FALCONS EARN POINT IN WORCESTER
December 2, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons and Worcester Sharks met for the second time this season on Friday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA and for the second straight time in the season series, the two teams needed overtime to settle the battle. Matt Irwin's goal at 2:22 of overtime led the Sharks to a 4-3 win over the Falcons. The home team has now won both games in overtime in the season series.
The Falcons came out of the gate fast on Friday and quickly opened up a 1-0 lead when Wade MacLeod scored at 3:10 of the first period assisted by Aaron Bogosian and Brett Lebda.
The Falcons were holding on to a 1-0 lead until Worcester evened the score at 1-1 when John McCarthy converted on the power play at 11:02 of the opening frame.
The game remained tied heading into the second period, but Springfield once again found the back of the net early in the frame as Cam Atkinson scored on the man advantage at 5:25 of the middle stanza, his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Once again Worcester battled back to tie the score as Ryan Del Monte converted his first marker on the campaign at 14:55 of the second period.
The middle period got a little chippy at the midway point as Springfield's Dane Byers and Worcester's Sena Acolatse dropped the gloves and squared off at center ice with each collecting fighting majors.
Late in the second period, the Falcons took a one goal lead for the third time in the game as Ryan Russell tallied his niinth goal of the year at 18:13 of the middle period giving Springfield a 3-2 advantage through 40 minutes.
In the third period, the Sharks quickly tied the score at 3-3 when Cam MacIntyre knocked home a free puck in a scramble near the crease sending the contest to the extra session.
The Falcons finished the night 1-2 on the power play, while Worcester was 1-4 on the man advantage. Manny Legace was once again solid in goal stopping 36 of 40 shots he faced. The Falcons are now 3-1 in overtime this year.
Alexandre Giroux - Martin St. Pierre - Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert - Ryan Russell - Maksim Mayorov
Dane Byers - Andrew Joudrey - Tomas Kubalik
Aaron Bogosian - Ryan Garlock - Wade MacLeod
Nick Holden - Theo Ruth
Cody Goloubef - Brent Regner
David Savard - Brett Lebda
Not dressed: Anton Blomqvist (Injured), Adam Mair (Injured), Dalton Prout, Nick Drazenovic (Injured), Mike Thomas, Tim Spencer (Injured)
Springfield Falcons 3 at Worcester Sharks 4 (OT) - Status: Final OT
Friday, December 2, 2011 - DCU Center
Springfield 1 2 0 0 - 3
Worcester 1 1 1 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Springfield, MacLeod 2 (Bogosian, Lebda), 3:10. 2, Worcester, McCarthy 3 (Irwin, Braun), 11:02 (PP). Penalties-Mayorov Spr (hooking), 5:31; Mayorov Spr (hooking), 9:37; Wingels Wor (goaltender interference), 13:42; Atkinson Spr (interference), 18:58.
2nd Period-3, Springfield, Atkinson 10 (St. Pierre, Giroux), 5:25 (PP). 4, Worcester, Del Monte 1 (Lucia, Bonneau), 14:55. 5, Springfield, Russell 9 (Lebda), 18:13. Penalties-Bonneau Wor (roughing), 5:07; Byers Spr (fighting), 5:53; Russell Spr (roughing), 5:53; Acolatse Wor (fighting), 5:53; Ferriero Wor (roughing), 5:53; Bogosian Spr (roughing), 7:43; Doherty Wor (roughing), 7:43; Goloubef Spr (hooking), 10:58.
3rd Period-6, Worcester, MacIntyre 4 (Petrecki, Reid), 1:23. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period-7, Worcester, Irwin 7 (Del Monte, Braun), 2:22. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Springfield 6-13-6-0-25. Worcester 18-12-8-2-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 2; Worcester 1 / 4.
Goalies-Springfield, Legace 3-6-0 (40 shots-36 saves). Worcester, Sateri 4-4-0 (25 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Francis Charron (46).
Linesmen-Matt MacPherson (83), Scott Whittemore (96).
PRE-GAME NOTES - Tomas Kubalik led the offense for the Falcons in the first meeting with the Sharks with two goals, while Martin St. Pierre added a pair of assists. Alexandre Giroux tallied the game-winner in the extra session, while Manny Legace saved the game for the Falcons earlier in overtime stopping Mike Connolly on a penalty shot.
After tonight's contest, the Falcons and Sharks will still meet six more times this year.
The Falcons enter tonight's contest looking to snap a three-game losing streak and they will once again start a three-game in three-day stretch over the weekend. Springfield hosts Connecticut on Saturday and Portland on Sunday to conclude their weekend. The Falcons had a couple of roster moves this past week with Allen York being assigned to the Falcons by Columbus, Danny Taylor was released from his PTO and Oliver Gabriel was assigned by the Blue Jackets back to Portland of the Western Hockey League.
Some quick player streaks for the Falcons, Matt Calvert collected two goals in three games last weekend. Cam Atkinson has taken over the team lead in goals with nine on the season. Atkinson has collected at least a point in nine of his last 11 games posting eight goals and four assists for 12 points in that span.
Worcester enters tonight's contest having gone 0-2-1-0 in their last three games and 2-5-3-0 in their last 10 games played. For the season, Worcester has a record of 6-6-3-2 and sit in fifth place in the Atlantic Division.
Martin St. Pierre is 12th in the league in scoring with five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 18 games. St. Pierre holds the longest point streak in the AHL this year collecting a point in 10 straight games from October 23-November 19.
Worcester goaltender Tyson Sexsmith is second in the league in goals against average at 1.98.
Tonight's game will feature two of the top scoring rookies in the league in Cam Atkinson for Springfield and Mike Connolly for Worcester. Atkinson is 9th in the AHL in rookie scoring with nine goal and six assists for 15 points in 18 games, while Connolly is 10th in rookie scoring with five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 15 games.
Worcester defenseman Matt Irwin is fourth in the league in scoring among defensemen with six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 17 games. All six of Irwin's goals have come on the power play this year, and for the season, he has accounted for 43% of Worcester's power play goals on the year.