Unfortunately, the Falcons proved that forty minutes of decent hockey just isn't enough. The Worcester Sharks made two first period goals stand up and defeated the Falcons 2-1 in the Falcons last home game until December 30th.
The first period was all over the place for the Falcons, and none of it good.
In an early brawl, Tim Spencer dropped the gloves with Worcester's Jimmy Bonneau just 2:06 into the game.
After that, the Falcons suffered through some penalty troubles. David Savard fell victim to a hooking minor, then a double minor for high sticking. The double minor allowed Worcester's Benn Ferriero to get deep in a maze of bodies, converting the power play tally, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
With Worcester's James Livingston in the box for roughing up Alexandre Giroux, the Falcons looked pretty bad in surrendering the puck as Tommy Wingels pushed the issue, got deep on Manny Legace and notched a shorthanded goal to make it 2-0 at 19:21 of the period.
Just 10 seconds after the Sharks' second goal, Cody Bass basically mugged Curt Gogol. Although Gogol barely defended himself, he was given 5 for fighting. Bass, on the other hand, got a deuce for instigating, five for fighting and a 10 minute misconduct for his aggressiveness, defined by rule 46.10.
The Sharks outshot the Falcons 16-4 in the period. This was not good. The Falcons lacked focus and lacked discipline in the period.
The Falcons came out looking like a different club to start the second period. Just 1:40 into the period, Cam Atkinson was tripped from behind, causing a penalty shot. I was distracted by Adam Mair conducting business in the corner while Cam was fouled.
Cam didn't disappoint, converting the penalty shot (first Falcons penalty shot conversion since 2009) to cut the Worcester lead to 2-1.
Overall, this was a better all around period (although far from perfect) for the Falcons. Springfield outshot Worcester 12-8 in the period.
The period drew to a close with Cody Bass and Matt Pelech serving five each for an old time slobberknocker. Helmets off. Elbow pads off. Squared off nicely. Pelech had the height advantage by 4 inches and held an angry Bass at bay.
There was no scoring in the final period, thus ending the Falcons winning streak at well...one.
The clubs only saw one minor penalty each, a testament to the fast paced quality of play in the period. The Falcons had several legitimate scoring chances with a high percentage of whiffs, misfires and just plain ordinary shots as a result.
The team will have a couple days to stew over this one. Then it's off to Providence for a Friday night game against the Bruins. Last time in Providence, the Falcons could do no wrong and skated away with a 7-2 victory.