FALCONS COME UP SHORT AT HOME AGAINST PACKMarch 22, 2008 - The Springfield Falcons continued their battle for the fourth and final playoff spot within the Atlantic Division on Saturday night and lost a hard-fought contest to the Hartford Wolf Pack by a score of 4-1 in front of 6,112 at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons head into Sunday's contest in Manchester with a one-point lead over the Monarchs.
The night started out with a scary scene when Falcons defenseman Mike Gabinet took a hit from Hartford's Lauri Korpikoski that sent Gabinet head-first into the boards just seven seconds into the first period. Gabinet was taken off the ice on a stretcher, but all indications are that Gabinet is moving around fine and he will be released from the hospital on Saturday night.
Once the game was resumed after a 15-minute delay, the Wolf Pack opened the scoring at 16:36 of the opening frame when Pierre Parenteau scored on the power play giving Hartford a 1-0 lead. The Falcons tied the score at 18:26 of the first period when Rob Schremp also tallied on the man advantage evening the score at 1-1 through 20 minutes of play.
After a scoreless second period, the game seemed destined for overtime until Hartford's Dane Byers scored the go-ahead goal at 18:06 of the third period putting the Wolf Pack on top to stay at 2-1. The Pack added a pair of empty net goals in the final minutes capping off their 4-1 win.
Falcons goaltender Devan Dubnyk was very steady between the pipes earning the game's second star stopping 41 of 43 shots on goal.
The Falcons have now lost four straight to the Wolf Pack in the season series.
Allan Rourke returned to Springfield's lineup after missing 12 games due to injury.
Viacheslav Trukhno extended his scoring streak to 11 games.
Rob Schremp extended his scoring streak to nine straight games.
Saturday was Springfield's second largest crowd of the year, second only to January 26.
Potulny - Reddox - Schremp
Trukhno - O'Marra - Goulet
Almtorp - Simon - Sestito
Micflikier - McDonald
Peckham - Gabinet
Kemp - Young
Wild - Rourke
FALCONS SCRATCHES - T.J. Reynolds (Injured), Troy Bodie (Injured), Sebastien Bisaillon (Injured), Stephen Werner (Healthy), Brad Farynuk (Healthy), Jean-Francois Jacques (Injured), Kenny Smith (Healthy), Ryan Garlock (Healthy), Rick Berry (Injured), Tyler Spurgeon (Injured)
GAME NIGHT NOTES………………
GAME SETUP: The Springfield Falcons and Hartford Wolf Pack meet for the eighth time this season when they get together on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons have gone 1-5-0-1 in the previous seven contests against the Wolf Pack with Hartford winning the last three head-to-head battles with Springfield. The Falcons’ victory against the Pack this season occurred back on January 18 with Springfield winning that contest 3-1 on home ice. Springfield used goals from Troy Bodie, Jean-Francois Jacques and Tim Sestito in that victory, as well as a 35-save effort from goaltender Jeff Deslauriers. These two teams will meet again one week from tonight when the Falcons head back to the XL Center before Hartford returns to the MassMutual Center on Friday, April 11 to conclude their season series.
The Falcons head into action tonight looking to rebound from a 5-2 loss suffered Friday night in Portland against the Pirates. Springfield received goals from Jacob Micflikier, his first of the year, and Liam Reddox. Springfield continues a busy week of hockey tonight playing their third game in four days. The Falcons started this week by beating the Manchester Monarchs on home ice on Wednesday night by a score of 4-3. Springfield remains in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 31-28-5-5 good for 72 points and a three-point lead on the Manchester Monarchs for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Falcons conclude their weekend in Manchester on Easter Sunday for a 4:05 PM matinee. Springfield has won five of their last six home games and they are 21-11-3-1 at the MassMutual Center this campaign.
The Wolf Pack head into “The Nest” having lost in a shootout on Friday night by a score of 5-4 in Philadelphia. Hartford received goals on Friday from Greg Moore, Lauri Korpikoski, Josh Gratton, and Pierre Parenteau, while goaltender David LeNeveu stopped 18 of 22 shots. The Wolf Pack rallied from a 3-1 deficit entering the third period to take a 4-3 lead in the final frame, before the Phantoms evened the score sending the contest to the extra session. Hartford remains in second place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 41-19-2-7 good for 91 points. The Wolf Pack is 2-0-0-1 over the last three games and they are 4-1-0-1 in their last six contests overall. Hartford heads into Springfield with the second highest winning percentage on the road this year with a record of 20-8-1-4 good for a winning percentage of .682.
WILD SIGNS ATO AND MAKES PRO DEBUT: The Falcons announced Tuesday that they have signed defenseman Cody Wild to an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO). Wild made his AHL debut on Wednesday, March 19 against Manchester, followed by also playing Friday night at Portland.
Wild recently finished his third season with Providence College where he collected four goals and 18 assists for 22 points and 28 penalty minutes in 32 games with the Friars. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Limestone, Maine was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round (140th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Wild was a teammate of Colin McDonald while at Providence College.
FALCONS PLAYER STREAKS: Viacheslav Trukhno extended his scoring streak to 10 straight games with an assist on Friday night at Portland. Trukhno has seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in that span, including four multi-point games….Rob Schremp extended his scoring streak to eight games with an assist on Friday night against the Pirates. Schremp has four goals and seven assists for 11 points in that span. Schremp has tallied the game-winning marker in two of Springfield’s last three wins.
Jacob Micflikier has points in back-to-back games having scored his first marker of the season on Friday night in Portland. Micflikier made his 2007-08 Falcons debut back on December 28 against Hartford, followed by missing 26 games due to injury. Micflikier started his pro career with the Falcons last year after playing college hockey with the University of New Hampshire…..Grant Potulny has points in three straight games and he has registered at least a point in four of his last five contests. He has three assists in his last three games played.
WOLF PACK PLAYER STREAKS: Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson has points in three straight games collecting six assists in that span. Hutchinson continues to lead all AHL defensemen in scoring with 15 goals and 44 assists for 59 points in 57 games. Hutchinson has played in 95 career NHL games seeing time with both the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes picking up 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points and 52 penalty minutes….Greg Moore has points in back-to-back contests collecting two goals and one assist in that span….Pierre Parenteau is on a three-game point and goal streak having picked up four goals and one assist for five points in that stretch….Josh Gratton has registered at least a point in four of his last five games collecting three goals and two assists….Lauri Korpikoski is on a three-game scoring streak having totaled two goals and two assists in that span….Goaltender Miika Wiikman has won his last two starts between the pipes.