FALCONS BEAT SOUND TIGERS 3-2
March 23, 2012 - The Springfield Falcons defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3-2 in a shootout on Friday night improving their record to 31-29-3-3 on the season. The victory moved the Falcons to within one point of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and improved Springfield's home record to 8-1-1-1 in their last 11 home games.
With how tight the playoff race has been in the Eastern Conference all season, it was only fitting that Friday's game needed an overtime and a shootout before it was decided. After a scoreless overtime, the Falcons shot first in the shootout with Cody Goloubef converting, followed by Brent Regner giving the Falcons a two-goal cushion in the extra session. Bridgeport's Rhett Rakhshani scored in round two, but Springfield's Nick Drazenovic gave Springfield a 3-1 shootout lead in round four. Falcons goaltender Paul Dainton stopped 34 of 36 shots in regulation and three of five in the extra session in earning the win.
"This was obviously a big win for us tonight," said Falcons head coach Rob Riley. "I thought Paul (Dainton) was very good and Cody (Goloubef) and Brent (Regner) started the shootout well for us. Every point is huge, we got the win and now we move onto Adirondack."
After a scoreless first period, the scoring picked up in the second period. Drazenovic gave the Falcons a 1-0 advantage at 1:35 of the middle period when he converted a perfectly executed 3 on 1 with Matt Calvert. It was Drazenovic's fourth straight game with a goal and the assist extended Calvert's scoring streak to four straight games.
Bridgeport evened the score at 1-1 when John Persson converted on a 5 on 3 Bridgeport power play at 10:34 of the second period, but the Falcons regained a one goal lead at 15:52 of the second frame when Andrew Joudrey's wrist shot beat Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin putting the Birds on top 2-1.
In the third period, Rakhshani tied the score at 2-2 when he scored his 14th goal of the year at 4:05 of the final frame.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2 at Springfield Falcons 3 (SO) - Status: Final SO
Friday, March 23, 2012 - MassMutual Center
Bridgeport 0 1 1 0 - 2
Springfield 0 2 0 0 - 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Calvert Spr (roughing), 0:26; Marcinko Bri (tripping), 4:00; Oleksy Bri (cross-checking), 15:58; St. Pierre Spr (high-sticking), 15:58; Katic Bri (high-sticking), 16:43; Gron Bri (boarding), 19:01.
2nd Period-1, Springfield, Drazenovic 10 (Calvert), 1:35. 2, Bridgeport, Persson 1 (DiBenedetto, Romano), 10:34 (PP). 3, Springfield, Joudrey 9 (Mayorov, Byers), 15:52. Penalties-Kubalik Spr (boarding), 3:35; Oleksy Bri (fighting), 9:29; Spencer Spr (roughing, fighting), 9:29; Calvert Spr (goaltender interference), 9:41; Riley Bri (tripping), 13:49; Howes Bri (hooking), 17:15; Calvert Spr (tripping), 18:31.
3rd Period-4, Bridgeport, Rakhshani 14 (McNeely, Romano), 4:05. Penalties-DiBenedetto Bri (delay of game), 9:47; Ruth Spr (tripping), 17:39.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Bridgeport 2 (Backman NG, Rakhshani G, Howes NG, Romano G, Katic NG), Springfield 3 (Goloubef G, Regner G, Kubalik NG, Drazenovic G, Calvert NG).
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 10-12-12-2-0-36. Springfield 6-12-8-1-1-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 1 / 6; Springfield 0 / 6.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Poulin 17-17-4 (27 shots-25 saves). Springfield, Dainton 11-9-1 (36 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Chris Cozzan (18), Ryan Murphy (5).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Chris Low (88).
Alexandre Giroux - Martin St. Pierre - Tomas Kubalik
Matt Calvert - Nick Drazenovic - Wade MacLeod
Dane Byers - Nate Longpre - Maksim Mayorov
Tim Spencer - Andrew Joudrey - Ryan Garlock
Patrick Cullity - David Savard
Cody Goloubef - Greg Amadio
Brent Regner- Dalton Prout
Not dressed: Anton Blomqvist, Nick Holden (Injured), Aaron Bogosian, Adam Mair, Cody Bass (Injured), Manny Legace (Injured)
GAME PREVIEW – The Springfield Falcons and Bridgeport Sound Tigers meet for the sixth time this season when they drop the puck at the MassMutual Center on Friday night starting at 7:30 pm. The Falcons are 3-2 against the Sound Tigers this year. These two divisional rivals will meet in each of the next three weeks with the remaining two head to head matchups occurring in Bridgeport, CT after tonight.
Martin St. Pierre has led the way with seven assists in five games against Bridgeport, while Alexandre Giroux has five goals and one assist in five games against Bridgeport this year. Matt Donovan (1-3-4), Trevor Frischmon (1-3-4), and Kael Mouillierat (0-4-4) lead Bridgeport in scoring against Springfield this year.
