FALCONS LOSE TO PACK 4-2 AT HOME
By: Mike Hopey
March 12, 2010- The Hartford Wolf Pack earned their first win in seven games by beating the Springfield Falcons 4-2 in front of the 3,804 fans at the MassMutual Center on Friday night. The Pack built up a three-goal lead with goals from Pierre Parenteau, Brodie Dupont, and Dale Weiss in rout to the victory. Bryan Pitton made 30 saves for the Falcons in the loss and Colin McDonald and Slava Trukhno both scored goals.
“I thought we got off to a slow start,” said head coach Rob Daum “We didn’t capitalize on the power-play when we had an opportunity. We did a great job killing the penalty at the beginning of the second period to give ourselves a chance.”
Springfield’s two goals came in the last minutes of the second and third periods to cut the Hartford leads to two goals. McDonald scored at the 19-minute mark of the second to make the score 3-1 and Trukhno netted his 11th goal with 22 seconds left in the game on a Falcons’ power-play.
The I-91 rivals were clashing for the seventh time this year and the final time this season at the MassMutual Center. The last two meetings both went Springfield’s way, both victories were 2-1 overtime come-from-behind victories. And even though the Pack were on a seven-game winless streak and had only one win in their last 10 games the Falcons knew the challenge posed by a division rival.
“Whenever they play here, they play well,” said Daum. “The circumstances coming into games like this don’t mean a lot. They’re a good team. We knew it was going to be a real tough game.”
The Wolf Pack had a lead before the 3,804 fans were all in their seats. Parenteau provided the early goal just 57 seconds into the contest. Hartford’s point leader, Corey Locke, picked up an assist on Parenteau’s 17th goal of the year. The Pack added another first period goal on the Pack’s first power-play from Dupont at 13:23.
The Hartford lead grew to three with Weiss’ 22nd goal of the year. A nifty curl and drag gave Weiss the space needed to snap home the goal at 7:50 of the middle frame. Hartford captain Dane Byers picked up his second assist of the night on the goal, Byers also had an assist on Dupont’s first period goal.
The Pack’s third goal and a lengthy 5-on-3 power-play put the Falcons’ backs against the wall. Hartford controlled the puck early but a stretching glove save by Pitton turned the tide on the power-play and the Wolf Pack couldn’t manage another chance and the Falcon’s controlled the puck in the neutral zone for the rest of the penalty kill. This penalty kill and the improved play in the final half of the second period kept the Falcons in the game.
McDonald cut the Pack’s lead to two and gave the Falcons a bit of momentum and confidence going into the third period. McDonald’s 11th goal of the season came from a rebound off goalie Chad Johnson’s pad. It was Rob Hisey who helped create the chance. Hisey took a pass from Ryan MacMurchy and cut through the defense to take the low-angle shot that created McDonald’s scoring chance.
Half the third period went by with no changes to the scoreboard above center ice until Liam Reddox broke out on a break-away against Johnson. Reddox was unsuccessful but a hook gave #9 a penalty shot opportunity. On the penalty shot, Reddox put a move on Johnson but ran out of real estate and hit the side of the net with his shot.
“I thought that [Reddox’s penalty shot] was the turning point of the game,” added Daum. “He scores there and it’s 3-2 with a lot of time left.”
Springfield Falcons Lineup
Charles Linglet (7) - Chad Wiseman (15) - Colton Fretter (19)
Liam Reddox (9) - Rob Hisey (13) - Slava Trukhno (11)
Ryan MacMurchy (10) - Ryan O'Marra (22) - Colin McDonald (18)
Jason Pitton (39) - Geoff Paukovich (12) - Matt Nickerson (6)
Chris Armstrong (32) - Johan Motin (8)
J.F. David (3) - Jordan Bendfield (33)
Dean Arsene (29) - Jake Taylor (25)
Bryan Pitton (35)
J.P. Levasseur (31)
Falcons Scratches - Bryan Young (Healthy), Bryan Lerg (Healthy), Alex Plante (Injured), Kip Brennan (Injured), Matt Marquart (Healthy)
Bryan Pitton- 1-1-0 4.51 GAA .892 SV% Chad Johnson- 14-14-2 2.50 GAA .913 SV%
J.P. Levasseur- 6-13-0 3.58 GAA .895 SV% Matt Zaba- 6-11-2 2.92 GAA .907 SV%
Game Night Notes ....
Game Setup: The Springfield Falcons look for their third straight win over the Hartford Wolf Pack when they meet on Friday night at the MassMutual Center starting at 7:30 pm. The Falcons have won the previous two games against the Pack by scores of 2-1 with both games decided in overtime. Chris Minard, who is currently on recall to the Edmonton Oilers, scored the game-winner on January 23 in Springfield to end the game and it was Rob Hisey with the golden goal on February 26 in Hartford.
