FALCONS FALL TO NORFOLK 3-2
January 22, 2010 – Matt Fornataro’s goal with just 2:23 remaining in regulation led the Norfolk Admirals to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Springfield Falcons in front of 3,062 at the MassMutual Center on Friday night. The Falcons built a 2-0 lead in the second period, but Norfolk responded with three straight goals to conclude the scoring on the night. The Falcons will look to rebound on Saturday night when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack at The Nest starting at 7:30 pm.
LIVE BOX SCORE
The night started out well for Springfield as they continued to build on the momentum they built up before the all-star break. Colton Fretter scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season just 1:29 into the game giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead. Despite the 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission, Norfolk outshot Springfield 19-3 in the opening 20 minutes, but Falcons goaltender J.P. Levasseur was steady once again between the pipes.
Midway through the second period, the Falcons built a 2-0 lead when Rick Cleaver poked in a rebound at 9:17 of the middle frame, his first marker as a member of the Falcons. Cleaver was signed to a Professional Tryout Agreement on Thursday.
Shortly after Cleaver’s goal, Norfolk cut their deficit to 2-1 when Mark Parrish snapped a shot past Levasseur at 10:33 of the second period. The Admirals tied the score at 2-2 when Ty Wishart scored his seventh marker of the year at 12:54 of the middle stanza.
With the game appearing it was headed for overtime, Fornataro redirected a Wishart shot from the point past Levasseur late in the third period giving Norfolk the 3-2 win.
The Falcons did witness the return of Chris Minard to their lineup on Friday. Minard had been out of action since October 30 with a head injury.
Rick Cleaver, Thomas Beauregard and Zach Tarkir made their Falcons debuts after signing PTO contracts on Thursday.
1. Fornataro – Norfolk – GWG
2. Wishart – Norfolk – 1 goals, 1 assist
3. Levasseur – Springfield – 33 saves
Springfield Falcons Lineup
Charles Linglet (7) - Chad Wiseman (15) - Chris Minard (14)
Slava Trukhno (11) - Liam Reddox (9) - Colton Fretter (19)
Ryan MacMurchy (10) - Ryan O'Marra (22) - Colin McDonald (18)
Rick Cleaver (28) - Geoff Paukovich (12) - Thomas Beauregard (20)
Dean Arsene (29) - Johan Motin (8)
Zach Tarkir (36) - Jake Taylor (25)
Theo Peckham (24) - Alex Plante (21)
Jean-Philippe Levasseur (31)
Andrew Penner (35)
FALCONS SCRATCHES – J.F. David (Injured), Matt Nickerson (Injured), Rob Hisey (Injured), Bryan Lerg (Healthy), Kip Brennan (Injured), Kevin McLeod (Healthy), Chris Armstrong (Injured), Kelly Czuy (Injured), Sasha Pokulok (Travel), Cody Wild (Healthy), Jason Pitton (Travel)
IN-GAME STORY BY MIKE HOPEY
At the MassMutual Center the Falcons squared off against the Norfolk Admirals for the first time this season. The Falcons lead by two through the first 30 minutes but gave up three unanswered goals and fell to Norfolk 3-2 in regulation.
The Falcons jumped to a quick lead when Colton Fretter netted his 17th goal of the season. Despite the early lead the Falcons offense did not test Norfolk goaltender Jaroslav Janus much, only managing three shots in the first frame.
The Falcons scored a second time when Geoff Paukovich and Thomas Beauregard connected with Rick Cleaver (1) at 9:17 of the second period. Beauregard recorded his first point in his first game since joining the team on Thursday. Norfolk tied the game with goals from Mark Parrish (10) and Ty Wishart (7) at 10:33 and 12:54 respectively.
The Falcons tried to take the lead back in the third with their best opportunity coming at 8:32 of the period when Admirals defensemen Matt Lashoff went off for a hooking call. Norfolk managed to kill the penalty and took the lead with Matt Fornataro’s first goal of the season from Wishart and Parrish at 17:37.
A crowd of 3,062 attended the game which ended the the Falcons’ two game win streak which also featured the return Chris Minard to the lineup after missing 35 games with an injury. Liam Reddox and Slava Trukhno also recored assists for the Falcons on Cleaver’s tally. The final shots on goal was 19 for the Falcons and 30 for Norfolk. The Falcons went 0 for 3 on the powerplay while Norfolk went 0 for 4 with the man advantage.
PRE-GAME NIGHT NOTES.....................
Game Setup: The Springfield Falcons and Norfolk Admirals meet for the first time this season when they battle on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons head into Friday’s contest having won three of their last four games, including having earned at least a point in four of their last five games overall. Springfield won back-to-back games to conclude last weekend having defeated the Binghamton Senators 5-2 on Saturday, followed by a 6-3 win on Sunday afternoon against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Norfolk heads into Springfield looking to snap a two-game losing streak having dropped a pair of games last weekend at home against the Adirondack Phantoms. Norfolk starts a road trip tonight that will see them conclude the month of January on the road with a total of seven straight games away from home. The Admirals will be back in Springfield next Friday, January 29 for their second and final visit to The Nest this year.
