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Springfield Report: November 2

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

WEEK IN REVIEW


OCTOBER 29 - Springfield 2 at Hartford 1(OT) (Goal scorers – Kolarik, Blunden)
OCTOBER 30 - Springfield 3 vs. Hartford 2 (Goal scorers – Moore, Kubalik, Sestito)

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
NOVEMBER 3 - Springfield At Bridgeport - 11 AM Arena at Harbor Yard
NOVEMBER 5 - Springfield Vs. Syracuse - 7:30 PM MassMutual Center

*Radio Broadcasts on WHYN AM 560
*Watch AHL Live

THIS WEEK’S GAME PREVIEWS
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2010 – SPRINGFIELD FALCONS AT BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS

The Springfield Falcons and Bridgeport Sound Tigers meet for the first time this season when the Falcons head to Bridgeport, CT for a unique 11 am starting time on Wednesday. The special starting time is due to a common promotion that teams are doing with a special education/school day game that features many schools taking a field trip to the hockey game.

The Sound Tigers have a record of 3-5-0-0 on the season. Jesse Joensuu leads the team in scoring this season with two goals and four assists for six points in eight games. Rookie David Ullstrom is tied with former Falcon Rob Hisey for second on the team in scoring with three goals and two assists each. Three of Bridgeport’s top five scorers are rookies led by Ullstrom, Travis Hamonic (2-1-3) and Rhett Rakhshani (2-1-3).

Former Falcons forward Rob Schremp is currently with the Sound Tigers after being assigned to Bridgeport on a conditioning assignment by their NHL affiliate, the NY Islanders.

Bridgeport also has a pair of rookies between the pipes this season in Kevin Poulin and Mikko Koskinen. Poulin has a record of 2-1 with a 2.00 goals against average and .931 save percentage, while Koskinen has a mark of 1-3 with a 2.48 goals against and .917 save percentage.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010 – SPRINGFIELD FALCONS VS. SYRACUSE CRUNCH
The Syracuse Crunch head into Springfield for the first and only time this season. The Crunch is in the first year of their new affiliation with the Anaheim Ducks and they currently have a record of 4-3-1-1 on the young season.

A pair of rookies lead Syracuse in scoring in Kyle Palmieri (7-2-9) and Nick Bonino (2-7-9). Palmieri is currently tied for the AHL lead in goals and is second in the league in rookie scoring. Syracuse has three players in the top nine in rookie scoring as Palmieri, Bonino and Nicolas Deschamps (4-3-7) are all off to good starts to their pro careers. Defenseman Luca Sbisa is ninth in the league in scoring among defensemen with two goals and six assists for eight points in five games.

Rookie goaltender Timo Pielmeier has handled the heavier workload between the pipes thus far posting a record of 4-2-0 with a 2.18 goals against average and .937 save percentage. Former Falcons goaltender J.P. Levasseur has appeared in three games for the Crunch posting a mark of 0-2-1 with a 2.58 goals against average and .921 save percentage.


LAST WEEK’S GAME RECAPS

SPRINGFIELD AT HARTFORD, OCTOBER 29 – Win, 2-1 (OT)

October 29, 2010 - Good teams find a way to win and for the Springfield Falcons on Friday night, they found a way to earn two points beating the Hartford Wolf Pack 2-1 at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. Michael Blunden scored the overtime game-winning goal, while Falcons goaltender David LeNeveu stopped 41 shots leading Springfield to victory. The Falcons and Wolf Pack conclude their home and home series on Saturday at the MassMutual Center.

"I treat every game the same and today was no different," said LeNeveu, who made his first trip back to Hartford since playing for the Pack back in 2007-08. "I have always enjoyed playing in this building and tonight was the same, it was a good team win and it was nice to get the two points."

The Falcons were outshot 42-25 in the game, but with LeNeveu holding down the fort, the Falcons were able to convert in the extra session and improve their record to 5-4-0-0 on the season.

"Our goaltending pretty much stole the game for us tonight," said Falcons head coach Rob Riley. "David (LeNeveu) was tremendous and he has been for about four straight starts now. It was nice to win, but David was the difference tonight."

The Falcons jumped out to a 1-0 first period lead when Chad Kolarik scored his fourth goal of the year at 14:34 assisted by Grant Clitsome and Blunden.

