FALCONS WEEKLY NOTES: OCT. 15
The Springfield Falcons (2-0-0-0) began their journey through the 2012-2013 season this past weekend with a two-game sweep, earning victories on home ice over the St. John's IceCaps on Saturday and the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday. The Falcons, who have won back-to-back contests to start the season for the first time since 2005-2006, enter the second week of the new AHL campaign in search of the first 3-0 start in their 19-year history.
Click here for Springfield's team stats.
Click here for the AHL standings.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Springfield 4, St. John's 2
Saturday, Oct. 13
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In its first game under new head coach Brad Larsen, Springfield took on St. John's in the 2012-2013 opener. After falling behind early on a goal by St. John's' Carl Klinberg, the Falcons netted three-straight tallies to take an eventual 3-1 lead. Ryan Craig opened Springfield's scoring for 2012-2013 with a redirect of a Tim Erixon shot in the first period. Matt Calvert pushed in a Tomas Kubalik centering feed just 19 seconds into the second period to give the Falcons their first lead of the season, while Dalton Smith jammed in his first pro goal from the left side of the net midway through the frame. After Hunter Tremblay scored to cut Springfield's lead to 3-2 in the third, Kubalik deposited a rebound into the net to provide late insurance. Curtis McElhinney stopped 23 of 25 shots in his first action since January. The win upped Springfield's record in season openers to 9-8-2.
Springfield 4, Adirondack 0
Sunday, Oct. 14
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The Falcons followed up their opening-night win with two more points on Sunday. After gaining momentum from a pair of successful 5-on-3 penalty kills early in the game, Springfield took the lead late in the first period and did not look back. Ryan Johansen recorded his first Falcons goal for the 1-0 advantage, delaying in the slot and then sliding the puck past the Phantoms' Cal Heeter. Dalton Prout's wrist shot 30 seconds into the middle stanza found its way through a screen and in to extend the lead to 2-0, and then Jonathan Audy-Marchessault connected on the power play to make it 3-0. Craig's second goal of the weekend moments later closed out the scoring. From that point, McElhinney stole the show. The seventh-year pro quieted the Phantoms, who had scored six goals the previous night, by turning aside all 31 shots for his 16th-career shutout.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Friday, Oct. 19 - Springfield vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, MassMutual Center, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20 - Springfield vs. Providence, MassMutual Center, 7:00 p.m.
The Falcons continue their run of four-straight home games to commence 2012-2013 when they welcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Providence Bruins to town on Friday and Saturday.
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.
MILESTONE IN REACH
The Falcons are off to their second 2-0 start in team history and can set a team record for consecutive victories to start a season this Friday against the Penguins. Springfield's record for consecutive games with at least one point to start a season is four, accomplished three times, most recently in 2005-2006. The Falcons are one of 10 AHL teams to have made it through the opening weekend unblemished.
MCELHINNEY NEAR FLAWLESS IN DEBUT
Curtis McElhinney made 54 saves on 56 shots in his two victories this past weekend. McElhinney, who missed the latter half of 2011-2012 with an injury, secured his first shutout on Sunday since Feb. 5, 2011, when he blanked the Colorado Avalanche while playing for the Anaheim Ducks. The shutout was Springfield's first since Mar. 17, 2012, recorded that night by Mike Clemente against the Connecticut Whale.
CRAIG CONNECTS TWICE
In his first action with Springfield since 2005-2006, Falcons captain Ryan Craig scored once in each of the two games this past weekend to take the early club goal-scoring lead. Craig now has 41 goals in a Falcons uniform, placing him 12th in team history.
POISED PENALTY KILL
Springfield allowed just one power-play goal on 14 total opposition chances on the weekend, limiting St. John's to one man-advantage goal on seven tries and shutting down Adirondack on its seven opportunities.
DEFENDING THE NEST
The Falcons have won seven-straight games at the MassMutual Center dating back to the end of the 2011-2012 season and have taken points in 10 of their last 11 games on home ice.