The first two shooters for the Falcons were defensemen Cody Goloubef and Brent Regner. Both, sporting terrific moves, undressed Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin giving the Birds an early advantage. Nick Drazenovic netted the winner in the fourth round and Paul Dainton shut down Mark Katic in the fifth round for the victory.
Springfield got on the board first at 1:35 of the second period when Drazenovic scored his 10th of the season on a nice give and go with Matt Calvert. Drazenovic has scored in four straight games now. More on the game and a look around the "A" after the jump:
Bridgeport tallied on the power play when Tim Spencer was given an extra minor for roughing and the subsequent fight with Steve Olesky at 9:29. John Persson scored his first goal to tie the game at 10:34.
Andrew Joudrey picked up his ninth of the season at 15:52 of a busy second period, giving the Falcons a 2-1 lead. Paul Dainton started the play with a nice clearing pass up to Maksim Mayorov. The odd man rush resulted in Mayorov, Dane Byers and Joudrey combining on the play. A beauty!
Rhett Rakhshani scored his 14th of the season to tie the game at two at 4:05 of the third period. The play then turned defensive, with both Dainton and Poulin making key saves to keep the game tied. Theo Ruth was given a minor for tripping at 17:39, giving Bridgeport a power play, and the Falcons PK did an outstanding job while a man short. Particularly effective were Dalton Prout and Brent Regner.
Elsewhere around the "A" on Friday night, several games caused the playoff deck to be reshuffled. With nine teams vying for three spots, this will probably happen every night down the stretch, but here's a look at Friday and the updated standings:
Manchester 2 at Providence 5
Big upset #1 of the night. The two points for Providence gets them right back in the playoff picture. Justin Florek in his first pro game registered two goals and two assists for a night he'll never forget.
Portland 4 at Connecticut 1
Big upset #2 of the night. Peter Mannino stole the show with a 29 save performance to sink the Whale.
Adirondack 1 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 0
The Falcons next two opponents (tonight in Adirondack, tomorrow in WBS) played a pitcher's duel in PA. Michael Leighton turned in a 24 save performance for the shutout.
Albany 1 at Norfolk 2
The Admirals built on their record for consecutive wins, with their 19th in a row. Much closer than most anticipated, Jaroslav Janus continued the "Night of the Goalies" with the #1 Star.
St. John's 4 at Syracuse 5 SO
The IceCaps, the Atlantic Division leaders, continued some less than stellar road play. The game had seven goals scored by the 15:11 mark of the first period before the D stepped up to make this a fight to the finish.
Eastern Conference standings after Friday's action (6th through 14th):
6. Bridgeport 73 points, 11 games remaining
7. Syracuse 70 points, 10 games remaining
8. Manchester 69 points, 10 games remaining
9. Springfield 68 points, 10 games remaining
10. Worcester 67 points, 12 games remaining
11. Portland 67 points, 11 games remaining
12. Albany 67 points, 10 games remaining
13. Adirondack 65 points, 11 games remaining
14. Providence 65 points, 10 games remaining
Games that I'll keep an eye on tonight:
Springfield at Adirondack 7PM
Providence at Connecticut 7PM
Portland at Manchester 7PM
Albany at Norfolk 7:15PM
Rochester at Syracuse 7:30PM
Stay tuned to The Cannon as the Falcons continue their quest for the Calder Cup playoffs!