FALCONS WEEKLY NOTES: NOV. 5
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons (6-1-0-2) finished off the fourth week of the 2012-2013 AHL regular season on Sunday night, delivering a 10-2 pounding to the Connecticut Whale on the road to recapture sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. The Falcons, who also participated in a 3-2 shootout loss on Friday to the Hershey Bears at the MassMutual Center, start the first full week of November with a .778 standings points percentage, tied for the highest in the league with the Abbotsford Heat.
Springfield plays two more home contests this Friday and Sunday against Connecticut and Norfolk before embarking on a three-game road trip to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Norfolk.
The Falcons welcome the Whale to The Nest this Friday at 7:00 p.m. for Hometown Heroes Night presented by MGM Springfield. The evening is geared around honoring local servicemen and women, police officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel who give their lives to helping others. The Falcons will wear special patriotic jerseys as part of the event, and the first 2,000 fans into the building will receive patriotic thundersticks. Sunday's game is a 5:00 p.m. start against the reigning Calder Cup champion Admirals.
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.
Click here for the Falcons' weekend highlights.
Click here for the Falcons' individual statistics.
Click here for the AHL standings.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Hershey 3, Springfield 2 (SO)
Friday, Nov. 2
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Michael Chaput connected on a rebound 8:51 into the opening period, as the rookie captured his first professional goal to put Springfield up 1-0. After Boyd Kane's goal tied the contest later in the period, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault tipped in a Ryan Johansen feed in the middle frame to give Springfield a 2-1 edge. Matt Pope's tally at 7:15 of the second knotted the score, 2-2. The Falcons and Bears skated the final half of the game scoreless, and the teams ventured to a shootout. Jeff Taffe and Matt Calvert traded first-round goals in the breakaway session, but neither team could score in the next five segments. Stanislav Galiev lifted a puck into the net to lead off the seventh round, and Braden Holtby turned aside Andrew Joudrey's bid to extend the game, giving Hershey a 3-2 victory.
Springfield 10, Connecticut 2
Sunday, Nov. 4
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After an idle Saturday, the Falcons turned in their second-most productive offensive night in their 19-year history on Sunday, pounding the Whale 10-2 in the first of 12 meetings in 2012-2013 with their Northeast Division rival. Making their return to the XL Center, former Connecticut skaters Tim Erixon and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault each reintroduced themselves with goals in the opening 12 minutes. Ryan Johansen and Nick Drazenovic both scored twice, while Tomas Kubalik, Andrew Joudrey, Cam Atkinson, and Michael Chaput also lit the lamp. Erixon posted a 2012-2013 AHL-best +6 rating, while Kubalik and Dalton Prout each were +5 in the game. The 10-goal outing marked Springfield's first journey into double digits since it produced a franchise-best 14-goal game on Dec. 30, 1999 in a 14-2 win over the Providence Bruins. The Falcons also scored 10 times in a 10-7 win over the Bruins on Nov. 16, 1996. Their 10 goals on Sunday were the most by the club in an away game in franchise history. With the victory, Springfield generated a two-point cushion for first place in the conference ahead of Norfolk and Syracuse.
Friday, Nov. 9 - Springfield vs. Connecticut, MassMutual Center, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 11 - Springfield vs. Norfolk, MassMutual Center, 5:00 p.m.
A WHALE OF A TIME
The Falcons' 10 goals were the most by an AHL team in 2012-2013 and were the biggest total by a club since Oklahoma City walloped San Antonio, 10-1, on Oct. 15, 2011. Springfield had not scored more than four goals in a game all season and had not struck more than four times since Apr. 7, 2012, when it defeated St. John's, 6-3. The Falcons had 14 players who were +1 or better. The 26 points and 16 assists compiled by Springfield players set league highs for the current campaign.
Springfield had not reached 10 goals in a game in the current millenium, having last scored in double digits two days before Y2K hysteria subsided. Tim Erixon, whose four points (1g-3a) were a team season high, was eight-years-old while Ryan Johansen, who became the first Springfield skater to collect a multi-goal game on Sunday, was seven on Dec. 30, 1999 when the Falcons' recorded a pair of touchdowns and extra points to the Bruins' lone safety that day.
While history was made in Springfield's record book on Sunday night in Hartford, the game entered the Connecticut/Hartford diary as well. The 10 goals allowed by the Whale were the most in their 16-year history.
Through nine games, every Falcon is even or better in the plus/minus category. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault's +11 is second in the AHL, while Ryan Johansen's +10 is good for third in the league. Tomas Kubalik and John Moore are in a tie for fourth at +9.
FALCONS JOIN THE PARTY
Springfield entered Sunday's game as the lone remaining team in the AHL without a multi-goal scorer, but no longer held that distinction after Ryan Johansen scored twice in the second period.
MCELHINNEY MAKES HIS MARK
Although not the focal point of Sunday's game, Curtis McElhinney pulled into a tie for the league lead with his sixth victory of the season. He also is in a stalemate for AHL supremacy with two shutouts and is fifth with a .945 save percentage and a 1.61 goals-against average.
Since conceding the first goal to St. John's in the season opener on Oct. 13, Springfield has jumped on the board before its opponent in each of the last eight games. The Falcons have a 13-3 goal advantage in the opening period.
The Falcons' +16 goal differential is the best in the conference and is tied with the Charlotte Checkers for the highest in the AHL.
Springfield has earned points in eight of its first nine games for the second time in franchise history. The Falcons started the 1997-1998 campaign with points in 12 of their initial 13 outings.
UNBLEMISHED ON THE ROAD
The Falcons are the only team in the AHL with a perfect road record (2-0-0-0). Springfield has outscored its opponents 13-2 away from The Nest this season, complementing Sunday's decisive win with a 3-0 shutout on Oct. 26 at Providence.