Falcons Weekly Recap: Week 26.5

Knowing the Falcons had an 11AM game on Wednesday, I wanted to hold the Week 26 review and stretch it to include the midweek game. Around the league, some other teams who are fighting to make the Eastern Conference playoffs also played on Wednesday. Call this then the Week 26.5 Update.

As good as Sunday was for the character of this hockey team, Wednesday brought a 180, as the Falcons were victimized by some bad breaks, and dropped a crucial 3-2 game in Bridgeport in front of about 6000 screaming school kids. In other games relative to the chase for the playoffs, Portland went into St. John's and beat the IceCaps 5-1. Syracuse continued their hot play, defeating Binghamton 5-1 in Syracuse. Worcester, with barely a pulse, beat Albany 2-1 to stir the pot just a bit more.

Fittingly, the week (and a half) started and finished with games in Bridgeport. The Friday night game was out of control early, as the Sound Tigers won handily 6-2. The roller coaster Falcons returned home for a Saturday night game against Providence. The first sellout crowd in over four years saw a great hockey game and the Falcons beat the Bruins 3-1. This was only the third win in ten games against Providence this season. Sunday, the Falcons closed their last three-in-three of the season out in Worcester. Springfield spotted the Sharks a deuce, but came roaring back with a big third period to take a 3-2 win. Standings and stats after the jump:

AHL EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS (as of 4/5/12):

Pos. Team GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA
1. Norfolk Admirals (TB) 71 50 18 1 2 103 254 173
2. St. John's IceCaps (WPG) 71 41 22 5 3 90 227 199
3. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI) 71 38 24 3 6 85 219 208
4. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT) 71 41 23 2 5 89 222 205
5. Hershey Bears (WSH) 70 38 21 4 7 87 233 203
6. Connecticut Whale (NYR) 70 34 24 7 5 80 201 195
7. Syracuse Crunch (ANA) 71 34 27 5 5 78 229 222
8. Manchester Monarchs (LA) 71 36 31 1 3 76 191 195
9. Portland Pirates (PHX) 72 33 30 4 5 75 208 242
10. Adirondack Phantoms (PHI) 70 34 32 2 2 72 187 198
11. Springfield Falcons (CBJ) 72 33 33 3 3 72 201 221
12. Albany Devils (NJD) 71 30 30 6 5 71 179 209
13. Providence Bruins (BOS) 71 32 32 3 4 74 180 202
14. Worcester Sharks (SJ) 70 29 30 4 7 69 185 201
15. Binghamton Senators (OTT) 72 28 38 4 2 62 194 232

The hottest teams in the East are the Norfolk Admirals, who continue to win. Their streak is now at 23 consecutive wins. Their last loss was February 5th in Springfield. The other is the Syracuse Crunch. Currently on a 9-0-2 streak, the Crunch picked the right time of the season for a run like that.

Likely the biggest news of the week (and a half) for Springfield was the loss of Matt Calvert. Calvert blocked a shot in Saturday night's game against Providence and hasn't been back since. Coach Riley after the game didn't even give the predictable "day to day" response when asked about Calvert's condition, but termed Matt's potential return as "indefinite".

The week (and a half) saw Manny Legace return after dealing with a bad knee for the better part of a month. Also, the Wednesday game saw the pro debut of highly touted Blue Jackets draftee, Boone Jenner. Jenner was relegated to fourth line status, playing limited minutes. I felt he showed good puck sense in his time on the ice.

Although the Falcons haven't been playing badly, the schedule that had been their friend early in the season has turned into their worst enemy. Down to four games remaining and four points back is not where the team wanted to be when they took to the ice for the first time some six months ago. Like so many weekends over the last two months in particular, these final four games are must wins. Even at that, the Birds will need help from the likes of Manchester, Portland and Adirondack.

Falcons Individual Stats:

Player Pos. GP G A Pts. +/- PIM
Martin St. Pierre C 70 10 52 62 0 56
Alexandre Giroux LW 62 26 26 52 -5 60
Cam Atkinson X RW 50 29 16 45 +4 31
Matt Calvert LW 56 17 19 36 -2 52
Dane Byers LW 57 15 21 36 -11 104
Nick Drazenovic C 38 13 22 35 -3 16
Brent Regner D 71 2 27 29 +1 26
Wade MacLeod LW 62 8 18 26 +3 27
Tomas Kubalik X RW 50 11 12 23 -16 42
Maksim Mayorov LW 45 10 13 23 -4 10
Andrew Joudrey C 69 11 11 22 -3 12
Nathan Longpre - season totals F 55 9 10 19 +2 10
David Savard D 41 3 16 19 +1 66
Ryan Russell X C 30 9 6 15 0 15
Ryan Garlock C 68 5 10 15 -9 40
Dalton Prout X D 60 4 8 12 -3 52
Cody Bass C 23 5 6 11 -3 43
Cody Goloubef D 46 0 11 11 -15 39
Brett Lebda X D 26 1 9 10 0 18
Patrick Cullity - season totals D 47 1 9 10 -4 57
Nick Holden X D 25 3 6 9 -2 14
Adam Mair C 32 3 4 7 -3 58
Greg Amadio - season totals D 59 0 7 7 -12 208
Teddy Ruth D 52 1 5 6 -20 39
Aaron Bogosian LW 48 2 2 4 -6 84
Mike Thomas X RW 25 1 3 4 -6 16
Ray Macias X D 3 1 2 3 +3 0
Tim Spencer LW 29 2 0 2 +1 49
John Moore X D 5 1 1 2 -2 2
Curtis McElhinney X G 25 0 2 2 0 0
Manny Legace (with Springfield) G 34 0 2 2 0 2
Oliver Gabriel X LW 11 1 0 1 -5 0
Brett Motherwell X D 3 0 1 1 -2 4
Sean Collins C 4 0 1 1 +1 0
Boone Jenner C 1 0 0 0 0 0
Chaz Johnson X RW 1 0 0 0 0 4
Mike Spillane G 1 0 0 0 0 0
Darcy Campbell X D 3 0 0 0 0 2
Chris D'Alvise X C 3 0 0 0 0 0
Jake Morley X LW 3 0 0 0 0 0
Chad Costello X F 4 0 0 0 -1 2
Trevor Bruess X RW 5 0 0 0 -4 5
Mike Clemente G 5 0 0 0 0 0
Mark Dekanich X G 5 0 0 0 0 0
Allen York G 5 0 0 0 0 0
Steven Delisle D 6 0 0 0 +2 8
Danny Taylor X G 10 0 0 0 0 0
Anton Blomqvist D 21 0 0 0 +1 19
Paul Dainton G 25 0 0 0 0 4

GOALTENDING:
Manny Legace returned from injury and played well in the Providence and Worcester games.

By the numbers:
Manny Legace - 35 GP, 2.75 GAA, .906 sv pct
Paul Dainton - 25 GP, 3.12 GAA, .891 sv pct
Mike Clemente - 5 GP, 1.99 GAA, .926 sv pct

Transactions since March 30:
March 30: Trent Vogelhuber (RW) signed to ATO
March 30: Daniel New (D) signed to ATO
March 31: Cody Goloubef recalled by Columbus
April 3: Cody Goloubef returned by Columbus
April 3: Boone Jenner (C) signed to ATO

I'll be keeping an eye on the AHL playoff races here at The Cannon!

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