Falcons, Marlies latest to clinch

The Springfield Falcons and Toronto Marlies became the latest teams to clinch berths in the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs on Friday night.

The Falcons secured their second straight trip to the postseason with a wild 8-7 overtime victory over the St. John’s IceCaps at Mile One Centre. Jack Skille, who had missed Springfield’s previous eight games due to injury, scored four goals and added an assist and Sean Collins notched the winning goal 2:50 into OT to cap a game that the Falcons had to tie in the final minute of regulation after a 5-1 lead had turned into a 7-6 deficit.

After missing the playoffs every year from 2004 to 2012, Springfield can wrap up a second consecutive division title as early as Saturday.

Toronto surrendered five second-period goals and dropped a 5-1 decision in Utica on Friday night, but clinched a playoff berth later in the evening when San Antonio defeated Charlotte, 5-2.

Under first-year head coach Steve Spott, the Marlies are heading to the postseason for the third year in a row, and are one point away from a third straight North Division crown.