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Springfield Report: March 22, 2011

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

WEEK IN REVIEW


MARCH 16 Springfield 2 at Manchester 4 (Goal scorers–Goertzen, Kalus)
MARCH 18 Springfield 1 vs. Hershey 5 (Goal scorer–Mayorov)
MARCH 19 Springfield 0 at Binghamton 2
MARCH 20 Springfield 1 at Connecticut 3 (Goal scorer–Guite)

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
MARCH 23 Springfield at Connecticut - 7 PM XL Center
MARCH 26 Springfield at Worcester - 7 PM DCU Center
MARCH 27 Springfield vs. Binghamton - 3 PM MassMutual Center

*Radio Broadcasts on WHYN AM 560
*Watch AHL Live


THIS WEEK'S GAME PREVIEWS

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011 – FALCONS VS. CONNECTICUT WHALE

The Springfield Falcons and the Connecticut Whale meet for the ninth time this season when they face off Wednesday night in Hartford, CT. The Whale lead the season series with a 5-1-1-1 record, including a 3-1 win in Connecticut this past Sunday. The two teams will wrap up their season series in Springfield on April 2nd. Springfield won their first three meetings against the Whale this season with two of those three games in Connecticut.

The Falcons are looking for their first win in the month of March. Springfield is currently in 6th place in the Atlantic Division with 65 points. The Whale head into this week holding onto the third and final guaranteed playoff spot with 80 points. Connecticut is currently riding a three-game winning streak.

Falcons forward Tomas Kubalik leads the team in scoring against the Whale this year with three goals and three assists, for six points in eight games. Springfield defenseman John Moore has one goal and three assists in eight games versus Connecticut. Goaltender David LeNeveu has been between the pipes in seven of the eight games this season against the Whale racking up a 3-4 record with a 2.62 GAA and a .899 save percentage.

Connecticut center Kris Newbury leads the Whale with two goals and six assists, good for eight points in just six games against Springfield this season. Newbury has had quite a month recording six goals and six assists, for 12 points in nine games in March. Center Evgeny Grachev has three goals and three assists, for six points in six games versus the Falcons this year. Last Sunday, goalie Cameron Talbot recorded his first win against Springfield after letting up one goal on 23 shots in a 3-1 Connecticut win.

SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2011 – FALCONS AT WORCESTER SHARKS
The Springfield Falcons travel to Worcester, Massachusetts on Saturday for a night game against the Sharks. This is the final meeting between the two teams this season. The Sharks lead the season series 4-3, however the Falcons have won the last two meetings, including a 4-2 win in Worcester on February 23rd. Springfield has won two of the three games played at the DCU center this season.

Going into the week, Worcester has 78 points and the Sharks sit two points behind the Connecticut Whale for the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

Falcons center Trevor Smith leads the Falcons in scoring against the Sharks this season with two goals and three assists in four games. Springfield forward Kyle Wilson has recorded four goals in just three games against Worcester this season. Wilson also scored the game-winning goal in Worcester on February 23rd.

Dan DaSilva has four goals and three assists for seven points in seven games against the Falcons this season. Jonathan Cheechoo has two goals and three assists for five points against Springfield this season. Goaltender Alex Stalock is 3-0-1 against the Falcons this season recording a 1.92 GAA and a .925 save percentage. Center Tommy Wingels brings a six-game point streak into this week with five goals and two assists.

SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011 – FALCONS VS. BINGHAMTON SENATORS
The Springfield Falcons will finish up their March schedule this Sunday when they host the Binghamton Senators for an afternoon game at the MassMutual Center. This will be the final Sunday game for the Falcons, with faceoff taking place at 3 PM. The Senators beat the Falcons 2-0 in Binghamton last Saturday night.

Corey Locke scored both goals for the Senators in that contest, which also saw Barry Brust stop 25 shots for his seventh shutout of the season. Locke leads the AHL in scoring with 80 points on the season.

The Senators are currently in 5th place in the East Division with 79 points. They are ahead of the Worcester Sharks by one point for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.


FALCONS PLAYER/TEAM NOTES

Captain Ben Guite has one goal and two assists in his last four games. Guite leads the team with 25 assists on the year.

