After a tough night on Saturday, the Falcons returned to The Nest on Sunday afternoon for the second of a two game set with the Norfolk Admirals. Playing a much more disciplined game than on Saturday, the Falcons used three third period goals to take a big 4-2 victory over the Admirals.
The Falcons didn't give up the first goal this time. Instead, it was Matt Calvert who picked up his tenth of the campaign on assists from Cam Atkinson and Brent Regner on the power play.
Perhaps a carryover from Saturday, the play remained punishing, with five minors called in the period.
Midway through the middle stanza, it looked like the Falcons opened up a two goal lead when Tomas Kubalik converted an unbelievable one handed, diving pass from Matt Calvert. To many's amazement, including an irate coach Rob Riley, the goal was waved off due to goalie interference. This was a flat out bad call. No other way to put it.
The momentum shifted with 5:20 remaining and the Admirals tied it up on a goal by Pierre-Cedric Labrie. Labrie had his way with the Falcons on Saturday night, and the goal was his eighth of the season. Michel Ouellet connected for his tenth goal on the power play at 18:44 to give the Admirals a 2-1 lead. Another late period goal that could have been a backbreaker.
A well skated third period was scoreless through the first half. Finally at 11:29, Patrick Cullity cut in from the blue line. He was only about 15 feet from the cage, went down to one knee and finished off a Matt Calvert pass for the tying goal. The secondary assist went to Greg Amadio. This was a big goal at a big time for the Birds.
Thirty seconds later, after an Andrew Joudrey scoring bid, the puck momentarily lay flat after a Dustin Tokarski save. Maksim Mayorov was Johnny-on-the-spot (Maks-on-the-spot?) and banged home the loose biscuit for his fifth of the season, giving the Falcons the lead at 3-2. Setting up the play in addition to Joudrey was Brent Regner.
I thought I was going to jump out of my skin later in the period when Alexandre Giroux carried the puck into the offensive zone. Giroux carried and held and held and held...moving closer to the cage. Finally he was on the verge of the blue paint when both Admirals defenders finally committed and Giroux found Martin St. Pierre unmarked on the left wing. MSP took the pass and blew one past Tokarski, extending the Falcons lead to two goals. An amazing play by the two veterans!
Paul Dainton stood tall over the final four and a half minutes, making a couple of game saving stops. This one finished up 4-2 Falcons, a huge character win for Springfield.
Today's Three Stars
1. Matt Calvert
2. Patrick Cullity
3. Brent Regner
Three Stars that were well earned. After Saturday's blowout, I can't stress enough what an enormous win this was for the Falcons. The Falcons return to action Friday night at 7:30 when the Connecticut Whale come to The Nest.