FALCONS GAME PREVIEW: SPRINGFIELD VS. PROVIDENCE, GAME #60
Springfield Falcons (34-16-5-4) vs. Providence Bruins (36-19-0-5)
Saturday, March 16, 2013
TICKETS: (413) 739-GOAL/MassMutual Center Box Office/Ticketmaster.com
RADIO: (presented by FalconsWireless.com) WHYN NewsTalk 560 AM/WHYN.com
Falcons Game Notes (PDF)
IN JUST A FEW HOURS...
The Springfield Falcons return to the MassMutual Center to complete a home-and-home sequence with the Providence Bruins at 7:00 p.m. Springfield clinched a winning season for the second-straight year on Friday night in Providence, overcoming a two-goal deficit with a pair of late tallies by Ryan Craig and Ryan Russell, the latter with 22 seconds remaining, before succumbing to the Bruins in a shootout, 3-2. The Falcons sealed a season above .500 with 17 contests remaining, matching the fastest the club guaranteed itself a winning record in franchise history. Springfield also clinched a season over .500 with 17 games to go in 1995-1996. The Falcons maintained their Northeast Division lead of 12 points over Albany following Friday's action. Springfield and Providence are tied for second place in the Eastern Conference, and the two teams trail Syracuse by three points for the top spot.
The first 1,500 fans in attendance tonight 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 6:45 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).
SUCCESS AT ‘THE NEST’
The Falcons return to the MassMutual Center having won five-straight home games. Springfield has won 13 of its last 15 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.
Springfield tied a game in the final minute of regulation for the fourth time this season on Friday. The Falcons also scored tying goals with under 60 seconds to go on Dec. 15 vs. St. John’s, Jan. 11 at Worcester, and Feb. 12 in Bridgeport. The Falcons are 2-11-2-2 when trailing after two periods, having fought back to earn points six times when facing a deficit entering the third period this season.
CAPTAIN CRAIG CONTRIBUTES
Ryan Craig scored his first goal since Feb. 17 on Friday, registering his 56th tally in a Falcons sweater to move to one shy of Eric Healey for sixth in team history in that category. He is two power-play goals away from 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.
SHOOTOUT STREAK ENDS
The Falcons’ streak of four-straight shootout victories ended on Friday, as Springfield fell following sudden-death overtime for the first time since Nov. 24.
ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR HELMER
Bryan Helmer played in his 1,111th AHL game on Friday, becoming the third player in league history to reach that milestone. He is 94 AHL games shy of tying Willie Marshall for the most appearances in league history.
FORD, MACHACEK BREAK THE ICE
Matthew Ford and Spencer Machacek each made their Springfield debuts on Friday night. The two were acquired in separate trades by Columbus over the last week.
STAYING AT THE TOP
Springfield remains tied with Syracuse for the highest goals differential in the AHL of +42.