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Falcons Weekly Notes

February 13, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) Springfield Falcons

Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons (28-11-4-3) have the league's best points percentage of .685 and are tied with the Binghamton Senators for first place in the Eastern Conference heading into a three-in-three home stretch this weekend at the MassMutual Center. Springfield underwent its first defeat of February and saw its three-game winning streak end on Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena, fighting back from a two-goal, third-period deficit before falling in overtime to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-3. The Falcons prevailed in their only contest last week, shutting out the Portland Pirates in Springfield on Sunday, 3-0.

Springfield takes on Worcester, Portland, and Adirondack this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Fans attending Friday's "Battle of the Bay State" against the Sharks, presented by Comcast, will have the opportunity to win a brand new, high-definition television courtesy of Manny's TV & Appliances as part of "Flat-Screen Friday." As part of USA Hockey's "Hockey Weekend Across America," the Falcons encourage all fans to wear their favorite hockey jersey to The Nest on Friday evening.

On Saturday, when Springfield welcomes the Pirates back to the Pioneer Valley, the first 1,000 fans into the building will receive a Falcons winter hat, courtesy of Health New England. Fans can also win a free bicycle from Gus Coelho Auto Repair at 442 Holyoke St. in Ludlow as part of "Cycle Saturday."

The Falcons will hold their annual team poster giveaway, courtesy of Friendly's, on Sunday versus the Phantoms. Following the action, fans are invited to participate in a postgame skate, presented by Western New England University, before having their posters signed by Falcons players in the MassMutual Center concourse.

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).

Click here for the Falcons' individual statistics.

Click here for the AHL standings.

WEEK IN REVIEW

Springfield 3, Portland 0

Sunday, Feb. 10

MassMutual Center

After their home game on Friday, Feb. 8 against the Albany Devils was postponed due to Winter Storm Nemo, Springfield returned to the ice on Sunday, hosting Portland. Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Wade MacLeod capitalized on a turnover by Pirates netminder Chad Johnson and backhanded a puck home just 14 seconds into the middle frame, and Springfield would not look back. Ryan Johansen buried a Dalton Smith centering pass later in the period, while David Savard connected from the blue line early in the third on a power play. Curtis McElhinney was perfect for the seventh time this season, tying a career high in shutouts with 28 saves.

Bridgeport 4, Springfield 3 (OT)

Tuesday, Feb. 12

Webster Bank Arena

Ryan Johansen's nifty goal just 46 seconds into the action gave Springfield a 1-0 lead. The Falcons, however, could not take advantage of the early edge, were outshot 25-12 past the halfway point of the game, and eventually faced a 3-1 deficit. Jack Combs escaped behind Springfield's defense later in the first and fired a puck by Curtis McElhinney, tying the game at a goal apiece. Bridgeport notched a pair of special-teams tallies in the second, as Nino Niederreiter struck shorthanded while Matt Donovan blasted a puck in on the power play to give the Sound Tigers a two-goal cushion. The Falcons generated momentum later in the middle frame, and then Nick Drazenovic officially commenced Springfield's comeback, snapping a puck by Bridgeport goaltender Kevin Poulin at 8:07 of the third. Springfield pummeled Poulin in the last stanza, outshooting Bridgeport over the final 20 minutes, 13-2. With McElhinney pulled in the waning seconds of regulation, Tomas Kubalik chipped a puck in from the top of the crease, tying the contest and forcing overtime, 3-3, at 19:19. John Persson redirected a Donovan pass in from the slot at 2:46 of the extra frame, as Bridgeport escaped with a 4-3 sudden-death win. Despite the loss, Springfield extended its points streak to four games (3-0-1-0).

WEEK AHEAD

Friday, Feb. 15 - Springfield vs. Worcester, 7:00 p.m., MassMutual Center

Saturday, Feb. 16 - Springfield vs. Portland, 7:00 p.m., MassMutual Center

Sunday, Feb. 17 - Springfield vs. Adirondack, 3:00 p.m., MassMutual Center

POMPEA FORMS SPRINGFIELD FALCONS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

Falcons owner Charlie Pompea announced the formation of the Springfield Falcons Charitable Foundation at a MassMutual Center press conference prior to last Sunday's game. Video of the press conference can be accessed here.

MCELHINNEY ADDS TO RECORD MARK

After setting a franchise record for shutouts in a season with his sixth on Dec. 22, Curtis McElhinney notched his seventh perfect outing of 2012-2013 on Sunday to match a career high. The 29-year-old also compiled seven shutouts in his second pro season of 2006-2007 with Omaha. McElhinney, who has appeared in 30 games as a Falcon, is one shy of equaling Manny Legace's club mark for career shutouts of eight, set in 153 outings with Springfield. The eighth-year pro is also a shutout away from matching the single-season mark of eight in the 70-year history of AHL hockey in Springfield, achieved by the Indians' Marcel Paille in 1960-1961.

