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Springfield Report: Feb. 15, 2011

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

WEEK IN REVIEW

FEBRUARY 11 Springfield 0 vs. Worcester 5
FEBRUARY 12 Springfield 8 vs. Providence 2 (Goal scorers – Mayorov (2), Smith (2), Guite, Goertzen, Frischmon, Kubalik)
FEBRUARY 13 Springfield 3 at Manchester 5 (Goal scorers – Wilson (2), Guite)

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
FEBRUARY 16 Springfield vs. Bridgeport - 7 PM MassMutual Center
FEBRUARY 18 Springfield vs. Manchester - 7:30 PM MassMutual Center
FEBRUARY 19 Springfield vs. Worcester - 7 PM MassMutual Center

*Radio Broadcasts on WHYN AM 560
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THIS WEEK'S GAME PREVIEWS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011 VS. BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS

The Springfield Falcons and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers meet for the eighth time this season when they get together on Wednesday night at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons are 5-1-0-1 this season against the Sound Tigers including a 3-0-0-0 record at The Nest. The Falcons have won the last three meetings against the Sound Tigers dating back to December 17th.

The Falcons currently sit eight points ahead of the seventh place Sound Tigers in the Atlantic Division. The Falcons are seven points out of third place, the last guaranteed playoff spot in the division. Springfield begins a four game home stand this week. All four games are within the Atlantic Division.

Bridgeport has been on a bit of a slide lately as they hope to snap their nine game losing streak in Springfield. Falcons forward Dane Byers leads the team with six goals, four assists, and 10 points against Bridgeport this year with eight of those points coming as a member of the Falcons. Goaltender David LeNeveu has started five of the seven games against Bridgeport this season recording a 3.37 goals against average and a .883 save percentage. Gustaf Wesslau has spent two games between the pipes against Bridgeport leaving with two wins, a 2.00 goals against average and a .931 save percentage.

Bridgeport rookie Rhett Rakhshani leads the offense against Springfield this year with two goals and eight assists in five games. Justin DiBenedetto has three goals and one assist this year in just three games against the Falcons.

Rakhshani is tied for second in rookie points with 34 this season, recording 10 goals and 24 assists in 42 games this season, but he has missed the last five games for Bridgeport. DiBenedetto has recorded three goals in his last five games. The Sound Tigers are 11-0-0-0 when they are leading after two periods.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2011 – VS. MANCHESTER MONARCHS
The Falcons and Monarchs meet for the eighth time this season, the second in six days. The Falcons are 2-5 against Manchester this year, including a 5-3 loss this past Sunday in Manchester.

Manchester currently sits atop the Atlantic Division with a 33-17-1-5 record good for 72 points this season. Manchester brings a two game winning streak to the Nest, but the Monarchs are 3-1-0-2 in the month of February. The Monarchs play three games this weekend, two of which being on the road.

Marc-Andre Cliche has six points against the Falcons this season, while Brandon Kozun has three goals and two assists against Springfield this year. Defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov leads Manchester in scoring with 12 goals and 27 assists for 39 points in 52 games this season. He also leads all AHL defensemen in scoring this year. The Monarchs have 10 players with twenty or more points this season.

Falcons captain Ben Guite has three goals and one assist in six games against the Monarchs this year. Maksim Mayorov has six points in his last four games going into this week including an assist against Manchester last Sunday. Monarchs forward Dwight King has seven points in his last six games, including a two goal night Sunday afternoon against the Falcons.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2011 – VS. WORCESTER SHARKS
The Falcons and Sharks meet for the sixth time this season this Sunday at the MassMutual Center. It is the second time in eight nights that Worcester has played in Springfield, coming out with a 5-0 win on Friday, February 11th. Springfield is 1-3-0-1 this year against Worcester, with their only win on the season coming in a 3-2 shootout on the road. Three of the five games have been one-goal games, two of which ending in shootouts.

Worcester is currently one point out of the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division with 58 points. They do however have four games in hand on the third place Connecticut Whale.

Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo, who led the NHL in goals for the San Jose Sharks in the 2005-2006 season, currently leads Worcester with 14 goals and 27 assists, good for 41 points this season in the AHL. Worcester forwards Dan DaSilva and Andrew Desjardins both lead the team against Springfield with seven points apiece. Worcester goaltender Alex Stalock appeared in the first four games against Springfield this year posting a goals against average of 1.92 with a .925 save percentage, while goalie Daren Machesney started for the Sharks on February 11th recording his first shutout of the season.

Worcester Sharks defenseman Justin Braun has recorded seven points in his last seven games, while DaSilva and Desjardins are both coming off of three point nights in their last meeting against Springfield.


PLAYER/TEAM NOTES

Ben Guite had goals in back to back games to close out this past weekend.

Dane Byers played in his 300th pro game on Saturday night.

Trevor Frischmon played in his 300th AHL game on Sunday.

Maksim Mayorov collected two goals and two assists in three games last week.

Tom Sestito had four assists in three games last week.

The Falcons scored a season high eight goals last night and it was the franchise's hiighest goal output in a game since December 30, 1999 when Springfield scored 14 on the same Providence Bruins at the old Springfield Civic Center.

Kyle Wilson added two goals and three assists in three games this past weekend. Wilson has six goals and six assists for 12 points in 10 games.

Trevor Smith scored a pair of goals on Saturday night earning the game's second star.

Rookie Tomas Kubalik has taken over the team lead in scoring with 17 goals and 19 assists for 36 points in 52 games. Kubalik also leads the team in shootout goals this year converting on four of five attempts. Kubalik is currently tied for the AHL lead in rookie scoring.


