Falcons Game 13: No Dex, No Problem

Just how bad can things get for the Columbus Blue Jackets?

Apparently, so bad that they no longer even have to be playing or practicing and bad things happen.

Tonight, with Mark Dekanich scheduled to make a rehab start for the Springfield Falcons, Dekanich gingerly skated off the ice during warmups, not to return.

Sometime later, Jackets GM Scott Howson tweeted:

Mark Dekanich strained his groin in warm up in Springfield tonight and will not play. Will know more on severity of the injury tomorrow.

You can't make this stuff up.

Despite the loss of Dex, the Falcons still had a game to play with the Portland Pirates.

Three third period goals provided the winning margin, as the Falcons skated away with a 4-1 win on Military Appreciation Night in Springfield.

Cam Atkinson got the Falcons on the board at 4:06 of the opening period, set up by Nick Holden. Late in the period, Michael Stone tied the game on a Pirates power play.

Danny Taylor stepped in for the injured Dekanich, and held the Pirates at bay, as Portland outshot the Falcons 10-9 in the period.

The second period struck me as one of those periods that things just weren't clicking. Nothing that resulted in any significant scoring chances on either side, but a combination of missed passes, players on both sides out of position, just a period of really unskilled play that happens every once in a while.

The shots on goal in the second reflected the difficulty, as the Falcons outshot the Pirates by a 7-3 margin.

A refocused Falcon lineup took to the ice for the third period.

Smooth skating Martin St. Pierre started the scoring in the period, when he scored his fifth goal of the season, extending his point scoring streak to six consecutive games.

St. Pierre was assisted by David Savard and Alexandre Giroux, who was playing in only his third game of the season for Springfield.

Moments later, Ryan Russell tallied his fifth of the season on a terrific setup by Teddy Ruth and Wade MacLeod.

The Falcons have emerged as a team that is very strong up the middle, and tonight was a new hurdle cleared for the Birds, as they notched three full strength goals.

Atkinson took a minor at 12:32 of the third, after being called for an offsides, he slapped the puck into the boards.

The penalty though, gave Andrew Joudrey some extra ice to work with and he scored an unassisted shorty at 13:36.

The 4-1 final sounds like the Falcons were dominant in the game. They were every bit of that in the final period, but the first two were definitely up for grabs, and but for a puck or two that bounced differently, this could have been a different result.

Tonight's Three Stars:
1. Ryan Russell
2. Andrew Joudrey
3. Cam Atkinson

The Falcons return to action Saturday night at 7PM when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

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