FALCONS LOSE TO PIRATES AT THE NEST
By Andrew Tressler:
December 12, 2009- The Springfield Falcons lost to the Portland Pirates, 7-1, on Saturday night in front of 2,913 at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons saw their winless streak extended to nine games (0-7-1-1) as they prepare for a contest against the Lowell Devils on Tuesday.
LIVE BOX SCORE
“They capitalized on all their chances,” said Falcons Head Coach Rob Daum on the Pirates, “They didn’t dominate the game, but they dominated on the scoreboard for sure.”
Springfield came out shooting during the first period as they outshot the Pirates 16-7 after twenty minutes of play. Unfortunately for the Falcons none of those 16 shots got past Portland goalie Jhonas Enroth.
Portland’s Kyle Rank scored a shorthanded goal at 2:30 to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead. Rank’s slapshot found a space in between Dubnyk’s legs. Rank’s goal marked the eighth consecutive game where the Falcons failed to score the game’s first goal. Later in the period, Portland struck again as Derek Whitmore scored his first power play goal of the season to make it 2-0 Pirates heading into the first intermission.
Springfield had their chances in the first stanza with two power play opportunities, but Portland’s penalty kill team came through on both occasions. On the other hand the Pirates converted on their one and only power play in the first period.
In the second period, the Falcons scored early to make it a 2-1 game. Scoring on the power play for the Falcons was Bill Thomas with his second goal of the season. Assisting on the goal were Charles Linglet and Alex Plante.
Less than 30-seconds after Thomas’ goal, Portland scored on the power play when Whitmore converted for his second goal of the game. Later in the period, Portland’s Drew Schiestal made a beautiful pass to Rank as he connected on his second score of the game. Portland continued the second period attack with Kyle Wanvig’s seventh goal of the year and Jeff Cowan’s 11th goal to make it 6-1 Pirates heading into the final twenty minutes.
“The chances they got were either two on ones or breakaways,” said Coach Daum on Portland.
Late in the second, Springfield’s leading goal scorer Colton Fretter took a rough hit as one of the Portland’s players fell in front of him cutting him off at the legs. Fretter immediately fell to the ground and he was in pain as he skated off on his own into the locker room with an apparent leg injury. Fretter did not return to the game and he is listed as day-to-day.
The most excitement in the third period came late in the stanza when Falcons forward Geoff Paukovich and Pirates defenseman Mike Weber dropped the gloves behind the Pirates goal. Rank added a third goal of the game with less than a minute in the contest to make it 7-1 giving him a hat trick.
The official attendance for tonight’s game was 2,913... The Falcons Captain Dean Arsene laid out Portland’s Kyle Wanvig early in the first leading to a fight between the two players...Falcons outshot the Pirates 32-26...Portland was 3-6 on the power play while Springfield went 1-5... Pirates’ goaltender Jhonas Enroth played very well in net stopping 31 of 32 shots.
Three Stars of Game
1st Star- Kyle Rank (3 G, 1 A) - POR
2nd Star- Derek Whitmore (2 G) - POR
3rd Star- Jeff Cowan (1 G, 1 A) – POR
Charles Linglet – Chad Wiseman – Colton Fretter
Kip Brennan – Geoff Paukovich – Slava Trukhno
Bryan Lerg – Bill Thomas – Liam Reddox
Ryan MacMurchy – Ryan O’Marra – Ronald Petrovicky
Taylor Chorney – Johan Motin
Dean Arsene – Jake Taylor
Cody Wild – Alex Plante
Bryan Young (Healthy), Matt Nickerson (Healthy), Chris Minard (Injured), Colin McDonald (flu), Theo Peckham (Injured), Chris Armstrong (Injured)
PRE-GAME NIGHT NOTES.....................
Game Setup: The Springfield Falcons and Portland Pirates meet for the fourth time this season when they get together on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center starting at 7 pm. The Falcons are 2-1 against the Pirates this year including victories on October 3 and November 8, followed by a 3-2 loss most recently on November 29. Following tonight’s game, the next three games of this season series will take place at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine, including a match-up on December 18 in Portland. Tonight will be the 136th all-time meeting between the Falcons and Pirates with Springfield holding a 68-53-14 edge in the all-time series.
The Falcons return to action tonight looking to snap an eight-game winless streak (0-6-1-1) after losing to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by a score of 6-2 last night. The Falcons fell behind 6-1 in the second period Friday night after Bridgeport scored five unanswered goals in the middle frame. The Falcons will have goaltender Devan Dubnyk back in their lineup for Saturday’s game against Portland, while netminder Andrew Perugini was reassigned back to Springfield’s ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder. Dubnyk has played in 18 games for the Falcons this year posting a record of 9-8-1 with a 2.77 goals against average and .924 save percentage. Dubnyk, who was recalled by the Edmonton Oilers on November 22, has been in goal for nine of Springfield’s 10 wins this season.
Falcons forward Colton Fretter scored his team-leading 12th and 13th goals of the year last night, while linemate Charles Linglet added a pair of assists. Fretter is second in the AHL in goals, while Linglet remains in a tie for second place in the AHL in scoring with seven goals and 23 assists for 30 points in 28 games. Linglet’s 23 assists is tied for the league lead in that category.
The Pirates head into Springfield having defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack by a score of 5-2 last night in Hartford. Portland used four third period goals to take control of a tied hockey game entering the third period. Cody McCormick led the Pirates’ offense with two goals on Friday night, while Tyler Ennis, Brad Larsen and Philip Gogulla also tallied for Portland. Goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped 16 of 18 shots in the win.
Portland has been one of the hottest teams in the AHL since November 12. The Pirates have collected at least a point in 13 of their last 14 games going 8-1-3-2 in that span. Portland currently has a record of 13-11-3-2 good for 31 points in a very competitive Atlantic Division.
PLAYERS RETURNING FROM EDMONTON: Over the last week, the Falcons have received five players back from their NHL affiliate, the Edmonton Oilers. Starting on December 4, Colin McDonald returned to the Falcons after making his NHL debut on November 27 against San Jose and scoring his first NHL goal on November 28 at Vancouver. Ryan O”Marra and Taylor Chorney returned to the Falcons on December 6. O’Marra recorded his first NHL point on November 28, while Chorney returned to Springfield for the first time since October 12. Captain Dean Arsene returned to Springfield on December 10 after appearing in his first two NHL games with the Oilers, and goaltender Devan Dubnyk came back to the Falcons on December 12 after making his NHL debut on November 28 at Vancouver.
GERBE GETS THE CALL AND CONVERTS: Nathan Gerbe scored his first National Hockey League goal and added an assist to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-0 shutout win over the Washington Capitals at the HSBC Arena on December 9. Gerbe, who was recalled from the Portland Pirates earlier that day, netted the first of his NHL career on the power play at 14:42 of the second period to give the Sabres a 2-0 advantage. He also assisted on Buffalo’s first goal and was named the game’s second star. He played a total of 14:28 in his 11th career NHL game.
LEADING ROOKIE: Portland rookie forward Tyler Ennis continues to lead all AHL rookies in scoring with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 29 games. The Edmonton, Alberta native is currently tied with Mark Mancari for the team lead in points with 23.