FALCONS EARN POINT AGAINST PIRATES
By: Sean Seifert
January 13, 2012 – In a Friday the thirteenth thriller at the MassMutual Center, the Springfield Falcons narrowly lost to the Portland Pirates by a 5-4 decision in a shootout. Despite a team effort in the overtime period, a trio of third-period Portland goals proved too much for the Falcons as their three-game winning streak came to a close.
The Falcons came out strong and steady in the first period to stun the Pirates with a three-goal outburst. With the Falcons’ Alexandre Giroux serving a minor penalty for tripping, Springfield exploded for two shorthanded goals within 28 seconds. Maksim Mayorov carried the puck to the net, setting up Ryan Garlock to slide home a rebound at 10:42 to open the scoring. Half a minute later, Andrew Joudrey set up Cam Atkinson to beat Portland goaltender Curtis McElhinney with a shot fake to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
At 17:05 of the first period, Joudrey buried a wrist shot past the glove of McElhinney to boost the birds toward a 3-0 advantage. The Falcons finished out the first period out-shooting the Pirates 16-5 and holding onto a 3-0 lead.
In the second period, the Pirates managed a goal, but the Falcons responded to maintain their three-goal cushion. At 9:27, Portland’s Jordan Szwarz snuck one past Mark Dekanich on a penalty shot to bring the score to 3-1. On the power play, Brett Ledba darted a pass through the slot for Mayorov to slap home at 11:45, giving the Falcons a 4-1 lead after two periods of play.
Penalty trouble in the third period gave Portland enough room to tie the game. Ryan Duncan and Brock Trotter each tallied a goal for Portland on the man advantage, bringing the Pirates within a goal at 9:04. At 10:44, Michael Stone blasted a deep shot through traffic to beat Dekanich and end regulation time with the score tied at 4-4.
“For a lot of the year we were good on the penalty kill and tonight we got in trouble with penalties,” said Falcons’ head coach Rob Riley.
In overtime, the Falcons saw a slew of scoring chances that wouldn’t fall their way. Atkinson scored a goal in overtime seconds after a whistle had been blown, sending the teams into the shootout. Atkinson lit the lamp in the shootout, but Portland managed one better to give the Pirates their first win in four games.
“You have just got to find a way. We had the game-winning goal but the whistle had blown and that’s life - that happens sometimes,” said Riley about the overtime efforts.
The Falcons get right back at it tomorrow when they visit Portland, Maine for the first time this year for a 7 pm puck drop against the Pirates.
Alexandre Giroux - Martin St. Pierre - Cam Atkinson
Wade MacLeod - Ryan Garlock - Matt Calvert
Maksim Mayorov - Andrew Joudrey - Cody Bass
Mike Thomas - Aaron Bogosian - Tim Spencer
Brett Lebda - Dalton Prout
Nick Holden - Brent Regner
Theo Ruth - Anton Blomqvist
Not dressed: Adam Mair (Injured), Nick Drazenovic (Injured), Cody Goloubef (Injured), Trevor Bruess, Patrick Cullity
Portland Pirates 5 (SO) at Springfield Falcons 4 - Status: Final SO
Friday, January 13, 2012 - MassMutual Center
Portland 0 1 3 0 - 5
Springfield 3 1 0 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Springfield, Garlock 4 (Mayorov, Holden), 10:42 (SH). 2, Springfield, Atkinson 20 (Joudrey), 11:50 (SH). 3, Springfield, Joudrey 5 (Bass), 17:05. Penalties-Blomqvist Spr (slashing), 6:07; Goncharov Por (holding), 8:48; Giroux Spr (tripping), 10:12.
2nd Period-4, Portland, Szwarz 2 9:27 (TXT_PS). 5, Springfield, Mayorov 3 (Lebda, St. Pierre), 11:45. Penalties-Calvert Spr (high-sticking), 2:24; Trotter Por (tripping), 7:23; Goncharov Por (hooking), 9:42.
3rd Period-6, Portland, Duncan 8 (O'Sullivan, Trotter), 2:40 (PP). 7, Portland, Trotter 10 (Miele, Eckford), 9:04 (PP). 8, Portland, Stone 4 (Rome), 10:44. Penalties-Joudrey Spr (holding), 1:24; Garlock Spr (holding), 3:55; Giroux Spr (high-sticking), 8:43; Summers Por (hooking), 17:26.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Portland 2 (O'Sullivan NG, Miele NG, Trotter G, Duncan G, MacLean NG), Springfield 1 (Atkinson G, Calvert NG, Giroux NG, Regner NG, Mayorov NG).
Shots on Goal-Portland 5-10-13-3-1-32. Springfield 16-11-7-3-0-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 2 / 6; Springfield 0 / 4.
Goalies-Portland, McElhinney 10-13-0 (37 shots-33 saves). Springfield, Dekanich 1-0-1 (31 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Matt Kirk (66), Francis Charron (46).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Brent Colby (7).
