FALCONS WIN OT THRILLER OVER TIGERS
By: Mike Hopey
February 5, 2010 - Ryan O’Marra scored the game winner at 3:49 of overtime and Devan Dubnyk made 36 saves as the Springfield Falcons won a thriller over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by a score of 3-2 in front of 3,477 fans at the MassMutual Center on Friday night. The Falcons will next head to Albany on Saturday to battle the River Rats starting at 5 pm.
“I was coming across parallel to the net and what I was thinking was going cross-body,” O’Marra said after the game. “Hopefully Colin [McDonald] was in front of the net for the screen which he was.”
Springfield grabbed the early lead at 1:31 of the first period when Rob Hisey took a turnover in the Tigers zone behind the net and dropped it to Slava Trukhno on the near post who snapped his 7th goal of the year past Martin Biron. The Falcons increased their lead to two on the power-play when Colton Fretter ripped a shot just under the cross bar off a face-off to Biron’s left.
The Sound Tigers cut the lead in half when Tyler Haskins tipped a floater from the point past Dubnyk. Biron helped the Tigers kill off a 5-on-3 disadvantage more than half-way through the period as he turned away a total of 12 shots in the opening frame. Dubnyk stopped a prime power-play chance for Bridgeport late in the period when he made a chest-save with Bridgeport players bearing down on him looking for the rebound.
Dubnyk made his first start since January 9 against the Tigers after he was reassigned by Edmonton on Thursday. While with the Oilers, Dubnyk appeared in 9 games with a 4.17 goals against average. Dubnyk had appeared in 23 games for the Falcons this season going 10-12-1-0 with a 2.99 goals against average and .917 save percentage entering the night.
“Devan is a calming influence,” said Coach Rob Daum. “Our team appreciates the fact that they know that when he’s in the line-up he’s going to give us the type of game like he did tonight.”
The Tigers began the 2nd period with a power-play, but the Falcons managed to kill it off. Dubnyk continued his solid play flashing the leather early on and continuing to turn away any chances for the Tigers. The Falcons had their chances earning a pair of power-plays, but Biron, like Dubnyk, turned away any scoring chances the Falcons had while on the man advantage.
Biron, who made his first start of the season for the Sound Tigers, made 39 saves after he was reassigned by Bridgeport’s National Hockey League affiliate the New York Islanders on Wednesday for a conditioning assignment. He had not played in the American Hockey League since 2000-2001 when he went 3-1 for the Rochester Americans. Biron is 2-11 in his first season with the Islanders. He played 8 seasons for Buffalo and then 3 for Philadelphia before joining New York.
The Falcons best chance of the 2nd period was by Trukhno, but his one-timer was tipped and Biron made the easy save. With the game still at 2-1, the Tigers crashed the net in the final minute of the period, but Dubnyk's stellar play and a diving save by a stick-less Theo Peckham preserved the Falcon lead for the third period.
Trevor Smith tied the game late in the third period when he buried his 15th goal of the season on a rebound at 16:03. As overtime loomed, the Falcons had a power-play chance after the Tigers were called for too many men on the ice. The Falcons extended the man advantage to a 14-second 5-on-3, but were unable to score in regulation.
Bridgeport began the overtime session with 1:22 left on Jon Gleed’s minor penalty for holding, but the Falcons could not capitalize. Springfield received another man advantage moments after the first one expired. The Falcons still could not get the game-winner. But with both teams back to full strength, O’Marra took a shot that saw it’s way past a screened Biron to give the Falcons the win.
Kip Brennan and Trevor Gillies of the Tigers dropped the gloves early in the first period. The Falcons entered the game 1-4-2-0 in 7 previous meetings with the Tigers this season and lost to Worcester on Wednesday night at home. In that game, the Falcons attempted a comeback with 4 goals in the 2nd period, but ultimately fell to the Sharks 8-4. The Sound Tigers hadn’t played since Sunday at home against Norfolk, a 2-1 loss in a shootout. The Tigers had also lost their last 5 games, 3 in a shootout.
