Falcons Game 54: Birds Tame Sound Tigers in Shootout

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers brought their 16-1-1 record in their last 18 games to the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Friday night. Unlike the last meeting between the two teams in Bridgeport, the Falcons showed a steely defensive resolve and held the Sound Tigers to just one goal in 65 minutes, on their way to a 2-1 shootout win over the visitors.

The Falcons had a distinctively different look, specifically short one #13 Cam Atkinson from the lineup. Atkinson, earlier in the day, was recalled by the Columbus Blue Jackets. By the time you're reading this, you already know that Cam returned to the Jackets lineup tonight in the game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Unless the Jackets are actively shopping Atkinson to other clubs with the pending Monday trade deadline, this move made absolutely no sense to this blogger. Atkinson in Springfield is integral to the Falcons slim playoff hopes. He has earned his spot on the top line. Going into Friday's action, he is tied for second in the AHL in goals scored. He is in a three way tie for the league lead in power play goals with 13. He is fourth among league rookies with 44 points in 50 games. Let's be honest here, all season long when the Jackets needed a forward, it was ABC: Anybody But Cam. Now, that the season is a foregone conclusion in Columbus, this is the time to "reward" Atkinson with a meaningless call-up? No, this one was a bad choice by Scott Howson, unless, as I said, Atkinson is being showcased for a Monday deal. A better choice to fill out a wing would be Kubalik, Calvert even Mayorov. I kid you not, the AHL game sheet for this game has the Falcons listed as having one RW in the lineup and SEVEN left wings. After MassLive reported on the Atkinson call-up, there were several naysayers who commented on the move and the health of the Jackets relationship in general. For the record, none of the comments were mine. Now, back to our regularly scheduled game recap...

A scoreless first period was highlighted by Aaron Bogosian (one of SEVEN LW's in the lineup!) giving Blair Riley a solid dose of what-for. The tussle was only 2:44 into the game, so it was akin to marking one's territory.

The only other item of note from the opening stanza was a penalty shot awarded to Maksim Mayorov, which resulted in no goal for the Birds.

Paul Dainton was in net for the Falcons. Dainton was a last minute replacement for Manny Legace. Legace was pencilled in to start, but tweaked himself at this morning's skate. During the pre-game warmup, he reaggravated himself and was unable to go. Dainton turned in a solid first 20, as did Anders Nilsson in the Sound Tigers goal.

A largely uneventful second period saw the Sound Tigers take a 1-0 lead when Blair Riley notched his second goal of the season. Former Falcon Trevor Frischmon picked up an assist along with Aaron Ness. The Falcons outshot Bridgeport 11-9 in the period and took a 21-19 lead in shots into the final period.

The third period was spinning its wheels when the unthinkable happened: Adam Mair scored his first goal in a Falcons uniform! The play was a beauty, Mair capitalized on a loose puck at the top of the left faceoff circle and let one rip that severely beat Nilsson high on the stick side to tie the game at 1-1. The goal was credited to Wade MacLeod, but it was clearly Mair who let the shot rip with absolutely no deflection on the blast.

The remainder of the period as well as the five minute overtime session produced no more scoring, leading to the shootout finish.
In the all-or-nothing world of the modified skills competition, it was both in this one. No goals through the first three shooters, then we had five straight goals. Tomas Kubalik, Matt Calvert and Maksim Mayorov for the Falcons outdueled David Ullstrom and Jon Landry for Bridgeport. That left it up to Kael Mouillierat for the Sound Tigers. Streaking in, he took a dart of a wrister from the high slot. A little bit of Dainton's glove, a little bit of the post...either way it was no goal and a huge Falcons win.

This was one of those big wins that without their sparkplug Atkinson in the lineup, the Falcons could have mentally checked out against a club that waxed them 8-1 last time out. Instead, the Falcons stepped up, playing a solid defensive game en route to the hard earned shootout win.
Tonight's Three Stars:
1 - Adam Mair
2 - Anders Nilsson
3 - Paul Dainton

Another three-in-three, there's little time to enjoy tonight's win, as the Falcons get back at it on Saturday night at The Nest when the Connecticut Whale pay their final visit of the regular season. Game time is 7PM.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Cannon

You must be a member of The Cannon to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Cannon. You should read them.

Join The Cannon

You must be a member of The Cannon to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Cannon. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.