Falcons Game 14: Early Deficit Costs Birds

The Springfield Falcons dug an early three goal hole tonight, and despite a furious comeback in the third period, just fell short, falling to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-3 at The Nest in Springfield.

Mr. Automatic Danny Taylor was anything but tonight. Taylor fought it from the git-go, surrendering three goals on six shots in the first 8 minutes and 11 seconds of action.

Manny Legace came on in relief and held the game together for the Falcons, stopping a breakaway and a penalty shot along the way.

A disturbing parallel to last night's game, the Falcons again tonight didn't show much for the first two periods. If you'll recall, it was the same story last night against the Portland Pirates, except on that occasion, the Birds held the Pirates in check and that game was 1-1 after two.

Legace was the story midway through the second when he was finally beaten by David Ullstrom of Bridgeport. Ullstrom's ninth goal of the season gave the Sound Tigers a 4-0 lead, and the MassMutual Center crowd was deathly quiet at that point.

The Falcons comeback started with a Dane Byers fight at 3:50 of the third period. Byers went with Micheal Haley of Bridgeport. Byers went Charlestown Chiefs ballistic and wanted to get into the Sound Tigers penalty box to finish the altercation.

For his efforts, referee Graham Skilliter gave Byers a game misconduct in addition to the fighting major. As Byers made his way down the tunnel he tossed an armful of hockey sticks, in an epic meltdown.

Responding much as Dave "Killer" Carlson did to Reg Dunlop, Aaron Bogosian dropped the mitts just about a minute later. Bogosian easily dispensed with Tyler McNeely, and just like that, there was life in The Nest.

Alexandre Giroux got the Falcons first goal of the night 21 seconds after Bogo's bout, when he was set up nicely by Brent Regner and Brett Lebda. Giroux showed his calmness as he was at the corner of the goal crease, settled the pass down with his skate, and in one motion, put stick on puck to get the Birds on the board.

Bridgeport then was guilty of some really undisciplined play, first with Aaron Ness taking an interference penalty. Then for whatever unknown reason, Trevor Gillies stalked Adam Mair and sucker punched him in the back of the head.

Referee Skilliter gave Gillies a double minor for roughing, although Falcons coach Rob Riley lobbied unsuccessfully for something more. Skilliter skated away with the coach still questioning his decision.

Ryan Russell notched his sixth goal of the season, assisted by Wade MacLeod and Andrew Joudrey while Gillies was still in the box. Russell was moving in from the right faceoff circle and cleanly beat goaltender Kevin Poulin to cut the lead to two.

With time running out, Legace was pulled in favor of the extra skater. Alexandre Giroux buried his second of the night with just 35 seconds remaining in regulation. Martin St. Pierre and Tomas Kubalik assisted on the goal.

The subsequent faceoff came into the Falcons zone, which killed enough time to prevent them from making a sustained attack up ice in the Bridgeport end.

However, with time running out, there was a scramble in front of the Sound Tigers cage, with Poulin kicking the puck into the corner as time ran out.
Tonight's Three Stars:
1. David Ullstrom
2. Trevor Frischmon
3. Manny Legace

The Falcons next game concludes their six game homestand. They'll be playing this coming Wednesday night against the Worcester Sharks. Game time is 7PM.

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