December 31, 2012 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Falcons
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons (17-8-2-3) closed out the 2012 calendar year with a 4-1 victory at home over the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday to extend their division lead to four points over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers entering the 13th week of the 2012-2013 AHL season. Springfield dropped games at the MassMutual Center on Thursday to the Albany Devils, 4-3, and Saturday to the Connecticut Whale, 4-2, before responding with the weekend-ending victory over Norfolk.
The Falcons host the Sound Tigers on Friday night at the MassMutual Center, with the drop of the puck set for 7:00 p.m. Fans in attendance have the opportunity to win a brand new, high-definition television courtesy of Manny's TV & Appliances (MannysTV.com) as part of Flat-Screen Fridays.
Springfield finishes off the weekend in Albany on Saturday and Providence on Sunday.
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
Albany 4, Springfield 3
Thursday, Dec. 27
Despite a Ryan Johansen second-period tally, the Falcons trailed the Devils, 4-1, entering the final frame. Springfield went to work late, with Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson registering goals in the final two minutes. Off of an offensive-zone face-off in the game's waning seconds, David Savard hit the crossbar, but the Falcons were unable to tie the game, falling to Albany, 4-3. Calvert recorded a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" in the loss, adding an assist and two fights to his third-period goal.
Connecticut 4, Springfield 2
Saturday, Dec. 29
Once again, Springfield faced a sizeable deficit heading into the third period, this time falling behind 4-0 to Connecticut. Former Falcon Chad Kolarik led the way for the Whale, scoring on the power play and while shorthanded in the first period. Ryan Craig and Ryan Russell collected third-period conversions for the Falcons, but the goals were not enough, as Springfield dropped a 4-2 decision.
Springfield 4, Norfolk 1
Sunday, Dec. 30
The Falcons swooped into the 2012 finale looking for their first home victory in seven tries. Springfield had not won at the MassMutual Center since Nov. 11, when the Falcons blanked the Admirals, 5-0. The Falcons needed a better start than their first two games of the week and got exactly that, scoring three times in the opening period to establish a 3-0 lead on goals by Johansen, Nick Drazenovic, and Calvert. Craig scored on the power play early in the second to open up the advantage to 4-1. Emerson Etem's shorthanded goal in the third period was the only offense Norfolk would produce, as the Falcons prevailed with the 4-1 victory.
Friday, Jan. 4 - Springfield vs. Bridgeport, MassMutual Center, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 5 - Springfield at Albany, Times Union Center, 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 6 - Springfield at Providence, Dunkin Donuts Center, 3:05 p.m.
SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL RETURNS
It had been seven weeks since the Falcons' victory song, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" blared through the MassMutual Center speakers following a Springfield home game, but the snappy tune returned to fans' eardrums on Sunday. Springfield had gone 0-4-1-1 in six home games since its last victory on Nov. 11. The Falcons are now 7-5-1-3 in Springfield in 2012-2013.
DISCHARGING THE ADMIRALS
Springfield completed a four-game season sweep of Norfolk, going 4-0-0-0 versus the Admirals in 2012-2013. The Falcons outscored the Admirals, 17-5, over the four contests, including 9-1 at The Nest.
Ryan Craig's power-play goal on Saturday snapped an 0/24 slump on the man advantage and was Springfield's first tally of that kind in four contests. The Falcons had been 1/35 on the power play dating back to Dec. 14.
Craig collected a man-advantage conversion on Sunday as well, and now has 22 power-play goals in a Falcon sweater, good for fifth all-time in club history. His 47 goals with the Falcons have him alone in 10th in team history, one behind Cam Atkinson for ninth.
NO SLOWING HIM DOWN
Cam Atkinson added two assists on Sunday and posted points in all three games this past week (1g-5a). Atkinson, who had a nine-game point streak snapped in the 1-0 win over Hershey on Dec. 22, has points in 12 of the last 13 contests (8g-11a). The Greenwich, Conn. native leads Springfield and is third in the AHL with 35 points. Atkinson's 16 goals are also the most by a Falcon and place him into a tie for third in the league.
WIN NUMBER ONE FOR YORK
Allen York stamped his first AHL victory of the season on Sunday, making 25 saves on 26 shots. The win was York's first in a Falcon sweater since Oct. 8, 2011 against the Albany Devils. York is 1-2-0 with Springfield this season, with a .915 save percentage and a 2.35 goals-against average.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT...
Curtis McElhinney, who despite falling in each of his two starts last week, continues to lead the league with 15 victories and a Falcons-record six shutouts. McElhinney is fifth in the AHL with a .931 save percentage and is eighth with a 2.16 goals-against average.
DEFENSEMEN STEP UP
David Savard and Tim Erixon each registered an assist in Sunday's win. Savard is tied for eighth among AHL blue-liners with 21 points and is tied for fourth among defensemen with 18 assists. Erixon had three assists in last week's three contests and is tied for 12th among defensemen with 19 points (4g-15a).
ALSO OF NOTE...
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault snapped a three-game scoreless skid with an assist on Saturday and is second on the Falcons with 28 points, including a club-high 20 assists...Ryan Johansen had goals in two of three games on the week, is second on the club with 12 tallies and is fourth with 24 points...Matt Calvert had four points (2g-2a) and pulled into a tie with John Moore for the team lead at +14...Nick Drazenovic's game winner on Sunday was his fourth of the year, and the Prince George, British Columbia native trails Atkinson by one in that department...Drazenovic's 25 points (9g-16a) are third on the Falcons...Greg Amadio returned to the lineup on Sunday from an injury for his first game since Oct. 27.
STILL THE BEST
Springfield's +29 goal differential leads the AHL, +3 ahead of the second-place Syracuse Crunch. The Falcons are fifth in the league on offense at 3.30 goals/game and are second on defense at 2.33 goals/game.
OBEYING THE LAW
The Falcons are the only AHL team without a 10-minute misconduct and are one of five clubs to have not received a game misconduct this season.
Springfield went 39-26-4-5 during the 2012 calendar year.
The Falcons improved to 7-1-0-0 in Sunday contests this season with the victory over Norfolk.
ENTER NOW TO WIN SPRING TRAINING GETAWAY PACKAGE
Falcons fans and AAA members can enter to win the "Spring Training Getaway presented by AAA Pioneer Valley" now through Thursday, Jan. 10.
Fans can win a trip to see the Boston Red Sox compete in spring training action in Fort Myers, Fla. by entering at any of the five AAA Pioneer Valley locations or online at AAA.com/Promo. Five contestants will be selected from the entries to participate in an intermission drawing by Wally the Green Monster on Red Sox Night presented by AAA Pioneer Valley on Saturday, Jan. 19, when the Falcons host the Albany Devils at the MassMutual Center.
The grand prize is a three-day, two-night trip to Fort Myers, which includes two roundtrip airline tickets, a two-night hotel stay, and two tickets to two Red Sox spring training games.
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.
TOWER SQUARE STORE REMAINS OPEN
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. (Closed New Year's Eve, New Year's Day)