FALCONS WEEKLY NOTES: JAN. 7
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons (19-9-2-3) won two of three games last week, flanking a Saturday loss in Albany with a Friday defeat of Bridgeport and a Sunday victory against Providence. The Falcons lead the Northeast Division by six points over the Sound Tigers entering the 14th week of the 2012-2013 AHL regular season.
Springfield heads to Worcester for the first of eight meetings with the Sharks this Friday at 7:30 p.m. before returning home to the MassMutual Center to host Providence on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Comcast is the presenting sponsor of Saturday's game. Fans can win a free bicycle courtesy of Gus Coelho Auto Repair at 442 Holyoke St. in Ludlow as part of "Cycle Saturday" at the MassMutual Center (GusAutoRepair.net).
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. For information about discounted group packages to Falcons home games, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
Click here for the Falcons' individual statistics.
Click here for the AHL standings.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Springfield 5, Bridgeport 4
Friday, Jan. 4
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The Falcons entered a critical division battle with the Sound Tigers with a two-point lead for first place in the Northeast over Bridgeport. After facing an early 1-0 deficit, Springfield clicked off four first-period goals, including one from Ryan Craig with under three seconds remaining in the stanza, to take a 4-2 lead through 20 minutes. After John Persson struck for the Sound Tigers in the second, Nick Drazenovic converted in the opening stages of the third put Springfield in front, 5-3. Persson found the back of the net again with under five minutes left in regulation, narrowing the Falcons' lead to 5-4. The Falcons put together multiple blocked shots during a late penalty kill and held off the Sound Tigers for the one-goal victory to increase their division lead to four points.
Albany 4, Springfield 1
Saturday, Jan. 5
Times Union Center
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Cam Atkinson's first-period strike on the power play proved to be Springfield's lone offensive production of the club's early-evening contest in Albany. After the Falcons and Devils exited the first tied, 1-1, Albany scored three unanswered goals to put Springfield away. Mattias Tedenby put the Devils ahead for good halfway through the contest, while former Falcon Tim Sestito tipped in a centering pass in the third for insurance, making it 3-1. Bobby Butler's empty netter in the final minute removed any doubt, as Albany prevailed, 4-1.
Springfield 4, Providence 1
Sunday, Jan. 6
Dunkin Donuts Center
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In a reversal of Saturday's game, Springfield took a 1-0 lead, saw it disappear at 1-1, and then rattled off three-straight goals to win, 4-1. The Falcons took advantage of a power play early in their Sunday matinee in Providence when Jonathan Audy-Marchessault banged in a centering feed from Nick Holden at 1:24 to take a 1-0 advantage. The Bruins fired away at the Falcons in the second period, outshooting Springfield, 21-4, and using a power-play tip-in by Jamie Tardif to tie the contest, 1-1. After Kevan Miller hit the post on a penalty shot for Providence at 5:22 of the third period, Springfield began to pressure the Bruins and eventually broke through for the go-ahead tally. Ryan Johansen blasted in a centering pass from Audy-Marchessault at 10:02, as the Falcons went in front, 2-1. Audy-Marchessault capped off his three-point afternoon with an insurance marker at 11:46, driving a puck by Providence netminder Mike Hutchinson from the slot for a 3-1 edge. Curtis McElhinney stopped all 18 shots he saw in the third as part of a career-high 47-save outing. Ryan Craig's late empty-net goal gave Springfield the 4-1 victory.
Friday, Jan. 11 - Springfield at Worcester, DCU Center, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12 - Springfield vs. Providence, MassMutual Center, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 13 - Birds Bowling Bash (Bowling Event with Ticket Package Holders and Falcons Players), Spare Time, 525 Pleasant St. Northampton, Mass., 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
The 2012-2013 NHL lockout came to a tentative end on Sunday, and the Falcons' NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets, will be back in action in the coming weeks. Transaction information regarding Falcons players will be posted when available on FalconsAHL.com.
WINS PILE UP
Curtis McElhinney posted his league-leading 17th win on Sunday, breaking a personal record he set less than one month earlier. McElhinney's 47 saves in the weekend finale were one more than his previous mark of 46, registered in a 4-2 win in St. John's on Dec. 8. McElhinney's save percentage jumped to .930, good for fourth in the league. The eighth-year pro continues to lead the AHL with a Falcons-record six shutouts, and is eighth with a 2.19 goals-against average.
BIG DAY FOR 'JAM'
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault notched his first two-goal game of the season and fourth of his career on Sunday as part of a three-point afternoon. Audy-Marchessault could be found at all ends of the ice, making a statement offensively while also laying a check on Providence enforcer Bobby Robins in the second to force a turnover in the Bruins' end. The second-year pro from Quebec City reclaimed sole possession of first place on the Falcons in assists with 22 and is now tied for sixth in the AHL in that category. Audy-Marchessault is tied for ninth in the league with 32 points, trailing only Cam Atkinson for the club lead.
CRAIG CELEBRATES IN STYLE
Ryan Craig celebrated his 31st birthday on Sunday by extending his point streak to five games (4g-1a) with a late empty-net goal. He tied Cam Atkinson for the second time on the weekend for ninth in Falcons history in goals scored, depositing his 49th tally in a Springfield sweater.
ATKINSON'S RUN HALTED
Cam Atkinson's five-game point streak (2g-6a) ended on Sunday, as the 23-year-old was held scoreless in the victory in Providence. Atkinson has posted a goal or an assist in 14 of the last 16 games. He is third in the league with 38 points and is tied for fourth with 17 goals.
