FALCONS GAME PREVIEW: SPRINGFIELD VS. SYRACUSE, GAME #43
Springfield Falcons (25-11-3-3) vs. Syracuse Crunch (25-10-2-4)
Friday, February 1, 2013
TICKETS: (413) 739-GOAL/MassMutual Center Box Office/Ticketmaster.com
RADIO: (presented by FalconsWireless.com) WHYN NewsTalk 560 AM/WHYN.com
Falcons Game Notes (PDF)
IN JUST A FEW HOURS...
The Springfield Falcons return from the AHL's All-Star break when they welcome the Syracuse Crunch to the MassMutual Center at 7:00 p.m. The Falcons and the Crunch have been at or near the top of the Eastern Conference all season, and each team enters tonight's contest with 56 standings points. Springfield has dropped consecutive regulation decisions for just the second time this season, falling to Worcester and Connecticut to close out last weekend after building a six-game winning streak. The Falcons enter the month of February with a 12-point lead in the Northeast Division. Springfield trails Binghamton by two points for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Crunch are the de facto reigning Calder Cup champions, working in their first season as Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate. The last time the Lightning's AHL developmental club was in Springfield, the Falcons handed Norfolk its final defeat of the 2011-2012 regular season on Feb. 5 before the Admirals embarked on a record 28-game winning streak.
Friday's game at the MassMutual Center is "Pride Stations & Stores Night at The Nest," and fans can purchase discounted tickets to the game by visiting Pride's Facebook page at Facebook.com/PrideStores. Fans in attendance on Friday will also have the opportunity to win a brand new, high-definition television courtesy of Manny's TV & Appliances as part of "Flat-Screen Friday."
Single-game tickets to see the Falcons in 2012-2013 can be purchased at the MassMutual Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. through game time on Saturday home dates, and starting four hours prior to Sunday home contests. Fans can also purchase tickets by logging onto Ticketmaster.com. For information about discounted group packages to Falcons home games, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
ERIXON, 'JAM' HAVE EVENTFUL WEEK
Tim Erixon and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault participated in the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic earlier this week and then were recalled to the NHL by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday. “JAM” made his NHL debut while Erixon played in his first game as a Blue Jacket in Columbus’ 4-1 loss to St. Louis on Thursday. Audy-Marchessault leads the Falcons with 45 points and 29 assists, placing him third and in a tie for second in the AHL in those categories respectively. He led the league in January with 17 points (8g-9a). Erixon tops Springfield defensemen with 29 points, a career-high five goals, and 24 assists. He is fourth among AHL blueliners in scoring and third in assists.
Springfield ended the first month of 2013 with a record of 8-3-1-0. In addition to Audy-Marchessault topping the league with 17 points, Michael Chaput paced all rookies with 12 points (4g-8a).
WHALE WALLOPING HALTED
The Falcons dominated the Whale at the XL Center in the first two meetings this year, earning victories of 10-2 and 5-0. Springfield underwent its first defeat in Hartford since since Feb. 17, 2012. The loss ended the Falcons’ three-game road winning streak and their five-game away points streak.
PLAYING AT BOTH ENDS
Springfield’s +38 goal differential is the highest in the AHL.
After stringing together power-play goals in 11-straight games, Springfield went scoreless on the man advantage on Wednesday and Friday. The Falcons connected twice on four power-play attempts on Saturday, and are fourth in the league on the man advantage at 21.0%.
With their .667 points percentage, the Falcons are on pace to compile 101 points this season, which would break the team record of 100, set in 1995-1996. Springfield is on pace to accumulate 45 victories, which would equal the club mark, stamped in 1997-1998. Both of those records were set in 80-game seasons, whereas the Falcons are in reach of those marks in this 76-game campaign.
HOWES MAKES IMPACT
Scott Howes deposited goals in all three contests last week. Howes is the fourth Falcon to compile a three-game goal streak this season, joining Cam Atkinson, Nick Drazenovic, and Ryan Craig.
A 'DRAZ'ZLING DISPLAY
Nick Drazenovic is tied for second on Springfield with Cam Atkinson in points and is even for sixth in the AHL in scoring. Drazenovic has 38 points (14g-24a) and is one of four Falcons (Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Ryan Craig, and Nick Holden) who has played in all 42 games.