RED-HOT DRAZENOVIC EARNS RECALL

Nick Drazenovic equaled Jonathan Audy-Marchessault for the team lead at 45 points (16g-29a) with his tying goal on Tuesday night. Drazenovic has points in five-straight games (3g-5a), leads the AHL with 26 power-play points (9g-17a), and earned his first recall of the season to Columbus on Wednesday.

COUNT ON KUBALIK

Tomas Kubalik scored his second game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation this season on Tuesday. The third-year pro also tied Springfield's game up in Worcester on Jan. 11 at 19:02 of the third period. The Falcons dropped that game in the sudden-death period as well, 4-3. Kubalik leads the Falcons with a +17 rating.

CRAIG, JOHANSEN LENGTHEN STREAKS

Ryan Craig assisted on Tomas Kubalik's equalizer on Tuesday to prolong two streaks. Craig has assists in six-straight road contests dating back to Jan. 15 (0g-10a) and is an assist on Feb. 23 in Syracuse shy of equaling the longest away assist streak in the league this season of seven games. Springfield's captain also extended his point streak to five games (2g-5a).

Ryan Johansen has goals in four AHL games in a row (4g-2a), including tallies in each of his outings with the Falcons since being assigned to the club by Columbus last Wednesday. Johansen registered goals on Jan. 6 and 11 as well prior to his recall to the Blue Jackets at the start of the 2012-2013 NHL season. The second-year pro has the second-longest goal-scoring streak by a Falcon this season. Cam Atkinson had goals in five-straight games from Dec. 1 to 14.

NEARING AN ALL-TIME HIGH

The Falcons, currently 17 games over .500, are nearing their all-time high water mark. Springfield's franchise record for games above .500 within one season is 21, set when the Falcons defeated the Rochester Americans on Apr. 13, 1996 to claim a record of 42-21-10-5.

OVERTIME? OH, NO!

Since winning in sudden-death overtime against Worcester on Nov. 16, 2011, the Falcons have dropped their last seven decisions in the extra session. Springfield is 0-4 in overtime this season and is 2-3 in shootouts. The Falcons are one of three AHL clubs, along with Albany and Hamilton, without an overtime win this season.

POWER-PLAY RUN ENDS

The Falcons' power-play goal-scoring streak ended at four games on Tuesday, as Springfield was held without a goal on the man advantage for the first time since Jan. 25. Despite the scoreless game, Springfield's power play is fourth in the league at 21.1%.

NO REST ON SUNDAYS

The Falcons are 10-1-0-0 in Sunday action in 2012-2013.

AT THE TOP

Springfield's +43 goal differential is the best in the AHL, +9 ahead of second-place Binghamton. The Falcons are third in the league on offense at 3.35 goals/game and are fourth on defense at 2.41 goals against/game.

IN THE COMMUNITY

Sean Collins and Will Weber skated with the Springfield Capitals Youth Hockey organization on Monday night at Cyr Arena. View photos from the event here.

Falcons players will take part in the "Interactive Hockey Event" at Tower Square with their young fans on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Eight Falcons players will help run various floor-hockey contests during the event, including the Super Deker Game, and will sign autographs for fans in attendance. There will also be a face-painting station and various raffle-prize giveaways. Each person at the event will receive a coupon for a Friendly's ice cream cone.

Fans can park in the Tower Square garage and bring their ticket to the event for validation. The event will take place in the Tower Square Meeting Room on the upper level of the complex across from the food court. Tower Square is located at 1500 Main St. in Downtown Springfield.

The CBRE/Tower Square Management Office is co-sponsoring the event with the Falcons.

GOLOUBEF GARNERS FIRST NHL GOAL IN WIN

Cody Goloubef scored his first NHL goal in the Columbus Blue Jackets' 6-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Goloubef has played in 119 games with the Falcons and was recalled for the first time this season by the Blue Jackets on Feb. 4. Columbus kicks off a six-game road trip this Friday in Los Angeles when it battles the Kings.

BLUE JACKETS MAKE CHANGE

Columbus relieved Scott Howson of his duties as its general manager on Tuesday and replaced him with Jarmo Kekalainen on Wednesday. Kekalainen becomes the third general manager in Blue Jackets history and is the first European to hold that post for an NHL team.

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.

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.

SHOP AT THE 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 or online by clicking here.

The Tower Square location of the Falcons Nest Pro Shop is also 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.

The Falcons Nest Pro Shop moves to the MassMutual Center concourse behind section 27 during all home games.

FALCONS NEST PRO SHOP AT 45 FALCONS WAY STORE HOURS

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

TOWER SQUARE STORE HOURS

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

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American Hockey League Stories from February 13, 2013


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