FALCONS BEAT THE BEARS IN OT
By: Sean Seifert
October 28, 2011 – The Springfield Falcons came back from a three-goal deficit on Friday night, leading to an overtime breakaway game winner scored by Ryan Russell in front of 2,256 at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons stunned the Hershey Bears by a score of 4-3, winning their second straight and lifting their season record to 5-5.
New names in the lineup had an impact on the Falcons’ scoring with Tomas Kubalik scoring his first goal this season in his first game back since an injury on opening night. David Savard grounded the defense for Springfield notching his first points for the Falcons with a pair of assists.
Recently appointed captain Dane Byers says the team is really coming together. “This was a huge win for us and I think it really shows the leadership in the room. It’s definitely something to build off,” said Byers.
Falcons’ head coach Rob Riley credits the comeback win to the leadership in his group. “I think we’ve got good leadership and a group of guys that know how to win and they really showed it tonight,” said Riley.
In an active first period of play the Falcons allowed two Hershey goals despite seeing a few scoring chances of their own. The first goal came at 11:36 from Hershey's’ Jacob Micflikier as he beat Falcons’ goaltender Danny Taylor’s glove after receiving a behind-the-back setup from Cody Eakin.
The Bears increased their lead to 2-0 at 14:43 of the first frame on a delayed penalty man-advantage with Garrett Mitchell sneaking one through Taylor’s legs off a rebound. The Falcons ended the first period down a pair of goals.
The Falcons came to skate in the second period, but were unable to convert some early scoring chances. At 1:29, Springfield killed a tripping minor convincingly, but the Bears scoring would continue at 8:14 with a goal by Chris Bourque off a 2-on1 break.
Springfield cut into its’ 3-goal deficit with a power play goal at 12:53 of the second period. Byers redirected a driven shot by Savard to beat Hershey goaltender Braden Holtby bringing the score to 3-1 in Hershey’s favor. The Falcons pressure continued the scoring with another power play goal by Kubalik at 17:10, shedding the deficit to one after 40 minutes of play.
The Falcons completed the comeback late on a third period power play when Martin St. Pierre dished a low puck to Cam Atkinson who slammed it home at 14:17. Regulation came to an end at a 3-3 deadlock sending the Falcons into their first overtime period of the season.
At 2:04 of the overtime period, Savard found a streaking Russell who bolted to the net and captured the win for the Falcons with his fourth goal of the season.
“I was in full flight and I didn’t stop skating so I think that lead to me beating the defenseman to the goal,” said Russell. “I think any time you can come back against a team it is huge. This was a big win for our hockey team.”
The Falcons get back to work tomorrow night at 7 against the AHL newcomer St. John’s IceCaps at the MassMutual Center.
Dane Byers - Nick Drazenovic - Tomas Kubalik
Ryan Russell - Andrew Joudrey - Wade MacLeod
Oliver Gabriel - Ryan Garlock - Aaron Bogosian
David Savard - Nick Holden
Cody Goloubef - Dalton Prout
Theo Ruth - Brent Regner
Not dressed: Adam Mair (Suspension), Anton Blomqvist (Injured), Darcy Campbell, Steve Delisle, Mike Thomas
It was a busy day for airport runs as the Falcons released defenseman Ray Macias from his PTO Friday afternoon. Also Matt Calvert flew to Chicago to meet the Blue Jackets and Maksim Mayorov and David Savard flew from Chicago to Springfield and joined the Falcons on Friday afternoon.
Hershey Bears 3 at Springfield Falcons 4 (OT) - Status: Final OT
Friday, October 28, 2011 - MassMutual Center
Hershey 2 1 0 0 - 3
Springfield 0 2 1 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Hershey, Micflikier 4 (Eakin, Kane), 11:36. 2, Hershey, Mitchell 1 (Lacroix, Aucoin), 14:43. Penalties-Ford Her (diving), 8:18; Holden Spr (cross-checking), 8:18.
2nd Period-3, Hershey, Bourque 6 (Aucoin), 8:14. 4, Springfield, Byers 4 (Savard, Drazenovic), 12:53 (PP). 5, Springfield, Kubalik 1 (MacLeod, Goloubef), 17:10 (PP). Penalties-Savard Spr (tripping), 1:29; Aucoin Her (slashing), 12:07; Miskovic Her (cross-checking), 15:48.
3rd Period-6, Springfield, Atkinson 2 (Byers, St. Pierre), 14:17 (PP). Penalties-Wellar Her (interference), 0:16; Holtby Her (roughing), 4:39; MacLeod Spr (slashing), 4:39; Prout Spr (interference), 9:16; served by MacLeod Spr (bench minor - too many men), 9:30; Holden Spr (tripping), 9:30; Hanson Her (interference), 11:29; Holtby Her (roughing), 13:18; Aucoin Her (slashing), 17:31; Savard Spr (slashing), 17:31.
OT Period-7, Springfield, Russell 4 (Savard), 3:04. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Hershey 12-9-13-2-36. Springfield 5-8-13-1-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 3; Springfield 3 / 5.
Goalies-Hershey, Holtby 2-3-0 (27 shots-23 saves). Springfield, Taylor 3-1-0 (36 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Matt MacPherson (83).
October 28, 2011 – The Springfield Falcons look to build off a Wednesday night win against the Monarchs when they take on the Hershey Bears for the first time this season on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons are still searching to regain the early-season offense that began their 2011-2012 campaign with an impressive fifteen goals in their first three games.
Falcons’ head coach Rob Riley says his players know what to expect going into Friday’s game. “Hershey has had a tradition over these past five or six years of being at the top of the league either winning the Calder Cup or coming close,” said Riley. “We know what kind of a challenge they will bring.”
The Bears sit atop the East Division in first place with 5 wins and only 1 loss. The Falcons, losing three of their last four, won on Wednesday in a game that established a group of leaders who will take the reins this season. Left wing Dane Byer’s leadership was recognized by coaches in Manchester on Wednesday, given the captain “C” for his Falcons this season.
“Dane is a great leader. He is a team guy, he is very unselfish and he is a positive role-model in the locker room so we love having him here,” said Riley.
Andrew Joudrey and Adam Mair were elected as assistant captains this year and goaltenders Manny Legace and Danny Taylor add a lot to the leadership component of the team says the coach.
“We’re very happy with the leadership we have and it will bode well for us down the road. You need strong leadership if you want to be a good playoff team and that is what we aim to be,” said Riley.
Tomas Kubalik (RW) looks to return to the Falcons after playing one game and missing the rest since with an injury. Kubalik is an offensive contributor and his return to the lineup could be the remedy to the Falcons’ cold streak up top.
“The chemistry of the forward line should be coming together this week,” said Riley.
The Falcons and Bears will faceoff at 7:30 at the MassMutual Center on Friday night.