03/23/2014 7:40 AM
The Springfield Falcons (39-20-1-5) were defeated by the St. John’s IceCaps by the final score of 5-4 Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center, despite a late, third-period comeback.
The Falcons scored three unanswered goals in a 10:42 span to tie the game at four. Michael Chaput redirected a puck in front of the net at 13:39 of the second period to cut the St. John’s lead to 4-2. For Chaput, the goal was his team-leading 18th of the season.
Patrick McNeill scored his second goal of the game at 5:43 of the third period, burying home a weak-side rebound past IceCaps netminder Jussi Olkinuora. The Strathroy, Ontario native also found the back of the net at the 3:19 mark of the second period, getting the Falcons on the board. McNeill now has nine goals and 31 points in 53 games this season.
Falcons captain Ryan Craig evened the score at four goals apiece, finishing a rebound on the doorstep at 14:21 of the third period. The power-play goal was his 33rd in a Falcons uniform, the most in franchise history. With an assist in the game as well, Craig matched Eric Healey for seventh in Falcons history with 137 points. It was also the Abbotsford, British Columbia native’s 228th game, tying Jean-Guy Trduel for sixth-most in franchise history.
St. John’s got two goals from John Albert and a three-point night from both Carl Klingberg and Zach Redmond. Albert scored the first two goals of the game – at 4:47 and 10:23 of the first period – and Redmond notched the game-winning goal with just 1:19 left in regulation.
In his first start since March 7 at Hartford, Jeremy Smith made 19 saves on 24 shots in net for Springfield, falling to 18-13-3 this season. Olkinuora stopped 33 of 37 shots en route to his fifth victory of the season.
Both teams went 2-for-7 on the power play.
The Falcons are back in action at the MassMutual Center Wednesday, March 26 to host the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:00 p.m.