FALCONS BLANK THE WHALE 3-0
March 17, 2012 - The Springfield Falcons continued their strong play this weekend and their push for a playoff spot beating the Connecticut Whale 3-0 at the XL Center in Hartford, CT on Saturday night. One night after collecting his first AHL win, rookie goaltender Mike Clemente earned his first AHL shutout stopping all 27 shots he faced.
“That’s pretty neat,” Springfield coach Rob Riley said. “He’s a resilient kid who just wants a chance to play.”
Clemente has stopped 51 of the 52 shots he’s faced in two games.
“Getting the two wins is what’s most important,” Clemente said. “Our defense has done a great job eliminating second chances and odd-man rushes.”
The Falcons have now won two straight games this weekend and they now sit in a tie with Syracuse with 66 points for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
After a scoreless first period that saw the two teams combine for 14 shots on goal, the Falcons used a strong second period to capitalize on all of the scoring they would need on this night. Nick Drazenovic got the offense going when he converted on the power play at 7:31 of the middle frame assisted by Wade MacLeod and Dalton Prout putting the Birds on top 1-0. Drazenovic's goal marked the second straight night the veteran forward opened the scoring for the Falcons.
Midway through the second period, Springfield continued to apply pressure and build on their advantage over the Whale. Matt Calvert tallied his 15th marker of the year at 14:21 of the middle frame giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead, followed by Maksim Mayorov scoring his ninth goal on the campaign three minutes after Calvert's marker giving the Falcons a three goal cushion heading into the third period.
In the final frame, the Falcons played a solid defensive game and Clemente stayed strong in goal giving the Falcons their 30th win on the year. The victory marked back to back 30 win seasons for the Falcons, the first time they have had back to back 30 win seasons since 2001-2003.
Springfield Falcons 3 at Connecticut Whale 0 - Status: Final
Saturday, March 17, 2012 - XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Springfield 0 3 0 - 3
Connecticut 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Amadio Spr (interference), 7:41; Giroux Spr (hooking), 10:41; Nightingale Ct (hooking), 12:59; Giroux Spr (tripping), 13:08; Owens Ct (slashing), 17:28.
2nd Period-1, Springfield, Drazenovic 8 (MacLeod, Prout), 7:31 (PP). 2, Springfield, Calvert 15 (Regner, Drazenovic), 14:21. 3, Springfield, Mayorov 9 17:21. Penalties-Klassen Ct (interference), 5:58; Newbury Ct (cross-checking), 9:23.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Tessier Ct (hooking), 2:52; Goloubef Spr (charging), 7:26; Amadio Spr (roughing), 16:49; Owens Ct (slashing), 16:49.
Shots on Goal-Springfield 6-11-6-23. Connecticut 8-8-11-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 5; Connecticut 0 / 4.
Goalies-Springfield, Clemente 2-0-0 (27 shots-27 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 21-14-5 (23 shots-20 saves).
Referees-David Banfield (44).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Luke Galvin (2).
Alexandre Giroux - Martin St. Pierre - Tomas Kubalik
Matt Calvert - Nick Drazenovic - Wade MacLeod
Andrew Joudrey - Nate Longpre - Maksim Mayorov
Adam Mair - Ryan Garlock - Jake Morley
Patrick Cullity - David Savard
Cody Goloubef - Greg Amadio
Brent Regner- Dalton Prout
Not dressed: Anton Blomqvist, Nick Holden (Injured), Mark Dekanich (Injured), Aaron Bogosian, Tim Spencer, Theo Ruth, Cody Bass (Injured), Manny Legace (Injured), Allen York
GAME PREVIEW - The Springfield Falcons and Connecticut Whale conclude their season series tonight when they meet for the 12th time this season. The Falcons are 4-6-1-0 against the Whale this season, including 2-3 in Hartford.
The Springfield Falcons have 13 games remaining in the regular season as they post a record of 29-28-3-3 through 63 games heading into the final five weeks of the regular season. The following is a breakdown of opponents for the Falcons’ remaining 13 regular season contests: St. John’s (3), Bridgeport (3), Providence (2), Adirondack (2), Connecticut (1), Wilkes-Barre (1), Worcester (1).
The Falcons remain just one point out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Eastern Conference Standings
1. Norfolk – 91 pts – 11 games remaining
2. St. John’s – 83 pts – 15 games remaining
3. CT Whale – 74 pts – 14 games remaining
4. Wilkes-Barre – 79 pts – 13 games remaining
5. Hershey – 74 pts – 14 games remaining
6. Bridgeport – 72 pts – 15 games remaining
7. Worcester – 65 pts – 15 games remaining
8. Manchester – 65 pts – 13 games remaining
9. Albany – 64 pts – 14 games remaining
10. Syracuse – 64 pts – 13 games remaining
11. Springfield – 64 pts – 13 games remaining
12. Adirondack – 63 pts – 13 games remaining
13. Portland – 62 pts – 14 games remaining
14. Providence – 61 pts – 12 games remaining
15. Binghamton – 54 pts – 13 games remaining