Falcons Weekly Recap: Week 7

The last seven days were good ones for the Springfield Falcons. A 3-0 week vaulted the Falcons to the top of the volatile Northeast Division standings. Briefly anyway, as a short time after the Birds staked their claim, the Albany Devils grabbed a share of the lead with a Saturday night shootout victory over the Hershey Bears in Chocolate Town.

Sunday, with the Falcons idle, the Connecticut Whale reclaimed the top spot in the division. The Whale, like the Devils the night before, capitalized on a shootout win over the Providence Bruins.

The Falcons three wins of the week were all backstopped by the steady veteran goaltending of Manny Legace. Coach Rob Riley, playing the hot hand, put the veteran in goal a week ago Saturday in a relief effort against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and hasn't looked back since.

The week on the ice for Springfield started with a 3-2 OT win over the Worcester Sharks. Keys to the win were two goals by Tomas Kubalik. Kubie is back in form after struggling with the injury bug in the early going. He is skating confidently, and like his rookie season last year, is more and more finding himself in the right place at the right time.

The other keys were Alexandre Giroux, who scored the overtime winner on a blast from the high slot. Giroux's heroics would have been impossible if not for a save on a penalty shot in the extra session by Legace. Manny held his ground and calmly turned aside the shot by Worcester's Mike Connolly.

More from the week and the weekly webisode featuring Captain Dane Byers, after the jump...
Friday night, the Falcons returned to the road for the first time since October 26th when they went to Providence, RI to clash with the Bruins. The Falcons were looking to extract a measure of revenge on the B's; the Bruins beat Springfield in the Falcons home opener. The Falcons totally dominated this one, winning easily by a 7-2 count.

The Falcons returned to the road on Saturday night. This time, a grudge match return contest with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. If you'll recall a week ago Saturday, the Sound Tigers came to Springfield and lit up Danny Taylor for three quick first period goals, then held on for a 4-3 win over the Falcons.

Saturday night's game in Bridgeport was hard hitting, as expected. Dane Byers, showing his leadership, wouldn't respond to a series of cheap shot by Bridgeport's Benn Olson. Ryan Russell lit the lamp twice, leading the Falcons to a 4-1 win to close out the week a perfect 3-0.

The three wins were crucial for the Falcons, as their closest rivals, the Whale and Albany Devils, are riding streaks of 2-0-0 and 6-0-1, respectively.

AHL NORTHEAST DIVISION STANDINGS (as of 11/21/11):

Team GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA
Connecticut (NYR) 16 9 4 1 2 21 50 48
Springfield (CBJ) 17 10 7 0 0 20 55 47
Albany (NJD) 17 9 6 1 1 20 43 51
Bridgeport (NYI) 18 9 7 2 0 20 55 61
Adirondack (PHI) 16 9 6 0 1 19 51 45

The conference standings reflect the success that the Falcons have been experiencing, with the Birds flying in at fifth in the Eastern Conference. Conference standings, with point totals:

1. St. John's IceCaps (WPG) 27
2. WB/Scranton Penguins (PIT) 24
3. Connecticut Whale (NYR) 21
4. Norfolk Admirals (TB) 21
5. Springfield Falcons (CBJ) 20
6. Albany Devils (NJ) 20
7. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI) 20
8. Adirondack Phantoms (PHI) 19
9. Hershey Bears (WSH) 19
10. Manchester Monarchs (LA) 19
11. Providence Bruins (BOS) 18
12. Portland Pirates (PHX) 17
13. Syracuse Crunch (ANA) 17
14. Worcester Sharks (SJ) 16
15. Binghamton Senators (OTT) 14

Worth noting is the Sharks have played only 14 games, fewest in the conference. Winning those games at hand, puts the Sharks back up into the top of the standings.

Most games played in the conference right now, are the 20 played by Providence.