Rookie Tomas Kubalik is tied for fourth in the AHL in rookie scoring with 21 goals and 24 assists, good for 45 points on the year. Kubalik became the first Falcons rookie to score 20 goals in a season since Jeff Taffe scored 23 in 2002-03. Daniel Briere holds the Falcons rookie record for goals in a season with 36, followed by Jason Jaspers with 25 in 2001-02 and Taffe's 23 in 2002-03.

Rookie Aaron Bogosian made his pro debut on March 19 in Binghamton after signing an ATO with the Falcons on March 17.


LAST WEEK’S GAME RECAPS

SPRINGFIELD AT MANCHESTER, MARCH 16 – Loss, 4-2

March 16, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Manchester Monarchs 4-2 on Wednesday night in Manchester, NH. Manchester used a shorthanded goal and a power play marker in building a three goal advantage through 40 minutes of play.

Dwight King opened the scoring for the Monarchs with his 21st goal of the year at 5:41 of the first period. In the second period, Oscar Moller tallied a shorthanded goal at 4:11 of the middle session, followed by Brandon Kozun converting on the power play at 15:29 giving the Monarchs a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes of play.

In the third period, Moller added his second goal of the game giving Manchester a 4-0 lead, but Springfield's Steven Goertzen and Petr Kalus scored in the game's final three minutes cutting the Falcons' deficit to 4-2.

SPRINGFIELD VS. HERSHEY, MARCH 18 – Loss, 5-1
March 18, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Hershey Bears 5-1 on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons will next continue their weekend on Saturday evening in Binghamton. The Bears came out fast and furious and took a 2-0 lead on their first two shots of the evening. Andrew Kozek opened the scoring with his first goal of the night just 1:49 into the first period, followed by Brian Willsie also scoring his first marker on the evening at 4:33 of the opening session. The Falcons cut their deficit to 2-1 when Maksim Mayorov tallied his 18th goal of the year at 10:02 of the first period. For Mayorov, it marked a new career high for goals in a season.

Hershey expanded their lead with a pair of goals in the second period. Kozek added his second marker of the night at 6:16 of the middle frame, followed by Willsie also adding his second goal of the night at 12:52 of the second period.

SPRINGFIELD AT BINGHAMTON, MARCH 19 – Loss, 2-0
March 19, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Binghamton Senators 2-0 on Saturday night in Binghamton, NY. Corey Locke scored a pair of goals for the Senators, while goaltender Barry Brust stopped all 25 shots he faced in earning the shutout.

The Falcons came out and played a very solid first period exchanging scoring chances with the Senators, but Falcons goaltender David LeNeveu and Brust both matched either other save for save in the opening 20 minutes.

In the second period, Falcons center Trevor Frischmon had a point blank scoring chance midway through the frame, but Brust was once again up to the challenge making a beautiful glove save. Late in the middle stanza, Locke opened the scoring when he converted on the power play giving Binghamton a 1-0 lead. Locke redirected a shot from the point that deflected past a screened LeNeveu giving the Senators a one goal advantage heading into the third period.

In the third period, the Falcons continued to try and find the equalizer, but Brust made back-to-back pad saves on Ben Guite and Steven Goertzen holding on to the Senators lead. At 12:19 of the third period, Locke added his second marker of the contest, his 20th goal of the year, giving Binghamton a two-goal cushion late in regulation.

SPRINGFIELD AT CONNECTICUT, MARCH 20 – Loss, 3-1
March 20, 2011 - The Springfield Falcons lost to the Connecticut Whale 3-1 on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. The Whale opened the scoring at 9:35 of the first period when Jeremy Williams scored his 29th goal of the year, but Springfield's Ben Guite converted on the power play at 10:25 tying the score at 1-1 through 20 minutes of play.

In the second period, Connecticut took a 2-1 lead when Dale Weise scored his 15th marker on the year at 11:16 of the middle frame.

The Whale added some insurance at 9:07 of the third period when Pavel Valentenko scored his third goal of the year giving Connecticut a 3-1 advantage.

Springfield was 1-7 on the power play, while Connecticut was 0-4.

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