round), Vladislav Kolyachonok (FLA – 2nd Round), Ty Dellandrea (DAL – 1st Round) and Ethan Keppen (VAN – 4th Round).

Head to Head

2019-20 Regular Season
FLNT 0-0-0-0 GUE 0-0-0-0
2018-19 Regular Season
FLNT 0-3-1-0 GUE 4-0-0-0
Last Five Years
FLNT 7-7-2-0 GUE 9-5-2-0
Last Five Years At Flint Firebirds
FLNT 3-4-1-0 GUE 5-3-0-0
Last Five Years At Guelph Storm
FLNT 4-3-1-0 GUE 4-2-2-0
Previous Meetings This Season
Flint Firebirds Guelph Storm
Flint Firebirds Guelph Storm
8 – 5 W v. Sarnia (2019-09-29)
4 – 1 W @ Saginaw (2019-09-21)
2 – 3 L v. Ottawa (2019-09-20)
Flint Firebirds Guelph Storm
Season Record 3-1-0-0 1-1-0-1
Last 10 Games 3-1-0-0 1-1-0-1
Streak 3-0-0-0 0-1-0-0
Last Game 8-5 W vs Sarnia (2019-09-29) Final 3-2 L @ Owen Sound (2019-09-28) Final
Home Record 2-0-0-0 1-0-0-1
Away Record 1-1-0-0 0-1-0-0
Goals For 17 8
Goals Against 14 5
Power Plays 2/13 (15.4%) 2/13 (15.4%)
Power Plays – Home 2/5 (40%)
Power Plays – Away 2/4 (50%)
Penalty Killing 5/19 (73.7%) 3/11 (72.7%)
Penalty Killing – Home 3/9 (66.7%) 1/8 (87.5%)
Penalty Killing – Away 2/10 (80%) 2/3 (33.300000000000004%)
Leading Rookie Othmann (2-0-2) Bakanov (2-1-3)
Most Penalty Minutes Hunter Holmes Eric Uba
Team PIM/GM 11.8/4 7.3/3

Players to Watch

Guelph Storm

Andrei Bakanov was drafted in the 1st round 38th overall in the 2019 Import draft and has made a big impact with the Storm thus far. Andrei has scored 2 goals and added 1 assist through the opening 3 games of the season and will look to continue his early season success on Friday night against the Flint Firebirds.

Flint Firebirds

Ty Dellandrea was drafted in the 1st round 13th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2018 NHL Draft and will continue to lead the Firebirds as the captain this season. Ty led the Firebirds last season in points with 63 and has 148 career OHL points heading into Friday’s game against the Guelph Storm.

Upcoming Games

The Guelph Storm will head to Sarnia to take on the Sting on Sunday October 6th before they return home to play the Soo Greyhounds on Friday October 11th at the Sleeman Centre.

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