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Falcons Game Preview: Springfield Vs. Connecticut, Game #37

January 18, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) Springfield Falcons

Springfield Falcons (21-9-3-3) vs. Connecticut Whale (16-18-3-1)

Friday, January 18, 2013

7:00 p.m.

MassMutual Center

TICKETS: (413) 739-GOAL/MassMutual Center Box Office/Ticketmaster.com

RADIO: (presented by FalconsWireless.com) WHYN NewsTalk 560 AM/WHYN.com

WEBCAST: AHLLive.com

IN JUST A FEW HOURS...

The Springfield Falcons return home to the MassMutual Center to host the Connecticut Whale, with the opening face-off set for 7:00 p.m. on "Big Y Night." Springfield kicked off a busy four-game week on Tuesday night, prevailing with a wild 7-5 victory in Manchester over the Monarchs. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault recorded the first hat trick of his career and Springfield's first in 136 games. The Falcons enter the weekend winners of two-straight games and leaders of the Northeast Division by eight points over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Springfield welcomes Albany to The Nest on Saturday before heading to Bridgeport on Sunday.

Falcons fans and Big Y customers can save $5 off a full-priced adult ticket by presenting their Big Y Card at the MassMutual Center Box Office now through two hours prior to the start of tonight's game as part of "Big Y Night." Youth and other discounted tickets are not eligible for this promotion. Fans in attendance on Friday will also have the opportunity to win a brand new, high-definition television courtesy of Manny's TV & Appliances (MannysTV.com) as part of "Flat-Screen Friday."

On Saturday, Wally the Green Monster and Screech will pick the winner of the "AAA Spring Training Getaway" during the first intermission of "Red Sox Night presented by AAA Travel." Five finalists were selected from entries through the five AAA Pioneer Valley locations and through AAA.com/Promo to win a three-day, two-night trip to Fort Myers. The grand prize includes two round-trip airline tickets, a two-night hotel stay, and two tickets to two Red Sox spring training games. The Pawtucket Red Sox and their mascot, Paws, will be displaying their Governors' Cup in the concourse as part of their 2012 International League championship celebration. Fans can also win a free bicycle courtesy of Gus Coelho Auto Repair at 442 Holyoke St. in Ludlow as part of "Cycle Saturday" at the MassMutual Center (GusAutoRepair.net).

Single-game tickets to see the Falcons in 2012-2013 can be purchased at the MassMutual Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. through game time on Saturday home dates, and starting four hours prior to Sunday home contests. Fans can also purchase tickets by logging onto Ticketmaster.com. For information about discounted group packages to Falcons home games, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).

THREE HEAD TO ALL-STAR CLASSIC

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Tim Erixon, and Curtis McElhinney were selected to participate in the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic. Audy-Marchessault and McElhinney are both second-time selections, while Erixon is a first-time selection. This marks the third time Springfield has had three participants in the AHL All-Star Classic. Hnat Domenichelli, Scott Langkow in Rob Murray made it in 1997, while Robert Esche, Radoslav Suchy, and Brad Tiley were selected in 1999.

TEARING IT UP

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault's hat trick on Tuesday was Springfield's first since Kyle Wilson's three-goal outing in a 3-2 overtime win over Worcester on Feb. 19, 2011. Audy-Marchessault has been on a tear over the last four games, scoring seven goals and adding three assists for 10 points. The second-year pro now leads the Falcons in scoring and is in third place in the AHL with 40 points (16g-24a). His 24 assists are also tops among Springfield skaters, while his 16 goals place him one shy of Cam Atkinson for the club lead. After playing the first 32 games of the season without a multi-goal effort, Audy-Marchessault has struck at least twice in three of the last four contests.

CHAPUT STEPS UP

Michael Chaput has more than doubled his point production in January alone from the first three months of the season. The rookie collected six points (2g-4a) in the 2012 portion of the campaign, but has seven points (3g-4a) in six contests in 2013. Chaput set career highs with two goals and three points on Tuesday.

TREMENDOUS TWELVE

Springfield is 12 games over .500 for the first time since it ended the 1997-1998 campaign with a 45-26-7-2 mark.

BACK IN FIRST

The Falcons returned to a tie for first place in the AHL in goal differential, equaling the Toronto Marlies' +33 mark on Tuesday.

TAKING REIGN IN MANCHESTER

The Falcons won only eight of 47 games at the Verizon Wireless Arena from 2001-2002 through 2011-2012. Springfield bucked the trend this year, however, going 3-0-0-0 in Manchester.

MASTERING THE MAN ADVANTAGE

Springfield was perfect on two power-play chances on Tuesday and has at least one goal on the man advantage in each of the last eight contests. The Falcons are fifth in the league in that department at 20.4%. Springfield has scored on the power play in 27 of its 36 games this year.

FULL CIRCLE

The Falcons have been just as good on the penalty kill, also checking in fifth in the league in that category at 85.6%. Springfield is the only AHL team to have a top five power play and penalty kill.

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