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Springfield Report: Feb. 1, 2011

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

WEEK IN REVIEW

JANUARY 27 Springfield 3 at Hershey 4 (Goal scorers – Savard, Moore, Wilson)
JANUARY 28 Springfield 3 at Norfolk 2 (SO) (Goal scorers – D'Alvise, Wilson... shootout scorers – Regner, Wilson, Kubalik)
JANUARY 29 Springfield 4 at Norfolk 2 (Goal scorers – Mayorov, Sigalet, Tarnasky, Guite)


THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
FEBRUARY 4 Springfield at Providence - 7:05 PM Dunkin Donuts Center
FEBRUARY 5 Springfield at Bridgeport - 7 PM Arena at Harbor Yard

*Radio Broadcasts on WHYN AM 560
*Watch AHL Live


THIS WEEK'S GAME PREVIEWS

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2011 AT PROVIDENCE BRUINS

The Springfield Falcons and Providence Bruins meet for the eighth time this season when they get together on Friday night in Providence, RI. The Falcons are 4-3 against the Bruins this year, including 3-1 in Providence. These two teams haven’t played since December 26 when the Falcons beat the Bruins 5-2 on home ice. These two teams are currently tied with the same amount of points in the Atlantic Division standings entering the week. The Falcons are 22-22-1-3 good for 48 points, while Providence is 22-21-3-1 good for 48 points. Providence is 7-3 in their last 10 games, while the Falcons are coming off a very impressive weekend where they won back-to-back games at Norfolk.

Tom Sestito leads the Falcons in scoring against the Bruins this year with two goals and four assists for six points in three games. David Savard has six assists in six games against Providence, while Matt Calvert and Mike Blunden lead Springfield in goals against the Bruins, but Blunden is out due to injury and Calvert starts the week on recall to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Maxime Sauve has been a scoring machine against the Falcons this year collecting six goals and one assist in six games played. He had a hat tick against the Falcons on October 9, followed by a two-goal game against Springfield on December 19.

Kirk MacDonald has also been very good against the Falcons this year with four goals in seven games.

In the first seven games of the season series, neither club has been able to win back-to-back games with Springfield and Providence alternating wins.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011 – AT BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS
The Falcons and Sound Tigers meet for the seventh time this season with Springfield posting a mark of 4-1-0-1 in the previous six matchups this year. The Falcons have won the last two head-to-head games against the Sound Tigers and once again, this will be a game that features two teams that are very close in the standings.

The Falcons have a four-point lead on Bridgeport in the Atlantic Division. Bridgeport is just 1-6-2-1 in their last 10 games and currently have lost their last four straight games.

Dane Byers has been very solid against the Sound Tigers this year collecting five goals and three assists for eight points in five games with Springfield against Bridgeport. Trevor Frischmon has also had a productive year against Bridgeport with seven assists in six games. Tomas Kubalik is also averaging a point a game against the Sound Tigers with two goals and four assists in six games.

Bridgeport rookie Rhett Rakhshani has been dominant against the Falcons this year with two goals and eight assists for 10 points in just five games.


PLAYER/TEAM NOTES

Kyle Wilson joined the Falcons on January 22 and collected a point in his first four games with Springfield collecting three goals and three assists in that span.

Rookie Tomas Kubalik has taken over the team lead in scoring with 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points in 47 games. Kubalik is on a three-game scoring streak (3 assists) and he also scored in the shootout on Friday night in Norfolk. Kubalik has scored four times in five shootout attempts this season leading the team in shootout goals. Kubalik is currently 7th in the AHL in rookie scoring as well.

The Falcons win in Norfolk on Friday was their first since January 24, 2004, a span of 11 straight contests.

The Falcons have 22 wins in 48 games this year. This year marks the quickest amount of games the Falcons have reached 22 wins since the 2001-02 season when the Falcons won 22 of their first 45 games.

David Savard has points in three of his last four games totaling two goals and one assist in that stretch.

Gustaf Wesslau posted a record of 5-4 with a 2.50 goals against average and .926 save percentage in nine games during the month of January. Wesslau was named a star in four games and also turned aside 7 of 9 shooters in two shootout appearances. Wesslau stopped 39 or more shots four times in January.

