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Where does the time go?

Hard to believe this is our last week of the 2007-08 season. Seems just like yesterday, I was introduced as the Falcons' new Head Coach.

This past week was much like the previous weeks, a lot of hockey with not a lot of wins, but some of our guys worked hard and learning what it takes to remain at this level in professional hockey.

First up last week was the Lowell Devils on Wednesday. I thought we didn't put our best effort into the beginning of the game and it cost us. Jonathan Boutin started in goal but was replaced by Kevin Beech early in the first period. The one bright spot over the last couple of weeks continues to shine, Kyle Wanvig worked and worked and was rewarded with his 17th & 18th goals of the season. Lowell just outworked us and left the NEST with a 4-2 win.

Off to Providence on Friday, but with the same result. Our players are still learning to control the ice surface but the feisty Bruins took advantage of our inexperience with a 5-2. Rookie Jacob McFlikier scored his first professional goal and Assistant Captain Eric Healey tallied for the Falcons.

A home and home series against Portland rounded out the week and a true test of the character of our players. Saturday was not one of our better outings, but rookie Justin Fletcher scored his first AHL goal and that is always a thrill not only for the players but his teammates. I think the Saturday game woke up the Birds for their bus trip to Portland. They came out and worked hard for goalie Kevin Beech, who made his first professional start. The line of Kyle Wanvig-David Spina-Adam Henrich have worked well over the last several games and it continued with Wanvig tallying a goal and then Spina scored late in the third to tie it up. Unfortunately, the Pirates were a little hungrier as they are fighting for a playoff berth and came out with the win 3-2.

As we wrap up this season, I would be remiss to not thank the fans of Springfield for their support and hospitality over the course of the season. The results were not what we all expected or hoped, but every game we went out to learn to become better players, coaches and team. I wish it could have been different. As I will be taking on a new adventure in Norfolk, VA, I wish the Falcons fans and staff nothing but the best, Coach Stirling