BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (Jan. 20, 2013)– The Springfield Falcons took advantage of two fortuitous bounces, the first of which resulted in the game-winning goal as they defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-1 at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon. With the win, Springfield improves to 24-9-3-3 overall. The Sound Tigers fall to 19-17-2-2.
Nearly everything about this game was fluky from a Sound Tigers perspective. Two of Springfield’s goals deflected off of Bridgeport players before rolling into the net. Scott Campbell, who was the hero of Saturday’s win over Binghamton, had a Wade MacLeod puck deflect off of his stick while using it to close off a passing lane, and it instead rolled across the goal line. A goal that was confirmed not on first glimpse from the referee, but after the play subsided and following a review via the instant replay system.
Nick Holden’s 2nd goal also ricocheted off of the endboards and off of Chad Costello’s glove before getting past Poulin. His first goal was a shorthanded one, only the 2nd allowed by Bridgeport this season. The Sound Tigers were tied with Chicago for fewest shorthanded goals allowed this season prior to the contest.
Jack Combs scored a late goal to avoid a shutout, which hasn’t happened to the Sound Tigers since the first two playoff losses to the Connecticut Whale last April, while their last regular season shutout occurred last March 21st at Binghamton, when they fell 3-0 on a 41-save effort from Robin Lehner.
Despite the exodus of several key Falcons to Columbus (Atkinson, Moore, Savard, Calvert, Johansen), the Falcons are still quite a formidable squad, featuring several dynamic offensive players with a smothering defense corps with a number of big physical bodies. On an afternoon where the Sound Tigers were already limited up front due to Matt Watkins and Johan Sundstrom’s absence and had to skate Jordan Hill as a forward. Along with Brett Gallant, whose role as an enforcer generally limits his ice time, Bridgeport only had 10 forwards available for much of the game.
Additionally, any momentum that the Sound Tigers seemed to gain at times was quickly squashed by the play of goaltender Paul Dainton, who stopped 28 shots in recording Springfield’s 5th straight win, their first five-game winning streak since March, 1998.
Bridgeport wraps up their first half next Friday and Saturday at Norfolk, as they make their final trip to Scope Arena to battle the Admirals. The Sound Tigers earned three of four points with an overtime win on December 14th and a shootout loss the following night.
Matt Donovan and Nino Niederreiter will represent the Sound Tigers at the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic, which begins on Sunday January 27th at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.