The Falcons ended January with a record of 7-7, 3-3 at home and 4-4 on the road.

Today's random stat, the Falcons are 7-1-0-1 on Friday games on the road this year.


LAST WEEK'S GAME RECAPS

SPRINGFIELD AT HERSHEY, JANUARY 27 – Lost, 4-3

January 27, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Hershey Bears 4-3 on Thursday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. The Falcons three times battled back from two goal deficits, but in the end came up just short against the Bears.

The Bears would open the scoring in the first period as Andrew Gordon scored his 21st goal of the year at 6:16 of the opening session. Hershey built a 2-0 advantage when Sean Collins tallied his third marker on the campaign at 16:39 of the first period giving the Bears a two goal advantage. Late in the opening frame, the Falcons used their power play to cut into their deficit as David Savard's shot from the point beat Hershey netminder Dany Sabourin at 18:48 of the first period pulling Springfield to within one.

In the second period, Hershey used their own power play to regain a two goal lead when Brian Willsie converted on the man advantage eight minutes into the session giving the Bears a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes.

The Falcons once again battled back in the third period as John Moore joined the rush and snapped home his third marker of the year cutting the Falcons' deficit to 3-2. Just 33-seconds after Moore scored, Hershey took a 4-2 lead when Steve Pinizzotto beat Falcons goaltender David LeNeveu. In the game's final minute, Kyle Wilson pulled the Falcons back to within a single goal, but that would end the scoring for the night.

SPRINGFIELD AT NORFOLK, JANUARY 28 – Win, 3-2 (SO)
January 28, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons beat the Norfolk Admirals 3-2 in a shootout on Friday night at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. The Falcons rallied to tie the game late in regulation and used three straight goals in the shootout to earn the win.

Trailing 2-1 late in the third period, the Falcons found a way to tie the game when Kyle Wilson redirected a David Savard shot pulling Springfield even at 2-2 at 17:23 of the final frame and sending the game to extra time. Wilson's goal came after Marc Pouliot gave Norfolk a 2-1 lead at 11:36 of the third period.

After a scoreless overtime, Norfolk scored first in the shootout before Brent Regner, Wilson and Tomas Kubalik all scored in the shootout with Gustaf Wesslau stopping the final two shooters.

Early in the game, Norfolk took the lead when Blair Jones opened the scoring for the Admirals just 1:42 into the first period. In the second period, the Falcons tied the score at 1-1 when Chris D'Alvise was setup by Jonathan Sigalet on the power play at 10:33 of the middle frame.

GAME NOTES
The Falcons ended up on a five-minute power play in the third period when Mathieu Roy boarded Trevor Frischmon drawing the call of a major penalty.

The win for Springfield was the team's first win in Norfolk since January 24, 2004, a span of 11 straight games.

SPRINGFIELD AT NORFOLK, JANUARY 29 – Win, 4-2
January 29, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons won their second straight game beating the Norfolk Admirals 4-2 on Saturday night at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. The Falcons swept the weekend series against the Admirals as they head into the All-Star Break with a record of 22-22-1-3.

The Falcons used four different goal scorers and 41 saves from goaltender Gustaf Wesslau in skating away with the two points.

After nearly 36 minutes of scoreless hockey on Saturday night, the Falcons and Admirals exploded for three goals in the final three minutes of the second period. The Falcons took the lead at 1-0 when Maksim Mayorov scored at 17:05 of the middle session, but Mike Angelidis tied the score for Norfolk just 58-seconds later.

In the final minute of the second period, Jonathan Sigalet redirected a Nick Tarnasky pass to convert his fourth marker on the campaign.

In the third period, the Falcons took a 3-1 advantage when Tarnasky tallied his fifth marker of the year, but Norfolk battled right back when Mike Barberio pulled the Admirals to within one at 13:59 of the final frame.

With the Falcons holding on to a 3-2 lead, Ben Guite added an empty net goal in the game's final minute giving Springfield the victory.


TRANSACTIONS

1-26-11 –
Columbus Blue Jackets assign Matt Calvert to the Springfield Falcons.
1-27-11 –
Columbus Blue Jackets assign Tyler Murovich to the ECHL’s Reading Royals.
1-31-11 –
Columbus Blue Jackets recall Matt Calvert from the Springfield Falcons.

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