By Fran Sypek
©2007 The Republican
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – There were uncertainties and concerns when the Falcons forged their new working relationship with the Edmonton Oilers.
One of them was goaltending. Neither Jeff Deslauriers nor Devan Dubnyk (pictured) had ever been asked to carry the workload in the American Hockey League. Deslauriers played in the ECHL each of his first two seasons while Dubnyk was an ECHL All-Star as a rookie in 2006-07.
With 14 games behind them going into Monday’s 1 p.m. matinee at Worcester against the Sharks at the DCU Center, the Falcons know they need not worry about the men in goal.
“Both of our goalies have been outstanding,” said coach Kelly Buchberger.
Because he’s had more experience, Deslauriers has been given the lion’s share of playing time. The organization challenged him when they assigned him to the Falcons as if to say “here’s your chance, now make us look good.”
He has. Deslauriers is 6-2-2 with a 2.40 goals against average. That compares favorably with last season when he went 22-12 with a 2.47 goals against average for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Deslauriers earned third star honors for his 41-save effort against his old team Saturday night. The Falcons beat the Penguins, 4-2 and Deslauriers had a lot to do with the victory.
“He was the difference in the game,” Penguins coach and former Springfield Indians defenseman Todd Richards said. “He made three or four really good saves.”