October 17, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Falcons
The Springfield Falcons won their second straight game on the weekend with a 2-1 hard fought victory against the Hartford Wolf Pack in front of 3,823 at the MassMutual Center on Saturday night. Springfield remained undefeated at home this year and they are 3-3 now on the young season.
The third period was an intensity filled 20 minutes. After a big penalty kill for the Falcons that gave them the momentum, Charles Linglet was able to connect on his second goal of the game to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
"Once we got the second goal I think the intensity level picked up...," said Falcons Head Coach Rob Daum about the momentum swings in the third period, "From that point on it was a little bit chaotic and we would have liked to have turned that around, but we weathered the storm and came out with the win."
Following the goal, Wolf Pack\'s Brodie DuPont took a shot at Falcons Ryan Potulny as he took him down to the ice. This led to a power play opportunity for the Falcons. A goal was scored during the power play, but unfortunately for the Falcons it was a shorthanded goal by Hartford\'s Michael Sauer to cut the lead to 2-1. This gave the momentum to the Wolf Pack in a period that saw multiple swings of momentum.
The end of the game intensified as the fans were on the edge of their seats for the final minutes of the game. With less than a minute left, Jake Taylor was penalized for a delay of game as he shot the puck into the stands. This allowed the Wolf Pack one more chance to tie the game, with a 6 on 4 man advantage because they pulled their goalie. The Falcons and goalie Devan Dubnyk were able to withstand the barrage of shots by Hartford to seal the 2-1 divisional win. Dubnyk was able to make 33 saves of the 34 shots on goal.
"As a goalie you have to stay focused in times like the second period," said Dubnyk, "Where they are not really getting much and we are hammering them in their zone. There\'s going to be swings in game when they\'re coming and it\'s my job to make sure I stop them."
Earlier in the game was filled with physical play as well by these Interstate 91 rivals. The first period ended with neither team able to get on the scoreboard ending in a scoreless tie. Despite the physical play, the referees were letting the teams play only calling one penalty in the period. The physical play from the first meeting between the Falcons and Wolf Pack on Oct. 10 has carried over to tonight\'s game.
During the first meeting, the teams combined for 96 minutes worth of penalties. Tonight\'s game was entirely different story with the teams\' only combining for 14 penalty minutes.
"I think the last two games we\'ve been really disciplined," said Dubnyk about the team\'s lack of penalties recently, "Which wasn\'t the case last weekend and it shows our game. When we play like we did last night and tonight, 5 on 5, there are not a lot of teams that can keep up with us."
Eliminating their amount of penalties has been a point of emphasis throughout the week for Daum and the Falcons. It looks like the problem has been fixed, at least in the two home games this weekend where Springfield has had a total of 23 penalty minutes.
With less than a minute into the second period, Linglet scored the first goal of the game after a Wolf Pack mishandle of the puck. Assisting on the play was newly acquired forward Chad Wiseman, recording his second point with the Falcons in as many games. The acquisition of Wiseman seems to be already paying dividends for Springfield.
"That\'s something we\'ve been talking about and not turning the puck over," said Linglet about taking advantage of the opponent\'s mistakes, "And it happened to them and we were ready and we jumped on it...He [Chad Wiseman] made a beautiful pass and I just had to shoot it in."
The Wolf Pack had a good opportunity to tie the game up a few minutes later in the second period, but were unable to get a shot off after a great setup pass right in front of the goal. This missed opportunity was just one of many for the Wolf Pack. Springfield did a solid job of taking advantages of Hartford\'s mistakes. The Falcons led 1-0 at the end of the second period.
Despite being outshot 33-14, the Falcons were able to convert more often than their opponent to earn their third win of the season and get to the .500 mark with a 3-3 record.
"It\'s so hard to win on the road," said Coach Daum, "So you have to make sure that you take care of your own building. So far we\'ve been able to do that and we now have to find ways to win games on the road."
The Falcons will play tomorrow afternoon in Manchester, NH at 3pm to take on the Monarchs for the second time this weekend after defeating them Friday night 4-1.