Falcons Game 50: Crunch Blanks Birds

The lingering effects of Friday night's physically punishing matchup against Bridgeport, coupled with the four hour ride and subsequent arrival in Syracuse at 2:30AM could have been pointed to as factors in Springfield's 3-0 loss on Saturday night against the Crunch.

None of the Falcons would use that as an excuse though. The Crunch was well rested, having last played at home on Wednesday night. Also, they were looking for revenge after falling to Springfield 5-3 at The Nest just over three weeks ago.

Slick playmaker Nick Drazenovic was recalled by the Blue Jackets earlier in the day. That and the scratch of Cody Bass opened the door for Trent Vogelhuber and Nathan Moon to make their season debuts for the Birds.

Allen York started in goal for the Falcons, and was spectacular throughout. Syracuse outshot Springfield by an 11 to 4 margin in the first period and despite the Falcons best efforts, it looked like it could easily turn into a long night.

Play opened up in the second period and both York and Cedric Desjardins put on a goaltending clinic. Shots in the middle frame were 18-14 in favor of the Crunch. Although Syracuse hit a couple of posts along the way, after 40 minutes this was looking like the kind of game that could very well end up a 1-0 final.

With Syracuse appearing to be the fresher club, there still was no let up by the Falcons. Springfield's second period effort was outstanding, especially when one considers the constant state of flux the lineup has been in since the Jackets opened for business this season.

Third period goals by Mark Barberio and Pierre-Cedric Labrie left the Falcons playing catch up. Finally, an empty netter by JT Brown closed out the scoring, giving the Crunch the 3-0 win.

York turned in a stellar effort, recording 43 saves and kept the Falcons in the game for most of the night.

The season series between Springfield and Syracuse ended knotted at one win each. I'll repeat something from my post after the February 1st Falcons win. I'm still reminded of the quote from an AHL exec who said, "The road to the Calder Cup goes through Syracuse." Should Springfield and Syracuse meet somewhere in the conference playoffs this spring, be assured the hockey will be awesome!

Springfield closes out this weekend's three-in-three today at 3, when they head to Worcester to take on the Sharks.

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