FALCONS FALL TO RIVER RATS 4-3February 29, 2008 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Albany River Rats 4-3 on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. In a second period swing of momentum, the Falcons saw their two-goal lead erased as the River Rats scored three unanswered markers in earning their fifth straight win.
With the Falcons leading 2-0 midway through the second period, Tim Sestito was awarded a penalty shot, but the Falcons failed to convert and the Rats gained momentum after the missed opportunity for Springfield. Kiel McLeod cut Albany's deficit to 2-1 at 9:52 of the second period, followed by Jamie Johnson tying the score at 2-2 at 13:10 of the middle period. Marc Cavosie gave Albany a 3-2 advantage at 14:02 of the middle stanza giving the Rats their first lead of the night.
Springfield battled back in the third period as Sestito took a high stick from Albany's Joe Jensen sending the Falcons on a five-minute power play. Stephane Goulet evened the score at 3-3 for the home team at 4:32 of the final farme on the power play, but less than two minutes later, Pat Dwyer tallied a shorthanded marker, the eventual game-winner.
The night started well for the Falcons as they opened the scoring at 4:35 of the first period when Viacheslav Trukhno converted on the power play assisted by Rob Schremp and T.J. Kemp. The Falcons expanded their advantage to 2-0 when Grant Potulny scored his fifth goal in five games with Springfield at 12:23 of the opening frame also on the man advantage.
Schremp - Pouliot - Potulny
Simon - O'Marra - McDonald
Almtorp - Sestito - Werner
Trukhno - Goulet
Kemp - Young
Peckham - Gabinet
Berry - Farynuk
FALCONS SCRATCHES - T.J. Reynolds (Injured), Liam Reddox (Injured), Les Reaney (Healthy), Troy Bodie (Healthy), Sebastien Bisaillon (Injured), Allan Rourke (Injured), Jean-Francois Jacques (Injured), Kenny Smith (Healthy), Jacob Micflikier (Injured)
GAME NIGHT NOTES………………
FALCONS ANNOUNCE THEIR CLEAR DAY LIST
The Springfield Falcons, proud members of the American Hockey League, announced today their 22-man Clear Day roster. According to AHL by-laws, only those 22 players listed on a team’s Clear Day roster are eligible to compete in the remainder of the AHL regular season and in the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs, unless emergency conditions arise as a result of recall, injury or suspension. Teams may also add signed junior players or players on amateur tryout contracts after Clear Day, but only once their respective junior or college seasons are complete.
FALCONS CLEAR DAY ROSTER
GAME SETUP: The Springfield Falcons and Albany River Rats meet for the first and only time in Springfield this season when they get together on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons and Rats have played each other once this season when Springfield skated into Albany and beat the Rats by a score of 5-2 on October 20. The Falcons used four third period goals on their way to victory. Liam Reddox led the Falcons with one goal and two assists in that first meeting, while Springfield goaltender Jeff Deslauriers stopped 34 of 36 shots back on October 20. Keith Aucoin and Jamie Johnson scored for Albany in the first meeting, while goaltender Michael Leighton stopped 30 of 34 shots.
The Falcons head into Friday’s action looking to rebound from a 4-1 loss suffered at Worcester on Wednesday evening. Springfield’s lone goal was scored by Liam Reddox. The Falcons remain in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 26-23-5-5 good for 62 points and a four point lead on the Manchester Monarchs for the final playoff spot within the division. Springfield starts a stretch of three games in three days this weekend as they host the Portland Pirates on Saturday, followed by a trip to Manchester on Sunday afternoon.
The River Rats skate into “The Nest” on a four-game winning streak after defeating the Binghamton Senators by a score of 6-2 on Wednesday night. Albany received a pair of goals from Joe Jensen and Pat Dwyer, while Jakub Patruzalek and Jamie Johnson each added a single marker. Johnson added a pair of assists earning the third star, while Jensen also finished with a three point night taking home the game’s first star. Albany is currently in third place in the East Division with a record of 32-24-1-3 good for 68 points, only two points behind second place Hershey.
FALCONS TRANSACTIONS: The Falcons announced Thursday that they signed defenseman Kenny Smith to a Professional Tryout Agreement (PTO). The Falcons also announced they have released blueliner Chris Murray from his PTO contract.
Smith is in his fourth season of professional hockey and he has spent the majority of this season with the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL collecting three goals and five assists for eight points and 52 penalty minutes in 47 games. Smith has also appeared in eight contests with the Providence Bruins this season. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of Stoneham, MA has appeared in 65 career AHL games recording eight assists and 35 penalty minutes seeing time with Providence, Hartford Wolf Pack, Portland Pirates and Edmonton Roadrunners.
Smith played in 48 games with Portland during the 2005-06 campaign and also appeared in seven playoff games with the Pirates that season. Smith played his college hockey with Harvard from 2000-2004 and was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the third round (84th overall) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
ALBANY PLAYER TRANSACTIONS: The Albany River Rats announced Thursday that defenseman Chris Murray has signed a Professional Tryout Agreement and has been added to the roster. Murray, 23, became available after he was released from his PTO with the Falcons. The Dover, MA native started the season with the Phoenix Roadrunners of the ECHL, putting up 14 points (1 goals, 13 assists) and 122 penalty minutes in 45 games played.
Murray played four years of Division I college hockey for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats of Hockey East. Last year he completed his senior season with 22 points (9 goals, 13 assists) for UNH, finishing eighth on the team in scoring and leading the Wildcats with 84 penalty minutes. When his college season ended, Murray signed an Amateur Tryout Agreement with the Peoria Rivermen and made his professional hockey debut on March 31st at San Antonio. In his first full season of pro hockey, Murray has played three more AHL games this year with Lake Erie and Springfield.
The River Rats also announced Thursday that center Kiel McLeod has been called up from the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL and signed to a standard America Hockey League player’s contract. McLeod, 25, began the year with Victoria, returning for his second season as the captain of the Salmon Kings. So far this season the Sherwood Park, Alberta native has 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) and 117 penalty minutes in 48 games for Victoria.
Drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, the 6’6” 235 lbs center started his professional career by playing three seasons in the AHL with Springfield, Utah, San Antonio and Philadelphia, totaling 212 career AHL games, 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) and 247 penalty minutes. McLeod scored a career-high 32 goals last year with Victoria, finishing second on the team and tied for 11th in the ECHL in goals, and he led the Salmon Kings with three shootout goals and 117 penalty minutes.