It was an up-and-down weekend for the Springfield Falcons, both in game results and roster movement.
Despite being held scoreless on their four power play opportunities, the Falcons defeated the St. John's IceCaps 6-4 on home ice, thanks in large part to big efforts from center Dana Tyrell and defenseman Austin Madaisky.
It's no wonder that the Blue Jackets called up Tyrell the morning after the game -- he scored twice on IceCaps netminder Peter Budaj and assisted on a goal by Jerry D'Amigo.
Madaisky ended the game with a +5 rating and two assists to go along with his game-winning goal. Madaisky has been on fire this year for the Falcons, leading the team with 12 points over a 14-game span.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, they couldn't parlay their success on Saturday into a win on Sunday, falling 2-1 to the Manchester Monarchs.
For the second game in a row, the Falcons were held scoreless on all four of their power play attempts. It wasn't a terrible night for their special teams, though, as the Falcons successfully killed off all five Manchester power plays. Goaltender Scott Munroe played well, stopping 27 of 29 shots faced, but it wasn't quite enough as Springfield couldn't dent Manchester goalie Jean-Francois Berube a second time.
Sean Collins, just a few days removed from his most recent stint in Columbus, scored the lone goal for the Falcons, re-directing a point shot from defenseman Thomas Larkin. Marko Dano was held scoreless in his first game back in Springfield after being swapped with Tyrell on the weekend.
The Falcons played an afternoon game Tuesday, dropping a 4-2 decision to Worcester. Madaisky added another assist, this one on a re-direction from captain Ryan Craig to get the Falcons within one goal. The Falcons hopes of a comeback were short-lived, though, as the Sharks scored an empty-netter with time winding down to clinch the victory.
The Falcons' 1-2-0 week brings their season record down to 6-7-1, putting them four points out of first place in what has been the AHL's most balanced division so far.
The Falcons have a grueling weekend ahead, playing three road games in a three-day span. They visit the Providence Bruins on Friday before getting a shot at revenge against the Atlantic-leading Sharks on Saturday, and then cap their weekend against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sunday.
Players to watch:
Austin Madaisky- The 22-year-old has been on fire lately, and is one of the Falcons' most improved players. With 12 points in his first 14 games, he's already surpassed his point total from last year (8 in 38 games) and then some. But this weekend is his biggest test of the season -- three consecutive games against teams with a combined record of 23-10-3.
Marko Dano- The 19-year-old Austrian impressed the Blue Jackets staff enough during camp to break camp with the team, but he struggled at times during his first stint in the NHL. He's still adjusting to the North American game, but he had some moments in Columbus that showed that he's capable of living up to his first-round pedigree. The Blue Jackets want to get Dano playing more minutes and in all situations, and right now, Springfield is the place for him to do so.