GAME PREVIEW – The Springfield Falcons and Portland Pirates meet for the third time this season when they drop the puck starting at 7:30 pm on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons are 2-0 against the Pirates this season with Springfield beating Portland 4-1 back on November 11 and defeating the Pirates again on December 4 by a score of 2-1.
The Falcons and Pirates will meet four times in the next 15 days starting with a home and home series this weekend. Following tonight’s contest, Springfield makes their first visit of the season to Portland, Maine on Saturday evening. Springfield will also visit Portland on January 20 & 27.
The Falcons enter tonight’s game on a three-game winning streak, their third three-game winning streak of the season. Springfield won all three games last weekend including back to back victories over the Connecticut Whale. Springfield currently has a record of 17-16-1-1 on the season, good for 36 points. The Falcons are two points behind third place Adirondack and three points behind second place Albany.
The Pirates enter tonight’s contest looking to snap a three-game losing streak as they also start a stretch of three games in three days this weekend. After their home and home series with the Falcons, the Pirates will head to Manchester, NH for a Sunday matinee against the Monarchs. Prior to last weekend, Portland had collected points in five straight games going 3-0-1-1 from December 26-January 2.
BYERS TO COLUMBUS – The Falcons announced on Thursday that Dane Byers has been recalled by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Byers, 25, is scoreless with seven penalty minutes and is +1 in three games with Columbus this season. He has registered 8-11-19 and has 71 penalty minutes in 28 games with Springfield this season. He ranks second on the Falcons in power play goals (five) and is tops in penalty minutes. He has appeared in nine career NHL games, including six with the New York Rangers, and has 1-0-1 and 38 penalty minutes.
BRUESS SIGNS PTO – The Falcons also announced on Thursday that they have signed forward Trevor Bruess to a Professional Tryout Agreement. Bruess has been playing with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades this season collecting nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points in 36 games with 50 penalty minutes. Bruess spent the 2010-11 season with the Hershey Bears.
• The Falcons are currently on their third three-game winning streak of the season after winning all three games last weekend. Springfield’s three wins in three straight days was their first sweep of a three-game weekend since December 1-3, 2006 when they swept a weekend winning at Manchester, beating Providence and winning at Lowell.
• Falcons rookie forward Cam Atkinson collected four goals in two games played last weekend. Atkinson is currently 4th in the AHL in rookie scoring with 19 goals and 10 assists for 29 points in 32 games played. Atkinson leads the Falcons in goals and also ranks 4th in the league in markers and he is 2nd among all rookies in goals.
• Matt Calvert is currently on a four-game scoring streak having collected three goals and two assists for five points in that span. Calvert has scored a goal in three straight contests.
• Alexandre Giroux is on a three-game scoring streak having collected one goal and four assists in that stretch.
• Maksim Mayorov has points in five straight games collecting two goals and three assists in that span.
• Andrew Joudrey has goals in back-to-back games entering this week.
• Manny Legace has started 12 of the last 13 games in goal and he is 11th in the league with a 2.35 goals against average.
• Mark Dekanich made his Falcons/season debut on January 7 at Hartford. He collected the win in a shootout stopping 34 of 38 shots.
• The Falcons recorded a season high 47 shots in their 4-2 win over Connecticut on January 8.
PORTLAND TEAM NOTES - Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced Sunday the Coyotes have assigned forward Patrick O’Sullivan to the Portland Pirates, the Coyotes American Hockey League affiliate (AHL).
The 5-foot-11, 189 pound O’Sullivan has appeared in 23 games with Phoenix this season, registering 2-2-4. In six games with Portland, O’Sullivan has recorded 2-5-7.
Last season, the 26-year-old native of Toronto, Ontario appeared in 31 games with Carolina and Minnesota, recording 2-6-8. He also helped lead the Houston Aeros (AHL) to the Calder Cup Final, recording a team-high 4-14-18 in 24 playoff games. In 36 regular season games with Houston, he collected 19-29-48.
O’Sullivan was originally drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the second round (56th overall) in the 2003 Entry Draft.
The American Hockey League announced this month that Portland Pirates right wing Brett MacLean has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for December. MacLean scored 11 goals and added five assists for 16 points to go along with a plus-5 rating in 13 games for the Pirates.
MacLean’s month included four two-goal efforts and five multiple-point games. He scored twice in the third period of a 4-2 win at Bridgeport on Dec. 10, and came back with two goals and an assist the next night in a 5-4 shootout loss to Manchester. MacLean had another two-goal performance to help the
Pirates defeat St. John’s on Dec. 17, and he led the way with two goals and an assist in Portland’s 6-3 win over Providence on Dec. 28. All 11 of MacLean’s goals on the month came either with the score tied or with one team ahead by just a single goal.
A second-round draft pick (32nd overall) by Phoenix in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, MacLean has recorded 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points in 24 games with Portland this season. Re-acquired by the Coyotes off waivers on Oct. 29, MacLean began the season with Winnipeg, notching two assists in five NHL
games. An AHL All-Star Classic participant in 2009 and 2011, MacLean has tallied 88 goals and 91 assists for 179 points in 225 career AHL games, and five points (2g, 3a) in 18 career NHL contests.