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Springfield Report: March 2, 2011

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

WEEK IN REVIEW


FEBRUARY 22 Springfield 0 vs. Manchester 5
FEBRUARY 23 Springfield 4 at Worcester 2 (Goal scorers – Filatov, Wilson, Byers, Smith)
FEBRUARY 25 Springfield 5 vs. Albany 2 (Goal scorers – Moore, Kana, Mayorov, Kubalik, Sestito)
FEBRUARY 26 Springfield 4 vs. Portland 1 (Goal scorers – Guite, Kubalik, Filatov, Sestito)
FEBRUARY 27 Springfield 4 at Wilkes-Barre 5 (Goal scorers – Holden (2), Guite, Regner)


THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

MARCH 2 Springfield at Connecticut - 7 PM XL Center
MARCH 5 Springfield vs. Connecticut - 7 PM MassMutual Center
MARCH 6 Springfield at Portland - 4 PM Cumberland County Civic Center

*Radio Broadcasts on WHYN AM 560
*Watch AHL Live


THIS WEEK'S GAME PREVIEWS

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2011 – FALCONS AT CONNECTICUT WHALE
SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2011 – FALCONS VS. CONNECTICUT WHALE

The Springfield Falcons and the Connecticut Whale meet for the sixth time this season when they face off Wednesday night in Connecticut. This is the first meeting between the two teams since January 22 when the Whale beat the Falcons 5-1 in Springfield. It will be the first of two meetings between the division rivals this week as the two start a home and home series.

The Whale have won the last two games against Springfield dating back to November 19, 2010. The Falcons won the first three games in the season series, including two wins in Connecticut. Including this week, the Falcons and Whale have five more head to head match-ups this year as they remain tied in the standings.

The Falcons have been playing good hockey over the last 10 games. Springfield is 7-3 in their last 10 contests, and they are coming off of their best month as they recorded an 8-5 record in February. The Whale and the Falcons are tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Division going into this game with 64 points. Connecticut has a game in hand against Springfield.

Falcons defenseman John Moore leads the team against the Whale this season with one goal and three assists for four points in five games. Both Tomas Kubalik and Maksim Mayorov both have two goals and one assist versus the Whale this year in five games. Falcons captain Ben Guite has recorded 11 points in his last 10 games. Goalie David LeNeveu has recorded a win in his last three starts posting a 1.67 goals against average in that stretch.

SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2011 – FALCONS AT PORTLAND PIRATES
The Falcons and Portland Pirates meet for the eighth time this season when Springfield heads to Maine for a late afternoon contest. The Pirates currently lead the season series 4-3. The Falcons won their last meeting in Springfield 4-1 on February 26.

Ben Guite, Tomas Kubalik, Tom Sestito, and Nikita Filatov all scored goals for Springfield in that contest while goalie David LeNeveu gave up one goal on 27 shots.

Portland is one of the top teams in the AHL with a record of 34-17-5-2 good for 75 points, and second place in the Atlantic Division. They are 5-3-1-1 in their last ten games.

Both captain Ben Guite and Maksim Mayorov have two goals and three assists in seven games against the Pirates.

Despite going pointless against the Falcons in their last meeting, Mark Mancari leads the Pirates in scoring against Springfield with four goals and four assists, good for eight points in just seven games. Rookie forward Luke Adam has two goals and five assists, good for seven points this season against Springfield in just four games.


FALCONS PLAYER/TEAM NOTES

Nick Holden had his first multi-goal game of the season on Sunday, February 27 in Wilkes-Barre.

David Savard collected two assists on February 27 giving him seven goals and 20 assists for 27 points in 53 games. He leads all Falcons defensemen in scoring this year and he has three multi-point games in his last seven contests.

Captain Ben Guite is on a four-game scoring streak having collected two goals and three assists in that span. Guite has collected a point in eight of his last 10 games overall totaling four goals and six assists for 10 points in that stretch.

Tomas Kana is on a three-game scoring streak having collected one goal and two assists in that span.

