Sunday, January 8, 2017

Flint Firebirds (OHL, 2016-17)

2016-17 Regular Season
Firebirds vs. Saginaw Spirit
Hockey season's back, so here are the latest programs added to my massive collection.

     This program is from the Friday, December 30th game between the Flint Firebirds and the Saginaw Spirit. The Firebirds won, 3-2, in a hard-hitting, exciting game in front of 3,989 fans. Flint's Mathieu Henderson scored a beauty of a backhand goal in OT with just over 8 seconds left to give the Firebirds the win.
     After last year's off-ice nonsense, the OHL took control of the day-to-day operations of the Firebirds. They hired longtime OHL coach and general manager George Burnett as General Manager. Burnett's experience in junior hockey gave the Firebirds immediate credibility in the junior hockey world. He then hired North Bay assistant coach (and former Red Wings prospect) Ryan Oulahan as head coach, who in turn hired former Flyers prospect Eric Wellwood as his assistant. Despite their youth, Oulahan and Wellwood brought years of junior coaching experience to Flint.
     No need to go over all the stats, since the season is still going on. As of that game, Flint held the eighth and final playoff berth in the conference, just 4 points ahead of Saginaw.
     Now, for the program itself. It's a great-looking program, 64 pages, all in color and all on glossy paper. There are several articles about the team, including Firebirds that were drafted this past season, Burnett's hiring and trades that have been made. There's also an article about Flint's victory over Saginaw in the first "I-75 Divide" Series. Some of the articles were simply reprints from last year, which didn't make much sense. Local advertisements include Perani's Hockey World, Powers Catholic High School, Flint Farmers' Market and Sage Link Credit Union.

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