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Falcons Weekly Notes

January 29, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) Springfield Falcons

Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons (25-11-3-3) carry a 12-point lead in the Northeast Division into the post All-Star half of the 2012-2013 AHL season. Springfield started off last week with a 4-2 victory in Albany before having its streaks of six-straight wins and eight-consecutive games with a point snapped at home by Worcester on Friday, 3-1. The Falcons dropped the weekend finale in Connecticut on Saturday, 3-2. Springfield is two points shy of Binghamton for first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Falcons return from the All-Star break when they take on the Syracuse Crunch in a highly-anticipated matchup on Friday at the MassMutual Center. Springfield and Syracuse have two of the AHL's top three records entering the 17th week of the 2012-2013 campaign.

Friday's game at the MassMutual Center is "Pride Stations & Stores Night at The Nest," and fans can purchase discounted tickets to the game by visiting Pride's Facebook page at Facebook.com/PrideStores. Fans in attendance on Friday will also have the opportunity to win a brand new, high-definition television courtesy of Manny's TV & Appliances as part of "Flat-Screen Friday."

The Falcons travel to Hartford for the second-straight Saturday to battle the Whale at the XL Center.

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).

WEEK IN REVIEW

Springfield 4, Albany 2

Times Union Center

Wednesday, Jan. 23

The Falcons clinched the third-longest winning streak in franchise history with a 4-2 victory over the Devils. Cody Goloubef's shot from the right point found its way around a Tomas Kubalik screen and soared into the net in the first, giving Springfield a 1-0 lead. Michael Chaput scored early in the second, but Mike Sislo countered for Albany moments later with a shorthanded goal. Scott Howes netted his first goal as a Falcon later in the frame, and then Kubalik snuck a shot under the crossbar at 1:34 of the third, as Springfield went up, 4-1. Joe Whitney's goal minutes later was Albany's only response, as the Falcons emerged with a 4-2 win. Springfield extended its points streak to eight games (7-0-1-0), equaling the second-longest stretch with a point in club history.

Worcester 3, Springfield 1

MassMutual Center

Friday, Jan. 25

Scott Howes redirected a Bryan Helmer shot past Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri just 3:07 into the action, as the Falcons took an early 1-0 lead. Howes' goal proved to be the only offense that the Falcons could muster. Tommy Grant tallied a shorthanded goal a little over a minute later, as the Sharks tied the game, 1-1. James Livingston struck on a two-on-one rush in the second, while Danill Tarasov fired a puck in from the right circle in the third, as Worcester opened its edge to 3-1. Springfield could not put together a late surge, and its winning and points streaks came to a close. Curtis McElhinney stopped 15 shots in his first action in two weeks.

Connecticut 3, Springfield 2

XL Center

Saturday, Jan. 26

The Falcons were hindered by a slow start, as the Whale registered the first 10 shots on net of the game. Andrew Yogan flipped in a rebound right as Connecticut's first power play ended, as the Whale established a 1-0 advantage at 2:08 of the opening stanza. Nick Drazenovic batted in a deflection off a Ryan Craig shot, as the Falcons tied the contest at 8:20 of the second. Connecticut reclaimed the lead for good at 13:16 of the middle period when a Falcons defenseman inadvertently swept a loose puck into Springifeld's net off of a Blake Parlett shot. Mike Vernace drove in a puck from the slot with Connecticut on a five-on-three power play late in the second, as the Whale grabbed a two-goal cushion. Scott Howes scored for the third-straight game, jamming in a puck on the doorstep, but the Whale held off the Falcons late for the 3-2 victory.

WEEK AHEAD

Friday, Feb. 1, Springfield vs. Syracuse, 7:00 p.m., MassMutual Center

Saturday, Feb. 2, Springfield at Connecticut, 7:00 p.m., XL Center

LOOKING BACK ON THE STREAKS

In notching victories in each game from Jan. 12 through 23, Springfield achieved feats that had been seemingly unattainable in recent years. The Falcons won four-straight games for the first time since Dec. 23 to 30, 2006, and collected fifth and sixth-straight victories for the first time since their franchise-record nine-game winning streak from Mar. 6 to 28, 1998. Springfield garnered at least a point in eight-straight outings for the first time since its club-best nine-game point streak, accomplished most recently during the nine-game winning streak in March of 1998.

FALCONS PARTICIPATE IN ALL-STAR FESTIVITIES

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Tim Erixon, and Curtis McElhinney all took part in the 2013 Dunkin' Donuts AHL All-Star Classic on Sunday and Monday in Providence, R.I. Audy-Marchessault registered a goal while McElhinney topped all netminders with 15 saves on 16 shots in the Western Conference's 7-6 win in Monday's All-Star Game. The West also prevailed in Sunday's Skills Competition, 12-11.

