SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Tomas Kubalik and Matt Calvert were an effective tandem Saturday as the Springfield Falcons downed the St. John's IceCaps 4-2 to kick off the American Hockey League season.
Kubalik and Calvert both scored and assisted on each other's goals for Springfield (1-0-0), while Ryan Craig and Dalton Smith also scored. Smith's second-period goal stood as the winner. Curtis McElhinney made 23 saves for the win.
Carl Klingberg and Hunter Tremblay replied for St. John's (0-1-0) as Eddie Pasquale stopped 29 shots.
The IceCaps opened the scoring on the power play at 8:03 of the first when Klingberg took a pass from Derek Meech near the Falcons' blue-line and burst in on goal, making a nice move and sliding the puck between the legs of McIlhinney.
Springfield pulled even on a power play of their own late in the first. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault fed Erixon at the point, whose slapshot was deflected by Craig past Pasquale to tie the game at one.
The Falcons went ahead just 19 seconds into the second on a nice goal by Calvert. The Falcons' winger converted after a pass from Kubalik on a two-on-one to put Springfield up 2-1.
Springfield padded its lead 13:24 into the second on a goal by Smith. He barrelled out from behind the net and shovelled a backhander past Pasquale short side, giving the Falcons a 3-1 lead.
Tremblay picked up his first as an IceCap early in the third when he one-timed a Spencer Machacek pass from behind the net, beating McIlhinney high to make it 3-2.
However, Springfield put the game away on a power play with less than five minutes to play. Erixon's shot from the point was stopped by Pasquale, but Kubalik was parked in front to convert the rebound the 4-2 final.
The IceCaps were 1-for-7 on the power play and the Falcons went 2-for-6.
Springfield head coach Brad Larsen won in his debut behind the Falcons' bench.