FALCONS WEEKLY NOTES: OCT. 9
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons, AHL affiliate of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, open their 19th season of play this Saturday, Oct. 13 when they host the St. John's IceCaps at 7:00 p.m. at the MassMutual Center. "Opening Night presented by Amica Insurance" will feature the Falcons wearing their new alternate jerseys as well as Springfield's magnetic schedule giveaway to fans in attendance. Amica Insurance will also pass out cowbells to fans who visit their their concourse table. To reserve seats to opening night fans can visit the MassMutual Center Box Office, open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. through game time on Saturday. Fans can also purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.com.
Springfield played out its preseason schedule this past week, falling in the opener on Wednesday to the Providence Bruins before returning home and earning victories at the MassMutual Center over the Worcester Sharks on Friday and the Bruins on Saturday to finish the exhibition campaign with a 2-1-0-0 record.
Click here for the game sheets (PDF) from Springfield's three preseason contests.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Saturday, Oct. 13 - Springfield vs. St. John's, 7:00 p.m., MassMutual Center
Sunday, Oct. 14 - Springfield vs. Adirondack, 3:00 p.m., MassMutual Center
After hosting the IceCaps in the season opener, Springfield stays home to welcome Adirondack to the "Nest" on Sunday. After Sunday's game, fans are invited to stick around and skate on the MassMutual Center ice. Fans must bring their own skates to participate. Sunday is also $5 Kids Day. Children 17 and under accompanied by an adult with a full-priced ticket get into the game for $5 (Box Office offer only, one $5 youth ticket per full-priced adult ticket).
ROSTER NOW AT 29 PLAYERS
The Falcons have reduced their roster size to 29 players (16 forwards, 10 defensemen, three goaltenders) as they gear up for the start of the season. Click here to view the Falcons' latest roster (PDF).
"JAM" EXPLODES IN PRESEASON
Left wing Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, who had 19 points in 12 games against the Falcons with the Connecticut Whale in 2011-2012, seemed right at home in a Springfield sweater this past weekend. In his two preseason outings, Audy-Marchessault scored five goals, including a hat trick on Friday in the win over Worcester, and added an assist while posting a +3 rating. The Cap-Rouge, Quebec product tied for the Connecticut lead as a rookie last year with 64 points while topping all Whale skaters with 40 assists and playing in all 76 games.
NEW ERA BEGINS UNDER LARSEN
Saturday's game will mark the official beginning of the Brad Larsen era in Springfield. The 35-year-old, who served as a Falcons assistant during each of the last two seasons, is the 12th head coach in team history.
The Nakusp, British Columbia native is joined by assistants Nolan Pratt, who held that role alongside Larsen in 2011-2012, and Jared Bednar, who was the head coach of the Peoria Rivermen from 2010 to 2012 and was a co-coach at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic for the Western Conference.
FALCONS AIM TO START SEASON WITH WIN
The Falcons hold a record of 8-8-2 in season openers and will look to lift that mark over .500 this Saturday against the IceCaps. Springfield had won seven-straight season openers before falling to Manchester in the 2011-2012 premiere. Prior to that streak, Springfield had been winless in nine-straight opening games from 1995 to 2003 after taking two points in its first-ever game on Sept. 30, 1994 against Worcester.
HOME SWEET HOME
Springfield will play seven of its first eight games at home to start 2012-2013 after putting together a successful run at the MassMutual Center in 2011-2012. Last season, the Falcons went 20-14-1-3 on home ice, winning each of their final five games while taking points in eight of their last nine at the Nest.