Falcons record franchise record sixth straight road win
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Falcons defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by the final score of 3-1 on April 1 at Webster Bank Arena, marking a new franchise record with six consecutive road wins.
In his first professional appearance in North America, goaltender Anton Forsberg earned the victory Tuesday, making 25 saves on 26 shots faced in net for the Falcons. A native of Harnosand, Sweden, Forsberg held the Sound Tigers scoreless for the first 58:18 of the contest, before allowing Bridgeport’s only goal of the game on an Andrey Pedan shot from the point.
Marko Dano scored a power-play goal at the 7:35 mark of the first period, extending the Falcons lead to 2-0. For Dano, it was his first professional goal and first game-winner in North America in only his third game since joining the Falcons in mid-March.
Springfield gained a 1-0 lead just 4:25 into the game, as Bridgeport netminder Kevin Poulin misplayed the puck behind his own net and Jake Hansen capitalized on the mistake. Hansen deposited his 10th goal of the season and second in his last three games. The White Bear Lake, Minnesota native extended his point streak to four games, registering five points (two goals, three assists) and a +3 rating over that span.
Cody Bass notched an empty-net goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation, extending the Falcons lead to 3-1 and sealing the victory. For Bass, the goal was his seventh of the season, a new career high.
The Falcons went 1-for-6 on the power play, giving the team at least one power-play tally in each of the last 10 games. Springfield is 16-for-52 with the man advantage over the 10-game span, a rate of 30.8 percent.
Bridgeport went 0-for-4 on the power play.
With the win, Springfield is now just two points shy of clinching a playoff berth of the second consecutive season. The Falcons can clinch as soon as this weekend.
The Falcons are back in action this weekend when they visit the St. John’s IceCaps for back-to-back games on April 4 and 5, both at 6 p.m. The team returns to the MassMutual Center on April 11 to host the Portland Pirates at 7 p.m.
Prior to the rare Tuesday afternoon game, the Falcons earned all of six possible points last week, defeating the Adirondack Phantoms twice on March 26 and 29, and the Hartford Wolf Pack on March 28.
The Falcons defeated the Phantoms the first time by the final score of 3-0 behind Jeremy Smith’s first shutout of the season and ninth of his AHL career. Smith stopped all 28 shots he faced en route to his 19th win of the season. Andrew Joudrey, Ryan Craig and Jake Hansen scored the goals for Springfield.
They won their second straight game with a 6-1 rout of the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center. Darryl Boyce and Jean-Francois Jacques each scored twice in the contest, while Carter Camper and Cody Bass also found the back of the net. For Jacques, his first goal served as the game-winner, his team-leading sixth of the season. Camper’s tally was his first as a member of the Falcons. Smith won his second consecutive start and earned his 20th victory of the season, making 26 saves on 27 shots.
Dano, a first-round selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2013 NHL Draft, made his North American professional debut in the game after signing an AHL standard player contract with Springfield earlier in March, recording an assist, two shots and a plus-2 rating
Springfield extended its winning streak to three games, defeating the Phantoms again, this time in a shootout, by the final score of 4-3. Bass scored the decisive conversion in the sixth round, while Andrew Joudrey and Cody Goloubef also notched tallies in the shootout. Dana Tyrell scored the equalizer in the third period, sending the game to overtime and Adirondack dissolved a 2-0 Springfield lead with three unanswered goals. Craig and Boyce scored the first two goals of the game.