FALCONS PLAYER NOTES
• Falcons all-star representative Charles Linglet has collected one goal and seven assists for eight points in his last four games. Linglet scored one goal and added one assist in the AHL All-Star Classic in Portland, Maine on Tuesday night. Linglet is currently tied for third in the AHL in scoring with 10 goals and 37 assists for 47 points in 46 games. Linglet also leads the league in assists entering this weekend.
• Liam Reddox has scored a goal in four straight games entering tonight’s contest and overall he has six markers in his last eight games played.
• Slava Trukhno has three goals in his last three games played.
• Goaltender J.P. Levasseur has won his last three starts posting a .930 save percentage in that span.
ADMIRALS PLAYER NOTES
• Former Falcons captain Ryan Craig is Norfolk’s current active leader in scoring with 14 goals and eight assists for 22 points in 36 games played.
• Blair Jones is tied with Ryan Craig for the active team lead in scoring with 22 points, six goals and 16 assists. Jones participated in the AHL’s All-Star Classic Tuesday night in Portland, Maine and recorded a slap shot over 100 mph in the hardest shot competition on Monday evening. Jones started his pro career with Springfield during the 2006-07 campaign.
FALCONS PLAYER MOVEMENT RECAP: The Springfield Falcons announced Thursday that they signed forwards Thomas Beauregard, Jason Pitton and defenseman Sasha Pokulok to Professional Tryout Agreements.
Beauregard has played in 41 games with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers this year collecting a team-leading 26 goals, 15 assists and 41 points. His 26 goals also leads the entire ECHL in that category. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Montreal, Quebec made his AHL debut as a member of the Hamilton Bulldogs last season collecting two goals and one assist in eight games.
Pokulok has played in 36 games with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors this season totaling 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound native of Vaud-Dorion, Quebec currently leads all Condors defensemen in scoring.
Pokulok was originally drafted by the Washington Capitals in the first round (14th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He split his first three pro seasons between the AHL’s Hershey Bears and ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. In 53 career AHL games, Pokulok has collected one goal and six assists for seven points.
Pitton has played in 34 games for the Falcons’ ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder.
The Falcons also announced Thursday that they have signed forward Rick Cleaver and defenseman Zach Tarkir to Professional Tryout Agreements. Bill Thomas was also released from his PTO contract to pursue an opportunity to play in Europe.
Cleaver has played the majority of this season with the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings where he was leading the team in scoring with 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points in 32 games. The 6-foot, 190-pound native of Parksville, British Columbia has also spent some time with the AHL’s Hershey Bears and Syracuse Crunch this year. Prior to turning pro, Cleaver spent four seasons with Norwich University from 2004-2008 where he scored 92 goals and added 66 assists for 158 points in 102 games played.
Tarkir has split time this season wit the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. In 29 games with the Stingrays this season, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound blueliner has four goals and 13 assists for 17 points and 28 penalty minutes. He currently leads all South Carolina defensemen in assists.
OILERS RECALL TAYLOR CHORNEY FROM THE FALCONS
In the final transaction of a busy Thursday, defenseman Taylor Chorney was recalled by the Falcons’ National Hockey League affiliate, the Edmonton Oilers.
Chorney has played in 21 games for the Falcons this season collecting four goals and five assists for nine points. Chorney has also played in 13 games for the Oilers this year totaling one assist and four penalty minutes.
CHANGE BEHIND THE BENCH: On January 16, 2010, the Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, announced that Jim Johnson will be taking over for Darren Rumble behind the Admirals’ bench.
Johnson began the 2009-10 season as Associate Coach of the Admirals. He had a lengthy NHL career as a defenseman, playing 829 games with 29 goals and 166 assists. His NHL career included stops in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Dallas, Washington and Phoenix. The New Hope, Minnesota, native also represented the United States in international competition on seven occasions including the 1991 Canada Cup.
Following his retirement, Johnson spent four years with the Phoenix Coyotes as a consultant to the general manager, broadcast analyst and an assistant coach. He has also served as a U.S. National Junior Team assistant coach at the IIHF World Junior Championships three times. Johnson has been involved with USA Hockey development programs at the state, regional and national levels as a coach, evaluator and presenter. He was named 2006 USA Hockey Volunteer Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the United States Olympic Committee Coach of the Year.
On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that Ben Eaves will join the Admirals’ coaching staff as Strength and Conditioning/Video Coach.
A six-year professional forward, Eaves retired earlier this season after appearing in seven games with the Milwaukee Admirals.
Eaves was a fourth-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2001. In 55 career American Hockey League games between Milwaukee and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Eaves recorded six goals and ten assists. He also appeared in two ECHL games with the Wheeling Nailers and had one goal.