FALCONS WEEKLY NOTES: MAR. 11
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons (34-16-4-3) lead the Connecticut Whale by 11 points for first place in the Northeast Division with four games in hand entering the 23rd week of the 2012-2013 season. The Falcons fell in both of their games this past weekend, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday before succumbing to the Albany Devils on Saturday, 4-1. Springfield continues its four-game road swing this week, venturing to Bridgeport on Tuesday and Providence on Friday before returning home to host the Bruins on Saturday at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons finish out their four-game week in Connecticut on Sunday, battling the Whale. Springfield is tied with Providence for second place and trails Syracuse by four points with three games in hand for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The first 1,500 fans in attendance at The Nest this Saturday 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."
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.
Click here for the AHL playoff primer (PDF).
WEEK IN REVIEW
Adirondack 2, Springfield 1
Friday, Mar. 8
Glens Falls Civic Center
Click here for the box score.
The Falcons took their three-game winning streak to the road, trekking to Glens Falls for the first time this season to meet the Adirondack Phantoms. The two clubs converted on first-period power plays, with Marcel Noebels connecting for Adirondack before Andrew Joudrey struck for Springfield. After a scoreless second period, Oliver Lauridsen beat Curtis McElhinney with a shot from the left circle in the opening stages of the final frame. The Falcons peppered Michael Leighton with 13 shots in the third, but could not deposit the tying tally, as Adirondack prevailed, 2-1. McElhinney set aside 32 of 34 shots in the defeat.
Albany 4, Springfield 1
Saturday, Mar. 9
Times Union Center
Click here for the box score.
Click here for the highlights.
The Falcons remained in Upstate New York to close out the weekend and fell behind to the Albany Devils just 3:24 into the game when Joe Whitney picked off a pass in Springfield's end and snapped a puck past Paul Dainton. David Savard rang a slap shot past Scott Wedgewood on a five-on-three power play at 14:06 of the second, as the Falcons, for the second-straight game, moved into the last stanza tied, 1-1. The Devils pulled away from the Falcons in the third with a trio of tallies just four minutes and 20 seconds apart. Mike Sislo redirected a Dan Kelly shot past Dainton at 3:25, Whitney finished off a set up from Jacob Josefson on the man advantage at 6:14, and Eric Gelinas rocketed a puck in from the top of the right circle at 7:55, as Albany won, 4-1. Wedgewood made 23 saves to win his AHL debut, while Dainton, receiving his first AHL start since Jan. 20, let in four goals on 22 shots.
Tuesday, Mar. 12 - Springfield at Bridgeport, Webster Bank Arena, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 15 - Springfield at Providence, Dunkin Donuts Center, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Mar. 16 - Springfield vs. Providence, Dunkin Donuts Center, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Mar. 17 - Springfield at Connecticut, XL Center, 3:00 p.m.
WINNING SEASON WITHIN REACH
The Falcons can clinch a winning record for the second-straight season with a victory this Tuesday in Bridgeport. If Springfield wins, it would mark the earliest in the franchise's 19-year history that the Falcons guaranteed themselves a record above .500. The Falcons' record for games remaining in a season upon clinching a winning record is 17, recorded in the 1995-1996 campaign. Springfield will have 18 games to go in 2012-2013 following Tuesday's contest. The Falcons netted their first winning season since 1997-1998 last year, going 36-34-3-3 to garner their fourth campaign of .500 play or better in team history.
TRIFECTA ON THE LINE
Springfield has lost consecutive games in regulation for only the fourth time this season and has not dropped three-straight regulation decisions in all of 2012-2013. The Falcons last went more than two-consecutive contests without a point from Mar. 24 to 30, 2012 (three games).
ROAD STRUGGLES CONTINUE
After the Falcons beat the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center on Feb. 2, Springfield was 15-5-2-0 on the road and had outscored its opponents in away action, 83 to 56. Since that date, the Falcons have gone winless away from The Nest, going 0-4-1-0 over the last five road games. Springfield has been outscored during its current road losing streak, 18 to 6, including 14 to 3 over the last four away contests.
Despite the recent rut, the Falcons are on pace to put together their first winning season on the road since 1997-1998, and just the second in club history, currently with a 15-9-3-0 mark. Springfield went 21-15-4 in away competition in 1997-1998, and finished at .500 in 1995-1996, going 17-17-6. The Falcons have been below .500 on the road in 16 of their 18 seasons.
DEFENDING THE NEST
The Falcons return to The Nest having won five-straight home games. Springfield has won 14 of its last 16 at home since ending a six-game MassMutual Center-losing streak on Dec. 30. The club record for the longest home winning streak is eight games, accomplished twice. Springfield prevailed in eight-straight contests at home from Feb. 8, 1995 to Mar. 12, 1995 and did the same from Mar. 16, 2012 to Oct. 19, 2012. A win on Saturday would give Springfield its longest home-winning streak within the same season since it collected six-straight victories at the MassMutual Center from Nov. 11 to Dec. 6, 2002.
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
The Falcons entered Friday's game in Adirondack with a chance to equal their all-time high of 21 games over .500, set on Apr. 13, 1996. Springfield, however dropped to 18 games above .500 with its pair of losses on the weekend. The Falcons were 20 games over .500 heading into last weekend for the first time since Mar. 28, 1998.
