David Savard wouldn't mind if you called him lucky for the goal that was credited to him in the third period Friday night against the Portland Pirates. A simple dump of the puck was fumbled by Chris Summers of the Pirates and ended up in the Portland net, giving the Falcons a 3-2 lead.
On the other hand, good is good too. Paul Dainton stood on his head in the Falcons cage, making at least four 10 bell stops in the final six minutes of the game, ensuring Savard's goal stood up as the game winner in an exciting game in Portland, Maine.
This was the fourth meeting of the teams in 14 days in the oft-quirky AHL schedule. With the previous three games going 1-1-1, this was the rubber game of sorts. It didn't take long for the Falcons All-Star, Cam Atkinson to solve Justin Pogge in the Portland goal. A Falcons rush of the Pirate zone led to an initial stop on Cam. Digging in the corner, Matt Calvert found an open Brent Regner on the blue line. Regner's shot was finished off by Atkinson, giving Cam his 24th goal of the season. The Falcons outshot the Pirates by a margin of 9-4 in the period.
The Pirates came out re-energized in the second stanza. Cal O'Reilly netted his first goal of the season to even the score at one apiece nearing the six minute mark.
A penalty against the Pirates Nathan Oystrick for interference was just about to end when Dalton Prout fired a cannon from the blue line that Pogge never saw, giving the Falcons a 2-1 lead. Assists on the goal went to Calvert and Martin St. Pierre. Oystrick, when he came out of the box, continued to let referee Francis Charron have it and was sent right back into the box, this time for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Michael Stone brought the Pirates even at 6:10, eventually setting the stage for Savard's game winner. The difference clearly was Paul Dainton in the Springfield net. Shots on goal in the second period were 13-5 in favor of Portland. They went one better in the third, outshooting the Falcons 14-5.
1 - Paul Dainton
2 - Patrick O'Sullivan
3 - Matt Calvert
This was a huge character win for the Falcons. Dainton's play in his two games so far this week has been solidifying for the team, and the players in front of him have responded. The win brought the Falcons back to .500, at 20-20-1-2. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are 9-0-1 in their last 10 and have taken over first place in the Northeast Division. Just four points separate first from last place, so there's still a lot of hockey left to play. Tonight, the Falcons head back to Hartford to take on the Connecticut Whale at 7PM.