MCELHINNEY REGISTERS SECOND SHUTOUT IN VICTORY OVER BRUINS
Providence, R.I. - The Springfield Falcons (4-1-0-0) combined strong goaltending from Curtis McElhinney with steady offensive pressure on Friday night at the Dunkin Donuts Center to blank the Providence Bruins (2-3-0-0), 3-0. The shutout was McElhinney's second in the opening five games of 2012-2013.
Click here for the box score.
The game began with an infraction-marred first period that saw 28 total penalty minutes whistled by referee Mark Lemelin, with the Bruins receiving the game's first four power-play chances. The Falcons put together four successful kills, and then took immediate advantage of Providence's initial two penalties. With Kevan Miller and Trent Whitfield each sitting in the box, Nick Drazenovic slammed in a Ryan Johansen centering feed at 16:54 to put the Falcons up 1-0.
Ryan Russell, making his 2012-2013 debut, capitalized early in the second period to increase Springfield's advantage. The sixth-year pro spun around in the high slot and slid the puck past Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg at 1:55, making it 2-0.
McElhinney kept the Bruins off the board with 24 saves through the first two periods, including 14 in the middle frame. Several of McElhinney's stops occurred on scrambles around the net, with perhaps his two most critical blocks coming on an early Providence five-on-three opportunty to keep the game scoreless at the time.
The Falcons elevated their attack in the third period in attempt to add to their lead. At the 10:57 mark, Cam Atkinson accomplished that goal, snapping in a rebound on the doorstep off a Matt Calvert shot to improve Springfield's advantage to 3-0.
McElhinney (4-1-0-0) and the Falcons continued to deny the Bruins over the final nine minutes. The seventh-year pro, who has allowed just seven goals in five contests this season, made 33 saves in the win. Svedberg (2-1-0-0) suffered his first AHL loss, stopping 26 of 29 shots.
The Falcons have four wins in their first five games for the first time in franchise history. Springfield leads the Northeast Division by two points over Bridgeport entering a game against the Sound Tigers on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons remain home on Sunday to welcome the Portland Pirates to town at 3:00 p.m. 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. 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.
Springfield has scored a power-play goal in all five games to begin the season...The win improved Springfield's all-time record against Providence to 66-112-1-0...The Falcons, who had the first three power-play chances in a 3-1 loss to the Bruins last Saturday, were short handed four-straight times to begin the game...The shutout was McElhinney's 17th as a pro and 15th in the AHL...He also blanked the Adirondack Phantoms with 31 saves in a 4-0 win on Oct. 14...The shutout was Springfield's first in Providence since Mar. 24, 2002, when the Falcons beat the Bruins 4-0...The seven goals allowed by Springfield are the fewest in the AHL