FALCONS GAME PREVIEW: SPRINGFIELD AT PROVIDENCE, GAME #59
Springfield Falcons (34-16-5-3) at Providence Bruins (35-19-0-5)
Friday, March 15, 2013
Dunkin' Donuts Center
RADIO: (presented by FalconsWireless.com) WHYN NewsTalk 560 AM/WHYN.com
Falcons Game Notes (PDF)
IN JUST A FEW HOURS...
The Springfield Falcons end their four-game road stretch when they head to the Dunkin' Donuts Center to battle the Providence Bruins at 7:05 p.m. Springfield increased its Northeast Division lead to 12 points over Connecticut with three games in hand in a 3-2 overtime defeat on Tuesday night in Bridgeport. Will Weber notched his first-professional goal in the contest, while Jonathan Audy-Marchessault also struck for the Falcons. Curtis McElhinney made 36 saves, as the Falcons avoided losing three-straight games in regulation for the first time this season.
The Falcons enter tonight's action one point in front of the Bruins for second place in the Eastern Conference standings. The two clubs meet again on Saturday at the MassMutual Center and will face-off two more times in 2012-2013 following this weekend.
The first 1,500 fans in attendance on 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." Additionally, select game-worn "Irish Night" jerseys will be auctioned off in the MassMutual Center concourse.
Tonight's broadcast is presented by FalconsWireless.com and starts at 6:58 p.m. on WHYN 560 AM, WHYN.com, the iHeartRadio App, or AHLLive.com.
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).
WEBER WIRES IN FIRST PRO GOAL, POINT
Will Weber’s second-period goal on Tuesday night was his first as a pro, and also marked the first point of his career. Weber scored five goals in his four-year career at Miami (OH). He posted his first professional tally in the 50th contest of his career. The Gaylord, Mich. native became the 25th Falcon to score a goal this season.
‘JAM’ GRABS FIRST PLACE
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault broke a three-way tie with Cam Atkinson and Ryan Johansen and moved into sole possession of first place on the Falcons with his 18th goal of the season on Tuesday. Audy-Marchessault is now the leading active scorer in the AHL with 54 points following the NHL recalls of Grand Rapids’ Gustav Nyquist (60 points) and Syracuse’s Tyler Johnson (58 points) this week. “JAM” also tops Springfield with a +17 rating.
WINNING SEASON UP FOR GRABS
The Falcons can clinch a winning record for the second-straight season with a victory or an overtime or shootout loss tonight in Providence. If Springfield earns a point, it would tie 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 17 games left after tonight.
TRIO TO MAKE DEBUTS
Three players are expected to make their Springfield debuts this weekend. Forwards Matthew Ford and Spencer Machacek were acquired by Columbus through trades earlier this week with Philadelphia and Winnipeg, respectively, while defenseman Thomas Larkin signed an ATO with the Falcons on Thursday out of Colgate University.
A RECORD PACE
Springfield is on pace to allow 182 goals this season, 33 fewer than its franchise low of 215, set in 1995-1996. The Falcons’ 2.40 goals-against average is second in the AHL, and their +43 goals differential is tied with Syracuse for the highest in the league. Springfield is the only team in the league to have a top five offense and defense. The Falcons are tied for fifth in the AHL with Toronto at 3.14 goals scored/game.
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. The Abbotsford, British Columbia native is seventh in Falcons history with 55 goals and is two shy of tying Eric Healey for sixth in the club’s 19-year run. He is tied for fourth in the AHL with 23 power-play points (10g-13a).