During their recent five game skid, the Falcons had played good hockey. Until last night's implosion against the Connecticut Whale, when undisciplined play led to the third period catastrophe that saw the Whale tally five unanswered power play goals in a 6-3 victory.
Today's contest was the polar opposite of the Saturday night meltdown. The Falcons were whistled for only two minor penalties, both against Tomas Kubalik.
In fact the first period interference penalty to Kubalik indirectly led to the Falcons first goal. Andrew Joudrey forwarded a pass to Dane Byers who broke in alone. As the Portland defender got alongside of Dane, he cut left and cleanly beat Curtis McElhinney for the shorty and the 1-0 Falcon lead.
Portland tied the game just 3:25 into the second period when Brett MacLean connected for his fourth of the season.
The middle stanza was drawing to a close when the Falcons got deep in the Portland zone. Brett Lebda found Martin St. Pierre down around the goal line. St. Pierre then made a perfect tape to tape pass between his legs and found Alexandre Giroux all alone. Giroux blasted the one timer home for a highlight reel goal at 19:45.
The real story of the second period came at 14:56 when Brock Trotter ran over Falcons starting netminder, Manny Legace. Trotter was assessed the goaltender interference penalty. Legace however remained on the ice for several minutes. Eventually, he shook off whatever his ailment was, and kept the Pirates in check.
The third period got underway with Manny back in goal. Less than one minute into the period, Alex Giroux was knocked silly in an open ice collision. It was unintentional and neither Giroux nor the Portland player were given any penalty on the play. But while Giroux was being attended to, Allen York went into the Springfield goal, Legace went down the tunnel to the locker room, not to be seen the rest of the day.
York, in relief, was equal to the task, stopping all 10 Pirate shots he faced.
1. Dane Byers
2. Alexandre Giroux
3. Matt Calvert
The Falcons are off until next Saturday night when they host the Manchester Monarchs in a 7PM game.