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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Scouting the Springfield Falcons

Springfield is running uphill in the second half of the season. As I write this, the team has 34 points in 37 games and is winning just 45.4 percent of their games. The power play is just 15 percent, 20th in the league, the penalty kill is running at 82.6 percent or 16th in the league. Finally, they are being sent to the sin bin an average of 17.3 minutes per game, ranked 25th in the league in penalty minutes. Mitch Fritz has 97 penalty minutes this season, the only Falcon with a shot of being honored as a goon.

The Springfield Falcons average just 3,229 attendance, among the worst in the league. But with a poor record on ice, should you be surprised at poor attendance too? The team hasn’t had a streak of more than three games won this season. And most periods are like the current one, a six game losing streak. They play Hershey tomorrow. Their next best bet for ending this terrible streak is an away game against the B-Sens on Friday.

Jason Jaspers anchors the team with 35 points, joined by Ryan Vesce with 33 points. It’s a long way back to the next skater, Jim Campbell with 22 points. Affiliated with the well-known Johnstown Chiefs, the Falcons most recent trade was to acquire Ray Schultz from San Antonio. Development appears not to be a word known in Springfield. Dirk Graham, a former Blackhawk coach could be reason one. Yes, Virginia, there is life after you associate professionally with $Bill$ Wirtz: you end up coaching a nowhere team in Massachusetts.

Gerald Coleman is in the pipes, he has a 3.41 GAA and is stopping 88.9 percent of shots. There is hope here, if Tampa doesn’t grab him, he was on the London Knights last season, where he won 32 of 38 games. Coleman is an Evanston native.

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