FALCONS DROP HOME OPENER 4-1
By: Sean Seifert
October 15, 2011 – The Springfield Falcons couldn’t solve Anton Khudobin in their Saturday night home opener as they fell to the Providence Bruins 4-1 bringing their season record to 2 wins and 2 losses. 6,433 fans filled the Mass Mutual Center to support the Falcons on a special night for the team. It was Hockey Heritage Night for the Falcons and a pregame ceremony opened the season by honoring members of the 1989-1990 and 1990-1991 Calder Cup champion Springfield Indians.
The Falcons put up a fight against the Bruins and they’ll be ready for their game tomorrow against Manchester says head coach Rob Riley. “We’ve got a tough group of guys and I think they’re giving us real good effort,” said Riley. “We’ll come in tomorrow morning and it’s a new day, well pump the guys up.”
The Falcons’ power play began action in the first period when a high stick drew a penalty at 17:46. Despite the Falcons 29.4% success rate on the power play, they were unable to get one past Bruins goalie Khudobin. Khudobin made key stops on the Falcons eight first period shots including a glove save that robbed a wide open Cam Atkinson at 9:20 of the first.
With 3:10 remaining in the period, Adam Mair was sent to the box for boarding. The Bruins opened the games scoring 16 seconds into the power play when a redirected puck from Jamie Tardif found its way through Springfield starting goalie Paul Dainton’s pads. The Falcons left the ice with a one-goal deficit after a hard fought first period.
The second stanza opened with another Falcons power play at 13:59. Khudobin denied a peppering of shots in the power play keeping the Falcons off the board yet again. Cody Bass received a roughing penalty with 45 seconds remaining in the period putting the Bruins on their fifth man advantage of the night. Providence managed to score its second power play goal of the game when a puck deflected off Tardif into the back of the net with 2.5 second left on the clock. The late goal sent the Falcons to the locker room down by two after 40 minutes of play.
The Falcons cut their deficit in half 9:07 into the third period with a power play goal. Dane Byers put a Nick Drazenovic pass top shelf for his second goal of the season bringing the building to a roar. The Bruins answered at 14:48 after a neutral zone turnover lead to a breakaway goal by Zach Hamill giving Providence a 3-1 cushion. An empty net goal sealed the win for Providence by a score of 4-1. The Falcons outshot the Bruins 27-20 on the night.
The Falcons look to claim their first home win on Sunday. Manchester comes to town for a 3 p.m. matinee matchup at the Mass Mutual Center.
Providence Bruins 4 at Springfield Falcons 1 - Status: Final
Saturday, October 15, 2011 - MassMutual Center
Providence 1 1 2 - 4
Springfield 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period-1, Providence, Tardif 1 (Hennessy, Warsofsky), 17:06 (PP). Penalties-Cantin Pro (high-sticking), 2:14; Delisle Spr (tripping), 12:10; Mair Spr (boarding), 16:50.
2nd Period-2, Providence, Hennessy 2 (Warsofsky, Miller), 19:57 (PP). Penalties-Bass Spr (roughing), 0:18; Cunningham Pro (slashing), 6:01; Holden Spr (tripping), 15:15; Bodnarchuk Pro (roughing), 19:12; Bass Spr (roughing), 19:12; Byers Spr (roughing), 19:12.
3rd Period-3, Springfield, Byers 2 (Drazenovic, Regner), 9:07 (PP). 4, Providence, Hamill 1 15:48. 5, Providence, Hamill 2 19:41 (EN). Penalties-MacDonald Pro (tripping), 1:43; McKelvie Pro (hooking), 7:34; MacDonald Pro (hooking), 15:20.
Shots on Goal-Providence 8-7-5-20. Springfield 8-7-12-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 2 / 5; Springfield 1 / 5.
Goalies-Providence, Khudobin 1-3-0 (27 shots-26 saves). Springfield, Dainton 1-2-0 (19 shots-16 saves).
Referees-Jarrod Ragusin (42).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Chris Low (88).
