FALCONS DOMINATE WHALE 6-2
April 2, 2011 - For the second straight night, youth was served at the MassMutual Center as rookie defenseman David Savard scored twice, while goaltender Allen York stopped 28 of 30 shots leading the Springfield Falcons to a 6-2 win over the Connecticut Whale. The Falcons have now won two straight and three of their last four games overall.
After 40 minutes of hockey that saw the two teams combine for just one goal, the clubs combined for seven goals in the third period. Just 38-seconds into the third period, Savard scored his second marker of the night giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead. At 2:37 of the third period, rookie Denny Kearney scored his first professional goal expanding the Falcons advantage to 3-0.
Less than a minute after the Falcons took a three goal lead, Connecticut's Kelsey Tessier cut the Whale's deficit to 3-1, but the Falcons responded right back as Steven Goertzen gave Springfield a 4-1 lead at 12:23 of the third period. Connecticut's Jeremy Williams answered back cutting the Whale's deficit to 4-2, but once again the Falcons responded as rookies Cam Atkinson and Aaron Bogosian both scored in the game's final three minutes.
Bogosian also dropped the gloves with Connecticut's Jared Nightingale in the second period with each player collecting fighting majors.
Savard finished the night with two goals and one assist, Atkinson collected his second straight multi-point game collecting one goal and one assist, while Kearney also picked up one goal and one assist. Goertzen finished the night with one goal and one assist, while Trevor Frischmon picked up a pair of assists.
Rookie defenseman Anton Blomqvist made his pro debut dropping the gloves with Dale Weise late in the third period collecting his first fighting major.
Wade MacLeod - Trevor Smith - Nikita Filatov
Cam Atkinson - Ben Guite - Denny Kearney
Nick Tarnasky- Trevor Frischmon - Steven Goertzen
Tomas Kana - Greg Moore - Aaron Bogosian
John Moore - David Savard
Jonathan Sigalet - Brent Regner
Anton Blomqvist - Theo Ruth
NOT IN THE LINEUP - Petr Kalus, Chris D'Alvise (Injured), Mike Commodore, Cody Goloubef (Injured), Kyle Wilson (Injured), Nick Holden (Injured), Mike Blunden (Injured), Kyle Neuber, Gustaf Wesslau
Connecticut Whale 2 at Springfield Falcons 6 - Status: Final
Saturday, April 2, 2011 - MassMutual Center
Connecticut 0 0 2 - 2
Springfield 1 0 5 - 6
1st Period-1, Springfield, Savard 9 (Frischmon, Tarnasky), 12:30. Penalties-MacLeod Spr (tripping), 13:59.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Nightingale Ct (fighting), 14:34; Bogosian Spr (fighting), 14:34.
3rd Period-2, Springfield, Savard 10 (Frischmon, Goertzen), 0:38. 3, Springfield, Kearney 1 (Sigalet, Atkinson), 2:37 (PP). 4, Connecticut, Tessier 10 (Grant, Kundratek), 3:33. 5, Springfield, Goertzen 7 (Moore, Tarnasky), 12:23. 6, Connecticut, Williams 30 (Zuccarello), 15:13. 7, Springfield, Atkinson 2 (Guite, Kearney), 17:58 (PP). 8, Springfield, Bogosian 2 (Savard), 19:00. Penalties-Nightingale Ct (roughing), 0:46; Guite Spr (slashing), 6:18; Ruth Spr (delay of game), 7:23; Grant Ct (hooking), 17:21; Weise Ct (fighting), 19:43; Blomqvist Spr (boarding, fighting, game misconduct - elbow pad), 19:43.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 9-10-11-30. Springfield 5-7-13-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 4; Springfield 2 / 2.
Goalies-Connecticut, Talbot 11-7-2 (25 shots-19 saves). Springfield, York 2-0-0 (30 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Luke Galvin (2).
GAME SET-UP: The Springfield Falcons and the Connecticut Whale conclude their season series tonight when they play each other for the 10th time this year. Springfield is 3-5-1-0 against the Whale this season. Springfield won the first three games of the season series, but Connecticut has responded winning the last six games against the Falcons.
The Whale is currently in third place in the Atlantic Division with 84 points, two points in front of the Worcester Sharks for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. Connecticut has lost their last three straight games, while Worcester has won their last two contests.
Tomas Kubalik, who is currently on recall to the Columbus Blue Jackets, leads the Falcons offense against the Whale this year with three goals, four assists, and seven points in nine games. David LeNeveu, also on recall to the Columbus Blue Jackets, has seen Connecticut seven times this season posting a 3-4 record with a 2.66 GAA and a .899 save percentage. Rookie goaltender Paul Dainton made his first professional start against Connecticut on Wednesday, March 23. Dainton stopped 31 of 34 shots in the effort.
