This week's edition of the Springfield Report is dedicated to the Falcons' winning streak, which finally saw its demise last week.
The streak lasted a franchise-record 11 games and spanned 28 days. That's an entire calendar month, if for some reason your calendar is stuck on February. Using even more arbitrary measures, it lasted approximately one full dog year.
But alas, the streak is over after a 2-0 loss on home ice against the Syracuse Crunch. Despite taking his first loss in a long time, Anton Forsberg was still great, stopping 23 of 24 shots. Syracuse goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 26 Springfield shots. The Falcons pulled Forsberg for an extra attacker late in the third in an attempt to score the equalizer, but ended up conceding an empty-net goal to clinch the game for Syracuse.
The Falcons then hit the road, looking to right the ship against the Norfolk Admirals. They faced three-time Olympian Ilya Bryzgalov, who is in Norfolk for a tune-up after signing a contract with Anaheim. Marko Dano opened the scoring, putting an Austin Madaisky rebound past Bryzgalov. Alexander Wennberg picked up the secondary assist. The Admirals tied it up late in the first when Max Friberg re-directed a shot past Forsberg. But then Dano struck again in the second period, netting a power play goal to put the Falcons up 2-1.
Emerson Etem was awarded a penalty shot with just 21 seconds left. Forsberg stopped the former first-rounder, showing another reason why he's been the AHL's best goalie this season. Sean Collins then added an empty-netter right before the final horn to seal a 3-1 Falcons win.
Scott Munroe got the start in net for the Falcons the next night for the rematch. It was Munroe's first game in nearly a month, and the Admirals capitalized, lighting the lamp four times on 28 shots. Bryzgalov wasn't much better, stopping 22 of 25, but it was enough to earn him the win. Trent Vogelhuber scored the first two goals for the Falcons, both coming during 2-on-1 rushes. His second goal came shorthanded thanks to a poke check from Josh Anderson. Despite the loss, Anderson had a nice breakout game, scoring his first AHL goal late in the third period.
Despite going 1-2-0 this week, the Falcons remain atop the Northeast Division. Their 37 points are good enough for first in the Eastern Conference and third in the league. They will face two Eastern Conference foes this weekend, with games against the Binghamton Senators and the Hershey Bears.
Player to watch:
Josh Anderson: The big power forward put his name on the map this summer at the Traverse City tournament, scoring three game-winning goals, but he hasn't broken out just yet in Springfield.