Falcons Game 67: Points Lost and a Look Around the "A"

Points in the standings count as much in October as they do in March. When points slip away this time of year though, it stings just a little more. The Falcons got stung Saturday night, dropping a 3-1 verdict to the Adirondack Phantoms in Glens Falls, NY. Coming away with no points opened the gap to three points in the battle for the eighth playoff spot in the AHL's Eastern Conference. Game recap and standings after the jump:

The first period was well played on both sides. Goaltenders Paul Dainton and Michael Leighton kept the game even at zero. Both goalies were called upon for some tough saves in the period. The Phantoms outshot the Falcons by a 15-7 margin in the period. One casualty in the stanza was Tomas Kubalik. Kubalik suffered the dreaded "upper body injury" and did not return. I didn't recall seeing the play where Kubie was injured, so can't offer further comment on it.

The Phantoms broke through for one goal in the second period. A lob from the blue line that went through and probably deflected through six skaters on the way to finding the back of the net. The goal was credited to Rob Bordson, his second, from Oliver Lauridsen and Shane Harper.

The third period was just over one minute old when a nearly identical play took place for Adirondack. Another blue line lob through heavy traffic also found the back of the net. Brandon Manning was awarded the goal, his sixth, from Mike Testwuide. The backbreaker of the night came off the stick of Matthew Ford at 2:50. Ford was all alone in the slot and quickly deposited the puck behind Dainton.

Springfield's lone goal was another beauty by the red hot Nick Drazenovic. Drazzy now has five goals in his last five games. His eleventh goal was assisted by Wade MacLeod at 13:13 which brought the Falcons to within two goals. Leighton remained hot over the final five minutes of the game to seal the deal for the Phantoms. Leighton earned #1 Star of the game for the second night in a row, after shutting out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night.

Up next for the Falcons is a 3PM tilt in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins. There may be some bad blood carried over from the March 11th game in Springfield when Steve MacIntyre went ballistic and ended up with a four game suspension.

A quick look at some other games that affected the Eastern Conference standings:

Providence 3 at Connecticut 2
After dropping 8 of 10, suddenly the Baby B's are hot, winning their third in a row.

Portland 0 at Manchester 5
Portland's on again, off again season continued. They needed a big effort in Manchester and fell far short.

Albany 3 at Norfolk 4
Norfolk extended their all time AHL record winning streak to twenty straight games. TWENTY!

Rochester 4 at Syracuse 3 SO
The Crunch tied this one early in the third period and carried it through to OT to earn a point.

Eastern Conference standings after Saturday's action (6th through 14th):

6. Bridgeport 73 points, 11 games remaining
7. Manchester 71 points, 9 games remaining
8. Syracuse 71 points, 9 games remaining

9. Springfield 68 points, 9 games remaining
10. Worcester 67 points, 12 games remaining
11. Adirondack 67 points, 10 games remaining
12. Portland 67 points, 10 games remaining
13. Albany 67 points, 9 games remaining
14. Providence 67 points, 9 games remaining

Games that I'll keep an eye on today in the A:
Springfield at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3PM
Binghamton at Adirondack 3PM
Connecticut at Bridgeport 3PM
Worcester at Manchester 3PM
Portland at Providence 4PM

Stay tuned to The Cannon as the Falcons continue their quest for the Calder Cup playoffs!

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