FALCONS FALL SHORT TO PHANTOMS
By: Sean Seifert
November 4, 2011 – The Springfield Falcons three-game win streak came to an end on Friday night as they lost by a goal to the Adirondack Phantoms by a score of 2-1 in front of 4,496 at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons were unable to overcome a shorthanded Adirondack goal in the last minute of the first period, despite a charged effort by Cam Atkinson and Danny Taylor.
Atkinson says his team played well, but there is more work to do. “I think we as a team respond well to going down a goal, but we can’t play like that,” said Atkinson. “We’ve got to set our goals higher and be one or two goals ahead of them, so we need to keep working.”
In the first period, the Falcons were forced to play from behind when the Phantoms’ Garrett Klotz was able to trickle one in past Taylor at 2:37. The Falcons were soon to answer on the power play by stringing together four quick tape-to-tape passes. Atkinson scored his fourth goal of the season at 8:17 of the first after Martin St. Pierre dished it to Nick Drazenovic who set up Atkinson for the game-tying goal.
Atkinson says the success on the power play is a result of practice. “We’ve been working on that for the past couple weeks,” said Atkinson. “We were able to move the puck around pretty well I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and Marty (St.Pierre) made a great play.”
Falcons head coach Rob Riley likes what he has been seeing from the power play. “Our power play has been good, I think we’re gaining a lot of chances,” said Riley.
A last-minute turnover at the Falcons’ blue line lead to a shorthanded breakaway goal by Phantoms’ Jon Kalinski at 19:34, giving Adirondack a 2-1 lead after the first period of play.
The scoreless second period got physical when Falcons’ captain Dane Byers sent an early message, lifting Oliver Lauridsen off his feet in the corner with a hit. The Falcons came close to tying the game with a shorthanded bid from Drazenovic. Drazenovic carried the puck to Adirondack goaltender Michael Leighton and ringed one off the post, but the period came to close with the Falcons down 2-1.
As the Falcons pushed for an equalizer in the third period, Taylor kept hope alive, stunning the Phantoms’ Tom Sestito and Denis Hamel with two last-second reaction saves at 10:57. The Falcons couldn’t overcome their deficit, losing to the Phantoms by a goal at 2-1.
Taylor denied 22 of the 24 shots thrown his way and the Falcons record now drops to an even 6-6 after Friday’s loss.
The Portland Pirates come to town next Friday night as the Falcons play their fourth straight game at the MassMutual Center at 7:30.
Adirondack Phantoms 2 at Springfield Falcons 1 - Status: Final
Friday, November 4, 2011 - MassMutual Center
Adirondack 2 0 0 - 2
Springfield 1 0 0 - 1
1st Period-1, Adirondack, Klotz 1 2:37. 2, Springfield, Atkinson 4 (St. Pierre, Drazenovic), 8:17 (PP). 3, Adirondack, Kalinski 1 19:34 (SH). Penalties-Bartulis Adk (holding), 7:48; St. Pierre Spr (hooking), 9:24; Bohmbach Adk (tripping), 18:23.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Johnson Spr (holding), 1:37; Bourdon Adk (hooking), 9:33; Marshall Adk (roughing), 9:33; Byers Spr (roughing), 9:33; Sestito Adk (roughing), 13:45; St. Pierre Spr (roughing), 13:45; Johnson Spr (high-sticking), 16:39; Pither Adk (slashing), 17:01; Lauridsen Adk (tripping), 19:56.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Marshall Adk (cross-checking), 14:07; Savard Spr (holding), 16:20.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 10-5-9-24. Springfield 9-4-8-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 4; Springfield 1 / 6.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 6-2-0 (21 shots-20 saves). Springfield, Taylor 4-2-0 (24 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Jim Briggs (83), Brent Colby (7).
Dane Byers - Nick Drazenovic - Wade Macleod
Chaz Johnson - Andrew Joudrey - Aaron Bogosian
Oliver Gabriel - Ryan Garlock - Mike Thomas
David Savard - Nick Holden
Cody Goloubef - Dalton Prout
Theo Ruth - Brent Regner
Not dressed: Adam Mair (Suspension), Anton Blomqvist (Injured), Maksim Mayorov (Injured), Tomas Kubalik (Injured)
After a busy weekend of overtime victories, the Falcons spent the past week preparing for their upcoming game with practice and some off-ice team-leadership training.
The Falcons faceoff against the Adirondack Phantoms at the MassMutual Center on Friday night with three straight wins under their belt. The Phantoms lead the Falcons by one point in the Northeast Divisional standings as they head into their first meeting this season tonight.
The Falcons faced a series of physical and mental challenges on Tuesday and Wednesday as J.B. Spisso came to Springfield to lead team-building exercises. Spisso’s Elite Leadership Training program has helped NHL teams such as the Pittsburg Penguins, New York Rangers, and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Falcons head coach Rob Riley says the training was effective for his players. “He (Spisso) has a lot of hockey experience and really knows the game well. He’s a very positive guy who I think gave our guys something to think about and hopefully helped our leaders,” said Riley.
Following impressive wins against the league-leading Hershey Bears and St. John’s IceCaps last weekend, the Falcons head into Friday night’s contest on a win streak that Riley says is not the end of the road.
“It doesn’t mean that we’ve ‘arrived’ and we keep pressing that with the players,” said Riley. “I think we’ve done a few things that we weren’t able to do last year; that is come back against real good teams and find a way to win.”
Defenseman Anton Blomqvist looks to return to the lineup on Friday night after missing games with an injury. Nick Drazenovic leads the Falcons in points (13) with 3 goals and 10 assists, while Danny Taylor has posted a 4-1 record in net for Springfield with a .933 save percentage.
The Phantom’s Denis Hamel tops the league with 8 goals this season, helping Adirondack to a 6-3-1 record thus far.
“They’re a very good team, they’ve been in first place for a good part of the season,” said Riley. “We’ll have our hands full but we look forward to it.”