FALCONS TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS ON HOME ICEFebruary 11, 2008 - The Springfield Falcons have won three straight games and have earned at least a point in six of their last seven games overall. Also, the Falcons have regained the fourth spot in the Atlantic Division and if the American Hockey League playoffs started today, the Falcons would be in the post-season.
The Falcons entered February understanding they had a good portion of their games at the MassMutual, including a stretch of eight of 11 games at "The Nest." Springfield took care of business this past weekend on home ice beating the East Division leading Philadelphia Phantoms on Friday, followed by a victory over the Lowell Devils on Saturday. Springfield improved their home record to 14-7-1-2 this year, the third best home mark in their division.
"There is no question we want to use this month to improve our position in the standings," said Falcons head coach Kelly Buchberger. "We have played well at home and this is our busiest stretch at home all year I believe, and right now we have had some very good team efforts including both games last weekend."
The Falcons returned to practice on Monday at the MassMutual Center preparing for three games in four days this week, including a visit to Hartford on Wednesday, followed by the Wolf Pack visiting the Falcons on Friday. Providence heads into town on Saturday and Springfield will once again have a chance to face teams they are looking to catch in the playoff race.
"Hartford and Providence are two of the top teams in the league and nothing will change in our approach," said Buchberger. "We need a full 60 minutes, that's something that can't change in our minds. We need to build off the momentum we have right now and be ready to play hard starting Wednesday."
The Falcons continue to try and get their full roster healthy. Jean-Francois Jacques missed both games last weekend and is inching closer to a return, captain Rick Berry is also working hard to get back in the lineup, as well as rookie Liam Reddox. Even Sebastien Bisaillon and Jacob Micflikier have made great strides recently in their rehabilitation from long-term injuries.
"We have had to battle through some injuries," said Buchberger. "But, you have to find a way to get through them, every team goes through it and we will not use injuries as an excuse."
Patrick Thoresen returned to the Falcons lineup this past Friday and he added one goal and two assists in two games, while defenseman Mathieu Roy also was back in the lineup this past weekend and had an immediate impact in Springfield's lineup.
"We need contributions from everyone and we had that last week," said Buchberger. "We start another important week Wednesday, we will be ready to play."