Springfield 3, Providence 4 (SO)
Friday, October 25
Dunkin' Donuts Center
The Falcons and Bruins met for the second time in eight days Saturday night, and Providence came away with the victory 4-3 in a shootout. Springfield held two separate leads inside the final five minutes of the third period, but two late scores sent the game to overtime. The shootout loss snapped the Falcons' five-game winning streak - the longest to begin a season in franchise history.
Sean Collins found the back of the net twice, burying his own rebound at 8:10 of the second period and deflecting a shot in front at 17:34 of the third. The scores were the first two for Collins, who netted 11 tallies in 64 games a season ago.
Frederic St. Denis scored the other Springfield goal, firing a slap shot from the left point that beat Providence netminder Niklas Svedberg midway through the second period. St. Denis also recorded the primary assist on Collins' go-ahead goal with under three minutes to play in regulation.
Springfield goaltender Jeremy Smith made 32 saves on 35 shots faced through regulation and overtime, and stopped four of six attempts in the shootout. The shootout loss was the first blemish on Smith's record.
Springfield 1, Worcester 3
Saturday, October 26
Springfield lost its second consecutive contest Saturday night versus Worcester, falling to the Sharks by the final score of 3-1. With the loss, the Falcons dropped two points behind the Hartford Wolf Pack for first place in the Northeast Division. However, Springfield does have two games in hand on Hartford.
Forward Daniil Tarasov took care of all the scoring for Worcester, netting the first hat trick against Springfield since Jamie Tardiff accomplished the feat December 14, 2012 in Providence. Tarasov gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead just 5:44 into the contest and added two more scores - including the game-winner - in the second period.
The Falcons' lone goal of the game came on the penalty kill, as Jake Hansen stole the puck in the neutral zone, led the breakaway and flipped the puck past Worcester netminder Harri Sateri. For Hansen, the goal was his third of the season and second shorthanded.
Mike McKenna made 31 saves on 34 shots faced in net for Springfield but took his first loss of the season. McKenna still ranks eighth among all AHL goalies in goals against average (1.95).
Wednesday, October 30 - Springfield at Adirondack, Glens Falls Civic Center, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, November 1 - Springfield vs. Hartford, MassMutual Center, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 2 Springfield vs. Hartford, MassMutual Center, 7:00 p.m.
FALCONS UNBEATEN STREAK SNAPPED
After a 5-0-0-0 start to the 2013-14 season, the Falcons had their franchise-best unbeaten streak snapped Friday, October 25 in Providence. Springfield, along with Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, was the last remaining undefeated team in the American Hockey League. Both teams lost in a shootout Friday and in regulation Saturday.
NORTHEAST DIVISION TIGHT AT THE TOP
The Falcons are one of three teams in the early hunt for the top spot in the Northeast Division. Springfield and Albany each stand two points behind Hartford for first place, but the Falcons have one game in hand on the Devils and two on the Wolf Pack. Springfield has three divisional games this week - Wednesday on the road at Adirondack and back-to-back tilts versus Hartford Friday and Saturday at home.
HANSEN'S STRONG START
Second-year forward Jake Hansen has begun the season at a career-best pace. Through seven games, the 24-year-old centerman has scored three goals, just one shy of his total in the entire 2012-13 campaign. Hansen has also added three assists, ranking him second on the team with six points. The White Bear Lake, Minnesota native has posted a +9 rating, which not only leads the team but ranks second in the entire AHL.
CHAPUT RECALLED BY COLUMBUS
Forward Michael Chaput was recalled by the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night after playing the first six games of the season with Springfield. Chaput made his NHL debut Sunday, recording one shot, one hit and one blocked shot in Columbus' 4-3 loss to Anaheim. The Montreal, Quebec native posted four points (two goals, two assists) and a +3 rating in six games with the Falcons this season.
CAPTAIN CRAIG RETURNED
Forward and team captain Ryan Craig was returned on loan by the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday. Craig, who was with Columbus since October 11, has played in only one game for Springfield this season. He played in three games for the Blue Jackets, recording three shots on goal, five hits and one blocked shot. Craig has the most NHL experience on the Falcons, having played 193 games between Columbus, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Falcons have the third-best penalty kill in the AHL so far this season. Through seven games, the team has allowed only three goals on 32 opposing power-play opportunities - a penalty kill percentage of 90.6 percent. The only team that have a better kill so far are Texas (92.1 percent) and Worcester (90.9 percent).
BACK-TO-BACK GAMES VS. HARTFORD AT THE NEST
The Falcons host the Hartford Wolf Pack on back-to-back nights - Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 - at the MassMutual Center. Saturday night is Big Y Box Office Discount Night, offering fans the opportunity to get $5 off each adult ticket at the MassMutual box office - available only before 5:00 p.m. on the day of the game. Both games are set for 7:00 p.m.