Connecticut-Whale_thumb1      VERSUS      Springfield-Falcons_thumb

The Springfield Falcons scored twice in two separate bursts including one late before winning in a shootout over a forward-depleted Connecticut Whale at the XL Center Saturday night 5-4.

Kris Newbury, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Andreas Thuresson and Jordan Owens were unsuccessful in their shootout attempts. Only Brendan Bell managed to score for the Whale while Brent Regner tied the shootout in the Falcon’s fourth attempt and Matt Culvert made a tremendous move that beat Chad Johnson (10-6-4, 26 saves) clinching the win.

The Whale opened the scoring at 4:19 of the first period when Newbury took a Audy-Marchessault pass from the left side out to the right circle and buried it into the net past the glove of Mark Dekanich (1-0-0, 34 saves) in his debut with the Falcons.

But much as was the case on Friday night when sixty seconds took a Whale lead and turned it into a one-goal deficit against Binghamton, it only took seven seconds to do it Saturday against the Falcons.

The two goals were precipitated by a horrendous move by Andrea Deveaux who used incredibly poor judgment in running Patrick Cullity hard from behind prompting a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct leaving the Whale, who were already playing with seven defenseman as forward Sean Avery was out of the lineup having taken ill, with just ten forwards.

The Whale only allowed Springfield one shot on goal during the five minute PK, but were unable to keep the visitors off the scoreboard for only three seconds past it.

Former Hartford Wolf Pack forward Alexandre Giroux knotted the score when his shot from the right point clanked off the post and found the back of the net to tie it with 55.1 left in the period. Then just seven seconds later, Tim Erixon backhanded clearing attempt from behind his net hit a stanchion in the left corner and came right out to Culvert who sent a pass from behind his back and through his legs to Andrew Joudrey who’s shot from the left circle in traffic either hit a stick or just plain knuckled and  beat Johnson with 48 seconds left in the period.

After a scoreless second frame, the Whale needed a goal to tie and got one just 1:24 into the third as a loose puck near the right wing Falcons blueline was recovered by Thuresson who slipped the puck to Owens. The Whale forward broke through Wade MacLeod and Aaron Bogosian and wristed it from the right faceoff dot and put it perfectly past the reach of Dekanich for his fourth of the season.

Audy-Marchessault scored on the power play at 6:40 making a nice adjustment on the left side to give Newbury a passing lane and the Whale center found his left winger for an easy stuff it to give the New York Rangers AHL affiliate the lead.

At 13:07 the Whale appeared to ice the game when a perfectly executed passing play off the rush between Audy-Marchessault, Erixon and Newbury led to the Whale center’s second goal of the game when his shot from the right circle also found the back of the net to make it 4-2.

But to their credit, the Falcons did not go away and to their detriment, the Whale clearly took their foot off the gas and paid the  price for it.

3;18 after the Whale had doubled their lead, Audy-Marchessault  was called for an offensive zone slashing call giving the Falcons their fifth power play opportunity. With just 32 seconds left on the man-advantage, Calvert, the game’s first star, won a battle in the crease after a shot from Dalton Prout from the right circle was not corralled by Johnson to make it 4-3.

Three minutes later, and with time running out, Dekanich was pulled for an extra attacker, Martin St. Pierre. A clearing attempt in the Whale zone caught Tessier in an awkward position and the puck eluded his stick and went out to the center of the ice. Francois Bouchard had a shot at it and missed and St. Pierre did not and blasted it from the slot past Johnson’s blocker for the equalizer with just 35 seconds left in regulation.

45 seconds into overtime, the only real strong scoring chance for the Whale came when Sam Klassen’s shot form the left side  smacked hard of the post and out of harms way.

For the Whale this is three bad losses in a row, their longest such streak of the season. They will get a chance to redeem themselves Sunday afternoon when the two teams meet again in Springfield for the back-end of the home-and-home contest.

Nate Owen is a good guy and he has the story from inside the Falcons locker-room at MassLive.com.

