02/10/2014 9:36 AM
The Springfield Falcons (31-13-1-4) earned six of a possible eight points last week, winning three of its four games. Springfield won three consecutive contests – Tuesday versus the Albany Devils, and Friday and Saturday over the Syracuse Crunch – before falling to the Providence Bruins Sunday afternoon.
The Falcons enter the All-Star break with the most wins (31), the second-highest point total (67) and the best points percentage in the American Hockey League (.684). Springfield trails the Manchester Monarchs by two points for the most in the league but has played three fewer games than its nearby opponent. The Falcons 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. This year’s team is on pace for 48 wins and 104 points.
When the team returns from the All-Star break, it will host three consecutive home games – Friday, February 14 at 7:00 p.m. versus the Hartford Wolf Pack, Saturday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m. versus the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Sunday, February 16 at 3:00 p.m. versus the Worcester Sharks. For the Falcons, it is the only stretch of three home games in three days 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 4, Albany 0
Tuesday, February 4
The Falcons shut out the Albany Devils in a 4-0 rout of their division rival Tuesday night at the MassMutual Center, as four different Falcons found the back of the net and goaltender Mike McKenna stopped all 25 shots he faced. Alex Aleardi, Spencer Machacek, Frederic St. Denis and Jonathan Marchessault each beat Albany netminder Scott Wedgewood, with Machacek and St. Denis’ tallies coming on the power play. For McKenna, the shutout was his third of the season.
Springfield 4, Syracuse 2
Friday, February 7
Springfield won its second game in a row, taking the first meeting of the season with the Syracuse Crunch by the final score of 4-2. The Falcons never trailed in the contest, taking its first lead 13:00 into the first period when Lukas Sedlak chipped in a Dalton Smith centering feed. Jean-Francois Jacques redirected a Will Weber shot from the point early in the third period, giving the Falcons a 3-1 lead and serving as the eventual game-winning goal. Mike McKenna stopped 27 of 29 shots to earn his second consecutive victory.
Springfield 6, Syracuse 5 (OT)
Saturday, February 8
The Falcons swept the season series with Syracuse with a 6-5 overtime victory Saturday night, getting the game-winning goal on a Cody Bass redirection of Dalton Prout’s slap shot from the center point. The goal was Bass’ third of the season and first game-winner. Prout notched three points (one goal, two assists) in the contest after going scoreless in his first seven games with the team this season. Mike McKenna earned his third consecutive win, making 36 saves through 63:52.
Springfield 1, Providence 3
Sunday, February 9
Dunkin’ Donuts Center
The Falcons’ three-game winning streak was halted Sunday afternoon, as the Providence Bruins defeated the team by a 3-1 count. Alex Aleardi scored the lone Springfield tally, evening the score at 1-1 with 9:08 to play in the second period. The Bruins would go on to score twice more, as Tyler Randell and Alexander Khokhlachev each found the back of the net. Randell’s goal at 16:47 of the second period served as the game-winner.
Gary Rome Auto Group Night: T-Shirt Toss with Vacation Giveaway; $12 tickets at www.gotogary.com
Hockey ‘N’ Heels: Vendor Showcase, Speaker Series and Hockey 101 from 4:00-6:30 p.m.
ATOP THE AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE
The Falcons enter the All-Star break occupying the top spot in the AHL’s Northeast Division with a 31-13-1-4 record and having earned 67 of a possible 98 points. Springfield’s .684 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 48 wins, 104 points and a .684 points percentage.
The Falcons roster was altered some last week, as the team and its parent club, the Columbus Blue Jackets, made some changes. Thursday, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded forward Spencer Machacek to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Paul Thompson. Thompson, 25, totaled 64 points (35 goals, 29 assists) in 170 career AHL games before joining the Falcons, all of which were played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The Blue Jackets then made another trade Friday, dealing defenseman Blake Parlett to the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Carter Camper. Camper, 25, adds skill and depth at the center position. The Rocky River, Ohio native amassed 128 points (37 goals, 91 assists) in 170 career AHL games, all with the Providence Bruins. Camper also played in three NHL games with Boston, scoring a goal and registering a +1 rating.
In addition, the Falcons traded defenseman Joe Lavin to the Providence Bruins for future considerations. Lavin, 24, has spent the entire 2013-14 season so far with the ECHL’s Evansville IceMen.
GOLOUBEF, ERIXON RETURNED FROM COLUMBUS
Defensemen Cody Goloubef and Tim Erixon were returned on loan to Springfield by the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday, as the NHL club gets ready for the Olympic break. Goloubef, who will represent the Falcons along with Frederic St. Denis at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic this week in St. John’s, Newfoundland, has registered 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) and a +8 rating in 42 AHL games this season. The University of Wisconsin product also appeared in three NHL games with Columbus this season, recording one shot, one hit and two penalty minutes in 31:53 of action.
Erixon, 22, has notched 25 points (four goals, 21 assists) in only 28 games with the Falcons this season. In two games with the Blue Jackets, the Port Chester, New York native tallied one blocked shot, one hit and one shot on goal in 28:41 of action. In 51 career NHL appearances with Columbus and the New York Rangers, Erixon has totaled seven assists, 24 penalty minutes and a +4 rating.
McKENNA AMONG THE AHL LEADERS
At the All-Star break, Falcons netminder Mike McKenna leads all American Hockey League goaltenders in save percentage (.932) and shootout wins (4), and ranks second in goals-against average (1.95). In 19 appearances (18 starts) this season, the St. Louis native has posted a 13-5-0 record with three shutouts, including one last week (Tuesday, February 7 versus Albany).
2014 AHL ALL-STAR CLASSIC
The 2014 AHL All-Star Classic, taking place at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland, will feature a skills competition Tuesday and the All-Star Game Wednesday versus Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League. Springfield defensemen Cody Goloubef and Frederic St. Denis, who were paired together for most the first half of the season, will represent the team at the events. St. Denis, who ranks 18th among AHL defensemen in points (24) and fourth in goals (9), will make his second AHL All-Star Game appearance. For Goloubef, who leads all AHL defensemen with four shootout goals and three shootout-winning goals, it will be his first All-Star appearance. For all viewing options of the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic, click here.
HOCKEY ‘N’ HEELS
The Springfield Falcons are hosting its Inaugural Hockey ‘N’ Heels event, presented by Health New England, Saturday, February 15 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., before the team takes on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 7:00 p.m. The exclusive event for women will feature a fun and interactive Hockey 101, a vendor showcase and a speaker series with Falcons legend and Stanley Cup champion Manny Legace, Falcons Vice President Sarah Pompea, a current Falcons player and an American Hockey League official. An event ticket costs only $20 and includes a ticket to the Falcons game that night. For the flyer and order form, click here.
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).
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.