POST GAME: Falcons 10, Whale 2
Springfield routs rival Connecticut in a lopsided contest at the XL Center in Hartford
SPRINGFIELD FALCONS (6-1-2) 10, CONNECTICUT WHALE (4-4-1) 2
XL Center | Hartford, CT
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 at the XL Center.
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.
Not the easiest game to select such a moment, but we'll go with Johansen's 4-0 goal in the second period. We've seen time and again (especially in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs) that not even a 3-0 lead is "safe" in hockey anymore, and though they dominated the first period, the Falcons were by no means in the clear.
Holden made it happen with a really nice heads-up play, shooting for Johansen in the slot area. The big center did the rest, getting a big chunk of the puck and re-directing it to the opposite post at 3:56 of the period.
1. Tim Erixon (SPR) - goal, three assists (+6)
2. Cam Atkinson (SPR) - goal (+3)
3. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault (SPR) - goal, two assists (+4)
vs. Connecticut Whale
MassMutual Center | Springfield, MA
Friday, 7 p.m.