April 8, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Falcons
Springfield, Mass. - The Springfield Falcons (41-20-5-4) clinched a spot in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs and won the F.G. (Teddy) Oke Trophy as the Northeast Division champions this past weekend. After locking in its seventh playoff appearance in team history on Friday, Springfield closed out the weekend with a pair of decisive victories, defeating Worcester, 7-1, and Portland, 4-2. The Falcons clinched their third division championship, and first since 1997-98, during their game in Portland on Sunday when Connecticut lost to Providence. Springfield is guaranteed one of the Eastern Conference's top three seeds for the upcoming postseason. The Falcons are two points behind Providence for first place in the conference, and are alone in second with 91 points.
Springfield has six games remaining in the regular season, and will play the final-two home contests of 2012-13 on Saturday and Sunday when it welcomes Providence and Connecticut to the MassMutual Center for an action-packed Fan Appreciation Weekend. Events during Fan Appreciation Weekend include an appearance by New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley, a Boston Bruins Alumni Team exhibition game with legends such as Ray Bourque and Terry O'Reilly, and a Falcons team-autograph session. For full details of Fan Appreciation Weekend, click here.
Springfield begins the upcoming weekend at Adirondack on Friday, finishing out its four-game road trip versus the Phantoms.
For more information on Falcons playoff ticket information, click here. Springfield's postseason schedule will be announced on FalconsAHL.com when available. The AHL's regular season ends on Sunday, Apr. 21.
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 3, Springfield 1
Tuesday, Apr. 2
The Falcons were bidding to become the first AHL team to clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday night when they hosted the Devils. Springfield outshot Albany in the game, 36-19, but fell behind in the first on a pair of goals just 31 seconds apart. Reid Boucher slid in a rebound at 15:50, while Harri Pesonen beat Allen York between the pads on a breakaway at 16:21. Ryan Craig deposited a rebound on a five-on-three power play just 49 seconds into the third period, but Jacob Josefson's goal on an odd-man rush at 2:33 gave Albany the momentum right back, 3-1. The Falcons could not crack Keith Kinkaid the rest of the way. He made 35 saves as Albany exited Springfield with the victory.
Connectict 4, Springfield 3
Friday, Apr. 5
Springfield jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals just 21 seconds apart in the first period, as Spencer Machacek and Matthew Ford each redirected blue-line shots from Nick Holden and David Savard, respectivey. The Falcons controlled the first period, outshooting the Whale, 12-1. Connecticut fought back though, scoring four times in the second period. Mike Vernace's tally just 13 seconds in sparked the Whale's rally, as Marek Hrivik, Brandon Segal, and Jesper Fast also struck for Connecticut to build a 4-2 advantage. Andrew Joudrey redirected a Ryan Russell shot past Cam Talbot at 7:25 of the third, bringing Springfield to within a goal, 4-3. Connecticut held off Springfield in the remaining half of the frame for the win. Following the game, the Falcons sealed a playoff berth as both, Albany and Manchester suffered defeats Friday night.
Springfield 7, Worcester 1
Saturday, Apr. 6
Peter Sivak scored on Worcester's first shot of the game just 2:09 in, but the Falcons controlled the contest from that point forward. Ryan Russell's goal at 10:08 of the second was the first of seven-straight conversions for Springfield, as the Falcons dominated the Sharks. Springfield outshot Worcester, 36-16, scored twice on six power-play chances, and was shorthanded only once. Russell and Sean Collins each scored two goals, while Spencer Machacek (1g-3a) and Nick Holden (0g-4a) both tied a Springfield season high with four points. Ryan Craig became the first Falcon to amass 20 goals in 2012-13.
Springfield 4, Portland 2
Sunday, Apr. 7
Cumberland County Civic Center
Springfield entered Sunday's game two points away from clinching the division, and the Falcons would win the Northeast title before their game in Portland ended. A 1-0 Providence win over Connecticut went final during the second period of the Falcons' contest, giving Springfield its third division championship. In the first period, Jake Hansen scored his first goal since Nov. 24, and second as a pro. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault wristed in a puck from the right circle on the power play for his 20th tally of the year in the second, as Springfield built a 2-0 cushion. Andy Miele struck late in the second for Portland, but Blake Parlett and Sean Collins each scored for the Falcons in the third, as Springfield led, 4-1. Miele connected again with two seconds to go in the game, as the Falcons earned the 4-2 victory.
Friday, Apr. 12 - Springfield at Adirondack, 7:00 p.m., Glens Falls Civic Center
Saturday, Apr. 13 - Springfield vs. Providence, 7:00 p.m., MassMutual Center
Sunday, Apr. 14 - Springfield vs. Connecticut, 3:00 p.m., MassMutual Center
After taking over first place in the Northeast with a 3-0 win in Providence on Oct. 26, the Falcons did not look back, recording a near wire-to-wire division championship. Springfield won the F.G. (Teddy) Oke Trophy as the Northeast Division champions on Sunday. The division championship is the third in in Falcons history, and first since 1997-98. The Falcons, who also won the Oke Trophy in 1995-96, became the first AHL team to win a division championship in 2012-13.
FRANCHISE RECORDS IN SIGHT
Springfield enters the last two weeks of the season with franchise records for points percentage, points, wins, and fewest losses in reach.
The highest points percentage in franchise history is .625, set when Springfield notched 100 points over 80 games in its second season of 1995-96. The Falcons would break that mark and record the best year in team history in terms of possible-points earned by collecting five points over the final six games, which would give the club a minimum .632 points percentage in 2012-13.
Springfield's 100 points in 1995-96 is the team record. The Falcons need 10 points to break that mark in their last six outings.