The Wolf Pack evened the score at 1-1 in the second period when Kris Newbury scored his first marker of the year. Hartford held a 36-15 shots advantage through 40 minutes of play.

After a scoreless third period that featured Tom Sestito and Justin Soryal dropping the gloves, the Falcons used Blunden's sixth goal of the year to collect the 2-1 win.

The Falcons were 0-6 on the power play, but 4-4 on the penalty kill Friday night. Springfield is now 4-1 on the road this year.

SPRINGFIELD VS. HARTFORD, OCTOBER 30 – Win, 3-2
October 30, 2010 - The Springfield Falcons swept their home and home series with the Hartford Wolf Pack beating the Pack 3-2 on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center. This victory was the Falcons' fourth win in their last five games and they have now improved their record to 6-4-0-0 on the season.

Using their momentum from their overtime win on Friday in Hartford, the Falcons built a 1-0 lead early in the first period when John Moore scored his first pro goal redirecting a pass from Tom Sestito past Hartford goaltender Chad Johnson at 7:47 of the opening frame. The first period was a very spirited opening frame with Ben Guite and Devin DiDiomete dropping the gloves as a carry over from Friday night's physical play.

In the second period, the Falcons expanded their lead to 2-0 when Tomas Kubalik scored on a breakaway giving Springfield a 2-0 advantage at 7:43 of the middle frame. Tom Sestito banged home a Michael Blunden rebound at 9:23 giving the Falcons a 3-0 lead midway through the second period.

Later in the second period, Jonathan Sigalet and DiDiomete went toe-to-toe earning fighting majors for the game's second altercation.

Hartford continued to battle back despite their deficit and at 12:49 of the second period, Tomas Kundratek cut the Pack deficit to 3-1 with his first goal of the year.

The Wolf Pack came out in the third period and continued to apply pressure to Springfield and at 1:21 of the final stanza, DiDiomete wristed one home pulling Hartford to within a single goal at 3-2.

For the final 18 minutes of regulation, Falcons goaltender David LeNeveu held the fort and the Falcons used a solid team defense, blocking shots and earning a 3-2 win concluding a perfect 2-0 weekend.


PLAYER NOTES:
Goaltender David LeNeveu posted a record of 4-2 with a 1.96 goals against average and .932 save percentage in six games during the month of October. LeNeveu started the season on the roster of the Falcons’ NHL affiliate, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Starting on October 22, LeNeveu went on a stretch of four starts where he posted a record of 3-1 with a 1.73 goals against average and .943 save percentage. During the weekend of October 29-31, LeNeveu posted a perfect record of 2-0-0 with a 1.46 goals against average and .955 save percentage in two starts in helping lead Springfield to a weekend sweep of a home and home series with the Hartford Wolf Pack. LeNeveu earned the game’s first star stopping 41 of 42 shots on October 29 in a 2-1 ot win at Hartford. LeNeveu followed that up with a very steady 22-save effort on Saturday in a 3-2 Falcons win earning the game’s third star.

Tom Sestito collected five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 10 games in October leading the Falcons in scoring. Sestito registered at least a point in eight of the 10 games for the month, including a four-point (2g,2a) effort in Springfield’s home opener on October 9. Sestito ended the month on a four-game scoring streak collecting two goals and three assists in that span.

Michael Blunden also had a strong showing in October posting six goals and five assists for 11 points in 10 games. Blunden registered at least a point in eight of the 10 games and concluded October on a four-game scoring streak picking up two goals and four assists in that span.

Chad Kolarik also was steady throughout October posting four goals and five assists for nine points in 10 games. Kolarik ended October having registered at least a point in three of the final four games in the month totaling two goals and three assists in that stretch.

The Falcons had five players score their first pro goals in October and they were: John Moore, Matt Calvert, Tomas Kubalik, Cody Goloubef and Chris Francis.

Goaltender Dan Taylor was also very solid in October posting a record of 2-2 with a 2.35 goals against average and .929 save percentage. Taylor was outstanding in Springfield’s opening night win on October 8 when he stopped 38 of 39 shots. On October 17, Taylor stopped 34 of 35 shots in earning the game’s first star.

TRANSACTIONS
10-26-10: Columbus Blue Jackets assign defenseman Nate Guenin to the Springfield Falcons.

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