Tomas Kubalik is on a three-game scoring streak having collected two goals and one assist in that span. Kubalik remains second in the AHL in rookie scoring with 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points in 60 games.

David LeNeveu has won his last three straight starts collecting a 1.67 goals against average and .943 save percentage in that span.

The Falcons reached the 30-win plateau for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

The Falcons had their most productive month in February going 8-5. The Falcons were 6-2 at home and 2-3 on the road. The Falcons had two three-game winning streaks in February, their longest winning streaks of the year. The 30 wins this season marks the third time since the 1998-99 season that Springfield has reached the 30-win plateau.


LAST WEEK'S GAME RECAPS

SPRINGFIELD VS. MANCHESTER, FEBRUARY 22 – Loss, 5-0

February 22, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons were looking to extend their season high winning streak to four games, but instead Manchester played a solid road game and defeated the Falcons 5-0 at the MassMutual Center on Tuesday night. The Falcons will look to rebound at Worcester on Wednesday night.

It was just one of those nights for the Falcons, who had won three straight games entering this week. Springfield ended up with the game's first two power plays early in the first period, but the Manchester penalty killers did the job and used that momentum as the opening frame went along. Manchester jumped out to a first period lead when Oscar Moller scored his 16th goal of the year at 13:12 of the opening frame giving the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. Moller took advantage of a two-on-one breakout and snapped a quick wrist shot past Gustaf Wesslau.

The Monarchs expanded their lead to 2-0 at the 17:50 mark of the first period when Brandon Kozun tallied his 17th marker on the campaign giving Manchester a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes.

In the second period, Manchester's offense continued to strike as Ray Kaunisto scored his first goal of the night just 2:45 into the middle frame. The Monarchs built a 4-0 advantage at 9:45 of the middle period when David Kolomatis scored his sixth goal of the year.

The Monarchs added one more goal in the third period as Kaunisto tallied his second marker on the night giving Manchester a five goal cushion.

SPRINGFIELD AT WORCESTER, FEBRUARY 23 – Win, 4-2
February 23, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons once again found a way to get a must needed win as they scored four unanswered goals on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Worcester Sharks on Wednesday night at the DCU Center. The Falcons have now won four of their last five games and they are now one point behind fourth place Worcester and four points behind third place Connecticut in the Atlantic Division standings.

With the game deadlocked at 2-2 late in the third period, Kyle Wilson converted with just 2:45 remaining in regulation giving him his second game-winning goal against Worcester in the last two games against the Sharks. Dane Byers added an empty goal in the game's closing seconds to clinch a Falcons comeback victory.

Trailing 2-0 late in the second period, the Falcons battled back to even the score in the middle frame. Nikita Filatov cut Springfield's deficit to 2-1 at the 13:52 mark of the second period assisted by Trevor Smith and Tom Sestito. The Falcons evened the score at two when Smith converted on the power play at 16:59 assisted by Sestito and Cody Goloubef.

The night didn't start out perfect for the Falcons as they fell behind by two goals in the opening 20 minutes. Jonathan Cheechoo gave Worcester a 1-0 lead at the 4:13 mark of the first period, followed by Brandon Mashinter converting at 9:07 of the first period giving the Sharks a two-goal advantage.

Falcons goaltender David LeNeveu was very steady between the pipes stopping 32 of 34 shots on goal.

SPRINGFIELD VS. ALBANY, FEBRUARY 25 – Win, 5-2
February 25, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons continued their push for the playoffs on Friday night by defeating the Albany Devils at the MassMutual Center by a score of 5-2. The Falcons have now won five of their last six games and inched to within two points of third place Connecticut for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The Falcons are also three games over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

After Albany took the game's first lead when Jeff Prough scored for the Devils just 5:41 into the first period, the Falcons would take control of the game with five unanswered goals. Tom Sestito started the offense for the Falcons when he tied the score at 13:52 of the first period with his 10th goal of the year. Just 1:05 after Sestito's goal, John Moore gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead when he scored his fourth marker on the campaign giving Springfield a 2-1 lead through 20 minutes.

