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Springfield Report: Feb. 22, 2011

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

WEEK IN REVIEW


FEBRUARY 16 Springfield 4 vs. Bridgeport 3 (SO) (Goal scorers – Regner, Wilson, Smith)
FEBRUARY 18 Springfield 5 vs. Manchester 4 (OT) (Goal scorers – Savard 2, Mayorov, Filatov, Byers)
FEBRUARY 19 Springfield 3 vs. Worcester 2 (Goal scorer – Wilson 3)


THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

FEBRUARY 22 Springfield vs. Manchester - 7 PM MassMutual Center
FEBRUARY 23 Springfield at Worcester - 7 PM DCU Center
FEBRUARY 25 Springfield vs. Albany - 7:30 PM MassMutual Center
FEBRUARY 26 Springfield vs. Portland - 7:30 PM MassMutual Center
FEBRUARY 27 Springfield at Wilkes-Barre - 3 PM Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

*Radio Broadcasts on WHYN AM 560
*Watch AHL Live


THIS WEEK'S GAME PREVIEWS

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2011 – FALCONS VS. MANCHESTER MONARCHS

The Springfield Falcons and Manchester Monarchs meet for the ninth time this season and this will also be the third meeting between these two teams since February 13.

The Falcons have won the last two games against Manchester on home ice including a 5-4 overtime win on February 18 at The Nest. David Savard scored a pair of goals in that contest, including the overtime game-winner.

Both the Falcons and Monarchs have been playing good hockey over the last 10 games. Manchester is 5-2-1-2 in their last 10 contests, while Springfield is 7-3 in that same stretch. Manchester continues to lead the Atlantic Division with a record of 34-18-2-5 good for 75 points.

Falcons captain Ben Guite has taken over the team lead in scoring against the Monarchs this year with three goals and three assists for six points in seven games. Kyle Wilson has two goals and one assist in just two games against Manchester this year.

Both Brandon Kozun and Oscar Moller lead the Monarchs in scoring against the Falcons with four goals and three assists for seven points each. Marc-Andre Cliché is tied with Kozun and Moller in points against the Falcons with two goals and five assists for seven points. Bud Holloway is tied with Kozun and Moller for most goals against Springfield with four.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 – FALCONS AT WORCESTER SHARKS
The Falcons and Worcester Sharks meet for the seventh time this season when they get together on Wednesday night. This will be the third meeting between the Falcons and Sharks since February 11 with Springfield winning the most recent battle on Saturday by a score of 3-2 in overtime. Kyle Wilson netted a hat trick in the win for the Falcons.

The Falcons remain three points behind Worcester for fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Worcester has also been collecting points in the standings on a regular basis going 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games. The Falcons and Sharks season series has been very competitive with two games being decided in a shootout and one decided in overtime.

David Savard leads the Falcons in scoring against the Sharks this year with four assists in five games. Kyle Wilson has three goals in just two games against Worcester, while Trevor Smith has one goal and two assists in three games against Worcester.

Dan DaSilva and Andrew Desjardines both lead Worcester in scoring against Springfield with seven points each. DaSilva also leads the Sharks in goals against the Falcons with four.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2011 – FALCONS VS. ALBANY DEVILS
The Springfield Falcons and Albany Devils meet for the second time this season and first overall meeting in Springfield this year. The Devils beat the Falcons back on January 15 in Albany by a score of 6-3.

Albany has a record of 22-29-1-3 on the season and they are in sixth place in the East Division. The Devils have gone 3-0-1-0 in their last four games entering this week.

The Falcons received goals from Chris D'Alvise, Ben Guite and David Savard in the first meeting. Jonathan Sigalet also pitched in with two assists in that contest.

Albany's Adam Henrique led the Devils in the first meeting with Springfield with a pair of goals. Henrique is currently eighth in the league in rookie scoring with 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points in 50 games. Alexander Urbom also pitched in with one goal and one assist in the Albany win.

Center Matt Anderson continues to lead Albany in scoring with 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points in 51 games. Former Falcon Chad Wiseman has six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 30 games.