Springfield is 3-2-1-0 against Hartford this season and the Falcons are 2-0-1-0 at home in those games. Hartford enters with a road record of 10-18-3-3 and were only 1-5-3-1 in their last 10 games entering the Wednesday night skate with the first place Worcester Sharks. The Falcons will look to get out early as they have yet to lose in regulation at home when leading after two periods of play.
Falcons Player Notes:
• Chris Armstrong, who is on a seven-game point streak, has a goal and three assists against the Wolf Pack this season.
• Charles Linglet is the Falcons points leader with 67 points on the year. Seven of Linglet’s points have come against the Pack.
• Ryan O’Marra has three of his 10 goals versus Hartford. O’Marra scored the equalizer on February 26 in Hartford.
• Team-leading goal scorer Colton Fretter has 22 tallies on the year.
Wolf Pack Player Notes:
• Pierre Parenteau has scored five goals and assisted on four others in the season series with the Falcons.
• Corey Locke is third in the AHL with 69 points, nine of Locke’s points have come against the Falcons.
• Goalie Chad Johnson is 14-14-2-3 with a 2.50 goals against average for the Pack this season.
• Dale Weise is second on the team with 38 points this season.
Game Night Notebook ....
Atlantic Division Roundup
On Friday night all eight teams in the Atlantic Division will be in action. In addition to Hartford visiting the Falcons, Manchester will take on Portland. Providence and Worcester will both host a pair of Eastern Division teams, the Bruins will host W-B/Scranton at the Dunk and the Sharks will host the Binghamton Senators. Rounding out the action tonight, Bridgeport will visit the Norfolk Scope and Lowell will travel to Syracuse to skate against the Crunch.
Entering tonight's action the Worcester Sharks still sit a top of the division with 83 points. The Portland Pirates have now fallen five points behind the Sharks and sit in second. Manchester and Lowell round out the top four in the division with 76 and 74 points respectively. With only four points separating Portland, Manchester and Lowell, a bad weekend foe any of them could alter the division landscape coming down the homestretch. The Sound Tigers are just outside the division playoff picture, but if the post-season started today the Tigers would replace the W-B/Scranton Penguins in the playoffs because the Tigers have a better record than the East Divisions 4th place team.
Atlantic Division teams only saw action during the week twice this week, both games were on Wednesday. In the first the Manchester Monarchs hosted the Binghamton Senators. The Senators, fueled by four second period goals, took down the Monarchs 5-3. In the other game, T.J. Trevelyan's two goals sparked a four goal third period for the Sharks as they came back to beat the Wolf Pack at the DCU Center in Worcester.
Around the League
The Hershey Bears hold the leagues best record at 49-12-0-2. The Bears are the only team to reach the century mark in points so far this season. They are also the only team to clinch a playoff berth. The battle for second is a much closer one between the Albany River Rats and the Norfolk Admirals. The Rats hold a four-point edge over the surging Admirals who are 7-3-0-0 in their last ten. The majority of East teams are in actions against the Atlantic Division, but tonight will feature a divisional match-up and an inter-conference battle. The second-place River Rats will visit Rochester to take on the Western Conference's Americans. In the other game, the Bears will get a tune-up for their Saturday visit to Springfield when they visit the Adirondack Phantoms in Glenn Falls.
In the Western Conference, the North Division's Hamilton Bulldogs sit on top with the best record at 43-14-3-5. Like the Bears in the East the 'Dogs are running away with the division down the stretch. The battle for second is a fierce one between the second-place Americans and Abbotsford Heat. The distance between the cities of Rochester and Abbostford may be great but only two points separate them in the standings. The Heat can move into a tie with Rochester with a win tonight at home against division foe Lake Erie. In other action tonight in the North Division, the Manitoba Moose will host the Rockford Ice Hogs and Toronto will visit the Windy City to skate against the Wolves.
The Wolves round out the AHL's division leaders. Currently, the Wolves are in first in the Western Division with 88 points, only six ahead of the Rockford Ice Hogs. The Texas Stars are only three points out of second in the first season of action and will look to move closer to the Hogs when they visit the San Antonio Rampage tonight. Milwaukee, who is idle tonight, has a comfortable lead cushion in fourth but they are only five points out of second place. The sixth and seventh place teams in the division, Peoria and Houston will meet up tonight in Houston. In the West, the last place team is only 11 points out of a playoff spot and the division will look to be wild down the stretch as the teams fight for the playoffs.
Blue and Copper Hockey: Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers currently feature a good number of players who have played in Springfield as recently as a couple of weeks. Devan Dubnyk is backing up Jeff Deslauriers and is in search of hist first NHL win. Dubnyk started last night when the Oilers visited the Canadiens and got the loss in Edmonton's 5-4 shootout loss. Theo Peckham and Taylor Chorney are also patrolling the blue line for Edmonton. Chris Minard is the most recent call up, moved up on Wednesday, and is enjoying his first stay in the NHL since a 20-game stint last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Oilers are off tonight but the team is in Toronto and will meet the Maple Leafs tomorrow night. Edmonton is in the midst of a short four-game road trip that will conclude on Tuesday in Minnesota.