Springfield 4, Adirondack 1
Monday, January 20
The Falcons defeated the Phantoms Monday afternoon, scoring the game’s first four goals all in the second period. Jean-Francois Jacques, Lukas Sedlak, Cody Goloubef and Michael Chaput all found the back of the net in the middle frame, while Mike McKenna finished the day with 30 saves on 31 shots to earn the victory between the posts. Sedlak’s tally was the first game-winning goal of his pro career.
Springfield 2, Hartford 5
Friday, January 24
Springfield’s 5-2 loss to Hartford Friday night was the team’s first to the Wolf Pack this season. The Falcons had won the previous six meetings to begin the 2013-14 campaign, four in regulation and two in a shootout. Jesper Fast got the scoring started early for Hartford, finding the back of the net just 7 seconds into the first period. After Danny Kristo gave the Wolf Pack a 2-0 lead, Michael Chaput and Tim Erixon scored for Springfield to even the score. Oscar Lindberg’s goal at 18:55 of the first period regained the lead for the Wolf Pack, and the team held that lead for the remainder of the contest.
Springfield 1, Bridgeport 3
Saturday, January 25
Despite taking the first lead of the game behind Jack Skille’s tally at 11:00 of the first period, the Falcons could not get the victory Saturday versus Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers scored three unanswered goals, including an empty-netter with 1:03 remaining in regulation, to defeat the Falcons for the first time this season. The loss was only Springfield’s second in regulation this season in games when scoring the first goal.
Springfield 3, Portland 4 (SO)
Sunday, January 26
The Falcons lost their third consecutive game Sunday, as Portland outlasted the team in a shootout by the final score of 4-3. The Falcons held a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes behind goals from Sean Collins, Michael Chaput and Jack Skille, but allowed the equalizer midway through the second period and could not find the back of the net the rest of the game. Andy Miele’s conversion in the bottom of the fifth round in the shootout gave Portland the 4-3 victory.
Friday, January 31 – Springfield at Worcester, DCU Center, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 1 – Springfield at Bridgeport, Webster Bank Arena, 7:00 p.m.
ATOP THE AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE
The Falcons occupy first place in the AHL’s Northeast Division with a 28-10-1-4 record, having earned 61 of a possible 86 points. Springfield’s .709 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 49 wins, 107 points and a .709 points percentage.
Over the weekend, the Falcons lost three consecutive games for the third time this season. Over the three-game skid, the team scored only six goals (an average of two per game) and allowed 12 (an average of four per game), well worse than its season averages. Despite the poor weekend, Springfield is still outscoring its opponents 134-111 this season.
GOLOUBEF, ERIXON RECALLED BY COLUMBUS
The Falcons have two defensemen currently on recall with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team’s NHL affiliate. Cody Goloubef was recalled Saturday and played in the team’s game versus Carolina Monday night. The Oakville Ontario native played a total of 11:59 and blocked a team-high three shots in a 3-2 loss. Tim Erixon was recalled Sunday night after the Falcons’ shootout loss to Portland. Erixon has appeared in two games with the Blue Jackets, totaling one shot, two penalty minutes and a +2 rating.
POWER PLAY STRUGGLES AT HOME, SUCCESS ON THE ROAD
The Falcons have struggled on the power play at home of late. In its last seven home games, Springfield has gone only 2-for-24 (8.3 percent) with the man advantage. This season, the Falcons rank 27th in the American Hockey League, converting on only 15 of 110 power-play opportunities, a rate of only 13.6 percent. The team does rank tied for fifth in the AHL in power-play efficiency on the road, going 18-for-84 (21.4 percent) away from the MassMutual Center.
McKENNA LEADING THE AHL
Falcons netminder Mike McKenna leads all American Hockey League goaltender in goals-against average (1.68), save percentage (.939) and shootout wins (4). In 15 appearances (14 starts) this season, the St. Louis native has posted a 10-4-0 record with two shutouts, which came back-to-back November 23 versus Hartford and November 30 versus Portland.