FALCONS GAME PREVIEW: SPRINGFIELD VS. MANCHESTER, GAME #62
Springfield Falcons (34-18-5-4) vs. Manchester Monarchs (29-26-3-4)
Wednesday, March 20, 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 home to the MassMutual Center for their final meeting of the season with the Manchester Monarchs at 7:00 p.m., presented by Junior Achievement. The Falcons lead the Connecticut Whale by nine points for first place in the Northeast Division with two games in hand at the start of the 24th week of the 2012-2013 season. Springfield fell in its most recent contest, battling back late with a goal from Ryan Russell before submitting to Connecticut on the road, 3-2, this past Sunday. Matthew Ford registered his first goal as a Falcon in the defeat.
The Falcons have won each of their last two games against the Monarchs, with Jonathan Audy-Marchessault recording his first-career hat trick in the most recent matchup on Jan. 15 in Manchester. The road team has been victorious in all five games between the two clubs in 2012-2013.
Tonight's game is the second and final season ticket holder redemption night of the season. Season ticket package holders can redeem their unused home Falcons tickets from Dec. 27 through Mar. 16 at tonight's contest.
Today'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.
Springfield welcomes Worcester to the MassMutual Center on Friday, presented by Sargento, at 7 p.m. Fans attending Friday's game will have the opportunity to win a new HDTV, courtesy of Manny's TV & Appliances, as part of "Flat-Screen Friday."
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).
PRODUCTIVE MARCH FOR RUSSELL
Ryan Russell’s tying goal on Friday in Providence began a season-high three-game point streak (2g-1a) for the veteran forward. After posting six points (4g-2a) in the first five calendar months of the season, Russell has doubled his production in March. Russell is tied for the Falcons lead this month with Jonathan Audy-Marchessault with six points (4g-2a) and now has 12 points overall (8g-4a) in 2012-2013.
‘JAM’ STAYS NEAR THE TOP
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault is tied for seventh in the AHL with a Falcons-leading 55 points. He also leads Springfield with 37 assists, placing him into a tie for fifth in the league. Audy-Marchessault’s 18 goals are the most by a Springfield skater this season.
AMONG THE BEST
Curtis McElhinney paces the AHL with a Falcons-record eight shutouts, is third in the league with 23 victories, and is fifth with a .924 save percentage. McElhinney is on pace to break the Falcons single-season record for highest save percentage among goaltenders who played in 25 games, currently held by Jean-Marc Pelletier (.922, 2003-2004). His 2.31 goals-against average puts him in range of Manny Legace’s club single-season mark (2.27, 1995-1996).
A WEEK OF FIRSTS FOR WEBER
After beating Rick DiPietro for his first professional goal and point in his 50th-career contest on Tuesday in Bridgeport, Will Weber garnered another first on Sunday. The rookie blueliner received the second helper on Ryan Russell’s late goal in Connecticut, marking the first assist of his career.
Nick Drazenovic leads the AHL with 26 power-play points (9g-17a).
Nick Holden ‘s +17 rating is the highest among Falcon skaters.
CAPTAIN CRAIG CLIMBS THE CHARTS
Ryan Craig, with 56 goals as a Falcon, is 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.
The Falcons are second in the AHL in team defense, allowing 2.46 goals/game. Springfield is on pace to allow 187 goals, 28 fewer than its franchise low of 215, set in the 1995-1996 campaign.
A POINT AWAY
With one more point, Springfield will equal its output from the 2011-2012 season. The Falcons went 36-34-3-3 last season to gather 78 points. Springfield has 77 points with 15 games left this year.