|What started out as a promising weekend turned sour quickly. With the tight Atlantic division this should come as no surprise.|
The weekend started off with some bad news on the injury front as Captain Norm Milley fractured his jaw in Thursday's practice and Randy Rowe's knee was not progressing well enough to be available for the weekend games. Veteran Dan Cavanaugh comes down with the flu as well, so we head into the weekend with a very inexperienced team. Milley's absence is a huge loss as his leadership and play on the ice was instrumental in the Falcons' success to date.
Our game Friday, at home versus Portland, proved to be quite entertaining. It was sixty minutes of up and down hockey and the outcome was in doubt right to the end. Rookie goalie Karri Ramo is brilliant in net and makes 14 saves in the third period to clinch the win. David Spina fills in for Milley and chips in one goal and one assist in the victory.
Hartford is next as our border state rival invades the Nest. We play a good first period and take a 2-1 lead. This lead is short lived as the Falcons get in penalty trouble early and Hartford takes advantage of the situation and pours it on. Before we know it is 5-2 Hartford and we are reeling. We play better in the third and cut the lead to two but just do not enough to catch them. An empty net goal makes it 6-3.
Off to Providence for a Sunday matinee game. The Bruins were waiting for us with all guns loaded. Having lost five in a row, the Bruins were prime for a good game and that they had against the Falcons on this Sunday afternoon. A very late goal with under 14 seconds to go in the first period put Providence up 2-0 and took most of the wind out our sails. We played hard and made a go of it through the first ten minutes of the second, then Providence scored three quick ones to blow this one wide open. Sloppy play with the puck proved to be our Achilles heel in this one.
Worthy news update...goalie Karri Ramo has been selected an AHL All-Star and will play for the Planet/USA team versus the Canadian team in Toronto on January 29. His play has been very good all year for the Falcons and certainly deserves this honor.
Till next week! Coach Stirling