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10/03/2013 1:18 PM -
The Springfield Falcons, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, announced Thursday its opening night roster. The unit consists of 28 players: 17 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders. 15 of the 28 players suited up for the Falcons last year.
The Falcons return a number of players from the 2012-13 club that won the Northeast Division championship and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Jonathan Marchessault, the team’s leading scorer a season ago, is back for the 2013-14 season. Marchessault posted a team-high in points (67), goals (21), assists (46) and shots on goal (233), while finishing second on the team with a +20 rating.
Ryan Craig returns to the team after spending the majority of training camp and preseason with the Blue Jackets. Craig captained the Falcons in 2012-13 and finished with a team-best 12 power-play goals. He was also second on the team in goals (20), third in points (47) and fourth in assists (27).
Springfield added two new goaltenders, each signed to a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract with Columbus this summer. Mike McKenna joins the Falcons after spending the 2012-13 campaign with the Peoria Rivermen (AHL). The St. Louis, Missouri native brings 244 games of AHL experience in addition to 17 games at the NHL level.
Jeremy Smith begins his stint in Springfield, having spent the last four seasons in the Nashville Predators organization with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) and Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL). Smith posted a career year in 2011-12 with Milwaukee, going 31-19-0-2 with a 2.17 goals against average and .922 save percentage in a league-high 56 appearances.
The full opening night roster is as follows:
Forwards (17): Alex Aleardi, Darryl Boyce, Michael Chaput, Sean Collins, Ryan Craig, Ryley Grantham, Jake Hansen, Andrew Joudrey, Jeremy Langlois, Broc Little, Spencer Machacek, Jonathan Marchessault, Peter Sakaris, Lukas Sedlak, Jack Skille, Dalton Smith, Trent Vogelhuber.
Defensemen (9): Cody Goloubef, Thomas Larkin, Joe Lavin, Austin Madaisky, Patrick McNeill, Ilari Melart, Blake Parlett, Frederic St. Denis, Will Weber.
Goaltenders (2): Mike McKenna, Jeremy Smith.
Springfield opens the regular season at the MassMutual Center Saturday, October 5 versus the Manchester Monarchs. The night will features a division championship banner ceremony, a cowbell giveaway to the first 2,500 fans through the door, and Pat Patriot will be in attendance to greet fans and take pictures. The game will begin at 7:00 p.m.

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