DEFENSE GIVES WAY
Springfield allowed more than two goals in a game on Sunday for the time since Feb. 24, dating back six outings. The Falcons remain second in the league on defense at 2.39 goals against/game and are on pace to allow 182 goals, 33 fewer than their franchise record low of 215, recorded in 1995-1996. Springfield's +44 goals differential is the highest in the AHL.
PENALTY KILL PUNCTURED
The Falcons allowed one goal on the penalty kill in each of their games this past weekend and moved to fifth in the league while shorthanded at 86.0%. Despite the minor hiccup, the Falcons are 50/55 (90.1%) on the kill dating back to Feb. 2.
ONE DAY AT A TIME
Springfield has played its best hockey on Friday and Sunday in 2012-2013. The Falcons are 12-3-2-1 in Friday action and are 12-2-0-0 in Sunday competition this season for a combined record of 24-5-2-1. Springfield has struggled in midweek and Saturday games this season. The Falcons are 2-3-1-0 in games played from Monday through Thursday, and are 8-8-1-2 on Saturday for a combined mark of 10-11-2-2.
'JAM' ADDS TO LEAD
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault posted his team-leading 53rd point of the season when he assisted on David Savard's goal on Saturday. Audy-Marchessault's 53 points place him into a four-way tie for third in the AHL, while his 36 assists put him in fifth. He is tied for the Falcons lead with 17 goals.
CAPTAIN CLOSES IN
Ryan Craig is two power-play goals shy of tying Danny Briere and Jean-Guy Trudel for the most man-advantage tallies in team history. Craig has 27 power-play goals, while Briere and Trudel netted 29 with the Falcons.
Penalty-killing specialist Andrew Joudrey scored his first power-play goal as a Falcon on Friday night, as the veteran earned time on the man advantage due to recent recalls and injuries. Joudrey has three shorthanded goals as a Falcon, including two this season, putting him one shy of equaling the all-time franchise record.
SHUTTING THEM DOWN
Despite losing his only start of the week on Friday, Curtis McElhinney remained third in the AHL with 23 victories. He is atop the league with eight shutouts, a Falcons single-season record, is fifth with a .925 save percentage, and is 12th with a 2.29 goals-against average.
MACHACEK JOINS THE MIX
The Columbus Blue Jackets traded for forward Spencer Machacek from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for forward Tomas Kubalik on Sunday. Machacek has 225 points (93g-132a) in 341-career AHL games between the St. John's IceCaps and Chicago Wolves and had been a part of the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise his entire career after being selected by the club in the sixth round (67th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Machacek participated in the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic and has collected nine points (2g-7a) in 25-career NHL contests with the Jets/Thrashers.
Kubalik is tied for 10th in Falcons history with 49 goals scored and led the Falcons in his rookie season of 2010-2011 with 53 points (24g-29a). In 180 games in his Springfield career, Kubalik accumulated 96 points (49g-47a).
BLUE JACKETS WIN AGAIN
The Blue Jackets won a season-high fifth-straight game on Sunday, outlasting the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout, 3-2. Ryan Johansen and Matt Calvert each connected in the shootout for the Blue Jackets. Cam Atkinson posted the game-winning goal of a 3-0 victory over the Red Wings on Saturday. Sergei Bobrovsky was named the NHL's First Star for the week ending Mar. 10. Columbus begins the new week just four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
BIDDING ENDS SOON ON 'IRISH NIGHT' JERSEYS
Fans can bid until tonight on the 'Irish Night' jerseys of Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Bryan Helmer, Tomas Kubalik, Dalton Prout, and David Savard on the Falcons' eBay store by clicking here.
LOCK IN YOUR SEAT FOR 2013-2014
Falcons fans are invited to reserve their ticket packages for the 2013-2014 season. Fans can to stop by "Ticket Headquarters" behind section 31 at The Nest during any Springfield home game to lock in their spot for the Falcons' 20th AHL season.
Adult season ticket prices remain the same for 2013-2014, giving fans the opportunity to watch the Falcons compete in all 38 home contests at the MassMutual Center for only $13/game. Season ticket packages in 2013-2014 will come with a no-waste guarantee, giving fans the opportunity to exchange their unused tickets for future home games. Fans can also take advantage of 22 and 10-game ticket packages next season.
The Falcons will also continue to offer flex packages for fans who want to choose what games they want to attend and how many people they want to bring to each contest. Flex packages are broken down into 44, 20, and 12-ticket plans.
Youth ticket packages and flex plans are also available in 2013-2014 for children ages 14 and under.
A $50 non-refundable deposit per seat is required.
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.
SHOP AT THE FALCONS NEST PRO SHOP
Fans can purchase their favorite team gear and apparel at the Falcons Nest Pro Shop, located inside the team office at 45 Falcons Way, during normal business hours or online by clicking here.
The Tower Square location of the Falcons Nest Pro Shop is also 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.
The Falcons Nest Pro Shop moves to the MassMutual Center concourse behind section 27 during all home games.
FALCONS NEST PRO SHOP AT 45 FALCONS WAY STORE HOURS
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
TOWER SQUARE STORE HOURS
Wednesday, Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.