SUCCESSFUL MONTH

Springfield ended the first month of 2013 with a record of 8-3-1-0. While three AHL games will close out January on Thursday, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault will likely emerge with the monthly scoring lead. Audy-Marchessault tops all AHL skaters in January with 17 points (8g-9a). Ryan Craig is tied for second in the league in January with 14 points (4g-10a) while Nick Drazenovic is knotted up in fourth with 13 points (5g-8a). Michael Chaput is tied for ninth in the league and leads all rookies in January with 12 points (4g-8a).

BIG BATTLE LOOMS

Springfield and Syracuse take on one another for the first of only two times in 2012-2013 on Friday. The Crunch are the de facto reigning Calder Cup champions, serving in their first season as Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate. The Lightning switched their affiliation from Norfolk to Syracuse after the Admirals' 2012 Calder Cup championship. The Crunch have been the best AHL team on the road this season, putting together a 16-4-0-2 mark in away competition.

WHALE WALLOPING HALTED

The Falcons had dominated the Whale at the XL Center in the first two meetings this year, earning victories of 10-2 and 5-0. Springfield underwent its first defeat in Hartford of the season and its most recent loss at Connecticut on Saturday since Feb. 17, 2012. The loss ended the Falcons' three-game road winning streak and closed out Springfield's five-game away points streak.

HUGE DIFFERENCE

Springfield's +38 goal differential is the highest in the AHL. Binghamton is second in the league at +32.

POWER RESTORED

After stringing together power-play goals in 11-straight games, Springfield went scoreless on the man advantage on Wednesday and Friday. The Falcons connected twice on four power-play attempts on Saturday, and are fourth in the league on the man advantage at 21.0%.

ON PACE

With their .667 points percentage, the Falcons are on pace to compile 101 points this season, which would break the team record of 100, set in 1995-1996. Springfield is on pace to accumulate 45 victories, which would equal the club mark, stamped in 1997-1998. Both of those records were set in 80-game seasons, whereas the Falcons are in reach of those marks in this 76-game campaign.

"JAM" AT THE TOP

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault continues to lead Springfield with 45 points and 29 assists, placing him third and in a tie for second in the AHL in those categories, respectively. He is tied Tomas Kubalik for seventh in the league and the Falcons lead with a +15 rating.

Audy-Marchessault and Nick Drazenovic saw their point streaks end in Wednesday's victory in Albany. "JAM" had a seven-game point streak (7g-7a), while Drazenovic recorded a goal or an assist in five-consecutive outings (3g-8a).

SPEAKING OF...

Nick Drazenovic, the sixth-year pro is tied for second with Cam Atkinson for the team's scoring lead and is even for sixth in the AHL in scoring. Drazenovic has 38 points (14g-24a) and is one of four Falcons (Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Ryan Craig, and Nick Holden) who has played in all 42 games in 2012-2013. The Prince George, British Columbia native has 21 points on the power play (8g-13a), putting him third in the league in that category.

HOWES MAKES IMPACT

Signed by the Falcons to a professional tryout (PTO) on Jan. 3, Scott Howes has taken advantage of his time in the Falcons' lineup. After going scoreless in his first two games with the Falcons on Jan. 19 and 20, Howes deposited goals in all three contests last week. Howes is the fourth Falcon to compile a three-game goal streak this season, joining Cam Atkinson, Nick Drazenovic, and Ryan Craig.

FOUR FOR YORK

Allen York won four-straight games from Jan. 12 to 23, but saw that streak snapped in Saturday's loss to Connecticut despite making 30 saves on 33 shots.

STILL IN FIRST

Curtis McElhinney's Falcons-record six shutouts continue to lead the AHL. He is tied for third with 17 victories, is sixth with a .926 save percentage, and is eighth with a 2.28 goals-against average.

BLUE JACKETS DEFEAT STARS

The Columbus Blue Jackets, Springfield's NHL affiliate, won their second game of the season on Monday night, defeating the Dallas Stars at home, 2-1. Vinny Prospal's third-period goal put the Blue Jackets ahead, as Columbus improved to 2-3-1. The Blue Jackets travel to St. Paul tonight to meet the Minnesota Wild.

LOCK IN YOUR SEAT FOR 2013-2014

Falcons fans are invited to reserve their ticket packages for the 2013-2014 season. Fans can to stop by "Ticket Headquarters" behind section 31 at The Nest during any Springfield home game to lock in their spot for the Falcons' 20th AHL season.

Adult season ticket prices remain the same for 2013-2014, giving fans the opportunity to watch the Falcons compete in all 38 home contests at the MassMutual Center for only $13/game. Season ticket packages in 2013-2014 will come with a no-waste guarantee, giving fans the opportunity to exchange their unused tickets for future home games. Fans can also take advantage of 22 and 10-game ticket packages next season.

The Falcons will also continue to offer flex packages for fans who want to choose what games they want to attend and how many people they want to bring to each contest. Flex packages are broken down into 44, 20, and 12-ticket plans.

Youth ticket packages and flex plans are also available in 2013-2014 for children ages 14 and under.

A $50 non-refundable deposit per seat is required.