In the second period, the Falcons continued to apply pressure on Albany and generate multiple scoring chances. Maksim Mayorov converted on a breakaway at 10:10 of the second period giving the Falcons a 3-1 advantage. Tomas Kubalik and Tomas Kana would score 15-seconds apart late in the middle frame giving the Falcons a 5-1 lead through 40 minutes of play.

Falcons goaltender David LeNeveu won his second straight start stopping 25 of 27 shots on goal. Ben Guite collected a pair of assists on the evening and overall Springfield had nine different players collect at least a point on the night.

SPRINGFIELD VS. PORTLAND, FEBRUARY 26 – Win, 4-1
February 26, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons won their third straight game beating the Portland Pirates 4-1 at the MassMutual Center on Saturday night. With the win, Springfield moved into a third place tie with the Connecticut Whale for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The Falcons overall have won six of their last seven games and earned their 30th victory of the year.

The Falcons came out strong in the first period and took an early 1-0 lead when Nikita Filatov knocked in a Tom Sestito rebound just 1:53 into the opening frame. Three seconds after Filatov's goal, Dane Byers and Nick Tuzzolino dropped the gloves and collected fighting majors with Byers scoring the knockdown and keeping the momentum on the side of the Falcons. Just a little over four minutes later, Ben Guite tallied his 11th goal of the year giving Springfield a quick 2-0 lead.

At the 14:29 mark of the opening frame, Portland pulled to within a single goal at 2-1 when Nick Crawford scored his seventh goal of the year.

The second period was scoreless, but it did feature the game's second fight with Nick Tarnasky and Tim Conboy dropping the gloves and collecting fighting majors. Late in the middle stanza, Filatov ended up on a breakaway, but Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth made the save.

With each team exchanging scoring chances, the Falcons finally expanded their advantage as Sestito tallied his 11th marker of the year at 8:15 of the third period giving Springfield a 3-1 lead. Tomas Kubalik added one more goal for insurance giving the Falcons a 4-1 win.

Goaltender David LeNeveu once again was solid as he won his third straight start stopping 26 of 27 shots on goal.

SPRINGFIELD AT WILKES-BARRE, FEBRUARY 27 – Loss, 5-4
February 27, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons rallied back from a one goal deficit on four different occasions, but in the end fell just short dropping a 5-4 decision to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Brett Sterling's second goal of the game with just 1:11 remaining in regulation led the Penguins to their 44th win of the year. Nick Holden led the Falcons with a pair of goals.

Tied at 3-3 entering the third period, Sterling scored his first goal of the game at 1:48 of the final frame giving the Penguins a 4-3 lead. Holden tallied his second marker of the afternoon at 10:59 of the third period evening the score at 4-4. With the game appearing to be headed for overtime, Sterling added his second goal of the game.

The Penguins took a lead just 37-seconds into the first period when Zach Sill scored his sixth goal of the year. The Falcons tied the score at 1-1 when Holden tallied his third marker on the campaign at 6:51 of the opening frame. Wilkes-Barre regained their advantage at 2-1 when Ryan Craig scored his 14th goal of the year at 10:01 of the first period.

In the second period, the Falcons pulled even at 2-2 when Ben Guite tallied his 12th goal of the year at 10:21. Wilkes-Barre took a 3-2 lead when Tim Wallace tallied a shorthanded goal at 14:04 of the middle period, but the Falcons tied the score for the third time in the game when Brent Regner converted his fourth marker of the year at 17:06 of the second period.


TRANSACTIONS

3-1-11-
Columbus Blue Jackets assign Greg Moore to the Springfield Falcons.
3-1-11-
Columbus Blue Jackets assign Petr Kalus to the Springfield Falcons.
3-2-11-
Columbus Blue Jackets reassign Michael Ratchuk from the Springfield Falcons to the Fort Wayne Komets.

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