PIRATES TAKE 6-3 GAME FROM FALCONS
By: Mike Hopey
April 2, 2010- On the strength of four third period goals, the Portland Pirates came from behind to beat the Springfield Falcons on Friday night at the MassMutual Center in front of 2,885 fans. Rob Hisey, Colton Fretter and Chris Minard all scored for the Falcons in the losing effort.
“They threw a couple pucks at the net in the third period and that was the difference,” said head coach Rob Daum. “They [the third period goals] weren’t real breakdowns. They were just pucks that went in.”
Portland’s four goals in the third came on only six shots for the period. The Pirates picked up the all important tying goal 3:19 into the third period. Cody McCormick lit the lamp for the 14th time on the season with his howling shot from the right point that Pitton never got a chance to see. Travis Turnbull put the Pirates on top 4-3 and Brad Larsen scored 1:15 later to give the Pirates an insurance goal with his second of the night. T.J. Brennan then added an empty net goal with 14 seconds left to close out the scoring in the game.
McCormick made his presence known to Springfield early when he dropped the gloves with the Falcons’ Jake Taylor 45 seconds into the game. McCormick was later called for tripping and unsportsmanlike conduct giving the falcons a four minute power-play. McCormick was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty, effectively ending his night with the goal as his only point and 19 penalty minutes.
Minard had put the Falcons back on top at the 6:40 mark of the second period when he took a Chad Wiseman pass and snapped it past Lamoureux. Larsens’ 11th goal of the season, first against the Falcons, had tied the game just 55 seconds into the middle frame. The Falcons took this 3-2 lead into the third period.
The Pirates captain, Larsen, was also whistled for boarding, in addition to his two goals, when he put the Falcons’ Jeff Petry into the boards behind the Falcons goal at 11:04 of the second period. The Larsen penalty was one of two power-play chances for the Falcons that they could not convert on to increase the new 3-2 lead.
Portland put themselves on top first with a goal on their second shot of the game. Philip Gogulla deposited the puck in the top corner over the out-stretched pad of Pitton. The opportunity for the Pirates started with a turnover in the neutral zone that sprang Gogulla on a breakaway giving him his 14th goal of the season.
The Falcons wasted no time in responding with a goal less than a minute later. Fretter, who also had an assist int he game, picked up his 24th goal when he put puck past J.P. Lamorureux at 10:22 of the first. Moments after the goal, Portland’s Mike Weber was called for tripping giving the Falcons their second power-play of the game.
Hisey was the one who converted on the power-play for the Falcons, giving them the 2-1 lead. Hisey’s 11th goal was a redirect of a Chris Armstrong shot that hit the twine in the back of the net with eight seconds left on the power-play. In total, the Falcons went 1-for-7 with the man advantage in the game. Hisey also picked up an assist in the first period.
The Falcons out shot the Pirates 13-4 in the opening frame leading to their early success and went onto out shoot the Pirates 29-19 for the game.
Blair Riley also saw action in his first career AHL game. Riley played four seasons off NCAA Division-1 hockey for Ferris State University in Michigan. In his career, Riley scored a total of 87 points, with his best season coming the past year when he scored 18 goals and notched 20 assists in 40 games. Jesse Gimblett also made his debut tonight for the Falcons after playing four seasons for the University of Alberta.
Three Stars of the Game
1. POR Brad Larsen (2 goals)
2. SPR Rob Hisey (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. POR Travis Turnbull (1 goal)
Springfield Falcons Lineup
Chris Minard (14) - Chad Wiseman (15) - Jordan Eberle (17)
Jesse Gimblett (39) - Ryan O'Marra (22) - Colin McDonald (18)
Blair Riley (37) - Rob Hisey (13) - Colton Fretter (19)
Slava Trukhno (11) - Liam Reddox (9) - Matt Beca (38)
Chris Armstrong (32) - Jeff Petry (20)
J.F. David (3) - Johan Motin (8)
Eddie Del Grosso (28) - Jake Taylor (25)
Bryan Pitton (35)
Olivier Roy (30)
Falcons Scratches - Matt Nickerson, Ryan MacMurchy, Geoff Paukovich, Bryan Lerg, Alex Plante, Kip Brennan, Tony DeHart
Game Night Notes....
Game Setup: This will be the 8th and final meeting between the Pirates and the Falcons. In the previous 7 match-ups, Springfield has gone 3-4-0-0 against Portland, including a close 2-1 loss on March 27 in Portland. The Pirates enter the game with a record of 42-22-6-4 for 94 points. Portland has locked up a playoff spot and they have a large gap between them and the 3rd place Manchester Monarchs. Portland concluded last weekend with a 3-2 win over Hartford and have won 4 straight games and are 7-1-1-1 in their last 10. The Falcons are on a 4 game winless streak and are 4-3-2-1 in their last ten games.
Falcons Player Notes:
• Liam Reddox has notched a pair of goals and three assists against the Pirates this season, which leads the Falcons in the season series.
• Charles Linglet has a goal and four assists in the previous seven games against Portland.
• Rob Hisey has only played in two games against the Pirates this season, but has notched two goals. Both of Hisey’s goals came in the 5-4 shootout win on March 14 in Portland.
• Colton Fretter leads the Falcons with 23 goals on the season.
Pirates Player Notes:
• Kyle Rank has 18 points on the season, but he has done a third of his scoring against the Falcons scoring three goals and notching three assists.
• Team points leader Mark Mancari has 68 points on the season, but has a goal and an assist in six games against the Falcons this season.
• Marc-Andre Gragnani is 4th on the Pirates with 38 points and has scored 2 of his 10 goals against the Falcons this season.