PARTICIPATE IN BIG Y 24-HOUR OUTDOOR GAME

Hockey players young and old are invited to participate in the 24-Hour Outdoor Game presented by Big Y, which will take place behind the historic Coliseum on the grounds of the Big E in West Springfield from Saturday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 10.

A unique event that brings hockey back to its roots, The 24-Hour Outdoor Game presented by Big Y honors the history of the sport in Western Mass. and raises awareness for the area's youth programs and adult hockey leagues.

Groups are invited to sign up for one hour of hockey, with time slots beginning at noon on Feb. 9 and lasting through noon on Feb. 10. Adult teams will play two-on-two games, while youth teams will play three-on-three. Pond hockey rules apply to all contests.

All players in the 24-Hour Outdoor Game presented by Big Y receive two tickets to the Falcons game against the Portland Pirates on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the MassMutual Center.

On-ice games are weather permitting, and there are no refunds for weather-related cancellations. If ice is not available, teams will play on a ball-hockey arena in proximity to the outdoor rink.

To register for the 24-Hour Outdoor Hockey Game, contact Don Moorhouse through email at dmoorhouse@falconsahl.com or by phone at (413) 739-GOAL ext. 102. Upon registering, participants will receive information on completing payment.

HAVE SCREECH TREAT YOUR SWEETHEART ON VALENTINE'S DAY

Falcons fans are invited to have their favorite mascot, Screech, deliver a Falcons-themed Valentine's Day gift to a special someone.

For $125, Screech will deliver a special Valentine's Day package to a home, office, or school within a 15-mile radius of Springfield on Wednesday, Feb. 13 or Thursday, Feb. 14. The package includes flowers from Durocher Florist of West Springfield with a balloon as well as a pair of ticket vouchers for any Falcons home game for the remainder of the 2012-2013 season.

This package is great for any Falcons fan who would get a thrill out of having Screech turn into their Cupid on Valentine's Day. Supplies are limited and are offered on a first come, first serve basis. The package can be ordered until the end of business on Monday, Feb. 11.

To have Screech treat your sweetheart on Valentine's Day contact Sarah Pompea at the Falcons office by phone at (413) 739-GOAL ext. 112 or through email at spompea@falconsahl.com.

FALCONS PLAYERS TO SCOOP ICE CREAM FOR EASTER SEALS

Two Falcons players will scoop ice cream at Friendly's, located at 1811 Boston Road in Springfield, on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 6 to 7 p.m. to benefit Easter Seals as part of the "Cones for Kids" campaign.

The Falcons players will each participate in a 60-second "Celebrity Ice Cream Scoop-Off" against a competitor, and all of the ice cream that is collected during this furious minute will be handed out to patrons of Friendly's. The players, whose identities will be revealed as the event approaches, will remain at Friendly's after the scoop-off to take pictures with fans and sign autographs. All proceeds from the hour-long event will benefit Easter Seals.

Cones for Kids is an annual fundraiser run by Friendly's to benefit Easter Seals' summer camp for children, teens, and young adults with autism and other disabilities as well as the organization's Youth Leadership Network. In addition to the Celebrity Ice Cream Scoop-Off, Friendly's will provide restaurant customers with five Valentine's Day cards, each one redeemable for a free Friendly's Kids Cone, as well as a buy-one, get-one free adult entree certificate, all for a $1 donation. The Cones for Kids campaign runs through Feb. 14.

Easter Seals Massachusetts provides services to ensure that children and adults with disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play. Nonprofit and nonsectarian, Easter Seals offers technological assistance, employment and training services, recreational activities, youth transition and leadership programs, veterans' services, rehabilitation services and public awareness programs. For more information, call 800 244-2756 or go to EasterSealsMA.org.

NOMINATE A HERO AMONG US

Throughout the season, fans can submit a nomination for TD Bank's "Heroes Among Us" program. Nominees can include teachers, doctors, firefighters, community volunteers, and other individuals you think deserve to be honored at a Falcons game. For more information and to nominate, click here.

LAST CHANCE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF JANUARY SPECIALS AT FALCONS NEST PRO SHOP

Take advantage of January 25% off specials at the Falcons Nest Pro Shop! Items discounted at 25% off include Reebok Center Ice Jackets, Traverse Winter Jackets, red youth Falcons replica jerseys, scarves, and winter hats.

The Tower Square location of the Falcons Nest Pro Shop is open for the remainder of the season 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Wednesday and Thursday.

The Tower Square venue, located at 1500 Main St. in downtown Springfield, gives fans a chance to browse a wide variety of Falcons merchandise and ticket packages in a popular downtown location.

Fans can continue to shop for all Falcons gear and ticket packages at the primary home of the Falcons Nest Pro Shop, located inside the team office at 45 Falcons Way, during normal business hours or online by clicking here. The Falcons Nest Pro Shop moves to the MassMutual Center concourse behind section 27 during all home games.

TOWER SQUARE STORE HOURS

Wednesday, Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

FALCONS NEST PRO SHOP AT 45 FALCONS WAY STORE HOURS

Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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