FALCONS BEAT PIRATES 4-1
February 26, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons won their third straight game beating the Portland Pirates 4-1 at the MassMutual Center on Saturday night. With the win, Springfield moved into a third place tie with the Connecticut Whale for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The Falcons overall have won six of their last seven games and earned their 30th victory of the year.
The Falcons came out strong in the first period and took an early 1-0 lead when Nikita Filatov knocked in a Tom Sestito rebound just 1:53 into the opening frame. Three seconds after Filatov's goal, Dane Byers and Nick Tuzzolino dropped the gloves and collected fighting majors with Byers scoring the knockdown and keeping the momentum on the side of the Falcons. Just a little over four minutes later, Ben Guite tallied his 11th goal of the year giving Springfield a quick 2-0 lead.
At the 14:29 mark of the opening frame, Portland pulled to within a single goal at 2-1 when Nick Crawford scored his seventh goal of the year.
The second period was scoreless, but it did feature the game's second fight with Nick Tarnasky and Tim Conboy dropping the gloves and collecting fighting majors. Late in the middle stanza, Filatov ended up on a breakaway, but Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth made the save.
With each team exchanging scoring chances, the Falcons finally expanded their advantage as Sestito tallied his 11th marker of the year at 8:15 of the third period giving Springfield a 3-1 lead. Tomas Kubalik added one more goal for insurance giving the Falcons a 4-1 win.
Goaltender David LeNeveu once again was solid as he won his third straight start stopping 26 of 27 shots on goal.
SPRINGFIELD FALCONS LINEUP
Maksim Mayorov - Kyle Wilson - Tomas Kubalik
Dane Byers - Ben Guite - Tomas Kana
Tom Sestito - Trevor Smith - Nikita Filatov
Nick Tarnasky - Trevor Frischmon - Steven Goertzen
Jonathan Sigalet - John Moore
Nick Holden - David Savard
Cody Goloubef - Brent Regner
Not in the lineup: Mike Blunden (Injured), Kyle Neuber (Injured), Theo Ruth (Injured), Kevin Harvey, Chris D'Alvise (Injured), Mike Ratchuk
Portland Pirates 1 at Springfield Falcons 4 - Status: Final
Saturday, February 26, 2011 - MassMutual Center
Portland 1 0 0 - 1
Springfield 2 0 2 - 4
1st Period-1, Springfield, Filatov 6 (Sestito, Smith), 1:53. 2, Springfield, Guite 11 (Kana, Regner), 5:50. 3, Portland, Crawford 7 (Tropp, Adam), 14:29. Penalties-Tuzzolino Por (fighting), 1:56; Byers Spr (fighting), 1:56; Kubalik Spr (slashing), 8:42.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Conboy Por (fighting), 4:31; Tarnasky Spr (fighting), 4:31.
3rd Period-4, Springfield, Sestito 11 (Filatov, Smith), 8:15. 5, Springfield, Kubalik 19 (Wilson, Mayorov), 16:37. Penalties-McCauley Por (fighting), 19:00; Tarnasky Spr (fighting), 19:00.
Shots on Goal-Portland 14-3-10-27. Springfield 10-13-9-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 0 / 1; Springfield 0 / 0.
Goalies-Portland, Enroth 19-17-2 (32 shots-28 saves). Springfield, LeNeveu 16-13-2 (27 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Chris Cozzan (18).
Linesmen-Rich Patry (52), Chris Low (88).
The Springfield Falcons and Portland Pirates meet for the seventh time this season and this will be the first match-up between these two divisional rivals since January 16. The Falcons are 2-4 against Portland this year with the Pirates winning the last two games of the season series by 4-1 scores.
The Falcons enter tonight’s game having won five of their last six games and they have moved into a tie with Worcester for fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Both the Falcons and Sharks are two points behind third place Connecticut for that last guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
Portland remains one of the top teams in the Atlantic Division with a record of 34-16-5-2 good for 75 points and second place in the division. The Pirates have gone 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games including a 3-2 shootout win last night over Worcester.
FALCONS PLAYER/TEAM NOTES
The Springfield Falcons have 29 wins through 59 games this year. This year marks the fastest pace the Falcons have reached 29 wins in a season since 1997-98 when the Falcons had 29 wins through 59 games.
Falcons captain Ben Guite has produced at least a point in six of his last eight games totaling two goals and seven assists in that span.
Tom Sestito has collected one goal and two assists in his last two games, including his 10th goal of the year last night.
Kyle Wilson continues to produce since joining the Falcons back on January 22. Wilson collected four goals and one assist in three games last week, including a natural hat trick on February 19 as he scored all three goals in a 3-2 Falcons overtime win over the Worcester Sharks. Wilson has continued his hot streak this week scoring the game-winning goal on Wednesday night in Worcester.
Wilson has 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points in 16 games with Springfield. Wilson has collected at least a point in 11 of the 16 games he has played. Wilson’s hat trick was the first by a Falcons player since Chad Wiseman scored four goals for Springfield back on January 17, 2010.
Trevor Smith has been very productive since joining the Falcons on January 4. Smith has six goals and four assists for 10 points in 12 games with the Falcons. Smith has four goals and four assists for eight points in his last eight games, including four multi-point games in that span.
Tomas Kubalik enters tonight second in the AHL in rookie scoring with 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points in 58 games.
David Savard had a very productive week last week collecting two goals and two assists for four points in three games. Savard scored a pair of goals on February 18 against Manchester, including the game-winner in overtime. The two goals marked the first multi-goal game of Savard’s pro career. Savard leads all Falcons defensemen in scoring with seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points in 51 games this year.
PORTLAND TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
Portland’s Mark Mancari continues to lead the Pirates in scoring with 32 goals and 30 assists for 62 points in 54 games. Mancari is currently third in the league in scoring and he leads the AHL in goals this year.
Portland defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani is second in the league in scoring among defensemen with nine goals and 31 assists for 40 points in 49 games.
Rookie Luke Adam continues to be close to a point a game pace with Portland collecting 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points in 36 games. Adam is eighth in the league in rookie scoring.
Left wing Derek Whitmore is second on the Pirates in goals this year with 21. Goaltender Jhonas Enroth continues to be the workhorse in goal for Portland. He has a record of 19-16-2 with a 2.77 goals against average and .913 save percentage. Enroth is fourth in the AHL in minutes played with 2,273 and third in saves with 1,201.
PIRATES BEAT SHARKS IN SHOOTOUT
Paul Byron, Corey Tropp and Mark Parrish were all successful in the shootout while Jhonas Enroth stopped three of the four shooters he faced to lead the Portland Pirates to a 3-2 win over the Worcester Sharks in an American Hockey League game played Friday night at the DCU Center.
Maxime Legault paced the Pirates with a goal and an assist in regulation while Derek Whitmore netted the other Portland goal. The Pirates improved to 34-16-5-2 with the win and ended a three-game winless streak in the process.
T.J. Trevelyan and Benn Ferriero scored for the Sharks, who dropped to 26-21-3-6 on the season.
Legault opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first to give Portland a 1-0 lead after one. Whitmore gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead early in the second but Trevelyan got the home side on the board in the second half of the second to leave the Pirates up 2-1 after two. Ferriero tied in the final minute of regulation with a power-play goal to force overtime and eventually a shootout.
The Sharks out shot the Pirates 46-31 as Enroth posted his 19th win of the season.