Kris Newbury leads the Whale this year against Springfield with two goals and seven assists in nine games. Center Evgeny Grachev has three goals and four assists against the Falcons this year. Forward John Mitchell has two goals and one assist in four games against Springfield this year, including the game-winning goals on March 2 and March 23.
ATKINSON AND YORK MAKE PRO DEBUTS: Rookie forward Cam Atkinson made his AHL/pro debut Friday night assisting on the game-tying goal and scoring the game-winning goal in the Falcons’ 3-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. On Monday, the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Atkinson to a two-year entry level contract. Atkinson, 21, just completed his junior season at Boston College, where he registered 31 goals and 21 assists for 52 points, 28 penalty minutes and a +21 plus/minus rating in 39 games. He set a career high in goals, which led the nation for the second consecutive season, while ranking third (tied) in points and sixth (tied) in power play goals (11). He led Hockey East in goals, points (tied) and shorthanded goals (4-tied), was third in game-winning goals (5-tied) and fourth in power play goals.
The Riverside, Connecticut native finished his career at Boston College with 68-56-124, 86 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +42 in 117 games. He had 30-23-53, 30 penalty minutes and was +26 in 42 games in 2009-10, helping the Eagles win the National Championship. He was named the NCAA Northeast Regional Most Outstanding Player and was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
Rookie goaltender Allen York made his AHL/pro debut on Friday earning the win against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. On Tuesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets signed York to a standard two-year entry level contract. York, 21, just completed his junior season at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.), where he went 18-11-4 with a 2.17 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and two shutouts in 34 games. He was named Third Team All-ECAC after he finished the season ranked third in the league in wins and goals-against average and fifth in save percentage. The Wetaskiwin, Alberta native finished his career at R.P.I. with a record of 37-33-8, 2.47 GAA, .915 SV% and four shutouts in 83 career games. He ranks first all-time among R.P.I. goaltenders in GAA and is fourth in SV%. He was named Second Team All-ECAC and was a finalist for Ken Dryden Award, given to the ECAC Goaltender of the Year, in 2009-10.
KEARNEY MAKES AHL/PRO DEBUT: Rookie forward Denny Kearney made his AHL/pro debut Friday night against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers collecting his first point as a pro, an assist on Atkinson’s game-winning goal. On Thursday, the Falcons signed Kearney to an Amateur Tryout Agreement. Kearney recently finished his collegiate career with Yale University where he registered 45 goals and 86 assists for 131 points in 138 games. Kearney improved his point production all four years at Yale and collected a career high 16 goals and 41 points in 36 games this past season.
PRO DEBUT TOTALS: Over the last three weeks, the Falcons have had six players make their AHL/pro debuts including: Cam Atkinson, Allen York, Denny Kearney, Aaron Bogosian, Wade MacLeod, and Paul Dainton. Anton Blomqvist is expected to make the total grow to seven players on Saturday.
MAKING HIS NHL DEBUT: The Blue Jackets added right wing Tomas Kubalik to the roster on emergency recall from the Springfield Falcons on Thursday. Kubalik joined Columbus in Washington where he made his NHL debut against the Capitals recording two assists.
Kubalik, 20, has registered 22 goals and 28 assists for 50 points and 43 penalty minutes in 73 games for Springfield this season. The Blue Jackets’ sixth pick, 135th overall, in the 2008 Entry Draft, is playing his first professional season and leads the Falcons in goals, assists (tied), points and power play goals (6).
The Plzen, Czech Republic native tallied 33-42-75, 95 penalty minutes and was +16 in 58 games with Victoriaville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2009-10, his first season in North America. He led the club (tied) and ranked sixth (tied) in the QMJHL in game-winning goals (7). He also ranked third on the club in points (tied), fourth in goals and fifth in assists. Prior to his North American career, he spent four seasons playing for Plzen in the Czech Elite and Czech-2 leagues. He combined to record 36-32-68 and 222 penalty minutes in 136 games from 2005-09.
ZUCCARELLO BACK TO WHALE: New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced Friday that forward Mats Zuccarello has been assigned to the Whale.
Zuccarello, 23, has registered six goals and 16 assists for 22 points, along with four penalty minutes in 41 games this season. He leads the Rangers with nine power play assists, and is tied for sixth with nine power play points. Zuccarello also leads the team and is tied for fifth and second in the NHL, respectively, with five shootout goals and three shootout game-deciding goals, and ranks second on the Rangers with a 55.6% shootout percentage.
He has posted four multi-point performances this season, including a career-high, three-assist effort on January 25 vs. Florida and his first career multi-goal game with two goals on March 6 vs. Philadelphia. Zuccarello made his NHL debut on December 23 vs. Tampa Bay, tallying a shootout goal in the contest. He recorded his first NHL point with a power play assist on December 27 vs. the New York Islanders, and notched his first career goal with the overtime game-winner on January 5 vs. Carolina.