• Rookie Tyler Ennis is second on the team with 65 points, but was called up to Buffalo in the NHL last week. This week Ennis was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team.
Falcons Player Movement Recap:
On Wednesday, the Falcons signed winger Jesse Gimblett to an Amateur Tryout Contract and released Jason Pitton from his PTO. Gimblett joins the Falcons after playing four seasons at the University of Alberta. Before playing for the U. Of Alberta, Gimblett played five seasons in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack and the Saginaw Spirit. His best season in the OHL came in 2005-06 when he scored 21 goals and picked up 26 assists. Pitton played in 25 games for the Falcons this season picking up a goal and an assist with 22 penalty minutes. Pitton will rejoin the ECHL affiliate of the Falcons, the Stockton Thunder, where he started the season with 8 goals and 12 assists in 34 games.
The Falcons also saw goalie J.P. Levasseur recalled by the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL. Levasseur was loaned to the Falcons by the Ducks on December 14, 2009 and went 8-16-1 with a 3.59 goals against average for Springfield. Levasseur recorded one shutout with the Falcons, a 49-save effort on Valentine’s Day in Bridgeport.
Lastly on Wednesday, team points leader Charles Linglet was called up by the Edmonton Oilers. Linglet is in his 7th pro season has scored 19 times and recorded 55 assists for the Falcons. Linglet’s 74 points place him 5th in the AHL this season.
Pirates Player Movement Recap:
On Sunday, March 28, Nathan Gerbe was recalled by Portland’s NHL affiliate, the Buffalo Sabers. Gerbe had 11 goals and 27 assists in 44 games for the Pirates this season.
On Wednesday, points leader Mark Mancari was returned by the Sabers to Portland. Mancari has 26 goals and 42 assists this season for the Pirates in 69 games. Mancari has a goal and an assist in five games for the Sabres this season.
Tonight's Goaltender Match-up:
Bryan Pitton - Will make his sixth start of the season. Pitton is 2-3 with a 3.61 goals against average and .898 save percentage.
Oilvier Roy - Roy is making his Falcons debut as the backup tonight. Roy was a 5th round selection by the Oilers in last years draft. The 18 year-old Roy is coming off a season with the Cape Brenton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL.
J.P. Lamoureux - is 12-9-2 this season with a 2.90 GAA and .896 save percentage. Lamoureux is 1-1-1 in four games against the Falcons this season.
Todd Ford - Ford is 6-5-1 in 14 games this season while splitting time between the Texas Stars and Portland.
Game Night Notebook ...
Atlantic Division Round-up:
Only Worcester and Portland have wrapped up play-off berths in the Atlantic Division. The Manchester Monarchs have put a little more space between them and the fourth place Lowell Devils with a 4-3 win on Wednesday night in Lowell. The Monarchs are now seven points ahead of the Devils and Sound Tigers, who are tied with the Devils for fourth but are statistically ahead of them.
The Monarchs can punch their ticket to the playoffs with a either win tonight against the Sound Tigers, Norfolk loss in regulation at Albany, or an overtime/shootout loss against the Tigers and a Norfolk overtime/shootout loss at Albany.
The Devils will look to get back into the Atlantic playoff picture with a win tonight in Hartford. However, the Devils have a better record than the fourth place team in the East Division, the Norfolk Admirals, and therefore would qualify for the post-season in the division.
In other action tonight, the first-place Sharks will visit Rhode Island to take on the Providence Bruins at The Dunk in 7:05 EST match-up.
Around the League:
The Hershey Bears can clinch the best record in the entire AHL with a win tonight over the Rochester Americans. The second and third place teams, Albany and W-B/Scranton, are both playing above-.500 hockey down the stretch while the once red-hot Norfolk Admirals are fading from the Calder Cup Playoff picture. The Admirals are now five points back of the third-place Penguins and four points behind the Lowell Devils who would take the fourth spot in the East Division.
Out west, Hamilton has locked up the top spot in North Division and the Rochester Americans have punched their ticket to the post-season. Abbotsford is holding the third position down with 81 points and can clinch a berth with a win tonight against Grand Rapids and a loss by Lake Erie in Rockford. The Manitoba Moose are keeping it close with the Heat, trailing by only three points and the already mentioned Lake Erie Monsters are still alive, just four points behind Manitoba.
In the West Division, no one has clinched the division yet but the Chicago Wolves and the Texas Stars will both be playing more hockey after April 11. The Stars are streaking, 8-2 in their last 10 games and currently on a four game winning streak. Rockford is sitting in third, four points ahead of the Milwaukee Admirals, and can clinch a post-season berth tonight with a win against Lake Erie, or an overtime/shootout loss and Peoria loss against Milwaukee. Milwaukee is four points up on the Rivermen for the fourth spot in the West going into tonight's game but the Admirals also have a game in hand on the Rivermen, with one more game to play in the season than Peoria.
Up the Pipeline: Edmonton Oilers
The biggest news of the week was Falcons' leading-scorer Charles Linglet being signed by the Oilers and then called up. The seven year pro was in his second season and first full season with the Falcons. After having his worst statistical season in 2008-09 splitting time between the Peoria Rivermen and the Falcons, Linglet bounced back by setting a career high in assists, with 55, and points, with 74.
The Montreal native played junior hockey for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In his best season, 2001-2002, Linglet scored 52 goals and notched 71 assists. His 123 points in that season was more than double the out-put of his second best season. After juniors, Linglet went undrafted and joined the St. Louis Blues organization where he played in until he was traded to the Falcons last season.
Linglet will make his National Hockey League debut tonight when the Edmonton Oilers visit the Dallas Stars.e