FALCONS WEEKLY NOTES: OCT. 22
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons (3-1-0-0), AHL affiliate of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, secured the first-ever 3-0 start in the franchise's 19-year history on Friday night with a 4-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons followed up their record-setting win with a 3-1 loss to the Providence Bruins on Saturday, as Springfield fell for the first time in 2012-2013.
The Falcons will play their first of 12 three-in-three stretches of the season this week, as they venture on the road for the first time on Friday against Providence before welcoming the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Portland Pirates to The Nest on Saturday and Sunday.
Click here for Springfield's team stats.
Click here for the AHL standings.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Springfield 4, Wilkes-Barre Scranton 2
Friday, Oct. 19
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The Falcons entered their first game of the weekend with their first-ever 3-0 start in reach. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault connected at 5:43 of the opening period with Springfield on a five-on-three power play, firing home a set up by David Savard to establish a 1-0 lead. John Moore's long wrist shot sailed in at 15:07 of the first, making it 2-0. Springfield goaltender Curtis McElhinney held off the Penguin charge for the first two periods, setting aside all 21 shots in the opening 40 minutes. The Penguins capitalized on consecutive power plays in the third period though, as Joe Morrow and Philippe Dupuis converted at 6:44 and 8:41 to tie the game, 2-2. Cam Atkinson put Springfield back in front at 11:10 with a one-timer from the low left circle. The second-year pro then teed up Ryan Johansen on the doorstep at 16:02. Johansen pushed in Atkinson's pass for insurance, helping to give the Falcons the 4-2 win.
Providence 3, Springfield 1
Saturday, Oct. 20
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Nick Drazenovic's man-advantage strike just 2:26 into the first period gave the Falcons early momentum, but they could not solve Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg over the final 57-plus minutes in their 3-1 loss to Providence. Springfield, which was bidding for its first four-game winning streak within the same season since December of 2006, fell at home for the first time in regulation since Feb. 19, 2012. The Bruins rallied with a goal from Craig Cunningham at 5:24 of the first to even the score. Garnet Exelby's slap shot from the right point 6:31 into the second sailed over McElhinney's glove, giving Providence the upper hand, 2-1. Maxime Sauve's power-play tally at 15:08 clinched the 3-1 Bruins' victory.
Friday, Oct. 26 - Springfield at Providence, Dunkin Donuts Center, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27 - Springfield vs. Bridgeport, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 28 - Springfield vs. Portland, 3:00 p.m.
Springfield seeks revenge on Providence this Friday when the teams meet at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The Falcons return to The Nest to take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and the Portland Pirates on Sunday at 3:00 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.
Sunday's game is the Falcons' "Halloween Hockey Night." Fans are encouraged to showcase their Halloween apparel as Falcons in-arena host Kevin Johnson will give away prizes to fans wearing the best costumes throughout the game. After the game, fans are invited to stick around and skate on the MassMutual Center ice. Fans must bring their own skates to participate.
LENGTHY STREAKS END
Prior to Saturday's loss, Springfield had won five-straight games and had been victorious on home ice eight-consecutive times, with both streaks dating back to the end of 2011-2012. The eight-straight home wins tied a club record, originally set from Feb. 8 to Mar. 9 of 1995 during its first season of play. The Falcons had taken points in each of their last 12 home games (11-0-0-1) and had not lost in regulation at the MassMutual Center since Feb. 19, 2012, when they fell 2-1 to the Worcester Sharks.
FIRE UP THE BUS
After going 3-1-0-0 at The Nest to ring in 2012-2013, the Falcons take to the road for the first time this season on Friday when they battle the Bruins at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Springfield posted a 16-20-2-0 record in away games last season. The Falcons do not play another road contest after Friday until Sunday, Nov. 4, when they head to Hartford for their first game of the season against the Connecticut Whale.
The Falcons have scored on the power play in all four games this season, striking five times on 22 attempts (22.7%). Jonathan Audy-Marchessault's two goals on the man advantage position him in a tie for fifth in the league.
CRAIG DEFEATS FORMER TEAM
Springfield captain Ryan Craig, who served in that same capacity for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton over the past two seasons, earned a victory over his former club on Friday night.
QUIETING THE OPPOSITION
The Falcons and goaltender Curtis McElhinney have limited their oppponents to just seven goals in four games. The 1.75 goals-against average puts the Falcons in a tie for third lowest in the AHL. Saturday's game marked the first time this season that Springfield allowed more than two goals. McElhinney's three wins put him in a tie for first in the league.
TUNE IN THIS FRIDAY
Although the Falcons are on the road this Friday, fans can still keep up on the action in real time. Each Falcons game is broadcasted live by "Voice of the Falcons" Mike Kelly on WHYN NewsTalk 560 AM, with coverage starting 15 minutes before the opening face-off. The broadcasts are also available around the world on WHYN.com and on smartphones using the iHeartRadio app. Fans can also watch a live stream of each regular season home and road game through AHL Live. For information on purchasing single-game and season-long packages, visit AHLLive.com.