After losing their opening five games, and winning just two over the course of October, it looked as if the Coyotes affiliate was ready to mail the season in.
Well don't look now, but with 15 points, the Falcons are third in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. This is a team that just three weeks ago were the sole owners of last place in the AHL.
Thankfully, it is still early in the season, which allows these jumps to occur. Should the Falcons make their winning ways a trend and not just occasional flashes in the pan, one can't help but begin to expect good things from Springfield.
Here's what you need to know from the AHL this week.
Three Games, Three Wins for the Falcons
Springfield 6, Utica 3
The Falcons and Comets had yet to meet prior to Friday, but the Falcons quickly made their presence known to Vancouver's affiliate, erupting to a 4-1 lead through one frame.
Dustin Jeffrey added his sixth goal of the season to open things up, however Utica answered just 32 seconds later, knotting things back up. Not to be outdone, however, the likes of Keith Aulie, Greg Carey and Eric Selleck put the Falcons up by three going into the second intermission. Aulie and Carey's goal were a mere 34 seconds apart.
Springfield was up 5-1 going into the third, courtesy of Jeffrey's second of the night, which was all setup by a turnover forced by Craig Cunningham on the defensive end.
In the third, Ross Mauermann scored his first career professional goal at 2:08 in the period. Goaltender Louis Domingue and the Falcons coughed up two more goals in the final period, but it was to no avail for the Comets as Springfield had long run away with the game.
With the win, Domingue had put together four straight wins and had 27 saves on the night.
Springfield 4, Binghamton 3
Saturday was on a much different end of the spectrum than Friday, as it took the Falcons until late in the third to finally take the lead.
After Max McCormick put the Senators up by one midway through the first, Greg Carey answered 1:23 later with the help of Dustin Jeffrey and Derek Smith to tie things up at one, where the score would remain for the rest of the frame.
The Senators went into the final frame up 2-1 following a McCormick shorthanded goal.
Just 29 seconds in, the Senators went up 3-1 as a result of a Cole Schneider goal. From there, the Falcons went on an absolute rampage, starting with a powerplay goal from Carey 2:20 after the Schneider goal. After that, the Falcons got yet another powerplay, and executed again just 56 seconds later when Jordan Szwarz potted a one-timer from Derek Smith. Around the halfway point, captain Craig Cunningham netted the go-ahead goal on the powerplay which would prove to be the winner. The Falcons were 3-6 on the man-advantage on the night.
Nicklas Treutle had 30 saves on the night, and improved to 2-1-0.
Springfield 2, Albany 1 (OT)
The Falcons wrapped up the weekend on a winning note, but it took overtime to do so.
Tyler Gaudet struck first, cleaning up Daniel New's shot from the point. The shot was initially waved off, as the net was knocked off its moorings, however upon further review the goal was found to be legal.
The Falcons carried that 1-0 score all the way until 2:25 remained in regulation, when former Falcon Paul Thompson scored on a shot off the right wing boards.
It looked as if the game was heading into a shootout, up until Louis Domingue made a critical save that got things going the other way. Laurent Dauphin found Alex Grant who hit Eric Selleck, who then promptly finished the game-winner with 15.5 seconds remaining in the game.
Domingue had 33 saves and won his fifth-straight.
Numbers and Notes
- The Falcons are winners of seven of their last eight.
- The Falcons are 4-0 in their last four home games, and are also 4-0 against North Division opponents.
- The Falcons penalty kill has been outstanding, killing 31 of the last 32.
- With two goals and an assist on Friday night, Dustin Jeffrey notched his fourth three-point night of the season.
- Derek Smith had five assists between the three games played this weekend.
- Eric Selleck had the game winning goal in both Friday and Sunday's games.
- Alex Grant is on a three-game point streak.
Dustin Jeffrey was reassigned to Springfield on Wednesday afternoon.
Craig Cunningham was called up to Arizona on Sunday. Cunningham has played 53 career NHL games between the Coyotes and Bruins.
The Falcons docket is full once again for the weekend. They'll see the Albany Devils on Friday on the road, and then will return home to face the Providence Bruins on Saturday. They'll wrap up the weekend in Bridgeport when they face the Sound Tigers.