FALCONS DROP 4-2 DECISION AT MANCHESTERMarch 23, 2008 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Manchester Monarchs 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Falcons now trail the Monarchs by one point in the battle for the fourth and final playoff spot within the Atlantic Division.
After an evenly played opening 19 minutes of action, Manchester's David Meckler scored a power play marker with less than a second remaining in the first period giving the Monarchs a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, Manchester expanded their lead to 2-0 when Trevor Lewis tallied on the man advantage at 3:27, followed by Jeff Likens scoring his second marker of the year at 5:29 of the middle stanza giving the Monarchs a 3-0 lead. The Falcons cut their deficit to 3-1 at 6:48 of the second period when Viacheslav Trukhno scored his 13th goal of the year.
Late in the second period, former University of New Hampshire standout Jacob Micflikier was awarded a penalty shot, but Manchester goaltender Jonathan Quick made the key save keeping Manchester ahead by two goals.
In the third period, Meckler added an empty net goal, his second marker of the contest, at 18:50. Stephane Goulet added one more goal for the Falcons within the final minute of play, but the Monarchs skated away with the 4-2 win.
Springfield outshot Manchester 20-5 in the third period and 40-38 for the game.
Manchester was 2-6 on the power play, while Springfield was 0-6.
Grant Potulny was given a major penalty for high sticking in the first period.
Viacheslav Trukhno extended his scoring streak to 12 games.
Trukhno picked up a fighting major with Manchester's Drew Bagnall after Bagnall delivered a hard hit on Jacob Micflikier.
Potulny - Reddox - Schremp
Micflikier - Garlock - Trukhno
Goulet - Almtorp - Werner
Simon - Sestito
Peckham - Young
Kemp - Rourke
Wild - Farynuk
FALCONS SCRATCHES - T.J. Reynolds (Injured), Troy Bodie (Injured), Sebastien Bisaillon (Injured), Colin McDonald (Healthy), Mike Gabinet (Injured), Jean-Francois Jacques (Injured), Kenny Smith (Healthy), Ryan O'Marra (Healthy), Rick Berry (Injured), Tyler Spurgeon (Injured)
For the third time in the last three weeks, the Springfield Falcons head to Manchester to battle the Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Sunday's contest can once again be labeled the biggest game of the season for both teams as Springfield maintains a one-point advantage over the Monarchs for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
This same scenario was on display this past Wednesday when Springfield beat Manchester 4-3 at the MassMutual Center extending the Falcons' lead over the Monarchs to three points. Since that game, Springfield has lost a pair of games, while the Monarchs were idle on Friday, followed by a win at Portland on Saturday. The Monarchs have a game in hand on the Falcons entering Easter Sunday, today will Springfield's fourth game in five days, all aspects of Sunday's showdown in New Hampshire that will have the Falcons motivated for a victory.
"It can be labeled a must win for us," said Falcons center Tim Sestito. "We didn't have the results we wanted the last two trips into Manchester, but we are aware how important Sunday's game is and both teams will be ready."
Sestito came to the aid of teammate Mike Gabinet just seven seconds into the first period on Saturday night after Gabinet received a hit from behind into the boards. The best news of the evening on Saturday night occurred at about 11:30 pm in an empty locker room when Gabinet returned from the hospital. Gabinet will probably not play on Sunday, but he is walking around and moving fine, which is great news for everyone involved.
"I really didn't see the play, i saw him down on the ice and reacted," said Sestito. "He seems to be ok, which is great news and it was good to hear he was out of the hospital last night."
Following Sunday's game, the Falcons will not play again until Friday when they head to Providence, followed by a visit to Hartford on Saturday. Including today's contest, the Falcons have 10 games remaining in the regular season with the next three contests on the road.
Stay tuned for Sunday's lineup............