IceCaps fall 4-2 to Falcons in season-opener
Springfield, MA – Matt Calvert and Tomas Kubalik each had a goal and an assist and Curtis McElhinney stopped 23-of-25 shots to lead the Springfield Falcons past the St. John’s IceCaps 4-2 in the first game of the 2012-13 season for both teams Saturday night at the MassMutual Center.
Eddie Pasquale stopped 29 shots in keeping the IceCaps in the game as the team looked flat for much of the game’s first two periods. Carl Klingberg and Hunter Tremblay scored for St. John’s in the loss.
The IceCaps opened the scoring on the power play at 8:03 of the first when Klingberg built on his impressive preseason play by notching the team’s first goal of the new season. Klingberg took a pass from Derek Meech near the Falcons blueline and burst in on goal, making a nice move and sliding the puck between the legs of McIlhinney, giving the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
Springfield pulled even at 16:03 of the opening frame on a power play of their own. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault fed Erixon at the point, whose slap shot was deflected by Ryan Craig past Pasquale to tie the game at one.
The Falcons went ahead just 19 seconds into the second period on a nice goal by Calvert. The Falcons’ winger converted after a pass from Kubalik on a two-on-one to put Springfield up 2-1.
Springfield padded its lead at 13:24 of the middle stanza on a goal by Smith. The Oshawa native barrelled out from behind the net and shoveled a backhander that eluded Pasquale on the short side, giving the Falcons a 3-1 lead through two periods.
St. John’s had a great opportunity to get back in the game early in the third when they were awarded a two-man advantage after Erixon and David Savard were whistled for penalties. The IceCaps were unable to get any quality chances despite moving the puck around well in the Falcons’ zone.
The IceCaps did pull within a goal shortly after. Tremblay picked up his first as an IceCap when he one-timed a Spencer Machacek pass from behind the net, beating McIlhinney high to make it 3-2.
However, Springfield put the game away on a power play with less than five minutes to play. Erixon’s shot from the point was stopped by Pasquale, but Kubalik was parked in front to convert the rebound for a 4-2 Falcons lead.
St. John’s went one-for-seven on the power play while Springfield went two-for-six with the man advantage.
The IceCaps travel to Hartford Sunday to take on the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Fans can also watch the live stream at www.ahllive.com. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. with the pregame show getting underway at 4:00 (all times Newfoundland).