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March is a great time of year for sport fans

The month of March is a great time of year if you are a sports fan; professional hockey teams continue to battle for playoff positioning, the NCAA March Madness for both hockey and basketball begins, and spring training baseball is also in the news. For the Springfield Falcons, the next several weeks will continue to test the character of the players in our locker room as we continue to battle as a group down the stretch.

After a span of only one game for the Birds in an eight-day stretch, we got back to work for a three-game in three-day weekend starting on March 9 and ending on March 11. All three games were against divisional opponents and we returned to the MassMutual Center for back-to-back contests to start the weekend. First up, the Portland Pirates on Friday evening. We got off to a good start against the Pirates taking an early 1-0 lead, but we fell into penalty trouble in the second period, and three straight power play goals for Portland took the wind out of our sails. We have played Portland very tough this year, and Friday's game was another hard-fought battle.

I thought we responded very well to Friday's setback the following night as we beat the Providence Bruins 3-2 on Saturday. The Bruins had won five-straight games coming into our game. Our veteran players led the way for us on this night as captain Norm Milley scored a pair of goals, and leading scorer Eric Healey also chipped in with one. We have relied a lot on both Milley and Healey this season, and they both stepped up for us against Providence in helping us beat a very good Bruins team.

Our third game of the weekend was a tough one if you are a Falcons supporter; we went up against a very tough Hartford Wolf Pack team and lost 5-0 at the Hartford Civic Center. Not much to say about this game, the scoreboard says it all, the Pack carried the play and we never responded. All you can do is forget about a game like the Hartford contest as a quickly as possible and move on.

We continue as a hockey club to look toward the present, players and coaches are obviously disappointed with our record, but we will continue to battle until the regular season concludes on April 14. Look forward to seeing you at "The Nest!" Until next week, Coach Stirling