NEWS AND NOTES FROM AROUND THE NEST
By: Damon Markiewicz
April 23, 2009 - The Springfield Falcons continue to prepare for the 2009-10 season as the front office staff remains busy during the ticket package and corporate sales renewal process. The following is some news from around The Nest:
• Congratulations to the Falcons' ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder, on a first round series win over the Ontario Reign. Cory Urquhart led the way with one goal and two assists in game 7 on Wednesday night, while Rob Bina also chipped in with one goal. Sebastien Bisaillon, David Rohlfs, Cleve Kinley, Ryan Constant, Garet Hunt, Ryan Huddy, Jamie Bates, and Bryan Pitton all saw time with Springfield this past year and are playing for Stockton in the playoffs. The Thunder will now play Glenn Fisher, Kelly Czuy and the Las Vegas Wranglers in the second round of the Kelly Cup playoffs. Speaking of Fisher, he stopped 31 of 32 shots on Wednesday night, in Las Vegas' game 7 win over Bakersfield. Fisher appeared in three games with the Falcons this past year, but he earned the respect of his teammates all season long with his strong work ethic.
• Because we haven't had a home game in about three weeks, I needed a hockey fix and I drove to Worcester on Monday night for game 3 of the Sharks and Hartford Wolf Pack series. Worcester won that contest in double overtime when former Falcon Ryan Vesce netted the game-winner. It has been a fantastic year for Vesce, who was an AHL All-Star, led the Sharks in scoring and also made his NHL debut as a member of the San Jose Sharks this season. Vesce was an AHL All-Star for the Falcons during the 2005-06 campaign.
• Good to see Geoff Ward and the Boston Bruins sweep the Montreal Canadiens from the NHL playoffs. As everyone remembers, Ward was named head coach of the Falcons back on May 15, 2007, but never coached a game for Springfield as he took a job with the Bruins in August of 2007. For hockey fans throughout the bay state, Wednesday night was an exciting night as the Bruins won their first playoff series since the 1998-99 campaign. To put that into perspective, new fan favorite Milan Lucic was 10-years-old, and that was P.J. Axelsson's second season with the Bruins.
• Back to news regarding the Falcons, the front office staff held their annual season recap meeting this past Monday. In this meeting, the entire season is analyzed from a front office perspective including: ticket operations, game night entertainment, promotions, corporate sales, media relations and community relations. This meeting is very helpful in determining what aspects of the organization went well, and which aspects we can improve upon as a staff heading into 2009-10.
• One question we received a lot during the season was, "Will the Falcons be bringing back the Summer BBQ?" As a staff, I can honestly say we all enjoy the BBQ as much as our fans enjoy it, and right now we are striving to hopefully bring it back for this summer. Nothing has been set in stone as of yet, but the Summer BBQ is on the radar to bring back this year.
• It was good to see Derek Bekar back in town last weekend participating in the March of Dimes walk in Forest Park. Bekar helped captain the Falcons team of walkers and he also stopped in to visit the Springfield Sliders Sled Hockey Team at Amelia Park in Westfield. Bekar started last season with the Falcons before ending the year playing in Europe.
Once again, thank you to all of our loyal supporters and we will continue to provide you updates during the off-season!