11/30/2013 9:53 PM
The Springfield Falcons (14-3-1-1) extended their current point streak to eight games Saturday night at the MassMutual Center, defeating the Portland Pirates by the final score of 3-0.
Mike McKenna (6-2-0) earned his second consecutive shutout, stopping all 26 shots he faced in net for Springfield. The St. Louis, Missouri native became the first Falcons netminder to record back-to-back shutouts since Curtis McElhinney accomplished the feat over a year ago – November 9, 2012 versus Connecticut and November 11, 2012 versus Norfolk. McKenna leads all American Hockey League goaltenders in goals-against average (1.45) and save percentage (.943).
Spencer Machacek found the back of the net twice Saturday night for goals number two and three on the season. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound winger deflected a Darryl Boyce point shot past Portland goaltender Mike Visentin at 6:18 of the second period to give Springfield a 2-0 lead. Machacek also added an empty-net tally with 1:17 remaining in regulation, extending the team’s lead to 3-0.
Dalton Smith notched the game-winning goal, burying a rebound off of Ilari Melart’s initial shot at 6:45 of the first period. For Smith, the goal was his second of the season and first game-winner.
Visentin made 27 saves on 29 shots in net for Portland in a losing effort, falling to 6-7-1 this season.
Neither team was able to convert on the power play. Springfield went 0-for-6 on the man advantage, while Portland went 0-for-4.
The Falcons are back in action Wednesday, December 4 when they visit the Albany Devils for a Northeast Division matchup. The team returns to the MassMutual Center Saturday, December 7 to host the Hartford Wolf Pack at 8:00 p.m.