Audy-Marchessault, Erixon help down ex-mates

( — Tim Erixon and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault scored early goals in a reunion with their former club on Sunday night, sparking the Springfield Falcons (6-1-0-2) to a 10-2 victory over the Connecticut Whale (4-4-1-0) at the XL Center.

The 10 Springfield goals matched the second-highest single-game total in franchise history and were the most collected by the club in nearly 13 years.

Sunday’s AHL scoreboard

Erixon, who in 2011-2012 led Whale defensemen with 33 points and 30 assists, was aggressive in the early stages, crashing the net on his second shift. His persistence paid off, as the second-year pro pushed in a rebound off a Tomas Kubalik shot at 3:54 for a 1-0 Falcon advantage. Audy-Marchessault collected the second assist on the goal.

The two prior Connecticut standouts reversed roles on Springfield’s second goal. Audy-Marchessault, who paced the Whale with 64 points and 40 assists last season, corralled a pass at center from Erixon, jetted down the left-wing boards, cut in on Whale netminder Cameron Talbot, and jammed the puck into the net at 11:53, extending the lead to 2-0.

Nick Drazenovic snapped a puck in from the right circle just 23 seconds later, capping the Falcons’ productive first period, chasing Talbot from the game at 12:16, and upping Springfield’s edge to 3-0.

The second period began as a near clone of the opening 20 minutes, with the Falcons ripping off three more goals.

Ryan Johansen tipped a Nick Holden shot past Jason Missiaen, who had replaced Talbot in the first, at 3:56 to increase the advantage to 4-0.

Upon exiting the penalty box near the halfway point of the game, Kubalik received a long feed from Matt Calvert and blasted the puck past Missiaen from the right circle at 9:32 for a 5-0 lead.

Audy-Marchessault then set up Johansen for the eventual 6-0 stranglehold by twirling in the right corner and spinning the puck in front. Johansen took the pass and flipped the puck over Missiaen, becoming the first Falcon to score twice in the same game in 2012-13 at 16:47.

Tommy Grant redirected a Micheal Haley drive past Falcons goaltender Curtis McElhinney at 16:47, putting the Whale on the board, 6-1.

After Matt Gilroy wristed in a shot from the slot with Connecticut on the power play at 1:40 of the third to make it 6-2, the Falcons kicked their offense back into high gear.

Andrew Joudrey rolled a puck in at the top of the crease at 6:48 to calm Connecticut’s momentum and put Springfield back up by five, 7-2, at 6:48.

Cam Atkinson snapped a centering feed from Calvert past Missiaen at 8:47, as Springfield matched the previous 2012-13 AHL single-game high of eight goals.

Michael Chaput became the eighth Falcon to score at 9:50, connecting from the left circle to make it 9-2.

Drazenovic gave Springfield a late power-play tally and closed out the scoring at 18:24, as the Falcons reached 10 goals in a game for the first time since a 14-2 win over Providence on Dec. 30, 1999.

McElhinney (6-1-1) made 27 saves to pull into a tie for the league lead in wins. Talbot (3-1-0) took the loss for Connecticut with eight saves on 11 shots in an abbreviated outing. Missiaen permitted seven goals on 22 shots in relief.

Erixon’s arrival back in Connecticut was highlighted by a plus-6 performance, the best rating of any AHL skater since Mathieu Roy posted a plus-6 for Norfolk on Dec. 3, 2010. He also produced four points on the evening (1g, 3a), the most by any Falcon this season. Audy-Marchessault registered three points (1g, 2a) for the second time in the campaign, and was plus-4.

NOTES: Springfield’s 10 goals were the most by any AHL team since Oct. 15, 2011, when Oklahoma City defeated Texas, 10-1, and the most by a road team since Grand Rapids’ 10-8 win at Chicago on Nov. 27, 2010… The 10 goals allowed and eight-goal margin of defeat were both all-time records for the 16-year-old Whale franchise… The Falcons had not scored more than four goals in a game all season… Springfield had 14 players who were plus-1 or better… Kubalik and Dalton Prout both secured plus-5 outings… Springfield had been the last remaining AHL team without a multi-goal scorer in one game before Johansen’s two second-period conversions.