BY MIKE KILLBREATH
Posted on October 3, 2017
Flint Firebirds switch stations, switch locations for 'Firebirds Radio Coach's Show' now at Timothy's Pub starting Tuesday
FLINT (CCN) —The Flint Firebirds have announced a new lineup of shows, a new location and a new radio station host for their "Firebirds Radio Coach's Show." The third season for the program kicks off Tuesday from 6 pm until 7 pm on Banana 101.5 FM WWBN Radio at Timothy's Pub in Flint.
Fans can eat and drink while listening to the live program at Timothy's which is located at 2890 Robert T. Longway Blvd., just east of Dort Highway.
Firebirds' play-by-play announcer Dominic Hennig will again host the show. He will be joined this season by Maggie Meadows. Hennig revealed via a press release that the show will feature regular live appearances from Head Coach Ryan Oulahen, Associate Coach Paul Flache, Assistant Coach Scott MacDonald and various players throughout the season.
Banana 101.5 FM is owned by Townsquare Media which is also the new network broadcasting games this season for the Firebirds on its WQUS 101.3 FM. Home and away games will again be presented in their entirety this season with Hennig handling a pre-game and post-game show, in addition to providing interviews during special segments between periods.
Hennig is in his 10th season of play-by-play work and has handled both games and the coach's show for the Firebirds since they moved here from Plymouth. This is the third year of Firebirds' hockey in Flint. The team is off to a 3-0 start this season after winning their home opener 5-4 on a goal with two seconds remaining in overtime Saturday night in front of a near sellout crowd.
Club President Costa Papista announced in late August that a decision had been reached to switch radio stations after spending their first two seasons with a local AM station owned by Cumulus Broadcasting. Papista said at the time, "We are very pleased to partner with Townsquare Media for our live game broadcasts and coach’s show. A great radio broadcast partner allows us to keep our fans informed and engaged with the team and this great community sports and entertainment project for Flint, Genesee County and Mid-Michigan. We want to make it easy for fans to follow the Firebirds and the Ontario Hockey League. WQUS and WWBN will be the perfect fit.”
The "Firebirds Coach's Radio Show" will air every other week, beginning on Tuesday. After three programs in October, there will be two programs in November, December, January, February and March. The final program is scheduled for April 3.
Ryan Oulahen talks every other Tuesday during season on 'Flint Firebirds Hockey Coach's Show' now moving to Banana 101.5 FM
Flint Firebirds Coach Ryan Oulahen will sit down on Tuesdays every other week during the regular season with Dominic Hennig to talk hockey on the "FIrebirds Hockey Coach's Show." The broadcasts will be presented live from Timothy's Pub from 6 pm until 7 pm on Banana 101.5 FM. The broadcasts aired weekly on WTRX 1330 AM during the past two seasons. Old episodes of the program are available online at Flint Firebirds Hockey Coach's Show.
Click above to hear the last episode for The Daily Gazette Sports Weekend Show with Mike Killbreath. He's an award-winning sports columnist with a long history of championship ways in the local Flint area coaching ranks and with Team USA in roller hockey.
Dramatic goal with two ticks left on clock powers Firebirds to 5-4 victory over Ottawa in overtime before 3,845 opening night fans
FLINT (CCN) — The Flint Firebirds won 5-4 in their home opener Saturday night in front of a near capacity crowd when Ty Dellandrea scored with two seconds remaining in overtime. Dellandrea went down to one knee and rifled in a rebound to send Flint's 3,845 fans at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center into a frenzy of celebration with their thrilling victory over the Ottawa 67's.
It was the third straight victory for the Firebirds who won twice last weekend on the road to open their third season in Flint since moving here from Plymouth.
Maurizio Colella skated the puck into Ottawa's zone as time was winding down in the overtime period, circled behind the net and moved his way into the slot where he wheeled and fired a puck that rebounded out to Dellandrea. He made no mistake with the chance to be the home opener hero.
"That was huge," Dellandrea told MLive afterward. "It was a nice shot, low pad, and I was just able to find the rebound and just try to get it on net and it went in. Sometimes you get some lucky bounces and it was nice to get that one."
Firebirds' Coach Ryan Oulahen, who led his first squad to a playoff berth a year ago, was elated with his team's effort. He told MLive afterward: "I thought we weren't very good for two periods at all but I thought our goaltender played extremely well to keep it going for us. We had some opportunistic times from some of our top end guys that were kind of able to keep us around in the game and then the last 10-15 minutes of the third, we finally found things that we wanted to do and started taking things over a bit."
The Firebirds led 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 before veteran Nicholas Caamano fired in his second goal of the night midway through the third period. It was a big debut for Caamano who was named as the game's No. 1 star.
