December 30, 2009 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Falcons
December 30, 2009- The Springfield Falcons played hard Wednesday night in Hartford, but came up short as the Wolf Pack defeated the visiting Falcons 5-3 at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. The Falcons built a 2-0 first period lead, but Hartford rallied and ended up with their second victory over Springfield in the last four days.
"When we have any type of breakdown it hits hard," said Head Coach Rob Daum, "And not just a little bit, it kills us and that was the case again tonight."
The Falcons were strong in the first period of play looking to get their first win since a November 21 win in Hershey against the Bears. The Falcons scored first in the game on a shorthanded goal by Ryan O\'Marra. Colin McDonald had a breakaway shot on goal that ricocheted off Hartford\'s goalie Steve Valiquette to O\'Marra\'s stick for his sixth goal of goal of the year.
Later in the first period, O\'Marra found the back of the net again to give the visiting Falcons a 2-0 lead heading into the second period. At the end of the first stanza, the Falcons outshot the Wolf Pack 12-9. After one period of play, the Falcons looked determined to end this winless streak.
"We knew they were going to come out hard in the second," said Coach Daum on the Wolf Pack, "We talked about it between periods, but obviously we didn\'t handle it as well as we had to. We have to put a sixty minute game together and tonight was the same as it\'s been in the past."
The second period was an entirely different game as the home team took any momentum Springfield had with three goals in the period\'s first five minutes to take a 3-2 lead. Scoring the first goal of the game for Hartford was Dane Byers at 1:35 to cut the lead in half. Only 17 seconds later, Wolf Pack Right Wing Derek Couture scored his fifth goal of the season to tie the game up 2-2. Later in the second Hartford struck again as Michael Sauer\'s slapshot found its\' way past Springfield goaltender J.P. Levasseur.
Springfield was able to answer late in the period as Rob Hisey scored his second goal in as many games with the Falcons to tie the game up 3-3 heading into the final period. The game was up for grabs with only twenty minutes to play.
During the third period, Levasseur and forward Bill Thomas got tangled up behind the goal leading to an easy shorthanded goal by Hartford\'s Ryan Garlock at 4:00 in the third period. That turned out to be the difference in the game.
"It\'s my mistake," said Levasseur on the misplay that led to the go ahead goal in the third period for the Wolf Pack, "It\'s my bad. I told Thomas at the time to hold the puck. But the [Hartford] guy was closer than I thought and just let in the puck."
Hartford nearly had two shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill as Hartford had a 2 on 1 break, but Levasseur made a nice save to keep it a one goal deficit. It remained a 4-3 game until the final minute of play when the Wolf Pack added an insurance goal by P.A. Parenteau.
"We have to think about the next game every time," said Levasseur, "I\'m sure it\'s hard for everybody. But it looks like every game something bad happens like a bad mistake that costs us the game...We just have to stick with it and think about the next game."
Here\'s to hoping the New Year will bring better luck to the Falcons as they continue their season on Saturday, January 2 at 7:30pm at home against the Providence Bruins.
Game Night Notes: The official attendance of tonight\'s game was 4,646 with a good contingent of Falcons fans that made the trip south on I-91...Falcons forward Slava Trukhno left the game in the first period with an apparent injury after getting crosschecked into the boards...Springfield\'s Jake Taylor and Hartford\'s Jared Nightingale dropped gloves late in the second period.
Falcons Lineup Charles Linglet - Rob Hisey - Colton Fretter Liam Reddox - Nikita Kashirsky - Bill Thomas Geoff Paukovich - Ryan O\'Marra - Colin McDonald Kip Brennan - Bryan Lerg - Slava Trukhno
Dean Arsene - Alex Plante Taylor Chorney - Jake Taylor Cody Wild - Johan Motin
J.P. Levasseur Aaron Sorochan
Scratches: J.F. David (Injured), Bryan Young (Healthy), Matt Nickerson (Healthy), Ryan MacMurchy (Healthy), Chris Minard (Injured), Chad Wiseman (Injured), Theo Peckham (Injured), Chris Armstrong (Injured)