FALCONS FALL TO WHALE 6-3
February 17, 2012 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Connecticut Whale by a score of 6-3 on Friday night at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. The Falcons carried a 3-2 lead late into the second period, but Connecticut responded with four unanswered goals of their own way to victory. The Falcons will get back in game action on Saturday when they host the Providence Bruins at the MassMutual Center starting at 7 pm.
Trailing 2-1 entering the second period, the Falcons responded in the middle frame as they would erase their one goal deficit and build a lead of their own before the frame was over. At 4:13 of the middle period, Cody Bass whistled a slap shot from the high slot past Connecticut goaltender Cameron Talbot evening the score at 2-2.
With the Falcons holding on to momentum, captain Dane Byers one-timed a perfect feed from Tomas Kubalik at the top of the crease putting Springfield on top 3-2 at 13:43 of the second period. Connecticut would respond and at 18:21 of the middle stanza, Ryan Bourque tied the score at 3-3 when he knocked home a rebound at the top of the crease sending the game deadlocked heading into the third period.
In the third period, Connecticut regained their one goal advantage when Andre Deveaux converted on the power play at 8:05 of the final frame. At 14:57, Bourque added his second marker of the game as he wristed a shot past Falcons goaltender Paul Dainton right off the faceoff expanding the Whale lead to 5-3. Casey Wellman added some insurance for the Whale giving them a 6-3 cushion at 17:46 of the final period.
Connecticut opened the scoring early in the first period when Deveaux's slap shot from the right faceoff circle found the back of the net just 3:26 into the opening frame. The Falcons tied the score at 1-1 when Cam Atkinson converted on the power play for his AHL leading 13th power play goal and 28th marker on the season. Atkinson is second in the league in goals and is only two goals shy of being Springfield's first rookie since Daniel Briere in 1997-98 to net 30 markers in a single season.
The Whale took a 2-1 lead just 52-seconds after Atkinson's goal when Mats Zuccarello tallied his 11th marker on the year.
The Falcons were 1-3 on the power play while the Whale was 1-5. Kubalik finished the night with three assists.
Alex Giroux - Martin St. Pierre - Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert - Andrew Joudrey - Maksim Mayorov
Dane Byers - Cody Bass - Tomas Kubalik
Adam Mair - Ryan Garlock - Wade MacLeod
Patrick Cullity - Theo Ruth
Cody Goloubef - Greg Amadio
Brent Regner- Dalton Prout
Not dressed: Aaron Bogosian, Anton Blomqvist, Nick Holden (Injured), Tim Spencer, Mark Dekanich (Injured), Nick Drazenovic (Injured)
Springfield Falcons 3 at Connecticut Whale 6 - Status: Final
Friday, February 17, 2012 - XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Springfield 1 2 0 - 3
Connecticut 2 1 3 - 6
1st Period-1, Connecticut, Deveaux 14 (Newbury, Zuccarello), 3:26. 2, Springfield, Atkinson 28 (Kubalik, St. Pierre), 12:51 (PP). 3, Connecticut, Zuccarello 11 (Newbury), 13:43. Penalties-Giroux Spr (hooking), 5:18; Cullity Spr (slashing), 9:55; Wellman Ct (hooking), 12:27; Amadio Spr (roughing), 18:54; Erixon Ct (hooking), 19:32.
2nd Period-4, Springfield, Bass 3 (Kubalik, Regner), 4:13. 5, Springfield, Byers 11 (Kubalik, Amadio), 13:43. 6, Connecticut, Bourque 4 (Audy-Marchessault, Wellman), 18:21. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-7, Connecticut, Deveaux 15 (Zuccarello, Newbury), 8:05 (PP). 8, Connecticut, Bourque 5 (Audy-Marchessault), 14:57. 9, Connecticut, Wellman 16 (Valentenko, Audy-Marchessault), 17:46. Penalties-Wellman Ct (holding), 1:49; Atkinson Spr (hooking), 7:47; Bass Spr (charging), 15:44.
Shots on Goal-Springfield 8-13-6-27. Connecticut 9-9-7-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 3; Connecticut 1 / 5.
Goalies-Springfield, Dainton 6-4-0 (25 shots-19 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 15-10-5 (8 shots-7 saves); Talbot 10-11-0 (19 shots-17 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Derek Wahl (46), Luke Galvin (2).
SOME PREGAME NOTES BELOW:
The Springfield Falcons are 23-23-2-2 through 50 games, they now have 26 games remaining in the regular season, 11 home and 15 away. The Falcons remain in the hunt for a playoff spot as they sit two points behind third place Albany and five points behind second place Bridgeport in the Northeast Division. Bridgeport and Worcester both sit in the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Falcons have four games remaining head to head with Bridgeport and two with Worcester.
With the Falcons having 26 regular season games remaining, the following is a breakdown of how many games left they have against each opponent: Bridgeport (4), Providence (3), St. John’s (3), Connecticut (3), Wilkes-Barre (2), Norfolk (2), Worcester (2), Portland (2), Adirondack (2), Hershey (1), Manchester (1), and Syracuse (1).
Goaltender Paul Dainton has won five of his last six starts posting a 2.00 goals against average and .931 save percentage in that span. Dainton has stopped 161 of 173 shots on goal in his last six starts.
Cam Atkinson remains in second place in the AHL in goals with 27 on the year. Atkinson is also second in the league in power play goals with 12. He is nine goals shy of tying Daniel Briere’s rookie record for most goals in a season by a Falcons rookie with 36 set in 1997-98. Including last season, Atkinson has 30 goals in his first 52 games in the AHL.
Goaltender Manny Legace is currently tied with Scott Langkow for the team record in wins by a goaltender with 63.
Alexandre Giroux is currently on a four game scoring streak collecting two goals and four assists for six points in that span. Giroux recorded his 700th career pro point on Sunday, February 12 against Manchester. Giroux is only three goals shy of tying Jim Bartlett for 8th on the AHL’s All-Time Goals list.
BUSY WEEKEND AT THE MASSMUTUAL CENTER
The Springfield Falcons, proud members of the American Hockey League, announced today they will be hosting New England Patriots’ mascot, “Pat The Patriot” on Sunday, February 19 when the Falcons host the Worcester Sharks at the MassMutual Center starting at 3 pm presented by Comcast.
As part of this special promotion, “Pat The Patriot” will be in attendance signing autographs and taking pictures with fans throughout the game. There is also a free post-game skate for all individuals in attendance, there are no skate rentals and fans are encouraged to bring their own skates.
The Falcons are also hosting a special evening on Saturday, February 18 as they host the March of Dimes at the MassMutual Center presented by Health New England. Fans are encouraged to wear the color purple as part of March of Dimes night, and Health New England will be handing out puck binoculars to individuals attending.