01/13/2014 9:15 AM
The Springfield Falcons (25-8-1-3) earned only two of a possible eight points last week, defeating the Albany Devils 3-2 Tuesday night, and then proceeding to lose their next three games in regulation. It is only the second time this season Springfield has lost three game in a row and the first time it has lost three consecutive games in regulation.
The team maintains the best points percentage (.730) and second highest point total (54) in the American Hockey League, only two points behind the Manchester Monarchs with four games in hand on the Eastern Conference opponent. The Falcons are the only team in the AHL with a points percentage over .700 and remain on pace to set the best record in franchise history, previously held by the 2012-13 club that finished with 45 wins and a .651 points percentage to lead the Northeast Division.
Springfield looks to bounce back with two games this week, one at home and one on the road. The Falcons travel to Lewiston, Maine Friday night to take on the Portland Pirates before returning home to host the Providence Bruins Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the MassMutual Center. Springfield is 2-0-0-0 versus Portland and 4-1-0-1 against Providence this season.
Click here for the Falcons’ 2013-14 regular-season schedule.
Click here for the Falcons’ individual statistics.
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).
WEEK IN REVIEW
Springfield 3, Albany 2
Tuesday, January 7
Times Union Center
The Falcons defeated the Devils behind a strong first period performance Tuesday night. Springfield scored three goals, a single-period season high, in the opening frame and held the Devils to two scores all night to pull out the victory on the road. Michael Chaput tallied the first two Falcons goals in his return to the lineup after missing the team’s previous six games. The second of Chaput’s scores was shorthanded, Springfield’s sixth goal while on the penalty kill this season. Darryl Boyce score the third goal, which served as the game-winner, his second consecutive deciding goal versus Albany. Mike McKenna made 25 saves on 27 shots to earn his eighth victory of the season.
Springfield 0, Albany 3
Friday, January 10
The Falcons were shut out for only the second time this season Friday night, as Scott Wedgewood stopped all 21 shots he faced in net for Albany. Rod Pelley, Joe Whitney and Artem Demkov scored for the Devils, halting Springfield’s win streak at four games.
Springfield 3, Hershey 5
Saturday, January 11
Springfield fell in the first meeting with the Hershey Bears by the final score of 5-3 Saturday night. The Falcons never led in the contest, but made a late push down the stretch as Michael Chaput found the back of the net with 3:00 remaining in the third period to bring the team to within a single goal. With the net Springfield extra attacker on the ice however, Cameron Schilling scored an empty-net goal with four seconds remaining in regulation to seal the Falcons’ fate. Darryl Boyce and Sean Collins score the other two Falcons goals, while netminder Mike McKenna made 32 stops.
Springfield 1, Norfolk 2
Sunday, January 12
The Falcons lost their third straight game in regulation for the first time this season, after a 2-1 nail-biting defeat at the hands of the Norfolk Admirals Sunday afternoon. After Devante Smith-Pelly gave Norfolk an early 1-0 lead, Dalton Smith brought the Falcons even with a rebound score at 9:52 of the first period. Jesse Blacker’s score 3:51 into the second period would be the deciding goal, as Admirals goaltender Frederik Andersen held Springfield scoreless for the rest of the contest. Jeremy Smith stopped 26 of 28 shots in net for the Falcons.
Friday, January 17 – Springfield at Portland, Androscoggin Bank Colisee, 7:00 p.m.
20th Anniversary Night: Thunderstick Giveaway, Specialty Jerseys
ATOP THE AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE
The Falcons occupy first place in the AHL’s Northeast Division with a 25-8-1-3 record, having earned 54 of a possible 74 points. Springfield’s .730 points percentage leads the entire American Hockey League and has the team on pace for the best record in the franchise’s 20-year history. The 2012-13 Falcons posted 45 wins, 99 points and a .651 points percentage, while this year’s club is on pace for 51 wins, 111 points and a .730 points percentage.