The Falcons' record for victories in a season is 45, posted in 1997-98. Springfield has to win five of its remaining six contests to equal that mark.
Springfield is also in range of setting records for fewest losses in a season. The Falcons have lost 20 games in regulation in 2012-13. The fewest by the team is 22, notched in 1995-96. Springfield has lost 25 games in regulation and overtime combined, and the club low is 27, also registered in 1995-96.
Each of the Falcons' first 17 seasons included an 80-game schedule. The AHL schedule was reduced to 76 contests prior to 2011-12.
BIG BATTLES WITH BRUINS LOOM
Two of Springfield's final six games in the regular season are against Providence and could determine the Eastern Conference regular-season champion. The Falcons host the Bruins this Saturday at the MassMutual Center, and then head to Providence on Friday, Apr. 19. Through the first eight games in the season series, Springfield and Providence have been virtually even. The Falcons and Bruins each have records of 4-3-0-1 in the head-to-head meetings, and each club has scored 21 goals over the eight contests.
The Falcons obtained a 40-win season for the fourth time in franchise history and guaranteed themselves a winning campaign on the road for the second time in team history on Saturday. Both accomplishments were last recorded by the club in 1997-98.
Springfield allowed a season-low 16 shots in consecutive contests against Connecticut and Worcester this weekend, and relinquished just 72 shots over their four games on the week, permitting 19 to Albany and 21 to Portland. The Falcons, as a result, moved up to ninth in the league in shots against at 29.26/game.
The defensive effort displayed by the Falcons throughout the 2012-13 campaign will result in a franchise record for fewest goals allowed in one year. Springfield is on pace to give up 184 goals, 31 fewer than the franchise low of 215, set in 1995-96. If the Falcons were playing an 80-game season, like they did in 1995-96, Springfield would be on pace to allow 193 goals, 22 less than it let in that year.
Springfield's six-goal win on Saturday was its second-largest of the 2012-13 season, and biggest since its 10-2 win in Connecticut on Nov. 4. The 7-1 win marked the fourth time that the Falcons reach the seven-goal mark this year.
The Falcons' +49 goal differential is the highest in the AHL, +7 ahead of the second-place Syracuse Crunch.
The Falcons equaled the franchise record and season high of 21 games above .500 with their victory on Sunday. Springfield can increase its record to 22 games above .500 for the first time in its 19-year history on Friday in Adirondack.
'JAM' NEARS LEAGUE LEAD
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault enters the last two weeks of the regular season just one point shy of the AHL's scoring lead. Audy-Marchessault tops Springfield with 63 points (20g-43a) and is one back of Hershey's Jeff Taffe, who paces the league with 64 points (18g-46a). The second-year pro tops the Falcons with 43 assists and is tied with Ryan Craig for the team lead with 20 goals. Audy-Marchessault has a chance to become the first Falcon to win the John B. Sollenberger Trophy as the AHL's leading scorer in the regular season.
CRAIG CLOSES IN ON RECORD
Ryan Craig tied Danny Briere and Jean-Guy Trudel for the most goals in Falcons history on the power play, depositing his 29th tally on the man advantage in a Springfield sweater on Tuesday. Craig is sixth all-time with 59 goals as a Falcon, two shy of Rob Murray for fifth in team history. His 10 game-winning tallies place him in a tie for fourth in club history, four away from Briere's record 14.
SECOND TO NONE
Curtis McElhinney is second in franchise history for wins in a season with 28 and is two behind Scott Langkow's record 30, set in 1997-98. McElhinney, who made 19 saves on 21 shots on Sunday, leads the league with a Falcons all-time record nine shutouts. The eighth-year pro is fourth in the league with a .924 save percentage and is ninth with a 2.25 goals-against average. Manny Legace holds the team record for lowest goals-against average (minimum 25 games) in one season of 2.27, accomplished in 1995-96. Jean-Marc Pelletier's .922 save percentage in 2003-04 (minimum 25 games) is the highest in one year by a Falcons goaltender.
NICK'S BIG WEEK
Nick Holden set a career high with four points, all assists, in the 7-1 win in Worcester on Saturday. Holden accumulated seven assists over the four games on the week and was a combined +6. He is tied for sixth among AHL defensemen with a career-high 38 points (8g-30a). Holden leads Springfield with a +23 mark, putting him in a tie for fourth in the league among all skaters. Danny Briere and John Stevens share the club record for highest plus-minus rating in one season of +23.
Sean Collins and Spencer Machacek each posted five points on the weekend. Collins scored twice on Saturday and added a goal on Sunday while also contributing a pair of assists over the two wins. Machacek notched his first goal as a Falcon on Friday and had four points (1g-3a) on Saturday, one shy of matching a career high. On Oct. 24, 2009, Machacek garnered five points (2g-3a) while playing with the Chicago Wolves against the Abbotsford Heat.
PARLETT PITCHES IN
Blake Parlett, acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets from the New York Rangers as part of last week's Marian Gaborik trade, then subsequently assigned to Springfield, made an impact in his debut as a Falcon. Parlett posted an assist in his first game with Springfield on Friday, and then delivered his first goal as a Falcon on Sunday.
MADAISKY MAKES DEBUT
Austin Madaisky made his AHL debut on Saturday and was a combined +2 in the victories in Worcester and Portland.
FALCONS PLAYERS TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS AT SARAT FORD LINCOLN
Falcons players will meet fans and sign autographs at Sarat Ford Lincoln in Agawam on Tuesday, Apr. 9.
The players will be available that evening from 6 to 7 p.m. Sarat Ford Lincoln is located at 245 Springfield St. in Agawam. For directions, please call (413) 786-0430.
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 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.
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.