Opening night in OHL looms

September 18, 2016

Two Michigan-based teams separated by a mere 35 highway miles will have the honour of facing off on opening night of the 2016-2017 Ontario Hockey League season.

The new-look Flint Firebirds will drop the puck on their second season in the OHL on Wednesday when they play host to their Interstate 75 rival Saginaw Spirit at the newly-renovated Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center.

Both teams will be looking to move up in the Western Conference standings in 2016-2017.

Flint finished last in the 10-team Western Conference in 2015-2016 while Saginaw snagged the eighth-and-final playoff spot before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Erie Otters.

The Firebirds did take the first-ever Coors Light I-75 Divide Cup from their nearby rivals by winning the season series over the Spirit five games to three.

Flint heads into the 2016-2017 season with an all-new hockey staff led by seasoned general manager George Burnett and rookie head coach Ryan Oulahen.

The Firebirds also have the distinction of having signed their top three picks from the 2016 OHL draft — forwards Ty Dellandrea and Hunter Holmes and defenseman Dennis Busby.

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