Over the weekend, the Falcons lost three consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season. Over the three-game skid, the team scored only four goals (an average of 1.33 per game) and allowed 10 (an average of 3.33 per game), well worse than its season averages. Before Friday night’s loss to Albany, the Falcons scored 3.26 goals per game and only allowed 2.41 per game, both rates ranking among the AHL’s best. Despite the poor weekend, Springfield is still outscoring its opponents 115-92 this season.
CRAIG RETURNED FROM COLUMBUS
Springfield captain Ryan Craig was returned on loan by the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night. The Abbotsford, British Columbia native has played in 6 games with the NHL club this season, totaling four shots and a -3 rating. In 23 games with the Falcons, Craig has recorded 12 points (six goals, six assists) and a +6 rating. He appeared in his first game back Sunday afternoon, but left the game in the first period after blocking a shot on an early penalty kill.
For Springfield, scoring early has been a strong sign of success, however, it has not come often of late. The team has scored the first goal only once in the last 10 games, a 3-2 win over Albany January 7. The Falcons have scored the first goal of the game 18 times in 37 games so far this season, and in those 18 games, Springfield is 16-1-0-1.
Approaching the half-way point of the season, the Falcons have the best penalty kill in the American Hockey League, shutting down opposing power plays at a 90.2-percent rate. Before allowing one on six opportunities Sunday versus Norfolk, Springfield hadn’t allowed a power-play goal in its last six games, denying its opponents on all 20 of their opportunities.
LUCY HALE CONCERT
Actress and country music artist Lucy Hale will perform a concert, presented by KIX 100.9 and Gary Rome Auto Group, immediately following the Falcons home game versus the Adirondack Phantoms Monday, January 20. Hale is best known for her role on ABC Family’s hit series, “Pretty Little Liars,” for which she won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Actress. Her debut single, “You Sound Good to Me,” written by Ashley Gorley, Luke Laird and Hillary Lindsey, is set to hit country radio early this year. The concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the Falcons game. For tickets to the game, visit the MassMutual Center box office or click here to purchase tickets online. For a discounted group rate, please contact a Falcons sales representative at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
JEROD MAYO APPEARANCE
New England linebacker Jerod Mayo will sign autographs at the Falcons home game February 7 versus the Syracuse Crunch, presented by Sherwin Williams. Mayo, who was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2008, is a veteran 81 NFL games. For tickets to the game, visit the MassMutual Center box office or click here to purchase tickets online. For a discounted group rate, please contact a Falcons sales representative at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
GREGORY CAMPBELL APPEARANCE
Stanley Cup champion Gregory Campbell will sign autographs at the Falcons home game February 23 versus the Norfolk Admirals, presented by Dunkin’ Donuts. Campbell, who won the Stanley Cup with Boston in 2010-11, is a veteran of over 500 NHL games. For tickets to the game, visit the MassMutual Center box office or click here to purchase tickets online. For a discounted group rate, please contact a Falcons sales representative at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
HEATHER O’REILLY APPEARANCE
Heather O’Reilly, a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist with the United States Women’s National soccer team, will sign autographs at the Falcons game March 22 versus the Manchester Monarchs. In addition to her Olympic success, O’Reilly also won two NCAA National Championships at the University of North Carolina, a WPS championship with SKY Blue FC, and a Bronze (2007) and Silver Medal (2011) at the World Cup. For tickets to the game, visit the MassMutual Center box office or click here to purchase tickets online. For a discounted group rate, please contact a Falcons sales representative at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
MEET THE TEAM
The Falcons will hold the ‘Meet the Team’ event, presented by Webster Bank, at Q Pin 2’s in West Springfield Wednesday, January 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The entire team will be present to greet and play pool with fans in attendance. The exclusive event is reserved for ticket package holders and corporate partners only.
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.
Two Falcons players will visit a local elementary school in the Greater Springfield area Thursday, January 9 as part of the team’s Stick to Reading program, presented by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. The initiative is aimed at encouraging local children at schools and youth programs to start reading at an early age.