SPRINGFIELD, Mass – Despite two goals from Crunch forward Jon DiSalvatore the Crunch fell to the Springfield Falcons 4-2 tonight at the MassMutual Center.
The Crunch drop their overall record to 18-21-2-5 and road record to 11-12-2-2. Netminder Allen York allowed four goals on 27 shots in defeat while his Falcons counterpart Mike McKenna stopped 27 of 29 shots faced. The Crunch were held scoreless on three power-play attempts but stopped two Springfield man-advantage opportunities.
The Falcons struck twice in the opening frame to carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Lukas Sedlak opened the scoring 13:00 into the period. After a stopped wrap-around-attempt from Dalton Smith, Sedlak knocked the puck past York for the early lead. Jack Skille doubled the Falcons lead when he capitalized on a Crunch turnover for an unassisted goal with 4:09 to play.
DiSalvatore cut the Crunch deficit in half with his first goal of the game and fifth goal of the season 15:24 into the middle frame. DiSalvatore redirected a centering pass from defenseman Joey Mormina past McKenna.
Former Crunch forward JF Jacques regained the Falcons two-goal lead by tipping a Will Weber shot past York 1:56 into the final frame. Jody Marchessault earned the secondary assist.
DiSalvatore scored his second goal of the game 7:40 into the third period. After sustained pressure in the Crunch offensive zone DiSalvatore one-timed a Cedric Paquette feed from the high slot past McKenna. Earning the assist moved Paquette into sole possession of the team points lead with 31. Nikita Nesterov was also credited with an assist on the play.
The Falcons went ahead by two goals for the third and final time when Michael Chaput scored with 5:47 to play in the third period. York stopped a Marchessault wrap-around attempt but the rebound was put in by Chaput.
The Crunch will host the Falcons for game two of a home-and-home series on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m.
CRUNCHABLES: This is the first time the Crunch and Falcons have met since the Crunch swept the Falcons in the second round of the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs…Current Crunch netminder Allen York was a member of that 2013 Falcons team…The Crunch penalty kill has not allowed a power-play goal in five games…The power-play unit has failed to score during the same five-game span…Goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis and forward Vladislav Namestnikov were recalled by the Lightning earlier today…