FALCONS FALL TO MONARCHS
By: Sean Seifert
December 10, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday night by a score of 3-2 at the MassMutual Center. The effort was there as the Falcons outshot the Monarchs 35-23, but the birds were unable to overcome a deflected Manchester goal in the third period. Cam Atkinson posted a goal and an assist for Springfield.
Atkinson says the game could have went either way. “That’s what it comes down to - a couple of bounces. I think we played well but we need to capitalize on our opportunities,” said Atkinson.
In the first period of play, the Falcons put nine shots on goal but were unable to build a lead on the Monarchs. The Falcons’ Cody Bass jumped on a loose puck for a breakaway at 14:29, but the puck got caught up in Manchester goaltender Jeff Zatkoff’s padding to keep the Falcons off the board. The Monarchs struck first shortly after at 14:47 when Jake Muzzin connected with Richard Clune to give the Falcons a 1-0 deficit after the first period.
The second period began with a Falcons’ power play. Atkinson sent a wrist shot from the slot that caught iron at 1:59 to keep the Falcons from tying the game. With the power play ready to expire, the Monarchs doubled their lead with Patrick Mullen sending a puck top shelf past Manny Legace’s blocker for a shorthanded goal at 2:51.
The Falcons gained momentum halfway through the second period. On the power play, Ryan Russell sent a puck whistling through traffic that came to a stop in the crease. Atkinson dove and extended his stick to push the puck home at 10:45, cutting the Falcons’ deficit to 2-1. The Falcons outshot the Monarchs 15-10 in the second frame.
Falcons head coach Rob Riley says the second period was a strong effort. “The puck was in their end the whole period but that is hockey. You just have to recover from that and I think our guys played really hard,” said Riley.
At 3:53 of the third period, the Monarchs managed to regain a two-goal lead. Rob Mignardi slapped a puck home to put Manchester up 3-1. The Falcons came up with the answer at 7:23 with Atkinson finding Martin St. Pierre in the slot, bringing the birds within one goal at 3-2. The Falcons were unable to tally one more and dropped the game by a 3-2 decision.
“This is the third game in a row that the puck has deflected off someone for a goal. Manny had no chance at the save,” said Coach Riley.
The Falcons are back at it tomorrow afternoon for a 3 pm puck drop with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Atkinson says his team needs to focus on tomorrow’s game. “Tomorrow is a very important game for us; it’s a huge two points,” said Atkinson. “Every game seems to be a one or two goal difference so we just need to come prepared tomorrow.”
Alexandre Giroux - Martin St. Pierre - Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert - Ryan Russell - Tomas Kubalik
Dane Byers - Andrew Joudrey - Cody Bass
Aaron Bogosian - Ryan Garlock - Adam Mair
Nick Holden - David Savard
Dalton Prout - Brett Lebda
Brent Regner - Theo Ruth
Not dressed: Anton Blomqvist (Injured), Tim Spencer, Maksim Mayorov, Nick Drazenovic (Injured), Mike Thomas, Wade MacLeod (Injured), Darcy Campbell, Cody Goloubef (Injured)
Manchester Monarchs 3 at Springfield Falcons 2 - Status: Final
Saturday, December 10, 2011 - MassMutual Center
Manchester 1 1 1 - 3
Springfield 0 1 1 - 2
1st Period-1, Manchester, Clune 4 (Meckler, Cliche), 14:47. Penalties-Czarnik Mch (holding), 17:22.
2nd Period-2, Manchester, Mullen 3 (King), 2:51 (SH). 3, Springfield, Atkinson 11 (Russell, Savard), 10:45 (PP). Penalties-Hickey Mch (interference), 1:14; Prout Spr (interference), 6:30; Deslauriers Mch (tripping), 9:42; Czarnik Mch (tripping), 18:05; Holden Spr (elbowing), 18:05.
3rd Period-4, Manchester, Mignardi 1 3:53. 5, Springfield, St. Pierre 6 (Atkinson), 7:23. Penalties-Kubalik Spr (high-sticking), 11:37.
Shots on Goal-Manchester 6-10-7-23. Springfield 9-15-11-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 3; Springfield 1 / 3.
Goalies-Manchester, Zatkoff 7-3-1 (35 shots-33 saves). Springfield, Legace 4-7-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Paul Simeon (66).
GAME PREVIEW – The Springfield Falcons and Manchester Monarchs meet for the fourth time this season and this will be the first meeting between these two clubs since October 26. The Falcons and Monarchs went head-to-head three times in October with Springfield going 2-1 against Manchester early on this season. The Falcons lost the season opener against the Monarchs on October 7, but Springfield won the next two meetings beating Manchester 5-3 on October 16 and 2-1 on October 26.
Martin St. Pierre and Ryan Russell lead the Falcons in goals against Manchester this year with two each. Marc-Andre Cliché leads Manchester in goals against Springfield this year with three, including a hat trick on October 7.
The Falcons enter tonight’s contest having defeated the Portland Pirates 2-1 in their last game on Sunday, December 4. Dane Byers and Alexandre Giroux scored for the Falcons in that victory as they evened their record to 11-11-1-0 on the season. Springfield will play three home games in the next four days starting tonight as they host Bridgeport on Sunday and Worcester on Tuesday.
The Monarchs head into Springfield as one of the AHL’s hottest teams having won eight of their last 10 games going 8-1-0-1 in that span improving their record to 14-10-0-2 on the season. Manchester won six straight contests from November 12-November 27. The Monarchs are currently in second place in the Atlantic Division, four points behind the first place St. John’s IceCaps.
FALCONS PLAYER MOVEMENT - The Columbus Blue Jackets assigned forward Cody Bass to the Springfield Falcons on Friday. Bass, 24, has registered one assist and 32 penalty minutes in 14 games with the Blue Jackets. He ranks third on the club in penalty minutes. He also has collected 2-2-4 and 13 penalty minutes in five games with Springfield this season.
A native of Owen Sound, Ontario, Bass made his NHL debut against Atlanta on December 15, 2007 and has tallied 2-3-5 and 66 penalty minutes in 48 career NHL games with Ottawa and Columbus. He was scoreless in one game for the Ottawa Senators in 2010-11 and registered 6-9-15 and 111 penalty minutes in 58 games for the AHL’s Binghamton Senators. He was awarded the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award as the AHL’s Man of the Year. He added 2-2-4 and 24 penalty minutes in 18 playoff games to help Binghamton win the Calder Cup. Ottawa’s third pick, 95th overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft, he has totaled 18-25-43 and 329 penalty minutes in 176 career AHL games with Binghamton and Springfield. Prior to his professional career, he notched 40-84-124 and 371 penalty minutes in 247 career OHL games with Mississauga and Saginaw.
Also on Friday, the Falcons announced that defenseman Darcy Campbell has been signed to a Professional Tryout Agreement. Campbell has played in 19 games for the Falcons’ ECHL affiliate, Chicago Express, this year where he leads all team defensemen in scoring with two goals and 13 assists for 15 points.
The Falcons announced on Tuesday they had a goalie swap as Allen York was assigned to the ECHL's Chicago Express and Paul Dainton was recalled to Springfield from Chicago.
Manchester forward Dwight King is currently on a four-game scoring streak collecting one goal and three assists in that span.
Brandon Kozun has points in six straight contests collecting three goals and three assists in that stretch.
Manchester goaltenders Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff have rotated starts dating back to October 29. Jones has a record of 8-7-1 with a 2.42 goals against average and .925 save percentage, while Zatkoff has a mark of 6-3-1 with a 2.24 goals against average and .929 save percentage.