Connecticut Whale 6, Springfield Falcons 3
By Brian Ring
Springfield, MA, December 3, 2011 - The Connecticut Whale defeated the Springfield Falcons, 6-3, Saturday night in Springfield, rallying from a two-goal deficit with the help of five power-play goals in the third period.
Andre Deveaux scored twice for the Whale, while Jonathan Audy-Marchessault collected a goal and two assists, helping to move the Whale’s winning streak to four straight games, and their record against the Falcons to 4-0-0-0. Chad Johnson made 39 saves for Connecticut in game that saw them heavily outshot, 41-26.
Dane Byers scored twice for Springfield.
“The power-play really cranked it up at the end there,” said Whale coach Ken Gernander. “There were a lot of players that had a big third…that stepped up in the third.”
“Even if we’re not playing our best hockey we find ways to win,” said Johnson. “Five minutes or one period can make the game.”
The Whale were outshot, 10-2, in the game’s opening period, a result of spending nearly half of the period killing penalties during a run of four straight infractions from 3:48-8:14. Brilliant penalty-killing work by Connecticut for the second straight night helped to keep the two teams scoreless headed into the first intermission.
Byers finally helped the Falcons break through with the man-advantage at 2:34 of the second period, putting Springfield ahead with the first goal of the game. Byers was left with an easy rebound stuff-in opportunity against Johnson, with the assists going to Alexandre Giroux and Nick Holden.
The Falcons extended their lead to two goals at the five minute mark, as Tim Spencer notched his first goal of the season, assisted by Wade MacLeod and Ryan Garlock.
Ryan Bourque got the Whale on the board at 8:09 of the second, his shot from the left-wing half-boards going through Falcons goaltender Allen York (21 saves). Audy-Marchessault assisted on the goal, extending a personal points streak to six games, as did Wade Redden.
Byers put the Falcons ahead by two goals with his second of the night just 2:17 into the third period. That would be the end of the scoring for Springfield, who ended up taking 25 minutes worth of penalties in a wild third period.
The Whale began their comeback at 7:44, scoring their first of five power-play goals in the frame. A Pavel Valentenko slapshot from the point was tipped past York by Deveaux for his first of the night, getting the Whale within a goal at 3-2. Deveaux scored again less than four minutes later, tying the game up for Connecticut.
Audy-Marchessault netted the game-winner at 14:22, putting a Francois Bouchard rebound into an empty net for his eighth goal of the season.
The Falcons’ Adam Mair took a five-minute major and was ejected from the game for a high hit on Deveaux, which gave the Whale a power-play from 16:25 on.
The Whale went on to put the game out of reach, scoring another two goals, on Newbury’s seventh of the season, coming at 16:56 on a stuff-in chance, and Aaron Voros’ second of the year with just 59 seconds remaining in the final period.
Connecticut’s five power-play goals tied the team’s records for both power-play goals in one game and in a single period, while the Whale penalty kill successfully stopped six of seven Falcons opportunities.
“We just battled through it, battled through the penalties, killed them, just stayed the course and worked to the very end,” said Johnson. “It was a big win and we have to focus on tomorrow now.”
The Whale, looking to make it five straight wins, returns home Sunday afternoon, when Connecticut will host former Wolf Pack forward Corey Locke and the defending Calder Cup champion Binghamton Senators at the XL Center (3:00 PM).
Connecticut Whale 6 at Springfield Falcons 3
Saturday, December 3, 2011 – MassMutual Center
Connecticut 0 1 5 – 6
Springfield 0 2 1 – 3
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Newbury Ct (hooking, unsportsmanlike conduct – disputing decision), 3:48; Nightingale Ct (hooking), 7:28; served by Voros Ct (bench minor – too many men), 8:14.
2nd Period-1, Springfield, Byers 5 (Giroux, Holden), 2:34 (PP). 2, Springfield, Spencer 1 (MacLeod, Garlock), 5:00. 3, Connecticut, Bourque 2 (Audy-Marchessault, Redden), 8:09. Penalties-Giroux Spr (hooking), 0:26; Redden Ct (tripping), 1:54; Ruth Spr (boarding), 5:36; Bickel Ct (tripping), 11:55; Atkinson Spr (hooking), 13:08; Deveaux Ct (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:10; Garlock Spr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:10; served by Voros Ct (bench minor – delay of game), 20:00.
3rd Period-4, Springfield, Byers 6 (Calvert, Lebda), 2:17. 5, Connecticut, Deveaux 5 (Valentenko, Redden), 7:44 (PP). 6, Connecticut, Deveaux 6 (Audy-Marchessault, Zuccarello), 11:08 (PP). 7, Connecticut, Audy-Marchessault 8 (Bouchard, Valentenko), 14:22 (PP). 8, Connecticut, Newbury 7 (Zuccarello, Bell), 16:56 (PP). 9, Connecticut, Voros 2 (Tessier, Parlett), 19:41 (PP). Penalties-St. Pierre Spr (hooking), 6:01; Newbury Ct (roughing), 10:42; Giroux Spr (slashing, roughing), 10:42; Holden Spr (interference), 13:16; Holden Spr (slashing), 16:04; Mair Spr (major – interference, game misconduct – interference), 16:25.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 2-8-17-27. Springfield 10-19-13-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 5 / 9; Springfield 1 / 7.
Goalies-Connecticut, Johnson 8-3-2 (42 shots-39 saves). Springfield, York 1-1-0 (27 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Graham Skilliter (48).
Linesmen-Rich Patry (52), Kevin Redding (16).