|For the first time in a couple of weeks the Falcons had the opportunity to get in three full days of practice leading up to the weekend of three games in three nights. Although this does not happen too often, it certainly gives us the chance to "break down" our recent games and "tweak" a few of our systems while at the same time getting many "teachable" moments on the ice before, during and after practice. Coupled with some team and individual video sessions of recent games - showing the good, the not -so-good and even some ugly moments hoping that we can all learn from not only our mistakes but many of our good plays.|
The weekend started off on the right foot with a solid 4-1 win over Syracuse. Good goaltending, a power play that was clicking and some good penalty killing was the right formula. It may have been our best overall team defense as we limited the Crunch to 22 shots, our lowest total given up all year.
The next night, against a very powerful offensive team in Norfolk, we find a way to self-destruct in the first five minutes, built a hole that is just too deep for us to recover from. I liked the effort and play of our forwards but on this particular night our defensemen struggled early and often and it came back to haunt us in this 5-2 loss.
No rest for the weary, we head out to Portland for a Sunday afternoon tilt to finish out our three games in three nights. The Falcons fall behind early by two goals but find a way to cut the deficit in half before the first intermission. Having weathered the first period, the pesky Falcons come to life, tie the score and take the play to the Pirates, but unfortunately cannot get the lead. The Pirates scored twice in the first ten minutes of the third and final period, and appear on their way to victory. Someone forgot to tell them that there was "no quit" in this Springfield team and we scratch and claw our way back into the game and tie the game (with the goalie out and an extra attacker on the ice) with under one second to play in the game. The Falcons dominate the OT but cannot get the winner, which forces the shootout. Portland scores on the last shot to win the shootout 2-1. Disappointing end (we have been spoiled with a perfect 4-0 record in our previous shootouts) but we worked hard to get one point and take a silver lining from that.
Would love to see everyone at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, December 26th from noon to 2 pm. The guys and I will be kicking off the hall's vacation festivities. Kids will have the opportunity to take us on for prizes! It should be a lot of fun.Happy Holidays!'Till next week! Coach Stirling