Falcons Game 72: Slipping Away

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers dealt the Springfield Falcons slim playoff hopes a crippling blow, stealing a 3-2 win over the Birds Wednesday afternoon in Bridgeport, CT.

An early miscue in puck handling by Manny Legace led to the Sound Tigers taking an early 1-0 lead. John Persson capitalized for his third goal of the season.

David Savard mixed it up with junior ruffian, Mike Halmo who was playing his first pro game. Halmo if you'll recall was the player who nearly decapitated Nail Yakupov a few weeks ago in an OHL game. More after the jump:

Teams exchanged power plays in the middle of the session. The Falcons came closer, with Wade MacLeod hitting the post in the dying seconds of the PP.

Maksim Mayorov took a tripping penalty at 11:45. Bridgeport handled the puck very skillfully in the Falcons zone and at 12:44 Tony Romano opened the lead to 2-0, with his 10th of the season.

The spirited first period came to a close with the Falcons on the power play and the score 2-0 in favor of the home team. Shots in the period were 14-11 Bridgeport.

The first legitimate scoring bid of the second period saw Andrew Joudrey tuck a sweet wraparound in behind Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin. Problem was, the goal was waved off due to the puck being played just prior with a high stick. The score remained 2-0.

The middle stanza concluded with a standoff in the corner next to the Falcons goal. After a lengthy exercise in verbal discourse, penalites were assessed to Wade MacLeod for roughing. Tyler McNeely was given a double minor for roughing, presumably for the punch he delivered to MacLeod, the only punch of the "discussion".

It took only 21 seconds of the third period for the Falcons to make a statement. On the power play, Alexandre Giroux finished off a Nick Drazenovic feed to bring the Birds within a goal at 2-1. The Falcons resembled Angry Birds on this brief power play. That aggression was soon to play out yet again.

Wade MacLeod tied the game for Springfield at 6:04. MacLeod one timed a Martin St. Pierre pass for his eighth goal of the season. In the second half of this season, MacLeod has clearly shown that he is successfully learning the pro game.

With just under five minutes to go, the Sound Tigers took the lead when David Ullstrom once again solved the Falcons. Brent Regner kept backpedalling on the odd man rush and didn't stop to take the ice away from Bridgeport until he was in the crease with Legace. This was one of those goals that you'll remember all summer long.

Unfortunately for not just the game, but for Falcon playoff hopes, that's the way this one ended. Just a heartbreaking, debilitating defeat.

The Falcons head up to the Canadian Maritimes for the final road trip of the season. Games Saturday and Sunday in St. John's against the IceCaps.

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