Atkinson wasn't done just yet. Entering the Penguin zone on a 3 on 1 break, JAM hit Cam tape to tape. Atkinson drew nearer and nearer to the goal. Just when it looked like he might have held on too long, he fed a perfect pass to the waiting Ryan Johansen for one of the prettiest goals seen at The Nest in some time. RyJo's second goal as a Falcon was the insurance tally, giving the Falcons the 4 - 2 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Springfield jumped out to a 2 - 0 lead on goals by JAM and John Moore in the opening period. Starting his third consecutive game, Curtis McElhinney was again terrific between the pipes for the Falcons.
That changed briefly in the third period when a whistle happy Jamie Koharski sent Tim Erixon off on a delay of game penalty. This was apparently a variation on the handling the puck rule, as it appeared that it may have been a hand pass along the end boards. In any event, on the ensuing draw the disc went back to Joe Morrow who moved in to the top of the faceoff circle and got the Pens on the board.
Then, in short order, Tomas Kubalik was sent off on a double minor for high sticking. As the first of his penalties was winding down, Philippe Dupuis struck for WBS, tying the game at two.
The tying goal by Dupuis didn't crush the Falcons. In fact it reinforced their resolve, leading to the heroics by Atkinson and Johansen.
Tonight's Three Stars:
1. Cam Atkinson
3. Curtis McElhinney
All well deserved. Not to be overlooked, JAM had a three point night.
The Best of the Rest:
John Moore - Moore has been very good in these first three games. He is moving the puck gracefully and notched his first goal of the season tonight.
Nick Drazenovic - Draz had one assist tonight, but was constantly right in the mix of the play.
Matt Calvert - Again tonight, Calvert looked like the 2010-2011 version. Massive amounts of hustle, digging the puck, forechecking...I loved his game tonight!
Ryan Craig, Andrew Joudrey, Cody Bass - these guys are money and tough as nails. Another good game by all three.
The Falcons return to The Nest Saturday night at 7PM when they wrap up their four game homestand against the Providence Bruins. Tonight's win marked the first time in their 19 year history that the Falcons have started a season at 3-0.
Falcons Game 3: Springfield Wins, Starts Season 3-0
Cam Atkinson went to one knee to blast home the game winner as the Falcons extended their record to 3-0-0 to start the new season. JAM took advantage of a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton turnover and dished the puck to Cam, who made no mistake, finding the back of the net for his first goal of the season.