12/13/2013 10:18 PM
The Springfield Falcons (17-4-1-2) scored twice in the final 2:15 of the third period to even the score and force overtime against the Norfolk Admirals Friday night at Scope Arena, but the team fell short as Steven Whitney notched the only conversion for either team in the shootout to give Norfolk a 5-4 victory.
Down by two scores late in the third period, the Falcons scored twice before the end of regulation to force overtime. Jonathan Marchessault scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season at the 17:45 mark as he fired a slap shot from the left-wing circle to cut Springfield’s deficit in half. Just 35 seconds later, Cody Goloubef ripped a slap shot from the left-wing point that beat Norfolk netminder John Gibson, evened the score at 4-4 and forced overtime. Marchessault and Goloubef each finished the game with a goal and an assist.
The Falcons held the lead on two separate occasions earlier in the contest. Frederic St. Denis scored a power-play goal at 3:45 of the first period to put Springfield on the board and give the team a 1-0 lead early. Midway through the second period, Broc Little found the back of the net for the third time this season, putting the Falcons in front by the score of 2-1.
Antoine Laganiere got Norfolk on the board, tying the game at 1-1 as he buried a rebound past Springfield goaltender Mike Clemente at the 4:54 mark of the first period. For Laganiere, the goal was his third of the season.
Norfolk scored three unanswered tallies from the midway point of the second period to the early goings of the third to take a 4-2 advantage. Devante Smith-Pelly, Zack Stortini and Charles Sarault were credited with the goals.
In his first start in the American Hockey League since the 2011-12 season, Clemente made 31 saves on 35 shots and denied five of six shootout attempts. The Great Falls, Virginia native took the loss, and carries a 0-0-1 record.
Gibson stopped 21 of 25 shots and all six of the Falcons’ shootout attempts to earn the win and improve to 9-5-3 this season.
Springfield outplayed Norfolk on special teams, converting on two of its five power-play opportunities, while holding the Admirals scoreless on six opportunities with the man advantage.
With the shootout loss, the Falcons’ three-game win streak was snapped. The team has earned a point in its last four games and in 12 of its last 13.
The Falcons and Admirals will close out the weekend series at Scope Arena Saturday, December 14 at 7:15 p.m. The team returns to the MassMutual Center Thursday, December 26 to host the Adirondack Phantoms.