Falcons Game 21: Sharks Bite Falcons in OT

The Good News: The Springfield Falcons earned a point on Friday night in Worcester.

The Bad News: The Worcester Sharks picked up two points, in a 4-3 overtime win against the Birds.

The Falcons point was one more than they earned last weekend. They will look to build on that tonight back in Springfield.

Once again, this was a good AHL game. Plenty of end to end action, plenty of physical play.

However, it was former UMass Minuteman defenseman Matt Irwin who sent the Shark fans home happy when the Sharks 40th shot of the night found the back of the net.

Manny Legace was the Falcons netminder, and despite giving up four goals, played a better game than the score indicates. Called on several times to halt quality scoring opportunities, Manny kept the Falcons in this one all night.

The Falcons held the lead three separate times in the game, but were unable to extend it to a two goal margin at any point, allowing the Sharks to stay close.

Wade MacLeod started the scoring at 3:10 of the first period. There was a mob in front of Sharks goalie Harri Sateri. Aaron Bogosian took the initial shot from the high slot and MacLeod cut in, got a piece of it and Sateri got a piece of Wade, sending him flying a la Bobby Orr's Stanley Cup winning goal in 1971. Brett Lebda picked up the second assist on the goal.

Maksim Mayorov, playing his first game since October 29th, appeared to have a difficult return, taking two consecutive hooking penalties, one at 5:31, the second at 9:37.

The second one led to a Sharks power play goal, scored by John McCarthy at 11:02.

Cam Atkinson scored his team leading 10th goal on the power play at 5:25 of the second period. Atkinson cashed in his own rebound after a nice setup by Martin St. Pierre and Alex Giroux.

Things got tense in the ensuing sequence, with a scrum in front of the Sharks bench. Emerging from the scrum, Dane Byers and Sena Acolatse removed their lids and squared off at center ice. Acolatse had a superior reach advantage, and with his left clinging to Dane's collar, he kept jabbing him in the jaw. As the scrap continued, Byers appeared to lose his balance for a split second and as soon as he did, Acolatse was all over him like a cheap suit. Five each for the bout.

Ryan Del Monte brought the Sharks back even at 14:55 when he registered his first goal of the season.

Ryan Russell's ninth goal at 18:13 gave the Falcons the lead one more time, as the period ended 3-2 in favor of Springfield. Brett Lebda picked up his second assist of the night on the goal.

A tight checking third period started with Cam McIntyre knotting the score at three at 1:23.

In the 2:22 of overtime, the Sharks recorded two shots on goal, while the Falcons had none.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Matt Irwin
2. Ryan Del Monte
3. Brett Lebda

The Falcons return to The Nest tonight at 7PM. In a rematch from last Saturday, the Connecticut Whale provide the opposition. The Falcons close out the three games in three day weekend Sunday afternoon when they host the Portland Pirates at 3PM.

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