FALCONS LOSE TO SENS 5-3
By: Mike Hopey
March 5, 2010 - Bryan Pitton made 37 saves but the Binghamton Senators skated away with a 5-3 victory at the MassMutual Center on Friday night in front of 3,484 fans. The Falcons had goals from Chad Wiseman, Charles Linglet and Liam Reddox and held the lead twice but it proved to be not enough as the Sens scored three times in the final frame to win.
“We gave it away,” said coach Rob Daum. “We didn’t manage the puck properly in the final three minutes of the game and it cost us.”
Going into the game, the goaltender shuffle continued for the Falcons. J.P. Levasseur was reassigned by the Anaheim Ducks to Bakersfield in the ECHL on Thursday. Andrew Perugini was called up from Stockton to replace Levasseur but did not arrive in time for the game. So for the second consecutive weekend, Bryon Lewis donned a Falcons jersey on an emergency basis. As a result of all the movement, Pitton got the nod in goal, his first game in the AHL since the end of the 2007-2008 season.
Pitton was tested early when he had to make a kick save on a redirect by Johnathan Cheechoo. The pace was fast early in the period with both teams moving the puck through the neutral zone quickly. Reddox had a chance at the three-minute mark but could not stuff it past goalie Chris Holt. The newest Falcon, Matt Marquardt, made his presence known to the Senators early on by mixing it up in front of the net.
The Falcons jumped on the board first when Wiseman scored on a rebound at 11:55. Linglet fed Chris Minard with a pass that sent Minard on a breakaway. Holt made the save but let the rebound come out too far and Wiseman snapped the goal home five-hole on Holt.
The Sens evened up the score 1:04 into the period with Cheechoo's 4th goal redirected past Pitton. Drew Bannister took the shot from the point at a screened Pitton and was credited with an assist.
Cheechoo, the former Rocket Richard Award winner for most goals in an NHL season, was playing in just his 8th game for the Senators after he was reassigned by Binghamton’s parent club, Ottawa. Cheechoo was dealt from San Jose to Ottawa in September as part of the Dany Heatly trade. In his best season, 2006-07, he scored 56 goals for the Sharks.
The game would not stay tied for long as the Falcons answered back with a Linglet goal roofed past Holt at 4:18 on a Falcons power-play. Linglet, who is 4th in the league with 62 points, also had an assist on the Falcons’ first goal.
The Falcons’ lead was not safe. The Senators earned a 5-on-3 power-play late in the period and tied the game with Zach Smith's 13th goal of the season. Smith stuffed home a rebound that Pitton lost track of for the goal. The Senators still had 40 seconds left on the power-play as the teams headed to the dressing room but could not convert when the third began.
Despite the goal, Pitton continued to play well, getting good looks at shots and keeping the Falcons in the game as they were out-shot 42-27. Pitton’s highlight save came on a Binghamton odd man rush when he robbed Ryan Keller with a low glove save. Pitton's counterpart, Holt, would not be outdone as he took away a few Falcons scoring chances with some fancy leather, adding to his own highlight reel.
The third period almost passed without any action but at 16:29 the Senators put a puck past Pitton to take the 3-2 lead. The goal scored by Martin St. Pierre was his 19th of the season. The lead would only last for 21 seconds as Reddox knotted the game at three with his 15th goal of the season.
Reddox’s goal seemed to give the Falcons some new energy and the game looked to be heading to overtime but Binghamton snatched a point away from the Falcons as Kaspars Daugavins snapped a goal past Pitton, who thought he had been interfered with. The Senators added an empty-net goal at the 19-minute mark from Cody Bass to seal the victory.
Springfield Falcons Lineup
Charles Linglet (7) - Chad Wiseman (15) - Chris Minard (14)
Liam Reddox (9) - Rob Hisey (13) - Colton Fretter (19)
Ryan MacMurchy (10) - Ryan O'Marra (22) - Colin McDoonald (18)
Matt Marquardt (27) - Slava Trukhno (11) - Jason Pitton (39)
Chris Armstrong (32) - Johan Motin (8)
J.F. David (3) - Jordan Bendfeld (33)
Dean Arsene (29) - Jake Taylor (25)
Bryan Pitton (35)
Bryon Lewis (1)
FALCONS SCRATCHES - Matt Nickerson (Healthy), Geoff Paukovich (Healthy), Bryan Lerg (Healthy), Alex Plante (Injured), Kip Brennan (Injured)
Game Setup: The match-up between the Falcons and the Binghamton Senators will be the second and final for the 2009-2010 season. In the teams only other meeting on January 16 in Binghamton was an impressive 5-2 Falcons win.
