Falcons Game 28: Brett Lebda - Shootout Winner

Brett Lebda scored in the 11th round of the shootout Saturday night, propelling the Springfield Falcons to a 2-1 victory over the Albany Devils.

The game was the second of four consecutive road games for the Falcons, this time at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. The Albany Devils provided the opposition for the Falcons and again tonight, strong goaltending kept the Falcons in this one.

Manny Legace made his seventh consecutive start in goal for the Falcons. Manny was once again the difference in a scoreless first period. The Devils outshot the Falcons in the first period 11-7, many quality scoring chances by the Devils came on the power play. The Devils enjoyed the man advantage four times in the period. Good fortune for the Falcons was the Devils power play being ranked 28th in the AHL.

A surprising scrap in the opening stanza, featured Ryan Garlock and Darcy Zajac mixing it up. Garlock was a healthy scratch last night in Providence and wanted to make his minutes count tonight.

Early in the second period, at the four minute mark, both Legace and his Albany counterpart Jeff Frazee had a chance to shine. The sequence started when Brad Mills of the Devils rushed in on a breakaway. Legace rejected the bid, although left the rebound free in front of the net. The follow up went high and wide, just in time for the Falcons to free Cam Atkinson for a breakaway of his own. Frazee matched Legace in the breakaway rejection in a terrific sequence.

Atkinson some 10 minutes later gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead when Matt Calvert broke out of the Falcons zone, passing to Cody Bass. Bass put it on the tape of Cam's stick and the one timer cleanly beat Frazee for the first goal of the game.

Mills broke in alone for the second time on a shorthanded breakaway with eight and a half to go in the second period. Legace calmly flashed the right pad out to stone Mills for the second time in the period.

Legace kept the Devils off the scoresheet for the rest of the period. Shots were even after two, 20-20.

The Devils got on the board at 4:11 of the third period when Darcy Zajac connected on a power play marker, while newcomer Patrick Cullity served a deuce for tripping.

The goaltenders once again held the rest of the lineups in check, carrying the game to overtime. Through the five minute extra session, the teams continued scoreless.

This brought us to the shootout. Both Cam Atkinson and former Falcon Chad Wiseman of the Devils scored in the first round, yet it took another 10 players by each side before this one was finally settled.

Lebda's tally was a beauty. He closed in through the slot, deked Frazee who bought it hook, line and sinker. Lebda then skillfully went to the backhand at the top of the crease as he cut right, slipping the biscuit through the five hole of Frazee for the winner.
Tonight's Three Stars:
1. Brett Lebda
2. Jeff Frazee
3. Cam Atkinson


The Falcons next game will be this coming Wednesday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA when they take on the Sharks at 7PM.

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