With 49 goals in 89 games as a Falcon, Atkinson has scored at a team-historic rate. Of players who have skated in at least 50 games with the franchise, the Greenwich, Conn. native is second all-time with 0.55 goals/game. He trails only John LeBlanc, who had 39 goals in 65 contests (0.66/game) during his lone season with the Falcons in their first AHL campaign of 1994-1995. Atkinson has the highest goal-scoring rate of players with more than 65 games played with Springfield.
ALSO NEAR THE TOP...
Cam Atkinson and Nick Drazenovic are tied for second in the league with five game-winning goals...Tim Erixon is tied for seventh among AHL defensemen with 22 points (4g-18a) while David Savard is tied for 11th with 21 points (3g-18a)
Springfield improved to 8-1-0-0 in Sunday competition in 2012-2013.
THREE TO TANGO
Springfield is 4-1-0-0 in the third game of a three-in-three stretch this season. The Falcons have struggled in the middle contest of three-in-threes in 2012-2013 with a record of 0-2-1-2.
SLUMP ENDS IN STYLE
Heading into their game on Saturday, Dec. 29, the Falcons had gone three-straight contests and five of six without a power-play goal. Springfield would break its man-advantage rut that night, and has now picked up power-play goals in five-straight games. The Falcons are tied with the Charlotte Checkers for eighth in the league at 19.0% on the man advantage.
ONE AND DONE
The Falcons have allowed exactly one goal in two of the last four games after either collecting a shutout or permitting two or more tallies against in their first 29 contests of 2012-2013.
IT'S BEEN AWHILE
Kevan Miller's penalty-shot bid on Sunday was the first in a Falcons game this season. The last penalty-shot attempt against Springfield had been on Jan. 25, 2012, when Brandon Mashinter failed for Worcester. Jordan Szwarz was the last opposing player to score on a penalty shot against the Falcons, doing so on Jan. 13, 2012 for Portland.
Maksim Mayorov attempted the Falcons' most recent penalty shot. He was unable to convert in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Mar. 25, 2012. Cody Bass has the Falcons' latest penalty-shot goal. He struck on Mar. 10, 2012 versus Syracuse.
Cody Bass, the Owen Sound, Ontario native celebrates his 26th birthday today.
The Falcons are one of two AHL teams (Toronto Marlies), including the only one in the Eastern Conference, to have a top five offense and defense. Springfield is fourth-best in the AHL on offense at 3.30 goals/game, and is second on defense at 2.39 goals/game. The Falcons' +30 scoring differential is third best in the league, trailing Toronto (+32) and the Syracuse Crunch (+31).
The Falcons underwent just their fourth loss of the season by more than a goal on Saturday. Springfield has not dropped a game by more than three goals this season. The Falcons’ last loss by four or more goals was a 6-2 defeat to Bridgeport on Mar. 30, 2012.
A GREAT TIME!
A new and excited Falcons fan spoke about the experience of attending his first game at the MassMutual Center after Springfield's win over Bridgeport on Friday. Watch the video here.
RSVP DEADLINE FOR BIRDS BOWLING BASH IS TODAY
RSVP date for the Birds Bowling Bash presented by Webster Bank is today! The "Birds Bowling Bash," an exclusive event for ticket package holders, will be held at Spare Time Northampton on Sunday, Jan. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. Fans can bowl with their favorite Falcons players, one of the many advantages of being a ticket package holder. Enter at the event for your chance to win fabulous autographed prizes, courtesy of Webster Bank. Talk to a Webster Bank representative at the event to sign up and for full contest rules.
LAST CHANCE TO WIN SPRING TRAINING GETAWAY PACKAGE
Falcons fans and AAA members have until Thursday, Jan. 10 to enter to win the "Spring Training Getaway presented by AAA Pioneer Valley."
Fans can win a trip to see the Boston Red Sox compete in spring training action in Fort Myers, Fla. by entering at any of the five AAA Pioneer Valley locations or online at AAA.com/Promo. Five contestants will be selected from the entries to participate in an intermission drawing by Wally the Green Monster on Red Sox Night presented by AAA Pioneer Valley on Saturday, Jan. 19, when the Falcons host the Albany Devils at the MassMutual Center.
The grand prize is a three-day, two-night trip to Fort Myers, which includes two roundtrip airline tickets, a two-night hotel stay, and two tickets to two Red Sox spring training games.
NOMINATE A HERO AMONG US
Throughout the season, fans can submit a nomination for TD Bank's "Heroes Among Us" program. Nominees can include teachers, doctors, firefighters, community volunteers, and other individuals you think deserve to be honored at a Falcons game. For more information and to nominate, click here.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF JANUARY SPECIALS AT FALCONS NEST PRO SHOP
Take advantage of January 25% off specials at the Falcons Nest Pro Shop! Items discounted at 25% off include Reebok Center Ice Jackets, Traverse Winter Jackets, red youth Falcons replica jerseys, scarves, and winter hats.
The Tower Square location of the Falcons Nest Pro Shop is open for the remainder of the season 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Wednesday and Thursday.
The Tower Square venue, located at 1500 Main St. in downtown Springfield, gives fans a chance to browse a wide variety of Falcons merchandise and ticket packages in a popular downtown location.
Fans can continue to shop for all Falcons gear and ticket packages at the primary home of the Falcons Nest Pro Shop, located inside the team office at 45 Falcons Way, during normal business hours or online by clicking here. The Falcons Nest Pro Shop moves to the MassMutual Center concourse behind section 27 during all home games.
TOWER SQUARE STORE HOURS
Wednesday, Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
FALCONS NEST PRO SHOP AT 45 FALCONS WAY STORE HOURS
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.