MCELHINNEY, FALCONS SILENCE PHANTOMS
Springfield, Mass. - Curtis McElhinney made 31 saves on Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center as the Springfield Falcons (2-0-0-0) shut out the Adirondack Phantoms (1-1-0-0), 4-0. Four different Falcons skaters scored as Springfield secured its first 2-0 start since the 2005-2006 campaign.
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Springfield kept the game scoreless in the first period by killing off two Adirondack five-on-three power plays. Ryan Johansen sparked the Falcons' offensive efforts later in the period, stickhandling from the left circle to the slot and sliding the puck past Phantoms goaltender Cal Heeter to put Springfield on the board, 1-0, at 15:53.
One day after Matt Calvert struck 19 seconds into the second period of Springfield's opening-night win over St. John's, Dalton Prout connected 30 ticks into the middle frame. The second-year pro flicked a wrist shot from the right point through a screen and in to increase Springfield's lead to 2-0.
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, who had five goals in two preseason games, rocketed home his first tally of the regular season at 5:44. With the Falcons on the power play, the Quebec City native took a feed from Cam Atkinson at the top of the left circle and fired the puck over Heeter's stick, making it 3-0.
Moments later, Ryan Craig snapped in a Cody Bass centering pass on the doorstep, extending the advantage to 4-0 at 7:17.
The final half of the game centered around McElhinney's performance. The seventh-year netminder made several critical stops, including a stylish glove save on Eric Wellwood in the second period when the Phantom left wing stole a puck in Springfield's end and walked by himself to the net. McElhinney's shutout was the 16th of his professional career, including his 14th in the AHL. He improved to 2-0-0-0 with the win.
Heeter made 16 saves, as he dropped his professional debut.
The Falcons remain home next weekend to host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday and the Providence Bruins on Saturday, with both games at the MassMutual Center commencing at 7:00 p.m. Single-game tickets to see the Falcons in 2012-2013 can be purchased at the MassMutual Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. through game time on Saturday home dates, and starting four hours prior to Sunday home contests. Fans can also purchase tickets by logging onto Ticketmaster.com.
The shutout was Springfield's first since Mar. 17, 2012, when Mike Clemente made 27 saves at Connecticut...McElhinney's last pro shutout was with Anaheim against Colorado on Feb. 5, 2011 (25 saves)...His last AHL shutout was with Quad City at Rockford on Mar. 21, 2008 (22 saves)...McElhinney stopped 64 of 66 shots in his two starts this weekend...The Falcons have won seven-straight home games dating back to the end of the 2011-2012 season and have taken points in 10 of their last 11 at The Nest...Craig's goal was his 41st as a Falcon, placing him alone in 12th in club history