Newly acquired Steve Zalewski has been on a tear since being acquired by the Devils collecting five goals and one assist in six games. Zalewski had four goals in 50 games with Worcester before the trade.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2011 – FALCONS VS. PORTLAND PIRATES
The Falcons and Pirates meet for the seventh time this season and this will be the first match-up between these two divisional rivals since January 16. The Falcons are 2-4 against Portland this year with the Pirates winning the last two games of the season series by 4-1 scores.

Portland remains one of the top teams in the Atlantic Division with a record of 33-16-4-2 good for 73 points and second place in the division. The Pirates have gone 6-3-0-1 in their last 10 games heading into this week.

Portland's Mark Mancari continues to lead the Pirates in scoring with 31 goals and 30 assists for 61 points in 52 games. Mancari is currently third in the league in scoring and he leads the AHL in goals this year.

Portland defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani is tied for the league lead in scoring among defensemen with nine goals and 31 assists for 40 points in 47 games. Rookie Luke Adam continues to average a point a game with Portland collecting 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points in 34 games. Adam is sixth in the league in rookie scoring.

Left wing Derek Whitmore is second on the Pirates in goals this year with 20. Goaltender Jhonas Enroth continues to be the workhorse in goal for Portland. He has a record of 18-15-2 with a 2.82 goals against average and .910 save percentage. Enroth is sixth in the AHL in minutes played with 2,146 and sixth in saves with 1,124.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2011 – FALCONS AT WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON
The Falcons and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins meet for the second and final team this regular season when Springfield heads to Wilkes-Barre for a Sunday afternoon matinee. These two teams haven't played since the Penguins beat the Falcons at the MassMutual Center by a score of 4-2 back on November 28.

Tomas Kubalik scored a pair of goals for the Falcons in that contest, while Ryan Craig, Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Johnson and Bryan Lerg all scored for Wilkes-Barre.

Wilkes-Barre remains the top team in the AHL with a record of 42-15-0-0 good for 84 points. They have won three straight games and given up the fewest goals against in the AHL at 128.

The Penguins have continued to win despite not having their top seven scorers on their roster. Goaltender Brad Thiessen continues to have a very strong campaign as he has posted a record of 24-5 with a 1.77 goals against average and .930 save percentage. He leads the league in goals against average and wins, while he is second in save percentage entering the week.


LAST WEEK'S GAME RECAPS

SPRINGFIELD VS. BRIDGEPORT, FEBRUARY 16 – Win, 4-3 (SO)

February 16, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday night at the MassMutual Center. Trevor Smith scored in the fifth round of the shootout, while goaltender Gustaf Wesslau stopped all five shooters in the extra session in leading the Falcons to their 25th win on the season.

The Falcons entered the third period with a one goal lead, but Bridgeport rallied with a pair of markers in the final session to take a one goal lead of their own. David Ullstrom tied the score at 2-2 when he converted on the power play at 1:47, followed by Justin DiBenedetto scoring his 13th goal of the year during a Falcons' delayed penalty at 4:40 of the third period giving the Sound Tigers a 3-2 advantage.

Just 35-seconds after Bridgeport took the lead, Brent Regner tied the score at 3-3 when his slap shot from the right point found the back of the net.

After a scoreless first period, Kyle Wilson gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead just 33-seconds into the middle period when he scored his seventh goal of the year. Bridgeport tied the score at 1-1 when Eric Castonguay converted at the 10:00 mark of the middle frame. Smith regained the Falcons lead just 46-seconds later when he scored his 17th marker of the year.

SPRINGFIELD VS. MANCHESTER, FEBRUARY 18 – Win, 5-4 (OT)
February 18, 2011 - David Savard scored his second goal of the game at 3:13 of overtime sending the Falcons home with a 5-4 win over the Manchester Monarchs at the MassMutual Center on Friday night. The Falcons improved their record to 26-25-1-3 on the season and moved to within three points of a playoff spot within the Atlantic Division.

Friday's game was a contest that featured momentum swings all night long and featured three different lead changes. The Falcons held a 4-3 lead heading into the third period, but Manchester's Dwight King tied the score at 5:34 of the final period with a nifty backhand goal. In the overtime, both teams exchanged scoring chances during the extra session before Savard's slap shot from the right point slid past a screened Jeff Zatkoff and into the back of the net.

