Pardon the pun, but this was a whale of a game for Springfield tonight in Hartford.
Were the Falcons overwhelming and flat-out dominant at times in the game? Absolutely, but the Connecticut Whale laid a big old egg on home ice, surrendering nine goals at even strength en route to a 10-2 final score.
After a message-sending third period by head coach Brad Larsen on Friday night, the Falcons were much more disciplined and played a strong team game for 60 minutes. Five players registered multi-point outings, but it was former Whale defenseman Tim Erixon leading the way.
The 21-year-old blue liner scored the Falcons' first goal of the game, and picked up three more assists along the way for a four-point night. Erixon also became the first AHL defenseman with a +6 rating in a single game since Mathieu Roy (Dec. 3, 2010).
In fact, both former Whale players in the Springfield lineup had a happy homecoming.
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, benched in the third period and overtime on Friday, came back strong tonight and gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead with gorgeous goal in the first period. JAM finished with two assists, and was the first Springfield player to break the 10-point plateau this season.
Ryan Johansen scored a pair of nifty goals tonight, including a backhander under the crossbar at 16:23 of the second period off a slick pass from JAM. Johansen's first tally of the night was a re-direction in the slot, as he tipped in a point blast from Nick Holden earlier in the middle frame.
Connecticut used two goaltenders: Cam Talbot, who was pulled after yielding three goals on 11 shots, and 6-foot-8 Jason Missiaen. The Whale closed the gap to 6-2 with a power-play goal to open the third period, but Springfield poured it on after that.
Springfield scored its 10 goals on just 33 total shots.
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