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On the Farm: Falcons Week One

Newcomer Broc Little beat Manchester goalie Martin Jones for the only shootout goal as the Springfield Falcons opened up their 20th anniversary season with a 3-2 shootout win over the Monarchs on Saturday night in Springfield.

Turning in strong, effective performances for the Birds were Darryl Boyce, Michael Chaput, Sean Collins, Frederic St. Denis and new netminder, Jeremy Smith.

Boyce, a seventh year pro and briefly a former Blue Jacket, adds a physical dimension to the middle of the ice for Springfield.

Chaput, building on his strong second half of last season, picked up where he left off. He was left totally uncovered in front of Jones and made no mistake, going top shelf for his first goal of the season.

Collins was kept off the scoresheet but was a rallying force on every shift. His work ethic is superb and given his brief opportunity with the Jackets last season, it wouldn't surprise me to see his name on a short list of call-ups when the time comes.

St. Denis, a veteran blueliner, showed some puck moving skill and started the play for the Falcons first goal.

Smith was in control between the pipes for most of the night. He stole the show late in the third period, throughout the five minute extra session, recording six big saves, then rejected all five shootout attempts by Manchester.

Smith would have gotten my vote for the game's number one star. Instead it went to Little for his SO heroics. Chaput earned second star honors, while Jones was the #3 star of the night.

Springfield Falcons Opening Night Numerical Roster

3 - Joe Lavin D
4 - Will Weber D
5 - Austin Madaisky D
7 - Blake Parlett D
8 - Patrick McNeill D
10 - Spencer Machacek RW
11 - Peter Sakaris LW
12 - Ryan Craig LW (team captain)
13 - Trent Vogelhuber RW
14 - Broc Little LW
15 - Jack Skille RW
16 - Michael Chaput C
17 - Sean Collins LW
18 - Jonathan Marchessault LW
19 - Darryl Boyce C
20 - Jeremy Langlois RW
21 - Jake Hansen C
22 - Ilari Melart D
24 - Andrew Joudrey C (alternate captain)
25 - Ryley Grantham LW
27 - Cody Goloubef D
28 - Lukas Sedlak C
29 - Mike McKenna G
30 - Jeremy Smith G
32 - Frederic St. Denis D (alternate captain)
33 - Dalton Smith LW
37 - Thomas Larkin D
40 - Alex Aleardi RW

Opening Night scratches, all nursing undisclosed ailments were Aleardi, Grantham, Langlois, Machacek and Sakaris up front. Scratched D-men were Larkin, Lavin and Parlett.

The Birds currently stand third in the Northeast Division, trailing Hartford and Adirondack, while Bridgeport and Albany round out the division after the first weekend of the season.

The Birds are off until next Saturday night when they host the Worcester Sharks at 7PM.