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Falcons Nip Lock Monsters
By Alex Pufhal

The Lowell Lock Monsters were unable to extend their unbeaten streak to five games after falling to the Springfield Falcons 3-2 Friday night in Springfield. The loss is the first in franchise history on the road, however the Lock Monsters have only played 2 games away from the Tsongas Arena. The game was the the first of a 3-game road trip. The Lock Monsters head to Portland on Saturday night to take on the struggling Portland Pirates.

Dimitri Nabokov had two goals for Lowell in the loss, he now has 4 goals on the season and continues his standout play in the early going. Craig Charron is picking up his play, adding two assists. Charron leaves next week to play for TeamUSA in it's World Championship qualifying attempt. The Falcons got a big night from winger Tavis Hansen who had two goals including the game winner. He also had an assist. Enforcer Sean Gagnon added the other goal for the Falcons.

Springfield's Eric Belanger had 3 assists. The game, the back end of a home-and-home was decidedly more chippy than Wednesday night. There was a fight in the first between Ray Shultz and Joe Dziedzic and then in the second between Steve Webb and Dan Focht.

Lowell was 0-for-5 on the power play, Springfield 1-for-6 with the man advantage. Mark McArthur took the loss for Lowell despite stopping 27. Robert Esche a late addition to the lineup made 28 saves for the Falcons and helped them to the win.

Saturday, October 31, 1998
Hansen's a hit at Civic Center, Falcons edge Lock Monsters, by Fran Sypek,
staff writer

SPRINGFIELD - Tavis Hansen could never be confused with Bobby Boris Pickett, but he did his own version of the former hit "The Monster Mash" last night at the Civic Center.

Hansen scored two goals, including the game winner, to help the Falcons defeat the Lowell Lock Monsters 3-2 before 3,613.

Hansen is now tied with rookie Greg Phillips for the team goal scoring lead with five. In addition to providing offense, Hansen has keyed the Falcons special teams.

The Falcons took three of four points from the Lock Monsters in the home-and- home series. The teams battled to a 2-2 tie Wednesday night in Lowell. The Falcons remained unbeaten at home (3-0-1).

Sean Gagnon also scored for the Falcons, who play host to the Saint John Flames at 2 this afternoon. Eric Belanger had three assists.

This was Belanger's second game back after coming back from a broken hand. He was able to give Falcon fans a glimpse of his offensive creativity.

So did Joe Dziedzic, who set up both of Hansen's goals for his first two points of the season.

Dmitri Nabokov scored two goals for the Lock Monsters.

Falcons coach Dave Farrish broke from his goaltending rotation. Rookie Robert Esche started his second straight game and turned aside 28 shots.

"He had a good game on Wednesday, and I thought he would get into their heads a little bit," Farrish said. "He made some good saves again, and I think that got them thinking."

Hansen broke a 2-2 tie 4:09 into the third period. Dziedzic centered from behind the net to Hansen, who was pushed by a Lowell defenseman. The puck caromed off Hansen's skate past goalie Mark McArthur.

"That was a muscle goal," Lowell coach Frank Anzalone said. "They came hard to the net and outmuscled our players."

The Falcons had to overcome a 2-0 deficit after Nabokov scored the first two goals. The Falcons made a couple of defensive mistakes, and Nabokov made them pay.

"We're young, and we're going to have breakdowns," Hansen said. "But we know we can battle back."

Hansen, who earned the game's No. 1 star, knotted the score at 2-2 at 12"54 of the second period. He received a feed from Dziedzic and snapped a 20-foot shot past McArthur.

Gagnon got the Falcons on the board at 1:10 of the second period. After Lowell's defense blocked shots from Hansen and Belanger, Gagnon picked up the loose puck and blasted a 40-foot slap shot into the net.

Nabokov scored his second goal of the game 19 seconds into the second period. He poked a loose puck past a screened Esche to give Lowell a 2-0 lead.

Nabokov had the lone goal of the first period. Esche was off balance after trevor Letowski was knocked into the crease, and the opportunistic Nabokov scored from the slot at 6:27.

DATE: 10/30/98
OFFICIALS: Zelkin, Colby ATT.: 3,613
1 6:27 Lowell Dimitri Nabokov (3) Warren Luhning Craig Charron
2 0:41 Lowell Dimitri Nabokov (4) Craig Charron  
2 1:10 Springfield Sean Gagnon (1) Tavis Hansen Eric Belanger
2 12:54 Springfield Tavis Hansen (4)-Power Play Eric Belanger Joe Dziedzic
3 4:09 Springfield Tavis Hansen (5) Eric Belanger Joe Dziedzic

GOALS 1 2 3 O T
0 2 1 0 3
1 1 0 0 2
Mark McArthur LOW 60:00 30 27 0-2-0
Robert Esche SPR 60:00 30 28 2-1-2
SHOTS 1 2 3 O T
11 12 7 0 30
16 10 4 0 30

1 1:22 Springfield Greg Phillips Interference
1 7:15 Lowell Zdeno Chara Obstruction-Hooking
1 9:37 Lowell Ray Shultz Fighting
1 9:37 Springfield Joe Dzedzic Fighting
1 10:08 Springfield Barry Nieckar High Sticking
1 17:29 Lowell Jeff Libby Slashing
1 18:07 Springfield Greg Phillips Interference
2 2:11 Lowell Dean Malkoc Roughing
2 2:21 Springfield Barry Nieckar Roughing
2 4:40 Lowell Zdeno Chara Roughing
2 4:40 Springfield Barry Nieckar Cross-Checking
2 11:12 Lowell Vladimir Orszagh Tripping
2 11:12 Lowell Dean Malkoc Unsportsmanlike Conduct
2 11:12 Springfield Barry Nieckar Unsportsmanlike Conduct
2 13:30 Lowell Ray Shultz Holding the Stick, Roughing
2 13:30 Lowell Steve Webb Fighting, Game Misconduct
2 13:30 Springfield Rob Murray Roughing
2 13:30 Springfield Dan Focht Fighthing, Game Misconduct
2 17:06 Springfield Joe Dzedzic Slashing
2 19:45 Lowell Dean Malkoc Hooking
3 5:13 Lowell Dean Malkoc Slashing
3 11:08 Springfield Greg Phillips Closing Hand on Puck

Three Stars of the Game (Selected by Alex)

1. Tavis Hansen Springfield
2. Dimitri Nabokov Lowell
3. Eric Belanger Springfield