The American Hockey League pre-season is quickly winding down. With jobs on the line as NHL clubs continue to speed toward their October 5th regular season rosters, the battle gets that much more challenging for players looking to stay with an AHL team.
It was no different on Friday night in Marlborough, MA when the Springfield Falcons squared off with the Providence Bruins. The two teams will see plenty of each other this season; they will meet again tonight at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Then, when the regular season gets underway, the clubs will meet 10 times.
No less than Falcons broadcaster Mike Kelly, predicted on his Twitter feed, that there would be 5 tussles on Friday. Surprisingly, despite a hard checking affair, Mike and many regualr observers of the Falcons and Baby B's battles over the years, this turned into a fisticuff-free affair.
The Bruins got the scoring underway late in the first frame, converting a shorty on a Falcons power play. Following a scoreless second period, the clubs combined for three third period goals.
Just 27 seconds into the final stanza, Denny Kearney banged home a Wade MacLeod rebound, tying the game at 1-1.
The tie would last less than a minute, when Zach Hamill of the Bruins gave the lead back to the Bruins.
Wade MacLeod, having a strong pre-season, notched his second assist of the night near the midway mark of the third period when he set up Andrew Joudrey for Joudrey's first marker of the pre-season.
The extra session came to an end when Hamill drew back to Everett Sheen (presumably no relation to Charlie) who fired a one timer past Paul Dainton.
Dainton went the distance for Springfield. Coach Rob Riley was pleased with his netminder's effort:
"Paul was good for us tonight. "He's had a very good training camp this month, he played well in Traverse City, he played well up in Columbus and he looked good again tonight."
The clubs face off once again tonight in Springfield with a 7PM start time. All tickets are just $10 for tonight's game.