PORTLAND PIRATES (7-7-2) 6, SPRINGFIELD FALCONS (10-2-3) 5 -- OVERTIME
Cumberland County Civic Center | Portland, Maine
As if the final score wasn't enough indication, tonight's game in Portland was not short on the entertainment factor.
Unfortunately for the Springfield Falcons, they were the team to blink first in overtime and the Pirates took advantage. Oliver Ekman-Larsson jumped in from the point and pounced on a loose puck at the side of the net less than a minute into the extra session, lifting Portland to a 6-5 victory as the Falcons closed out a four-game trip.
All in all, it was a productive road swing for Springfield, a trip that began with a frustrating 2-1 loss to Wilkes-Barre. The Falcons bounced back and swept the Norfolk Admirals on back-to-back nights at The Scope, and made their way to Portland to take on a Pirates club they had already defeated once already this season.
For the first part of this game, Springfield was totally in control.
John Moore and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault scored a pair of goals less than two minutes apart to stake the Falcons to a 2-0 lead at 12:21 of the first period. Once again, Springfield opened the scoring and (seemingly) had a firm grasp on the pace of the game -- but the next 30 minutes were some of the most chaotic the Falcons have played.
David Savard's fluky point shot gave Springfield a 3-1 lead at 1:00 of the second period and Cam Atkinson ripped a power play goal at 4:12, and the Falcons were cruising along. But after a run in with penalty trouble, the Falcons handed Portland a glorious chance to get back in the game.
Michael Stone (two goals), Alex Bolduc and Chris Brown all scored goals for the Pirates in a 6:33 span, eliminating what was a 4-1 deficit and staking Portland to a 5-4 lead. Curtis McElhinney was pulled for the first time this season, giving way to backup Paul Dainton for the remainder of the contest.
Sean Collins batted in a rebound to tie the game with 2:36 left in the second period, and after a mild-mannered third period, the teams headed to a (very brief) overtime period. Ekman-Larsson's goal dropped the Falcons to 10-2-3 on the year, but still atop the Northeast Division standings after the night's play.
Off a nice feed from Andy Miele, Brown's power play tally with 10:27 left to play in the second period was a true "uh oh" moment for the Falcons. They had already given up three goals in the period, but Brown's tying goal was an alarm bell for all the penalty trouble Springfield had gotten itself into.
1. Alex Bolduc (POR) -- two goals
2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (POR) -- goal, assist
3. Michael Stone (POR) -- two goals
vs. Manchester Monarchs
MassMutual Center | Springfield, MA
Saturday, 7 p.m.