10/07/2013 1:31 PM
The Springfield Falcons opened the 2013-14 regular season Saturday, earning the 3-2 shootout victory over the Manchester Monarchs. The Falcons are one of two unbeaten teams in the Northeast Division in the early going, joining the Adirondack Phantoms at 1-0-0-0. The Hartford Wolf Pack, however, are atop the division with three points and a 1-0-0-1 mark after the season’s opening weekend.
Looking forward, Springfield has two games in the next week – Saturday, October 12 versus the Worcester Sharks and Sunday, October 13 at the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Saturday’s game at the MassMutual Center is also Hispanic Heritage Night, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and to pay tribute to the large Hispanic population in Springfield and the neighboring communities.
Single-game tickets throughout the 2013-14 season can be purchased at the MassMutual Center box office from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to game time on Saturday home dates, and four hours prior to any Sunday home contests. Fans can also purchase tickets at Ticketmaster.com. For information about discounted group packages, call a Falcons’ sales representative at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
Click here for the Falcons’ 2013-14 regular-season schedule.
Click here for the Falcons’ individual statistics.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Springfield 3, Manchester 2, SO
Saturday, October 5
The Falcons opened the regular season with a 3-2 victory over the Monarchs in a shootout. Jeremy Smith stopped all five Manchester shootout attempts, and Springfield’s Broc Little netted the only conversion. The contest was Little’s first professional, regular-season game in North America.
After Jordan Weal gave the Monarchs a 1-0 lead just 5:58 into the game, Darryl Boyce answered for Springfield at the 8:23 mark, sliding the puck past Manchester goaltender Martin Jones.
The Monarchs took their second lead of the game behind Tyler Toffoli’s rebound score early in the second period. But again, the Falcons responded with a goal of their own. At the 7:14 mark of the second period – just 1:01 after Toffoli’s goal – Michael Chaput found the back of the net as he picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired a wrist shot over Jones’ right shoulder to even the score at 2-2.
Jeremy Smith earned the victory in his first start with Springfield, stopping 22 of 24 shots and all five shootout attempts. Smith is currently tied for fifth among all American Hockey League goalies with a 1.85 goals against average.
Saturday, October 12 – Springfield vs. Worcester, MassMutual Center, 7:00 p.m.
The Falcons host the Sharks on Hispanic Heritage Night, paying tribute to the large Hispanic population in Springfield and the neighboring communities. For tickets, click here.
Sunday, October 13 – Springfield at Bridgeport, Webster Bank Arena, 3:00 p.m.
FALCONS ON OPENING NIGHT
After the team’s win Saturday night, the Falcons are now 10-8-2 (ties in 1995-96, 1997-98) in season opening games. Springfield has had more success on opening night in recent years however, boasting a 9-1-0-0 in its last 10 openers. The lone defeat was to the Manchester Monarchs, 5-2 on October 7, 2011.
The Falcons named their captain and assistant captains Friday, one day before the team opened the season versus the Monarchs. Ryan Craig was named captain for the second year in a row and third year with the Falcons. Craig has played a team-high 648 games in the AHL and NHL combined.
Andrew Joudrey and Frederic St. Denis were dubbed assistant captains. For Joudrey, it is his second consecutive year wearing the “A” for Springfield.
SAKARIS LOANED TO EVANSVILLE
The Falcons made their first transaction since the opening night roster was announced Thursday, October 3. The team loaned forward Peter Sakaris to its ECHL affiliate, the Evansville IceMen; the transaction was made official Saturday night. The Springfield roster now stands at 27 players – 16 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders.
CHAPUT GOES TOP SHELF
Falcons’ forward Michael Chaput scored an important goal in Saturday’s opener, tying the score at 2-2 in the second period. Chaput intercepted an errant Manchester pass and fired a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Chaput was a point-per-game scorer over his last two seasons in the QMJHL (2010-2012) before joining the Falcons in 2012-13. He posted 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in his rookie campaign and is off to a strong start in his sophomore season.
Springfield forward Ryan Craig is currently tied for the franchise record for power-play goals (29). His next man-advantage tally will lift him above the record, originally set by Daniel Briere in 2000-01 and equaled by Jean-Guy Trudel in 2001-02. Craig has notched 29 power-play scores in 183 games with the Falcons, reaching the plateau in his 175th game Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
COME TO A FALCONS GAME
For information about available ticket packages or single-game tickets, fans can contact a Falcons’ sale representative at (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit the team website by clicking here. All the information is also available at Ticket Headquarters, located on the MassMutual Center concourse behind section 31 at all Falcons’ home games.
The Falcons offer a number of affordable ticket packages to allow fans to enjoy the family entertainment for a low price. In addition to season-ticket plans, the team also offers flex packages for those who want to choose what games they want to attend and how many people they want to bring to each game. Flex packages are broken down into 44, 20 and 12-voucher plans, and the customer can use any number of those vouchers to any game, based on seat availability.
FALCONS NEST PRO SHOP
Fans can purchase their favorite team gear and apparel at the Falcons Nest Pro Shop, located inside the team office at 45 Falcons Way during normal business hours (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday) or online by clicking here. The shop is stocked with brand new merchandise for the 2013-14 season, including limited-edition apparel and novelty items featuring the new 20th anniversary logo. The Falcons Nest Pro Shop moves to the MassMutual Center concourse behind section 27 during all home games.