3 Stars of the Game:
1 - SPR Ryan O'Marra -GWG
2 - SPR Devan Dubnyk - 37 saves
3 - SPR Martin Biron - 38 saves
Springfield Falcons Lineup
Charles Linglet (7) - Chad Wiseman (15) - Colton Fretter (19)
Slava Trukhno (11) - Rob Hisey (13) - Chris Minard (14)
Liam Reddox (9) - Ryan O'Marra (22) - Colin McDonald (18)
Kip Brennan (26) - Geoff Paukovich (12) - Jason Pitton (39)
Chris Armstrong (32) - J.F. David (3)
Sasha Pokulok (33) - Dean Arsene (29)
Theo Peckham (24) - Johan Motin (8)
Devan Dubnyk (40)
J.P. Levasseur (31)
FALCONS SCRATCHES - Matt Nickerson (Injured), Ryan MacMurchy (Injured), Bryan Lerg (Healthy), Jake Taylor (Injured), Kelly Czuy (Injured), Zach Tarkir (Healthy), Cody Wild (Healthy)
Pre-Game Night Notes...
Game Setup: The Springfield Falcons will meet the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the 8th time this season on Friday night. The Falcons have a 1-4-2-0 record against Bridgeport this year. The two teams last met back on January 9, a 3-2 overtime win for the Sound Tigers.
Bridgeport enters the game with a 22-21-2-6 record which places them 6th in the Atlantic Division. The Sound Tigers are 1-4-1-4 in their last 10 games. In their last game, Bridgeport fell to Norfolk 2-1 in a shootout on Sunday at home. Michael Haley scored the only goal of the game for the Tigers.
The Falcons are 4-6-0-0 in their last 10 after dropping an 8-4 decision Wednesday night to the Worcester Sharks at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons lone win over the Sound Tigers came on November 6 in Springfield, a 5-2 final score. Chad Wiseman scored two goals on that night and Colton Fretter added a goal and an assist for the Falcons.
Sean Bentivoglio leads all scorers in the season series with 8 points. Colton Fretter leads the Falcons with 4 goals and Charles Linglet leads with 4 assists. Scott Munroe is 4-1 against Springfield this season with a 2.10 goals against average.
Springfield Player Notes:
• Jason Pitton’s goal on Wednesday night was his first as a Falcon after signing a PTO on January 21.
• Charles Linglet is 6th in the AHL with 50 points.
• Colton Fretter is tied for 2nd in the AHL with 11 power-play goals on the season.
• Kip Brennan leads the league with 251 penalty minutes.
• J.F. David has 4 assists in his last 4 games since returning from injury.
Bridgeport Player Notes:
• Goalie Nathan Lawson is 7th in the league with a 2.20 GAA in 21 games while teammate Scott Munroe is 12th with a 2.42 GAA in 26 games.
• Sean Bentivoglio has 31 points to lead the team. Greg Mauldin is 2nd with 30 points and leads the team with 16 goals.
• Jesse Joensuu leads the team with 19 assists.
Falcon Player Movement Recap:
Rick Cleaver was released from his PTO on Thursday. Cleaver played in 5 games for the Falcons. His only point was a goal in a 3-2 loss to Norfolk on January 22.
Also on Thursday, goalie Devan Dubnyk was reassigned by the Edmonton Oilers to the Falcons. Dubnyk has played in 23 games for the Falcons this year posting a record of 10-12-1-0 with a 2.99 GAA and .917 save percentage.
Bryan Pitton was recalled by the Oilers on Thursday. Pitton was called up to the Falcons from the Stockton Thunder on Monday. Pitton was 9-9-3 in Stockton with a 2.85 GAA.
Dubnyk Returns To Falcons
Devan Dubnyk returns to the Falcons after being with the Edmonton Oilers since January 11. Dubnyk has been a work horse for the Falcons in the past. To start the
09-10 season, he started 18 of the team’s first 20 games. In that span he went 9-8-0-1.
Last season, Dubnyk played in 62 games for the Falcons setting a team record for most appearances by a goaltender. In his career with the Falcons, Dubnyk has recorded a 2.89 goals against average in 118 games. Dubnyk was the 14th overall selection in the 2004 draft by the Oilers.
Sound Tiger Player Movement Recap:
On Tuesday, the New York Islanders reassigned Trevor Gillies to Bridgeport. He was called up to the Islanders on January 29 and appeared in one game.
Goaltender Martin Biron was sent to Bridgeport by the Islanders on Wednesday for a conditioning assignment. Biron is 2-11 this season for New York with a 3.22 GAA. The NHL veteran has played for the Islanders, Flyers, and Sabres. He last played in the American Hockey League in 2000-2001 where he played 4 games and went 3-1 for the Rochester Americans.