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Falcons Game 44: Dainton Backstops Falcons to 3rd Straight Win

Paul Dainton was the story once again Saturday night in Hartford as the Springfield Falcons defeated the Connecticut Whale 2-1 at the XL Center.

Dainton, since being recalled from the ECHL early in the week, started three games this week for Springfield. In the three games, Dainton only surrendered five goals for a 1.67 GAA and posted a .947 save percentage, stopping 90 of 95 shots sent his way.

The Falcons got on the board at the 17:00 mark of the first period when three of the more unlikely candidates to put points up did just that. Wade MacLeod feathered a pass back to Teddy Ruth on the blue line. Ruth took the shot, and Tim Spencer managed to tip the biscuit past Cameron Talbot for the lead. The goal was Spencer’s second of the season.

Dainton made the goal stand up until late in the second period when Mats Zuccarello evened it up for the Whale. he was assisted by perpetual Falcons killers Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Blake Parlett.

The third period started with the feel of a game that was surely headed for overtime. Six minutes in, Martin St. Pierre was deep in the corner of the offensive zone. MSP was able to get the puck dug out to Cam Atkinson. Cam fed a streaking Maksim Mayorov who made no mistake about it, burying the bang-bang one timer behind Talbot for a 2-1 lead.

Then it was time for the Dainton show, yet again. Thanks to some really good defensive play, in particular by Dalton Prout and Teddy Ruth, the Whale couldn’t get Talbot to the bench for the extra skater until just 44 seconds were left on the clock. The defense remained strong and the Falcons turned in another gritty performance, extending this win streak to three games.

Saturday’s Three Stars
1 – Maksim Mayorov
2 – Paul Dainton
3 – Mats Zuccarello

Headed into the brief AHL All-Star break, the Falcons are now just two points out of the final playoff spot, and they remain just four points out of the division lead. Cam Atkinson is Springfield’s lone representative at the All-Star Classic. Strangely, the Skills Competition goes head to head with the NHL All Star game (Sunday afternoon). The AHL All-Star game will be held Monday night. Here is a comprehensive listing on the AHL website of outlets carrying the game.

The Falcons return to action next Friday night at 7PM when they conclude a five game road trip in Providence when they take on the Bruins.