The Springfield Falcons came back down to earth on Saturday night, tasting defeat for the first time this season 3 - 1 at the hands of the Providence Bruins.
The Falcons opened up the scoring early in the contest. Establishing that slow and steady wins the race, Providence matched the Falcons marker in the first, then added goals in both the second and third periods to skate away with the win.
Nick Drazenovic's first goal of the season got the Falcons off to a good start. Nick finished off on the power play after John Moore started with a shot from the blueline. Matt Calvert had the next opportunity, then when Providence goaltender Niklas Svedberg couldn't handle the rebound, Draz was right there at the doorstep to give the Falcons the early lead.
Three minutes later, Craig Cunningham scored his second goal of the season to even the score at one apiece.
The Bruins found momentum on their side in the middle stanza. Veteran Garnet Exelby picked up his first goal in a P-Bruins sweater to give Providence the 2-1 lead at 6:31 of the second period.
This was the first time this season that the Falcons trailed going into the final period.
The P-Bruins hung over the Falcons like a wet blanket throughout the second and third periods, effectively stifling any solid scoring bids by Springfield.
This is not to say there weren't opportunities, but Svedberg picked right up where Anton Khudobin and Michael Hutchinson left off last season, as Providence goalies who stymied Falcons scoring bids.
Longtime Falcons nemesis, Maxime Sauve picked up a power play tally in the third period, extending the Baby B's lead to 3 - 1 and dashing the Falcons hopes of a big comeback.
Tonight's Three Stars:
1. Niklas Svedberg (PRO)
2. Maxime Sauve (PRO)
3. Nick Drazenovic
While we all understand that no team goes 76 - 0 in this league (well, Norfolk might but I digress), still it's difficult to see the boys fall short. Some facets of the game were not as intense tonight as they had been through the first three games of the season. There may be some changes in store for next weekend's games.
The Falcons take to the road for the first time this season when they embark on their first three-in-three of the young season. It starts next Friday night in Providence in a rematch of tonight's game. Then it's back to The Nest for some home cooking next Saturday night against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and a Sunday afternoon game when the Portland Pirates make their first trip to Springfield this season.