This week marked a slowdown in the hectic early season schedule that typifies the AHL. The Springfield Falcons had only two games this weekend. Both contests were skated on their home ice at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. I was on hand for Friday night's contest against the division leading Portland Pirates (Buffalo Sabres). This was my third Falcons game in person this season. Once again, I couldn't help but to be thoroughly pleased with the effort that this club puts out.The Pirates have a potent lineup and they beat the Falcons last Saturday night, October 16th in Portland by a score of 4-2. Midway through the first period the Pirates got on the board when Mark Parrish converted on a power play opportunity.
For the third period, the Falcons completely lit it up! A five goal outburst gave them a lopsided 6-2 victory. At the risk of repeating myself, the balance of this team is amazing. Yes, the top line of Tom Sestito, Michael Blunden and Chad Kolarik have earned that designation, but the other 15 skaters have also shown in the young season that they are not afraid to rush with the puck. If they do so, and are stripped the other guys take that as their cue to show some of their defensive ability. At both ends of the ice, this is a good hockey club! Further evidenced by the fact that in the six unanswered goals, a total of 13 different players figured in the scoring! Here are the final three goals:
On Saturday night, the Manchester Monarchs (LA Kings) came to Springfield. The previous Sunday in Manchester, the Falcons prevailed in a well played 3-1 win over their hosts.
This time around, the Monarchs defense reigned supreme as the netminders at both ends of the ice Jeff Zatkoff and David LeNeveu both turned in strong performances. The Falcons offense was effectively contained by Manchester. The Monarchs added an empty netter to take a 3-1 victory at "The Nest".
This week, the Falcons have several local appearances scheduled. First on Sunday the team took part in a "Rays of Hope" charity walk. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will feature Falcons skaters taking part in local youth hockey association practices. On Monday, Matt Calvert was at the Olympia with the Springfield Junior Pics. Tuesday it's Theo Ruth and Cody Goloubef visiting Holy Name Youth Hockey and Wednesday, WTM Youth Hockey will be skating on the MassMutal Cneter ice and be joined by Falcons Tyler Murovich and Michael Ratchuk.
Next weekend, the Falcons embark on a home and home with the top affiliate of the NY Rangers, the Hartford WolfPack. Former Hartford Whalers owner, Howard Baldwin has become the managing director for the WolfPack and has announced that the club will be changing their name midseason (November 27th to be exact) to the Connecticut Whale. The WolfPack's final home game as the Wolfpack will be on November 13th when they host our Springfield Falcons.