Dane Byers - Nick Drazenovic - Cody Bass
Ryan Russell - Andrew Joudrey - Adam Mair
Oliver Gabriel - Ryan Garlock - Mike Thomas
Cody Goloubef - Nick Holden
John Moore - Dalton Prout
Brent Regner - Steven Delisle
* The Falcons signed Danny Taylor to a PTO with Allen York suffering an injury on Friday night.
Not dressed: Tomas Kubalik, Anton Blomqvist, Aaron Bogosian, Allen York
- The Falcons started the season with three straight road games, but they will now be home for the next four straight contests starting tonight against Providence.
- The Falcons are facing a Providence team on Saturday that is 0-3. Springfield has scored 15 goals in three games, while Providence has three goals in three games.
- Falcons center Nick Drazenovic is off to a fast start this season with Springfield after being signed by Columbus as a free agent this past summer. Drazenovic has two goals and four assists in three games.
- Cody Bass and Martin St. Pierre are also off to fast starts for the Falcons, both players were also free agent sigings by the Blue Jackets this past summer. Bass has two goals and two assists in three games, while St. Pierre has one goal and three assists while anchoring a very impressive Springfield power play thus far, one that is operating at 29%.
- Ryan Garlock has four assists in his last two games after signing a PTO shortly before the season opener.
- Adam Mair continues to add an impressive veteran presence having pick up three assists in three games.
- Rookies Mike Thomas and Oliver Gabriel scored their first pro goals in Wilkes-Barre on October 14.
- Cam Atkinson scored a power play goal in his season debut with Springfield on October 14.
- Ryan Russell tallied his first goal of the year in his Falcons debut on October 14.
CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT TONIGHT
The Falcons will unveil today their Springfield Hockey Heritage Jersey they will be wearing on three special evenings during the 2011-12 season. The first night is scheduled for the home opener on Saturday, October 15 when the Falcons host the Providence Bruins at the MassMutual Center.
This special Springfield Hockey Heritage Jersey will pay homage to all seven of Springfield’s Calder Championships including: 1959-60, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1970-71, 1974-75, 1989-90 and 1990-91. The 1989-90 and 1990-91 championship teams will be honored on October 15, followed by two other Springfield Hockey Heritage Nights on December 3 and February 4.
“The history of hockey in Springfield runs very deep and we are excited to be honoring former championship teams this season,” said Falcons President and General Manager Bruce Landon. “The special jerseys tie all of the past championship teams together and this is a great opportunity to remember many of the great teams and players who have been part of the Springfield hockey tradition.”
SPECIAL GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE
Former Springfield head coach Jim Roberts and former radio play-by-play broadcaster John Forslund will be part of the Springfield Hockey Heritage Night on Saturday, October 15 when the Falcons honor the 1989-90 and 1990-91 Calder Cup championship teams at the MassMutual Center.
Roberts was the head coach of both the 1989-90 and 1990-91 Calder Cup championship teams in Springfield and he won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award in 1990, which is awarded to the outstanding coach in the AHL as voted upon by the AHL broadcasters and writers.
At the conclusion of Springfield’s second straight Calder Cup championship in 1991, Roberts joined Pat Egan as the only two head coaches in Springfield hockey history to win back-to-back Calder Cup championships. Roberts posted an impressive 24-12 record in 36 career playoff games with Springfield, while also coaching 240 regular season games from 1988-1991.
Forslund will serve as the Master of Ceremonies on October 15 and he will return to Springfield, where his professional career started in 1984. Forslund handled the television and radio broadcasts for Springfield from 1984-1991. In 1989, he was the recipient of the AHL’s Ken McKenzie Award, given annually to the individual who accomplished the most during the season in promoting his or her team.
Forslund has been the television play-by-play announcer of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes for the previous 17 seasons, and overall he has spent 21 years with the Hurricanes organization. Forslund, who is a Springfield native and graduate of Springfield College, started his NHL career with the Hartford Whalers at the beginning of the 1991-92 campaign. He continues to serve as one of the primary play-by-play announcers for nationally televised cable broadcasts of regular season and playoff games on Versus.