Playing against junior level competition in the Ontario Hockey League is quite a contrast for Caamano who earned extra time in training camp this season with the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League. He scored twice and had two assists in four games for Dallas at the NHL Prospect Tournament last month in Traverse City, then scored twice in a scrimmage and produced another goal in the pre-season opener.
"I like him. I like him a lot," Dallas Stars Coach Ken Hitchcock said about Caamano who turned 19 last month. He was the last junior prospect in camp with the NHL club and Hitchcock had high praise for him after the first pre-season contest for the Stars, saying, "He's got moxie. He's a 19-year-old kid, but he's got the moxie of an older player. He's made a great account of himself, and nobody in this world would have thought he would have hung in this long. He's still here, and when we play on Thursday he'll be here again. That's a good sign."
Caamano finally returned to Flint in time to play during the opening weekend road trip. He set up three goals in Flint's two victories as the Firebirds beat the Kitchener Rangers 5-3 before beating Owen Sound 4-3 in a shootout.
Caamano, who signed a three-year entry level contract last April with the Stars, had a breakout season with a 35-goal showing a year ago in his third OHL campaign. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound fifth round selection in the 2016 NHL draft also had 29 assists last season for a 64-point effort after scoring 20 times during his first season in Flint. He had only three goals as a rookie in Plymouth.
Another bright spot for the Firebirds on Saturday night was the return of another veteran — Ryan Moore. He had two assists and was named as the game's No. 2 star in his return after spending time at the New York Rangers' NHL training camp. Moore was Flint's top scorer a year ago with 39 goals.
Goaltender Garrett Forrest turned in an outstanding game between the pipes for Flint which won despite being outshot 35-31. Forrest's 31-save effort included several point plant opportunities, including a few in the third period and one in overtime. He also thwarted two first period breakaways
C.J. Clarke and Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick Fedor Gordeev scored Flint's other goals while Maurizio Colella notched a pair of assists. Gordeev, Flint's big defenseman, now counts two goals in three games after his power play tally Saturday night.
CHECKING THE FIREBIRDS' NOTEBOOK:
CANDIDATE NIGHT: Two candidates for mayor in the City of Flint's upcoming November election were in attendance on Saturday night. Scott Kincaid, who has been a city councilman for 32 years, stood behind the seats in Section 3 with his wife but left early in the third period. Businessman Don Pfeiffer enjoyed the game from seats in Section 10 with his wife, son, brother, sister-in-law, nephew and niece.
PHOTO-GATE: Councilman Kincaid posed for a photo with Firebirds' mascot Hot Wing and the shot went viral on social media because former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling was in the photo. Walling was voted out of office by a landslide margin in 2015 after flipping on the switch to allow Flint River water to flow into the city. Flint residents have now been drinking bottled water for more than two years, including fans at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, after lead leeched from the pipes into the city's drinking water supply.
NEXT UP: Flint next goes east to play three games in four nights. The Firebirds play on Thursday night in Peterborough at 7 o'clock, then travel to Kingston for a 7 pm Friday contest and conclude their road trip with a 7 o'clock Sunday night rematch in Ottawa against the 67's. Kingston leads the entire OHL with 8 points so far on a 4-1 record. Flint's 6 points on a 3-0 start is a single point behind four other OHL clubs with 7 points so far.
10-DAY WAIT FOR MORE: Flint fans went home happy Saturday night with a 10-day wait before getting another glimpse at Coach Oulahen's boys. It comes in a 7 pm contest on Wednesday, Oct. 11 against the Guelph Storm.
TICKET SPECIAL FOR GUELPH: The Oct. 11 contest at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center marks the first of seven “College Nights” this season that will feature $2 beers and $2 hot dogs for all fans in attendance. Additionally, all college students with valid identification will also receive $2 off admission on tickets.
COMPARING OPENING NUMBERS: The Firebirds drew 4,239 fans to their first home opener on Sept. 26, 2015. The draw was 3,255 last season on Sept. 21, 2016.
WINNING HABIT: This was Flint's first home opener against someone other than the Saginaw Spirit. The Firebirds beat Saginaw 3-2 in a 2015 shootout and they blanked their arch rivals 4-0 in 2016.
OTTAWA ROAD WOES OVER: The 67's closed out a five-game road trip to open the season on Sunday with a matinee matchup in Sarnia against the Sting. The 67's are off to a 2-3 start this season. They have their home opener on Friday night against the Peterborough Petes before facing the Firebirds on Sunday next weekend.
WENDELL CLARK'S SON: Kody Clark, son of former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Wendell Clark, scored Saturday night for the 67's. Graeme Clark also scored for the 67's who got their other two goals from Colorado Avalanche prosect Travis Barron.
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