(Listen below to reaction from Head Coach Ken Gernander and some of the players after the game)





Ken Gernander speaks to the media after a 5-4 shootout loss to the Springfield Falcons


Ken Gernander: 

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault: 

Kris Newbury: 

Kelsey Tessier: 



(Standings provided by TheAHL.com)


* Kris Newbury has 7g, 13a – 20pts. over the last 10 games.

* As much as some would complain about the number of PIM the Whale are taking, they are currently fifth of fifteen in the Eastern Conference.

* The Whale led in shots 8-1 at the seven minute mark of the first period only to win the period 13-9.


Bouchard – Tessier – Thuresson
Audy-Marchessault – NewburyDeveaux
Voros – Owens – Bourque
Grant – McKelvie

Valentenko – Parlett
Bell – Klassen
Baldwin – Nightingale



(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)


Wade Redden – Lower Body – Indefinite
Mats Zuccarello – Lower Body – 2-3 Weeks
Sean Avery – Illness – Day-to-Day
Scott Tanski – Healthy Scratch


1. SPR – M. Calvert
2. CT – K. Newbury
3. CT – J. Audy-Marchessault


Keith Kaval (40)

Paul Simeon (66)
Luke Galvin (2)


What difference will less than 24 hours make for the Connecticut Whale after a bad loss? The back-end of the home-and-home with Springfield continues today at 3pm.  Bob Crawford will be on the air with the pre-game show at 2:50pm on WCCC.com.

To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.

For Ticket information for all home games, call (860) 548-2000.

Too far away or can’t make it? Listen live at WCCC.com or from your cell phone or computer you can get all the live action via our Twitter page: @HowlingsToday for all games both home and away.


Springfield Falcons 5 (SO) at Connecticut Whale 4 – Status: Final SO
Saturday, January 7, 2012 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Springfield    2 0 2 0 – 5
Connecticut 1 0 3 0 – 4

1st Period-1, Connecticut, Newbury 14 (Deveaux, Audy-Marchessault), 4:19 (PP). 2, Springfield, Giroux 11 (St. Pierre), 19:04. 3, Springfield, Joudrey 3 (Calvert), 19:22. Penalties-Blomqvist Spr (roughing), 2:56; Deveaux Ct (slashing), 9:25; Lebda Spr (interference), 9:44; St. Pierre Spr (high-sticking), 13:20; Deveaux Ct (major – boarding, game misconduct – boarding), 14:01.

2nd Period– No Scoring.Penalties-Blomqvist Spr (hooking), 3:00; Regner Spr (boarding, roughing), 6:01; Grant Ct (roughing), 6:01; Calvert Spr (cross-checking), 10:02; Audy-Marchessault Ct (slashing), 10:02; Grant Ct (high-sticking), 14:05.

3rd Period-4, Connecticut, Owens 4 (Thuresson), 1:24. 5, Connecticut, Audy-Marchessault 13 (Newbury, Erixon), 6:40 (PP). 6, Connecticut, Newbury 15 (Erixon, Audy-Marchessault), 13:07. 7, Springfield, Calvert 5 (Byers, Prout), 16:25 (PP). 8, Springfield, St. Pierre 7 (MacLeod, Giroux), 19:25. Penalties-Parlett Ct (tripping), 4:36; Lebda Spr (hooking), 5:39; Prout Spr (tripping), 6:31; Audy-Marchessault Ct (slashing), 14:57.

OT Period– No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Springfield 2 (Kubalik NG, St. Pierre NG, Giroux NG, Regner G, Calvert G), Connecticut 1 (Newbury NG, Audy-Marchessault NG, Bell G, Thuresson NG, Owens NG).
Shots on Goal-Springfield 9-9-12-0-1-31. Connecticut 13-11-8-6-0-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 5; Connecticut 2 / 7.
Goalies-Springfield, Dekanich 1-0-0 (38 shots-34 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 10-6-4 (30 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Keith Kaval (40).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Luke Galvin (2).


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