Springfield, Mass.- (AHL.com) A season-high crowd of 6,497 fans at the MassMutual Center on Saturday night watched the Springfield Falcons (20-9-3-3) defeat the Providence Bruins (18-14-0-2), 4-2, behind two goals by Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and four assists from Nick Drazenovic.
The audience at “The Nest” was the largest since a capacity crowd of 6,789 witnessed Springfield defeat Providence, 3-1, on Mar. 31, 2012. Springfield increased its Northeast Division lead to eight points over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers with its Saturday victory.
The Falcons kicked off the scoring in style with a slick tic-tac-toe play to take a 1-0 lead. With Springfield working on the power play, Nick Holden snapped a pass to Nick Drazenovic on the doorstep. Drazenovic tapped the puck across the top of the crease to Ryan Craig, who pushed it in at 7:32 of the first period to collect his 50th goal in a Falcon sweater.
Torey Krug took a drop pass from Maxime Sauve, skated to the inner-edge of the left circle, and whistled a puck by Springfield netminder Allen York at 11:53, tying the game, 1-1.
Drazenovic notched his second helper of the night at 16:35, moving the puck to the right point for Cody Goloubef. One night after returning to the ice following a two-month stay on the injured list, Goloubef slapped the puck from the blue line by Providence goaltender Mike Hutchinson’s glove for his first goal of the season, putting Springfield in front for good, 2-1.
The Falcons extended their lead in the final moments of the middle period with their second power-play conversion of the evening. Audy-Marchessault snuck over to Hutchinson’s back post, took a feed from Drazenovic, and drove it in at 19:40, as the Falcons went up, 3-1.
Springfield put Providence away at 8:26 of the third, as Audy-Marchessault fired a puck from the right circle by Hutchinson, increasing the advantage to 4-1.
Wes O’Neill’s shot at 19:51 of the final frame deflected off of York’s glove and into the cage, but Springfield prevailed, 4-2.
York (2-3-0) posted his first win of 2013, making saves on all but two of the 25 shots he faced. Hutchinson (4-8-1) fell to the Falcons for the second time in less than a week, stopping 32 of 36 attempts.
The Falcons head to Manchester on Tuesday before returning home to host the Connecticut Whale on Friday and the Albany Devils on Saturday, with each contest at the MassMutual Center beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Single-game tickets to see the Falcons in 2012-2013 can be purchased at the MassMutual Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. through game time on Saturday home dates, and starting four hours prior to Sunday home contests. Fans can also purchase tickets by logging onto Ticketmaster.com. For information about discounted group packages to Falcons home games, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
Springfield is 11 games over .500 for the first time since ending the 1997-1998 season with a 45-26-7-2 record…Audy-Marchessault has four goals in the last two games against the Bruins and has eight points (4g-4a) in five contests against Providence this season…Drazenovic’s four assists tied a Falcons and an AHL season high…Cam Atkinson also had four assists on Nov. 11 against Norfolk…Springfield has power-play goals in seven-straight games…The Falcons took three of four points on the weekend…Craig is now alone in ninth in Falcons history with 50 goals