After a holiday hiatus, the Springfield Report is back! While many of us spent the past week relaxing and eating turkey, the Falcons were out on the ice putting in work. Suffice to say their hard work was rewarded.
The Falcons extended their winning streak to a franchise-record nine games. Goalie Anton Forsberg was named the CCM/AHL Goalie of the Month after notching his eighth consecutive win.
Picking up where Vol. 2 left off, the Falcons played host to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, an intriguing rematch four days after the two teams combined for more than 200 penalty minutes. Thankfully, this game wasn't nearly as dramatic. It was a huge night for Kerby Rychel and his line mates, Michael Chaput and Dana Tyrell. Rychel scored twice and added an assist on a Chaput goal that put the Falcons up 4-1. Tyrell assisted on all three of the line's goals.
Sean Collins converted a penalty shot and Lukas Sedlak added the team's final goal of the night. Goalie Anton Forsberg stopped 23 of 25 shots as the Falcons dominated the Sound Tigers.
The Falcons were back at it the next night, hosting the Providence Bruins on the first leg of a home-and-home. For the second night in a row, the Falcons emerged with a 5-2 victory, helped by another good Forsberg performance in net. Austin Madaisky scored twice and added an assist.
Madaisky wasn’t done, though. The next night, the Falcons made the trip to Providence, and Madaisky lit the lamp twice for the second night in a row. His first goal came with the Falcons down 2-0, before goals from Sean Collins and Marko Dano gave Springfield the lead. Madaisky scored again to make it 4-2. The Bruins tried to claw their way back into the game, but fell 5-4 as the Falcons kept their streak alive.
The Falcons carried that momentum into their matchup with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Goals from Trent Vogelhuber, Jaime Sifers and Jerry D’Amigo gave the Falcons a 3-0 lead going into the third. For the second game in a row, the Falcons survived a third-period rally, winning the game 3-2.
After a scheduled off-day, the Falcons were taken into overtime by the Worcester Sharks. Forsberg had another huge game, stopping 33 of 35 shots, but the hero of the night was Nathan Oystrick. Just past the halfway point of the overtime period, Oystrick received a pass from T.J. Tynan and put it past Sharks goalie Aaron Dell to lock up an eighth straight win.
Their next game was less eventful, as the Falcons cruised past the Manchester Monarchs by a 4-1 final. Forsberg faced just 22 shots on the night. Alexander Wennberg notched his first AHL point, setting up Domenic Monardo’s first of two goals in the game. Sean Collins scored his team-leading ninth goal, as well.
The Falcons will be well-rested going into their next contest with six scheduled off-days leading up to a home-ice tilt against the Norfolk Admirals on Friday.
Players to watch:
Alexander Wennberg wowed coaches and spectators alike this summer at the Blue Jackets prospect camp and in the Traverse City Tournament, but he couldn’t quite find that same level of success in his first NHL stint. The Blue Jackets’ consensus top prospect is still adjusting to the North American game, but getting top-line minutes in Springfield should help him do just that.
Austin Madaisky had just eight points in 38 games last year with the Falcons -- a mark he’s already doubled (and then some) in 2014-15. With 20 points in 23 games, he’s become Springfield’s most productive offensive player and given them a dynamic element on the back end. And leading Springfield in scoring is no small task this season, as the Falcons’ 76 goals are most in the AHL.