The Springfield Falcons have 11 games remaining in the regular season as they post a record of 30-29-3-3 through 65 games. The following is a breakdown of opponents for the Falcons’ remaining 11 regular season contests: St. John’s (3), Bridgeport (3), Adirondack (2), Providence (1), Wilkes-Barre (1), Worcester (1).
The Falcons are two points out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Eastern Conference Standings
1. Norfolk – 93 pts – 10 games remaining
2. St. John’s – 83 pts – 12 games remaining
3. CT Whale – 76 pts – 12 games remaining
4. Wilkes-Barre – 83 pts – 11 games remaining
5. Hershey – 80 pts – 11 games remaining
6. Bridgeport – 72 pts – 12 games remaining
7. Manchester – 69 pts – 11 games remaining
8. Syracuse - 68 pts – 11 games remaining
9. Worcester – 67 pts – 12 games remaining
10. Albany – 67 pts – 11 games remaining
11. Springfield – 66 pts – 11 games remaining
12. Portland – 65 pts – 12 games remaining
13. Adirondack – 63 pts – 12 games remaining
14. Providence – 63 pts – 11 games remaining
15. Binghamton – 57 pts – 10 games remaining
Rookie goaltender Mike Clemente played in all three games this past weekend, starting both Friday and Saturday nights. He stopped 24 of 25 shots in his AHL debut on Friday in a 5-1 win over Portland earning the game’s third star and his first AHL win. On Saturday, he stopped all 27 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over the Connecticut Whale for his first AHL shutout. On Sunday, he relieved Paul Dainton and stopped 12 of 13 Providence shots in the final 39 minutes of the game. For the weekend, he turned aside 63 of 65 shots posting a 0.76 goals against average and .969 save percentage in leading the Falcons to 4 of a possible 6 points on the weekend.
Mike Clemente’s shutout on the road on Saturday was the first shutout for the Falcons on the road since February 14, 2010 when J.P. Levasseur made 49 saves at Bridgeport in a 4-0 win. The last three shutouts for the Falcons have been Allen York (April 8, 2011), Paul Dainton (February 25, 2012) and Mike Clemente (March 17, 2012). It was the first AHL shutout for each of those three goalies.
Martin St. Pierre continues to rank in the top 10 in scoring for the AHL this year. St. Pierre leads the Falcons with 10 goals and 48 assists for 58 points in 63 games. He is third in the league in assists this year. (Most assists in a season by a Falcons player: Jean-Guy Trudel (65, 2000-01), Daniel Briere (56, 1997-1998), Charles Linglet (55, 2009-10), Brad Tiley (54, 1999-00), Rob Schremp (53, 2007-08), Robert Petrovicky (52, 1994-1995).
Nick Drazenovic scored a goal in all three games over the weekend collecting three goals and two assists in three games played.
Matt Calvert is on a three game scoring streak collecting two goals and two assists in that span. Calvert has registered a point in four of his last five games posting three goals and three assists.
Brent Regner leads all Falcons defensemen in scoring with two goals and 25 assists for 27 points in 64 games. Regner leads all Falcons players in games played (64) and is third on the team in assists. Regner also is second on the squad in power play assists with 12 on the year.
The Falcons scored two shorthanded goals on Friday night against Portland, the third time this season they have scored two shorthanded goals in a game against Portland. The Falcons are tied for the league lead in shorthanded markers on the year with 13.
The Falcons won their 30th game of the season on Saturday night, the second straight year they have collected 30 or more wins in a year. This marked the first time the Falcons have had back to back seasons with 30 or more wins since the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 campaigns.
SOUND TIGERS NEWS: The Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced the following transactions Tuesday; Forward John Persson and goaltender Dan Clarke have been signed to amateur tryout contracts (ATOs), and forward Ethan Cox has been released from his professional tryout contract (PTO),
Persson, 19, joins the Sound Tigers after completing his third full season with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The Mora, Swe. native and Islanders fifth round (125th overall) pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft recorded 58 points (23 goals, 35 assists) in 70 games with Red Deer this season. The 6'2, 190-pound forward has amassed 130 points (63 goals, 67 assists) in 200 career WHL games.
Clarke, 23, signs with the Sound Tigers after completing his collegiate career at Quinnipiac University in nearby Hamden, Conn. The Belleville, ON native posted an 8-3-0 record in addition to a 2.37 GAA and .895 sv% in 12 games with the Bobcats this season. The 6'1, 165-pound netminder appeared in 76 games during his four-year stint at Quinnipiac, including a career-high 35 games during the 2009-10 campaign, notching a 32-32-5 record.
Cox, 24, appeared in three games this past weekend with the Sound Tigers and recorded one assist and two penalty minutes. The Richmond, BC native returns to the Reading Royals of the ECHL where he's appeared in two games since being acquired from Alaska (ECHL) where he totaled 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) in 53 games with the Aces.