Springfield Falcons top Syracuse Crunch with 3-2 in overtime battle
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Falcons topped the Syracuse Crunch, 3-2, in overtime during a battle to lead the Northeast Division on Dec. 28 at the MassMutual Center.
Denny Urban netted the game-winning goal 3:10 into overtime to give the Falcons 46 points and maintain sole possession atop the Northeast Division.
The victory moves the Falcons to 22-9-2-0 on the season and 3-2-0-0 in the eight-game season series with the Crunch. The Crunch drop to 20-8-4-0.
Falcons goaltender Anton Forsberg turned away 15 of 17 shots just hours after being reassigned to the Falcons from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Crunch goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 of 33. Springfield was able to convert on one of six power play opportunities with a power-play goal in the overtime frame. The team successfully killed all four Syracuse man-advantages.
The Falcons opened scoring early in the first period, but entered the intermission tied, 1-1, due to a late Crunch goal. Luke Adam lobbed the puck over Vasilevskiy that appeared wide, but caught the top right corner of the net and gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead just 39 seconds into the frame. Hubert Labrie and Dana Tyrell each grabbed a point for the assist.
The Crunch knotted the score with 5:12 remaining in the first period. Joey Mormina fired a shot from the left point off a feed from Dalton Smith. Forsberg made the save, but left the puck loose in the crease for Vladislav Namestnikov to shove across the goal line.
Syracuse took their first lead of the game with 2:28 remaining in the second period. However, the Falcons responded and evened the score less than a minute later. Yanni Gourde chipped a quick cross-slot pass to Mike Angelidis, who beat Forsberg glove side and gave Syracuse a 2-1 lead. Jonathan Marchessault earned credit for the secondary assist on the go-ahead goal.
Springfield was quick to even up the contest. Frederic St. Denis powered a shot from the right wing that was redirected by Jaime Sifers. The puck bounced off of Vasilevskiy’s pad and over to Adam to the left of the net. A quick rebound shot gave Adam his second tally of the contest with 1:43 remaining in the second.
A scoreless third period brought the Falcons into overtime for the fourth consecutive game. While on a 4-on-3 power play, Urban fired home a shot from the left circle off assists from Austin Madaisky and Adam to down the Crunch, 3-2.
The night before, the Falcons fell to the Albany Devils 4-3 in overtime at the Times Union Center.
Falcons netminder Oscar Dansk turned away 21 of 25 shots in defeat, while his Devils counterpart Scott Wedgewood stopped 22 of 25. Springfield was effective on the power play, converting on three of six opportunities. The penalty kill unit successfully shut down two of three Albany man-advantages.
After a scoreless first period, the Devils opened scoring in the second period and took a quick two goal lead. David Wohlberg put the Devils on the board with an unassisted tally 6:09 into the frame. Graham Black doubled the lead just 32 seconds later with the help of Reece Scarlett and Joe Whitney.
Springfield finally responded with two consecutive power-play goals. Kerby Rychel grabbed the puck against the boards and passed out to Josh Anderson in the right circle. Anderson ripped a shot that beat Wedgewood glove side and cut the Devils’ lead to one at the 8:20 mark. Three minutes later, St. Denis tallied his first goal of the season with a slap shot from the left point to even the score. Urban earned the assist, while Anderson picked up his second point of the night with the secondary.
The Falcons were not able to stop the Devils on the power play and gave up a go-ahead goal with 4:21 remaining in the middle frame. Reid Boucher fired a shot from a sharp angle to the right of the net that got past Dansk and put the Devils up, 3-2. Whitney earned another point for the assist.
Springfield knotted the score, 3-3, with their third consecutive power-play goal at the 7:58 mark of the final period to send the Falcons into overtime for the second time in as many nights. Urban let off a shot that was tipped by captain Ryan Craig for his 88th goal as a Springfield Falcon, tying him with Danny Briere for the second most career Falcons goals. T.J. Tynan earned credit for the secondary assist.
Just 34 seconds into the extra frame, Whitney received a feed from Brandon Burlon and wristed a shot from the slot that rung off the post and into the back of the net, giving the Devils a 4-3 victory.
Starting off the weekend, the Falcons won a game that went into extra time, topping the Hartford Wolf Pack, 2-1, in a shootout on Dec. 26 at the XL Center.
The victory moves the Falcons to 2-0-0-0 in the 10-game season series with the Wolf Pack.
Forsberg stopped 28 of 29 shots and three shootout attempts. Wolf Pack goaltender Cedrick Desjardins turned away 12 of 13 shots before being replaced by Mackenzie Skapski due to injury. Skapski stopped all 24 shots he faced, but allowed one goal in three shootout attempts. Springfield was unable to convert on six power play opportunities, but shut down all five Hartford man-advantages.
The Wolf Pack opened scoring at the 4:33 mark and carried their 1-0 lead into the final seconds of the first period. Oscar Lindberg started the play at the goal line. He pushed a pass up to Mat Bodie at the right point. Ryan Malone tipped Bodie’s shot to put the Wolf Pack on top. Marko Dano evened the score with the help of Captain Ryan Craig with 13 seconds remaining in the first. Dano grabbed the puck in the slot and beat Desjardins to tie the score, 1-1, just before the horn. Austin Madaisky earned credit for the secondary assist.
Two scoreless periods and overtime frame forced a shootout. T.J. Tynan netted his attempt in the second round to give the Falcons a 2-1 victory.