FALCONS COOLED OFF BY PHANTOMS
Glens Falls, N.Y. - In their first action since capturing eight standings points in under 48 hours last weekend, the Springfield Falcons (34-15-4-3) sustained a 2-1 loss to the Adirondack Phantoms (22-30-2-2) on Friday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
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Penalty-killing specialist Andrew Joudrey netted his first power-play goal in nearly two seasons as a Falcon, but Springfield lost to Adirondack for the first time since Mar. 24, 2012, ending a four-game winning streak against the Phantoms.
Each team connected on its first man-advantage opportunity of the evening in the opening period.
Matthew Ford corralled the puck on the left goal line and threaded a pass to an open Marcel Noebels in the right circle. Noebels snapped a quick shot by Falcons goaltender Curtis McElhinney at 11:03, as Adirondack landed a 1-0 lead.
Joudrey and the Falcons answered Adirondack's strike minutes later. Michael Chaput stickhandled from the blue line to the right circle and threw a puck toward Phantoms netminder Michael Leighton, who stopped the shot but deflected the rebound to Joudrey in the left circle. Joudrey fired the puck past Leighton's stick at 13:27, tying the game, 1-1.
The Phantoms nearly reclaimed the lead on a power play early in the second period, as Ford wound up with a puck on the left goal line off a rebound. McElhinney flung his right pad out to stuff Ford, as Springfield killed off the penalty and kept the game tied.
Leighton turned aside one of his toughest tests later in the second, blocking a Trent Vogelhuber shot from the left circle off a Joudrey set up, and the teams entered the third all square, 1-1.
Adirondack went back in front for good early in the third period. Oliver Lauridsen took a tip pass at center ice from Ian Slater, skated into the left circle, held the puck as his angle decreased, but managed to sneak a wrist shot by McElhinney's blocker at 2:42, making it 2-1, Phantoms.
McElhinney kept Springfield within range at the 11:00 mark of the final frame, refusing Matt Mangene's partial-breakaway bid from the right circle with a pad stop.
With McElhinney pulled for an extra attacker, Springfield pressured Leighton in the waning stages of the game. Sean Collins and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault each converged on bouncing pucks near the net on separate plays in the contest's final seconds, but Leighton and the Phantoms held off the Falcons, 2-1.
McElhinney (23-11-2) set aside 32 shots, as he lost for the first time since a Feb. 24 game in Worcester. Making his first start against the Falcons this season, Leighton (1-1-0) accumulated 31 saves.
Springfield fell two points behind Syracuse into second place in Eastern Conference, as the Crunch came from behind to record a 3-2 shootout win over St. John's earlier on Friday. The Falcons maintained their 13-point lead in the Northeast Division over Connecticut with three games in hand, as the Whale were blanked by Binghamton, 3-0.
Springfield continues its four-game road stretch in Albany on Saturday.
The Falcons return to the MassMutual Center to host Providence on Saturday, Mar. 16 at 7:00 p.m. The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive a free Falcons baseball hat. Fans can also win a free bicycle from Gus Coelho Auto Repair at 442 Holyoke St. in Ludlow as part of "Cycle Saturday."
Falcons game-worn jerseys from last week's "Irish Night" at the MassMutual Center are on the auction block now and can be bid on through the Falcons' eBay store by clicking here.
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).
Joudrey has three shorthanded goals as a Falcon, but had not scored on the man advantage with the club until Friday...Springfield allowed just its fourth power-play goal against since Feb. 2, dating back 13 games...The Falcons had won their first three games of the season series against the Phantoms, all at the MassMutual Center...Springfield's three-game winning streak ended...The Falcons were trying to tie their all-time high water mark of 21 games over .500, accomplished in April of 1996...The loss was Springfield's third in regulation in Friday competition this season (12-3-2-1)...Springfield has lost a season-high four-straight road games (0-3-1-0) since its last away victory on Feb. 2