The Falcons returned home after a five game road trip, dug themselves a deep hole from which they never recovered, falling to the Norfolk Admirals 6-1 on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center.
Things started out badly and only got worse. For the second consecutive night, the opponents scored on their first shot on goal. Friday night in Providence, it took 1:21. Saturday night it took but 37 seconds, and the flood gates opened.
Manny Legace, playing his first game since January 22nd (and celebrating his 39th birthday), was beaten early and often, surrendering four goals on Norfolk's first nine shots. Manny was pulled after the fourth marker in favor of Paul Dainton.
After the fifth Admiral tally, an ugly scrum took place in front of the Falcons net. The Falcons were on a 5 on 3 PK when Mark Barberio connected for his sixth goal of the season. In front of the Falcons cage, Theo Ruth was covering Norfolk All-Star Cory Conacher. After the goal, the exchange continued with Conacher doing a bit of chirping when Ruth blatantly cross-checked Conacher in the head. With Springfield being two men down, the dance wasn't quite even, so Captain Dane Byers grabbed hold of two Admirals, giving them some simultaneous whatfor. After things settled down and the players were going to the box, Byers circled away and engaged Norfolk captain Mike Angelidis at center ice. One can only imagine what Byzee said to Angelidis as he went SlapShot crazy trying to get at Byers. Finally the linesmen literally escorted both into their respective benches and down the tunnels to their locker rooms.
Falcons broadcaster Mike Kelly aptly summed it up this way:
This game has gotten out of hand!
Out of hand indeed. The visitors added one more before a much quieter third period, leaving the score at 6-1.
The Falcons lone score was netted by Matt Calvert, his 9th, assisted by Cam Atkinson.
The teams will have a rematch this afternoon at 3PM at The Nest. With the sometimes unpredictable nature of AHL games, anything can happen. If you're in Springfield, tickets this afternoon are just $8.