FALCONS ONE SHORT AGAINST WHALE
October 22, 2011 – The Springfield Falcons went to battle against division rival Connecticut Whale on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, narrowly losing the heated contest by a score of 2-1. The Falcons success on the penalty kill continued and Wade McLeod scored his first goal of the season for Springfield, but Connecticut scored a decisive third-period goal dropping the Falcons record to 3-4-0.
Falcons head coach Rob Riley says his team just needs to find the back of the net. “Danny (Taylor) had a great game and we’ve had solid goaltending all weekend. We just need to find the offense,” said Riley. “You get thirty shots on goal you expect to score a couple. We just aren’t there yet.”
In the first period of play the Whale came out strong, throwing 14 shots on Falcons’ starting goaltender Danny Taylor. The Falcons penalty kill was tested twice in the opening frame and both were fought off confidently with some key stops by Taylor. Unable to capitalize on a number of scoring chances including a late breakaway attempt by Matt Calvert, the Falcons and Whale ended the period scoreless.
The Falcons brought offensive energy in the second period, outshooting the Whale 15-4. Springfield opened the scoring at 5:49 of the second period when McLeod carried the puck to the left side of Connecticut goalie Cameron Talbot, stuffing in his first goal of the season and putting the Falcons ahead 1-0.
Both teams took turns ringing the post in the fast-paced second period. Taylor shut down a Connecticut breakaway with a sprawling save at 11:42, ensuring the Falcons a 1-0 lead at the end of two.
The Whale answered early in the third period when Jonathan Audy-Marchessault scored his first goal of the season for Connecticut at 2:41 off a rebound, leveling the score at 1-1. Mats Zuccarello managed to build a lead for Connecticut at 15:07 of the third period, banking the puck off the back of Taylor’s right pad from behind the goal line and putting the Whale ahead 2-1. The Falcons couldn’t come up with a late equalizer and they dropped their second game in a row by a goal at 2-1.
The Falcons head down the road tomorrow afternoon to take on the Whale at the XL Center in Hartford, CT for a 3 p.m. puck drop. The Falcons outshot the Whale on Saturday night 34-28. Connecticut have won 3 straight.
“We’ll need a good night’s sleep and it’s a new day tomorrow. It’ll be three games in a row and we just need to bounce back,” said Riley.
Connecticut Whale 2 at Springfield Falcons 1 - Status: Final
Saturday, October 22, 2011 - MassMutual Center
Connecticut 0 0 2 - 2
Springfield 0 1 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Regner Spr (tripping), 3:23; Byers Spr (roughing), 11:16.
2nd Period-1, Springfield, MacLeod 1 (Atkinson, Macias), 5:49. Penalties-McKelvie Ct (high-sticking), 8:31; Parlett Ct (delay of game), 9:41.
3rd Period-2, Connecticut, Audy-Marchessault 1 (Kundratek, Deveaux), 2:41. 3, Connecticut, Zuccarello 3 (Thuresson, Mitchell), 15:07. Penalties-Parlett Ct (fighting), 3:10; Mair Spr (fighting), 3:10; Goloubef Spr (high-sticking), 3:20.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 14-4-10-28. Springfield 8-15-11-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 3; Springfield 0 / 2.
Goalies-Connecticut, Talbot 2-1-0 (34 shots-33 saves). Springfield, Taylor 1-1-0 (28 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46).
Linesmen-Robert St. Lawrence (10), Rich Patry (52).
Dane Byers - Nick Drazenovic - Matt Calvert
Ryan Russell - Andrew Joudrey - Adam Mair
Aaron Bogosian - Ryan Garlock - Mike Thomas
Brent Regner - Nick Holden
Cody Goloubef - Dalton Prout
Ray Macias - Steven Delisle
Not dressed: Theo Ruth (Injured), Tomas Kubalik (Injured), Oliver Gabriel, Anton Blomqvist (Injured)
PREGAME NEWS - The Springfield Falcons and Connecticut Whale start a home and home series tonight at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons enter tonight's game with a record of 3-3, while Connecticut is 2-1-0-2 on the young season. Springfield dropped a 3-0 decision to the Wilkes-Barre Penguins on Friday, while Connecticut beat the Manchester Monarchs 5-0 on home ice.
The Whale enter tonight's contest having earned at least a point in four straight games going 2-0-0-2 after losing their season opener. Springfield concludes a four-game homestand tonight having gone 1-2 in the previous three home games.
The Falcons had Manny Legace make his season debut on Friday after the veteran goaltender signed a Professional Tryout Agreement on Thursday. We will have to wait and see at game time if some of the Falcons' injured players will be able to make a return tonight. Nick Drazenovic missed last night's game with an upper body injury, Tomas Kubalik missed his fifth straight contest with a lower body injury, while defenseman Anton Blomqvist missed last night's game with an upper body injury.
The Whale head into Springfield with Carl Hagelin leading the offense with three goals and two assists for five points in five games. Former Falcon Andre Deveaux is tied with Hagelin for the club lead in goals with three.
Connecticut goaltenders have already posted two shutouts this year with Chad Johnson blanking Wilkes-Barre on October 9 and Cameron Talbot shutting down Manchester last night. Johnson has a 1.85 goals against average and .939 save percentage, while Talbot has a 2.52 goals against average and .891 save percentage.
FALCONS WIVES/GIRLFRIENDS STEPPING UP FOR CHARITY
Falcons fans, check out the Falcons' players wives/girlfriends table tonight for a special fundraiser that will be ongoing this year. Special bracelets will be sold during tonight's game at the wives/girlfriends table behind section 31 with funds benefitting the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team. On September 7, 2011, the Lokomotiv team members were lost in one of the worst tragedies in professional hockey history.