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POST GAME: Sound Tigers 3, Falcons 2 (SO)

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

MassMutual Center | Springfield, Mass.
Attendance: 2,456

This was every bit the ping-pong style of game one can expect over the course of a 76-game season.

Springfield, having won last night in Providence, came into tonight's game with a goaltender (Paul Dainton) making his first start of the season and a defense that had played a ton of minutes in the past few games. With the Falcons having their share of penalty troubles, the blue line had been called upon more so than usual and faced a tall task with a three-in-three weekend.

On the second of three games in three days, the Falcons could only be edged in a marathon shootout by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

After a scoreless first period, Cam Atkinson tallied his second goal in as many nights on a beautiful wrist shot. He scooped up the puck at the blue line and went one-on-one with a Sound Tigers defenseman. Atkinson cut to the outside and ripped a wrister past Kevin Poulin's stick side for a 1-0 Falcons lead -- giving them the first goal in their last five games.

Brandon DeFazio re-directed a slap pass from Jon Landry to pull Bridgeport level at 6:12 of the second period, and just over two minutes later, the Sound Tigers forged ahead.

Some sloppy play by the Falcons inside their own zone gave the Sound Tigers an outnumbered situation in front of Dainton. Aaron Ness put a shot on net that Dainton kicked into the slot, and Nino Niederreiter made no mistake on the rebound for a 3-2 lead at 8:32.

Another broken play allowed Cody Goloubef to keep the puck inside the offensive zone late in the second period, and he walked the blue line to get a clear shooting lane at Poulin. Parked directly in front of the cage, Tomas Kubalik got a piece of the shot and it deflected in to tie the game at 15:04.

David Ullstrom's backhand beauty under the crossbar gave Bridgeport its fourth win in five games, and handed the Falcons their first overtime loss of the season.


Springfield has been proficient in capitalizing on early momentum and scoring first (especially at home), but the Sound Tigers' response in the second period set the tone for the rest of the hockey game. Could the Falcons live with DeFazio's tying goal on the power play? Probably, because it was a really nice play and Dainton didn't have a chance to react.

But Niederrieter's go-ahead goal was a total breakdown, and it cost the Falcons a chance to take control of the game. Missed assignments gave "El Nino" a clean look at the loose puck and in an instant, Springfield trailed 2-1. Though the Falcons were able to tie the game later in the period, the 2-1 goal gave Bridgeport all the energy it needed.

1. Paul Dainton (SPR) - 36 saves
2. Kevin Poulin (BRI) - 32 saves
3. David Ullstrom (BRI) - GWG in shootout

vs. Portland Pirates
MassMutual Center | Springfield, Mass.
Sunday, 3 p.m.

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