THIRD-PERIOD FLURRY SUBDUES FALCONS
Albany, N.Y. - The Springfield Falcons (34-16-4-3) allowed three goals in the opening half of the third period on Saturday evening at the Times Union Center, sending the club to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Albany Devils (25-20-1-10).
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The Falcons and the Devils were tied entering the final frame, but Albany's three-consecutive strikes ended Springfield's hopes of guaranteeing itself a winning season at the three-quarter mark of the 2012-2013 campaign.
The Devils capitalized on a Springfield turnover to take a 1-0 lead in the opening stanza. Joe Whitney picked off a pass in the left circle of the Falcons' end, skated in on goaltender Paul Dainton, and backhanded the puck past his stick, giving Albany an early edge at 3:24.
After a relatively dormant start, the Falcons' offense created more pressure around Albany netminder Scott Wedgewood following the first intermission. Springfield eventually broke through after Eric Gelinas and Jacob Josefson picked up minor penalties six seconds apart to give the Falcons a two-man advantage.
With the Falcons working on the five-on-three, David Savard took a set up from Nick Holden at the top of the left circle and launched a one-timer over Wedgewood's glove at 14:06, evening the contest, 1-1.
Albany's go-ahead conversion and eventual game winner came on a seemingly harmless play. Dan Kelly spun around at the left point and flicked a soft wrister toward the net, but Mike Sislo redirected the puck past Dainton on the doorstep at 3:25 of the third, putting Albany ahead permanently, 2-1.
Shortly thereafter, the Devils seized the momentum with a power-play tally. Josefson threaded a nifty entry pass around a Falcons defenseman to Whitney, who darted to the right circle and sailed the puck over Dainton's glove at 6:14, adding to Albany's cushion, 3-1.
Gelinas took a drop pass from Steve Zalewski at the top of the right circle at 7:55 and blasted a slap shot by Dainton's blocker, providing Albany with additional insurance, 4-1.
The Falcons tried to battle back, but Wedgewood (1-0-0) was flawless in the third, making nine final saves for a victory in his AHL debut. He stopped 23 of Springfield's 24 shots throughout the contest.
In his first AHL outing since Jan. 20, Dainton (3-4-1) allowed four goals on Albany's 22 attempts.
The Falcons' lead in the Northeast Division following their loss to the Devils was 13 points over Connecticut. The Whale had a 2-1 lead over Adirondack in the first period Saturday night upon publication of this release.
Springfield dropped consecutive regulation decisions on the weekend for just the fourth time this season after also losing in Adirondack on Friday, 2-1.
After beginning next week in Bridgeport and Providence, the Falcons return to the MassMutual Center to host the Bruins 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).
Springfield extended its road winless streak to a season-high five games (0-4-1-0). The Falcons have not earned a victory in an away contest since Feb. 2 in Connecticut. They have been outscored, 14-3, over their last four away games, and 18-6 over their last five...Holden established a new career high in points with an assist on Savard's goal. The fifth-year pro has 26 points (5g-21a), one more than his previous mark of 25 from the 2010-2011 season...Savard's goal was his first since Feb. 10...Jonathan Audy-Marchessault had the second assist on the play, upping his team-leading scoring total to 53 points (17g-36a)...The Falcons fell to 8-8-1-2 in Saturday action this season...Springfield went 1-2-0-0 at the Times Union Center in 2012-2013