Martin St. Pierre had a big week for the Falcons. He extended his point scoring streak to 10 consecutive games, adding seven assists to take sole possession of the team scoring lead. His 21 points also places him 4th in AHL scoring.

Nick Drazenovic, back in the lineup added a goal and two assists this week and is second in team scoring.

Cam Atkinson had a great week with three goals and an assist. Atkinson, St. Pierre and David Savard are currently the plus/minus leaders on the team at +6.

Alexandre Giroux had a big week, with three goals and an assist. His first goal of the week was the OT game winner on Wednesday night against Worcester.

Falcons Individual Stats:

Player Pos. GP G A Pts. +/- PIM
Martin St. Pierre C 17 5 16 21 +6 10
Nick Drazenovic LW 14 4 13 17 -2 12
Cam Atkinson RW 15 8 3 11 +6 10
Dane Byers LW 17 4 6 10 -7 58
Ryan Russell C 15 8 1 9 +4 7
Alexandre Giroux LW 7 6 3 9 +5 6
Cody Goloubef D 16 0 9 9 -5 25
Nick Holden D 17 3 4 7 -1 8
Wade MacLeod LW 16 1 6 7 -2 8
David Savard D 9 0 6 6 +6 10
Ryan Garlock C 16 0 6 6 -3 2
Tomas Kubalik RW 7 3 2 5 0 6
Andrew Joudrey C 16 2 3 5 +2 2
Brent Regner D 16 1 4 5 +1 2
Cody Bass X C 5 2 2 4 -1 13
Adam Mair C 11 0 4 4 +2 20
Ray Macias X D 3 1 2 3 +3 0
Brett Lebda D 5 1 2 3 +4 2
Mike Thomas RW 15 1 2 3 -2 9
Aaron Bogosian LW 13 2 0 2 0 14
John Moore X D 5 1 1 2 -2 2
Oliver Gabriel LW 11 1 0 1 -5 0
Dalton Prout D 14 1 0 1 -2 12
Teddy Ruth D 8 0 1 1 +1 7
Chaz Johnson X RW 1 0 0 0 0 4
Maksim Mayorov LW 2 0 0 0 +1 0
Tim Spencer LW 2 0 0 0 0 5
Allen York X G 2 0 0 0 0 0
Anton Blomqvist D 3 0 0 0 +1 7
Paul Dainton X G 3 0 0 0 0 0
Matt Calvert X LW 4 0 0 0 -4 2
Steven Delisle X D 6 0 0 0 +2 8
Manny Legace (SPR only) G 6 0 0 0 0 0
Danny Taylor G 8 0 0 0 0 0

GOALTENDING:
Manny Legace's hot streak has propelled him to 6th leading netminder in the "A". In 7 games (6 with Springfield, 1 with San Antonio), Manny's GAA is a solid 2.10 and a save percentage of .926.

TRANSACTIONS:
November 14th: LW Tim Spencer was signed to a PTO.

November 17th: G Allen York was assigned to the Chicago Express of the ECHL.

The York move took many by surprise. My take is that the Blue Jackets management have committed resources to winning in Springfield. Presently, with Yorkie seeing limited action while backing up Steve Mason, he'll need to get back into game shape. In his absence, the tandem of Legace and Taylor have played very well for the Falcons, so it appears that there's no rush to return York to the AHL before he's back at 100%.

LOCAL MEDIA:
MassLive carried a nice article by Dan Hickling on Friday, the day after the Blue Jackets paid a visit to Boston.

Falcons Weekly Webisode: This week's guest was Captain Dane Byers, sporting a nifty Fu...

Springfield Falcons WebTV 11-17-11 Dane Byers (via SpfdFalconsAHL)

The Falcons return to action this Friday night in Glens Falls, NY when they meet the Adirondack Phantoms. Saturday and Sunday, they'll be back at The Nest, hosting the Connecticut Whale on Saturday and the Albany Devils on Sunday.

Three big games, three divisional rivals...one big weekend of Falcons hockey!

 

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