04/12/2014 9:43 AM
The Springfield Falcons (46-21-1-5) defeated the Hershey Bears by the final score of 4-3 in a shootout Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, setting a new franchise record for most wins in a season with 46. The 1997-98 and 2012-13 teams won 45 games.
Springfield’s Michael Chaput scored the shootout game-winner, beating Hershey netminder Philipp Grubauer with a backhanded flip in the fifth round. Chaput also found the back of the net in regulation, scoring a power-play goal at 9:10 of the first period to even the score at 1-1. The Montreal, Quebec native leads the Falcons with 19 goals and eight power-play goals this season.
Sean Collins scored Springfield’s second goal with the man advantage Saturday, firing a wrist shot from the left-wing circle past Grubauer to tie the game at 3-3 with 0:50 left in the second period. Collins, who has registered two goals and five points in his last four games, now has 15 goals and 38 points in 64 games this season.
J.F. Jacques gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead at 15:36 of the first period, burying a centering feed from Tim Erixon on the doorstep. Erixon had two assists in the contest, his first since being returned on loan by the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday morning.
Ryan Stoa, Jeff Taffe and Kris Newbury notched the goals for the Bears.
Mike McKenna made 16 saves on 19 shots in net for the Falcons, earning his team-leading 22nd victory of the season. The St. Louis native passed teammate Jeremy Smith and Dieter Kochan for sole possession of 10th on the franchise’s all-time wins list.
Grubauer stopped 28 of 31 shots, falling to 12-11-2 this season.
Springfield went 2-for-6 on the power play, while Hershey went 1-for-5.
The Falcons are back in action Sunday, April 13 when they visit the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 3:00 p.m.