FALCONS BLANK THE WHALE 2-0
February 25, 2012 - The Springfield Falcons won their second straight game this weekend as they blanked the Connecticut Whale 2-0 in front of 5,003 at the MassMutual Center on Saturday night. Paul Dainton recorded his first AHL shutout stopping all 30 Connecticut shots, while Dane Byers and Maksim Mayorov scored for the Birds. The Falcons improved their record to 26-25-2-2 and moved to within three points of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
This was probably the most exciting game of the Falcons' 2011-12 season as both teams played a hard-fought contest that featured goals, great saves and some usual chippy play between these two great rivals.
The two teams exchanged power play chances in the first period and it was Byers who gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead at 12:15 of the opening frame when he tapped home a Mayorov rebound just at the end of a man advantage getting the home town fans into the game.
In the second period, Mayorov gave Springfield a 2-0 lead when he scored his sixth goal of the year at 5:10 of the middle frame.
Later in the second period, the game started to take a real physical tone as Matt Calvert ended up dropping the gloves with Jared Nightingale and Calvert scored the knockdown in his first fighting major of the season.
In the third period, Dainton continued to hold down the fort as Connecticut applied some pressure with multiple scoring chances, but the first year netminder kept his shutout throughout the frame.
In the game's final minute, bad blood between these two teams boiled over again as Greg Amadio and Andre Deveaux were in the middle of a huge scrum to conclude this heated contest.
The Falcons penalty killers were outstanding again tonight keeping the Whale 0-5 on the man advantage. The Falcons have won four of their last five home games and 5-1-1-0 in their last seven contests at The Nest. Dainton's shutout was the first by a Falcons goaltender this year.
The Falcons will now head to Portland, Maine for a 4 pm matinee against the Pirates on Sunday. Byers now has a team leading five goals against the Whale.
Alexandre Giroux - Martin St. Pierre - Wade MacLeod
Matt Calvert - Chris D'Alvise - Maksim Mayorov
Dane Byers - Andrew Joudrey - Tomas Kubalik
Adam Mair - Ryan Garlock - Aaron Bogosian
Patrick Cullity - David Savard
Cody Goloubef - Greg Amadio
Brent Regner- Dalton Prout
Not dressed: Manny Legace (Injured), Anton Blomqvist, Nick Holden (Injured), Mark Dekanich (Injured), Nick Drazenovic (Injured), Cody Bass (AHL Suspension), Theo Ruth, Tim Spencer
Connecticut Whale 0 at Springfield Falcons 2 - Status: Final
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - MassMutual Center
Connecticut 0 0 0 - 0
Springfield 1 1 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Springfield, Byers 14 (Mayorov, Regner), 12:15. Penalties-Garlock Spr (tripping), 6:04; Erixon Ct (hooking), 10:14; Erixon Ct (high-sticking), 14:28; Kubalik Spr (holding), 16:23.
2nd Period-2, Springfield, Mayorov 6 (St. Pierre, Regner), 5:10. Penalties-Wellman Ct (high-sticking), 6:37; Bell Ct (hooking), 8:01; Nightingale Ct (roughing, fighting), 8:01; Byers Spr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:01; Calvert Spr (fighting), 8:01; Cullity Spr (hooking), 11:57; Cullity Spr (slashing), 19:30.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Newbury Ct (goaltender interference), 3:11; served by MacLeod Spr (bench minor - too many men), 4:18; Deveaux Ct (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:45; Zuccarello Ct (misconduct - abuse of officials), 6:22; Byers Spr (tripping), 10:59; Deveaux Ct (roughing, roughing, misconduct - abuse of officials, game misconduct - continuing altercation), 19:22; Newbury Ct (roughing), 19:22; Amadio Spr (roughing, misconduct - continuing altercation, game misconduct - continuing altercation), 19:22; Dainton Spr (roughing), 19:22.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 5-13-12-30. Springfield 9-16-6-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 5; Springfield 0 / 7.
Goalies-Connecticut, Johnson 16-11-5 (31 shots-29 saves). Springfield, Dainton 8-4-0 (30 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Jon McIsaac (39).
Linesmen-Rich Patry (52), Jim Briggs (83).
GAME PREVIEW – The Springfield Falcons and Connecticut Whale meet for the 11th time this season when they drop the puck on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center starting at 7 pm. The Falcons are 3-6-1-0 against the Whale this season. These two teams will conclude their regular season series against each other on March 17 at Hartford.
Alexandre Giroux is currently Springfield’s active leader in scoring against the Whale this year with one goal and seven assists for eight points in eight games played. Captain Dane Byers is the Falcons’ active leader in goals against Connecticut this year with four markers in nine games played.
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault leads the Whale in scoring against the Falcons this year with six goals and 13 assists for 19 points in 10 games. Kris Newbury is second in scoring against Springfield with five goals and five assists for 10 points in six games.
The Falcons enter tonight’s contest having won three of their last four home games and 4-1-1-0 in their last six contests at The Nest after a 2-1 shootout win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday night. Adam Mair tied the game for the Falcons last night midway through the third period sending the contest to extra time. Tomas Kubalik, Matt Calvert and Maksim Mayorov scored on the final three shots for Springfield in the shootout leading the Birds to victory. Paul Dainton earned the win in goal stopping 26 of 27 shots in regulation and also turned aside four of six shooters in the shootout. The Falcons are currently four points behind the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Whale head into Springfield having defeated the Portland Pirates on home ice last night by a score of 5-1. Andre Deveaux, Brendan Bell, Jordan Owens, Andreas Thuresson, and Kelsey Tessier scored for Connecticut, while goaltender Chad Johnson turned aside 26 of 27 shots. Connecticut remains in first place in the Northeast Division with a record of 27-17-5-5 good for 64 points. The Whale is 8-1-1-0 in their last 10 games.
FALCONS PLAYER/TEAM NOTES
Defenseman David Savard has been reassigned to the Falcons on Saturday by Springfield’s National Hockey League affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Savard was recalled back on January 30 and appeared in 25 games for Columbus collecting two goals and seven assists for nine points and 14 penalty minutes. Savard has also played in 28 games for the Falcons this year totaling three goals and 11 assists for 14 points.
Alexandre Giroux has recorded at least a point in six of his last eight games collecting three goals and seven assists for 10 points in that span….Captain Dane Byers has scored a goal in three of his last four games entering Saturday’s contest….Martin St. Pierre has collected a point in four of his last six contests posting one goal and six assists in that span….Chris D’Alvise was recalled from the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder on Friday….The AHL announced that Cody Bass has been suspended 3 games as a result of a hit in the Falcons game on February 17 at Connecticut. Bass served the first game of the suspension last night against Bridgeport.
WHALE TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
Andre Deveaux has scored a goal in three of his last four games totaling five markers in that span….Tommy Grant is on a three game scoring streak collecting four assists in that span….Kris Newbury has points in three of his last four games picking up one goal and five assists in that span….Mats Zuccarello has points in three of his last four games picking up one goal and four assists in that stretch….Kelsey Tessier has scored a goal in back-to-back games entering tonight’s action.