The night started out well for Springfield as they built a two-goal lead in the first period. Dane Byers used a shorthanded marker at 4:32 of the opening frame giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead. Late in the first period, Savard converted on the power play with just 13 seconds remaining in the session giving Springfield a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes.

In the second period, Manchester used three goals in a span of 3:19 to erase a 2-0 deficit and take a 3-2 advantage. Oscar Moller started the comeback for the Monarchs at 1:19 of the second period, followed by Bud Holloway and Brandon Kozen scoring just 25-seconds apart. After Kozen's goal, Falcons head coach Rob Riley called a timeout and the club regrouped.

Just over a minute after Manchester took the lead, Nikita Filatov wristed a shot past Zatkoff evening the score at 3-3. At 15:32 of the second period, Maksim Mayorov gave the Falcons a 4-3 lead with his 16th goal of the year.

Ben Guite finished the night with two assists, while Jonathan Sigalet also collected a pair of helpers.

SPRINGFIELD VS. WORCESTER, FEBRUARY 19 – Win, 3-2 (OT)
February 19, 2011 - Kyle Wilson recorded a natural hat trick, including the game-winner in overtime, leading the Falcons to a 3-2 overtime win. The victory was Springfield's third straight win and improved their record to 27-25-1-3 on the season and they have inched to within one point of fourth place Worcester.

The Falcons held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, but Worcester tied the score at 2-2 when Kevin Henderson redirected a Nick Petrecki shot from the left point. Late in the third period, Worcester ended up on a four-minute power play when Trevor Smith was whistled for high sticking, but the Falcons penalty killers did an outstanding job keeping the game tied.

The Falcons continued their momentum from Friday night and used it early Saturday as they built a 2-0 lead in the first period. Wilson opened the scoring at 13:46 of the opening frame, followed by his second marker of the period at 16:51 of the first period. Just 18-seconds into the opening period, Tom Sestito and Joe Loprieno dropped the gloves after Sestito was given a major penalty for cross checking.

In the second period, Worcester cut their deficit to 2-1 when Patrick Davis scored his fourth goal of the year at 8:26 of the middle frame.

Late in the first period, Michael Swift dropped the gloves with Chris D'Alvise with each player collecting fighting majors.


TEAM NOTES

The Springfield Falcons have 27 wins through 56 games this year. This year marks the fastest pace the Falcons have reached 27 wins in a season since 1997-98 when the Falcons had 28 wins through 56 games.

Kyle Wilson continues to produce since joining the Falcons back on January 22. Wilson collected four goals and one assist in three games last week, including a natural hat trick on February 19 as he scored all three goals in a 3-2 Falcons overtime win over the Worcester Sharks. Wilson has 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points in 13 games with Springfield. Wilson has collected at least a point in 10 of the 13 games he has played. Wilson’s hat trick was the first by a Falcons player since Chad Wiseman scored four goals for Springfield back on January 17, 2010.

Tomas Kubalik enters the week second in the AHL in rookie scoring with 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points in 55 games.

David Savard had a very productive week collecting two goals and two assists for four points in three games. Savard scored a pair of goals on February 18 against Manchester, including the game-winner in overtime. The two goals marked the first multi-goal game of Savard's pro career. Savard leads all Falcons defensemen in scoring with seven goals and 17 assists for 24 points in 48 games this year.

Captain Ben Guite has three assists in his last two games and he also has two goals and three assists for five points in his last five games.

Goaltender Gustaf Wesslau has won his last three straight starts.


TRANSACTIONS

2-15-11 –
Columbus Blue Jackets assign John Moore to the Springfield Falcons.
2-15-11 –
Columbus Blue Jackets reassign Michael Ratchuk from the Springfield Falcons to the Fort Wayne Komets.
2-17-11 –
Columbus Blue Jackets recall John Moore from the Springfield Falcons.
2-19-11 –
Columbus Blue Jackets assign John Moore to the Springfield Falcons.

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