LAST WEEK'S GAME RECAPS

SPRINGFIELD VS. WORCESTER, FEBRUARY 11 – Loss, 5-0

February 11, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Worcester Sharks 5-0 on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. The Sharks used two goals from Andrew Desjardines and a 25-save shutout from goaltender Daren Machesney to move eight points ahead of Springfield in the standings.

After a scoreless first period, the Sharks scored three goals in a span of 1:26 in the second period to take control of the game. Benn Ferriero started the scoring at 2:51 of the middle period on the power play, followed by Dan DaSilva and Brandon Mashinter scoring just 56-seconds apart. Desjardines added his first goal of the night at 18:25 of the second period on the power play giving Worcester a 4-0 lead through 40 minutes.

Desjardines added his second goal of the game in the third period concluding the scoring for the night.

The Falcons had a pair of players return from injury on Friday. Trevor Smith returned after missing 12 games dating back to January 9, while Nikita Filatov returned after missing 11 games due to injury.

SPRINGFIELD VS. PROVIDENCE, FEBRUARY 12 – Win, 8-2
February 12, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons bounced back in a big way on Saturday night beating the Providence Bruins 8-2 at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons used two-goal efforts from Maksim Mayorov and Trevor Smith on their way to their 24th victory of the season.

Both the Falcons and Bruins were in search of a win on Saturday and it took just one-second into the game to realize this would be a physical and intense battle as Tom Sestito and Lane MacDermid dropped the gloves right off the opening faceoff.

The Falcons and Bruins exchanged goals in the opening period as Mayorov scored on the power play at 13:40, followed by Providence's Trent Whitfield converting on the man advantage at 19:04 of the opening frame.

In the second period, it was all Falcons as they exploded for four second period markers, including three goals in a span of 1:30. Smith gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead at 1:03 of the second period, followed by Mayorov scoring his second goal of the night just one-minute later. Ben Guite gave the Falcons a 4-1 advantage at 2:33 of the second period, followed by Steven Goertzen scoring a shorthanded marker at 15:09 of the middle period giving the Falcons a 5-1 cushion through 40 minutes.

In the third period, the Falcons didn't take their foot off the gas pedal as Smith added his second marker of the game just 23-seconds into the final stanza. Providence's Jamie Arniel cut the Bruins deficit to 6-2, but Trevor Frischmon and Tomas Kubalik added insurance goals late in the game for the Falcons to earn a 8-2 victory.

GAME NOTES
Tom Sestito and Nathan McIver dropped the gloves in the second period, followed by Nick Tarnasky and Lane MacDermid in the third period.

SPRINGFIELD AT MANCHESTER, FEBRUARY 13 – Loss, 5-3
February 13, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons were nine minutes away from a hard-earned two points in Manchester, NH on Sunday, but in the end the Monarchs used a pair of power play goals in the third period to hand the Falcons a 5-3 setback at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Kyle Wilson added a pair of goals for the Falcons, while captain Ben Guite also converted for the Falcons.

Deadlocked at 2-2 heading into the third period, the Falcons took a 3-2 lead just 4:35 into the final frame when Wilson tallied on the power play assisted by Tom Sestito and David Savard. The Falcons would hold on to that advantage until midway through the third period when Springfield was whistled for five straight minor penalties, including a pair of calls that placed Manchester on a five-on-three power play. On the two-man advantage, the Monarchs evened the score at 3-3 when Brandon Kozun scored his first goal of the night at 11:53 of the third period.

Following Kozun's equalizer, the Falcons had a chance to regain their lead when Trevor Frischmon ended up on a breakaway, but Manchester goaltender Martin Jones made the save, including another point blank stop on Mike Commodore on the rebound of Frischmon's chance.

A few minutes later, Manchester was awarded another power play and Kozun added his second power play marker of the period giving the Monarchs their first lead of the night at 4-3. David Meckler added an insurance goal late for Manchester in the third period.

The night started out very well for Springfield as they opened the scoring at 2:03 of the first period when Guite scored his 10th goal of the year assisted by Commodore and Maksim Mayorov.

At 8:14 of the opening frame, Dwight King tied the score at 1-1 for Manchester with his 17th marker of the year.

In the second period, the two teams exchanged goals once again with the Falcons taking a lead, but the Monarchs responding with a goal of their own. Wilson gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead at 15:42 of the middle period, but Oscar Moller tallied a shorthanded marker late in the second period tying the score at 2-2 through 40 minutes of play.

TRANSACTIONS
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KOMETS ROUND-UP

WEEK IN REVIEW
FEBRUARY 9 Fort Wayne 7 vs. Bloomington 1 (Goal scorers – O'Connor (2) Chaulk (2) Lardner, Patrosso, DeAngelis)
FEBRUARY 11 Fort Wayne 2 at Quad City 4 (Goal scorers – Thomas, Schrock)
FEBRUARY 12 Fort Wayne 2 vs. Dayton 0 (Goal scorers – Lardner, Drouin)
FEBRUARY 13 Fort Wayne 2 at Evansville 0 (Goal scorers – Patrosso, Curadeau)

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
FEBRUARY 16 Fort Wayne at Bloomington - 7:05 PM
FEBRUARY 18 Fort Wayne vs. Dayton - 8 PM
FEBRUARY 19 Fort Wayne at Quad City - 7:05 PM
FEBRUARY 20 Fort Wayne vs. Dayton - 5 PM

The Komets get ready for another busy week ahead with four games in five nights. Fort Wayne travels to Bloomington Wednesday, returns home to welcome Dayton Friday for an 8 p.m. faceoff and then get back on the road to Quad City Saturday. The Komets will host Dayton for another 5 p.m. matinee home tilt on Sunday.

Forward Chris Francis, who has played in four games for the Springfield Falcons this season, returned to Fort Wayne on January 23rd after a brief AHL stint. Francis has played in 32 games for the Komets this season recording four goals and 13 assists.

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