STRONG THIRD PERIOD LEADS FALCONS
By: Sean Seifert
November 11, 2011 – The Springfield Falcons ousted the Portland Pirates on Friday night at the MassMutual Center by a score of 4-1, tallying three third period goals in a convincing team effort. The Falcons have won four of their last five games and Friday’s win lifts Springfield to a 7-6 record.
Falcons head coach Rob Riley is happy with the win. “I think the guys pulled together and persevered,” said Riley. “We’re supposed to be a relentless, hardworking, tough team and with good leadership guys step forward and the others tend to jump on board.”
The Falcons came out firing in the first period, earning the first goal of the night early on. Cam Atkinson lit the lamp for Springfield at 4:06 of the period. Nick Holden found Atkinson wide open at the hash marks and Atkinson beat Pirates’ goaltender Curtis McElhinney on the glove side claiming his fifth goal of the season.
Portland leveled the score on the power play at 16:58 of the first with Michael Stone tipping in his first goal of the season. The Falcons’ Alexandre Giroux whistled a one-timer in on net during a last minute power play, but the puck cracked McElhinney in the mask and the teams ended the first period even at 1-1.
In the second frame, the Falcons were dealt eight power play minutes, but were unable to find the back of the net. The Pirates’ penalty kill ranks 6th overall in the league with an 85.7% success rate. Springfield out-shot Portland by a 7-3 margin in the second period, but the teams remained tied with one apiece after 40 minutes of play.
The Falcons reclaimed the lead in the third period with a trio of goals from Martin St. Pierre, Ryan Russell, and Andrew Joudrey. St. Pierre took a pass from Giroux to the right of the net and lifted a wrist shot blocker-side at 4:07 to give the Falcons the lead at 2-1.
Russell built insurance shortly after at 5:34, knocking home a rebound from a slap shot sent in by Wade MacLeod. Joudrey scored an unassisted shorthanded goal at 13:36 of the third period by following his own cleared puck to the goal, sealing the Falcons a 4-1 victory over the Pirates.
Joudrey credits the win to teamwork. “We got more guys involved and had all four lines rolling,” said Joudrey. “The key for us is getting everyone involved, keeping things simple and working hard.”
Atkinson continued his hot streak tonight, scoring in his fourth straight game. With their goals tonight, Atkinson, St. Pierre and Russell share a three-way lead for Falcons goals with five. The Falcons are 5-2 behind goaltender Danny Taylor who turned aside 19 of 20 shots on the night.
“Danny (Taylor) has been phenomenal, you couldn’t get a better performance from a goalie,” said coach Riley.
The Falcons are back at it Saturday night against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for their first meeting of the season at 7 p.m. on MassMutual Center ice.
Goaltender Mark Dekanich was scheduled to start in goal for the Falcons, but he was injured during the pregame warm-up with a lower body injury.
Dane Byers - Adam Mair - Tomas Kubalik
Ryan Russell - Andrew Joudrey - Wade MacLeod
Aaron Bogosian - Ryan Garlock - Mike Thomas
David Savard - Nick Holden
Cody Goloubef - Dalton Prout
Theo Ruth - Brett Lebda
Not dressed: Mark Dekanich (Injured), Anton Blomqvist, Maksim Mayorov (Injured), Oliver Gabriel, Brent Regner, Nick Drazenovic (Injured)
Portland Pirates 1 at Springfield Falcons 4 - Status: Final
Friday, November 11, 2011 - MassMutual Center
Portland 1 0 0 - 1
Springfield 1 0 3 - 4
1st Period-1, Springfield, Atkinson 5 (Holden), 4:06. 2, Portland, Stone 1 (Miele, Oystrick), 16:58 (PP). Penalties-Prout Spr (holding), 8:45; Summers Por (cross-checking), 11:07; Giroux Spr (cross-checking), 15:57; Arsene Por (boarding), 19:00.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-MacLean Por (high-sticking), 2:43; Hextall Por (hooking), 5:45; Szwarz Por (double minor - high-sticking), 7:32; Mair Spr (goaltender interference), 14:12.
3rd Period-3, Springfield, St. Pierre 5 (Savard, Giroux), 4:07. 4, Springfield, Russell 5 (Ruth, MacLeod), 5:34. 5, Springfield, Joudrey 2 13:36 (SH). Penalties-Miele Por (fighting), 3:32; Goloubef Spr (fighting), 3:32; St. Pierre Spr (tripping), 10:21; Atkinson Spr (delay of game), 12:32.
Shots on Goal-Portland 10-3-7-20. Springfield 9-7-14-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 1 / 5; Springfield 0 / 5.
Goalies-Portland, McElhinney 2-6-0 (30 shots-26 saves). Springfield, Taylor 5-2-0 (20 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Chris Low (88), Brent Colby (7).