Colin McDonald and Ryan O’Marra netted second period goals to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead entering the third. Not sitting on the one goal cushion, Liam Reddox scored to give the Falcons a 3-1 lead and Slava Trukhno scored a pair of goals to round out the Falcons scoring.
The Senators entered the week in 7th place in the East Division with a record of 22-30-4-3. The Senators were on a eight game winless streak before entering their Wednesday night match-up with the Lowell Devils.
The Falcons are coming off an impressive weekend which saw them bounce back from a 5-2 loss in Manchester to the Monarchs on February 24. The Falcons had a come-from-behind overtime win in Hartford on Friday. Chad Wiseman scored with only 17 seconds left to give Springfield a 2-1 win in Syracuse over the Crunch. The month of February saw the Falcons go 4-7-0-1 in 12 games.
Falcons Player Notes
• Charles Linglet leads the team in points with 61 to this point in the season. Linglet had an assist in the only other game against the Senators.
• Colton Fretter leads Springfield with 22 goals. Fretter has lit the lamp 12 times on the power-play which is the 4th most in the AHL.
• Slava Trukhno has 9 goals and 9 assists this year. Trukhno had a pair of goals to seal the victory over the Senators on January 16.
• J.P. Levasseur made 38 saves in the win over the Senators back on January 16.
Senator Player Notes
• Ryan Keller scored both goals for the Senators when they meet the Falcons earlier in the year. Keller is second on the team with 51 points and leads with 26 goals.
• Martin St. Pierre is Binghamton’s leading scorer. St. Pierre has 17 goals and 35 assists for 52 points.
• Chris Holt, Mike Brodeur, and Andy Chiodo have all split the goaltending duties for the Senators. The three have played 21, 29, and 20 games respectively. Holt, however, has stood out with 3.12 goals against average and .904 save percentage.
Atlantic Division Round-up
The Worcester Sharks enter Friday atop the division with 79 points just one point ahead of the surging Portland Pirates. Manchester and Lowell round out the teams that currently occupy the division's playoff spots. Providence sits in fifth place with 65 points. The two Connecticut teams, Bridgeport and Hartford respectively, sit in sixth and seventh place with the Falcons currently sitting in eighth.
Friday night action will see two divisional games, Portland travels to Bridgeport and Providence will host Manchester in The Dunk. In the western part of Canada, the Sharks will visit the Abbotsford Heat, the Calgary Flames affiliate. The Heat have hosted already hosted the Bruins earlier in the week and will meet the Sharks again tomorrow. Lowell and Hartford both have the night off but will be back in action tomorrow night. The Devils will visit the Falcons at The Nest, meanwhile the Pack will visit the Western Conference leading Hamilton Bulldogs.
Hartford's Corey Locke is the top points earner in the division with 68 points entering competition this weekend. The Falcons' Charles Linglet is right behind Locke at 62 points before Friday's contest with the Senators. Locke and Linget sit in third and fourth among the league leaders for points.
Earlier in the week, the Sharks played the first leg of their Western excursion when they faced-off against the Manitoba Moose for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Sharks fell 3-1 in the first match-up but bounced back in impressive fashion to beat last year's Western Conference champion by a score of 5-2. On Tuesday, Providence beat the Heat 4-3 in a shootout and the Sound Tigers fell to the Hershey Bears 6-3. The Lowell Devils fell to the Senators on Wednesday night 4-1. And to round out the early week action, Providence cooled off the Heat again in a shootout by a final score of 3-2.
Around the League
The Hershey Bears have the best record in the American Hockey League at 47-12-0-2. The league-leading Bears are not in action tonight but will skate against the W-B/Scranton Penguins on Saturday. The Bears currently boast three of the league's four best goal scorers. Alexandre Giroux, Keith Aucoin, and Andrew Gordon occupy the second, third, and fourth spots respectively entering tonight's action.
The Hamilton Bulldogs are the AHL's hottest team, the Montreal Canadiens' affiliates are currently riding a six game win streak. The Bulldogs have the best record in the West and have a 16 point lead over the Abbotsford Heat, who were equally as hot entering the week. The Heat had won five in a row before back-to-back shootout losses to the Providence Bruins.
In the West Division, the Chicago Wolves hold a four point lead over the the Rockford Ice Hogs. The Wolves play an important inter-division game against Hamilton tonight and meet division rivals Milwaukee on Saturday and play another North Division team in Lake Erie on Sunday as they look to hold onto their lead. Rockford will try and cut into the Wolves slim lead with at trio of games in the Lone Star State. Tonight they skate with the Texas Stars before a pair of games against the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday and Sunday.