The Webster Bank Arena was rocking on Tuesday when the Springfield Falcons topped the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost, 3-1, before 8,604 raucous fans. It was “Spring Fun 102” promotion attended by thousands of area students. It was the largest home attendance in franchise history.
The arena was brimming with youthful energy in the audience, and in the first period, it was the Falcons that appeared to be the beneficiary of all that spirit.
Springfield got on the board first when the Falcons dumped the puck behind the Sound Tigers’ goal where it was retrieved by Dana Tyrell who sent it to the right of the crease. There, Jake Hansen, who had been entangled with Sound Tigers’ goaltender Kevin Poulin, gained control of the puck and flipped it past Poulin giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead 4:25 into the contest.
Shortly thereafter, the Sound Tigers’ Justin Johnson was sent to the penalty box for tripping at the 7:26 mark. Simultaneously, Mathieu Coderre-Gagnon and Springfield’s Cody Bass did the two-fisted tango, and both were banished to the box for fighting. That put Springfield on the power play, and the Falcons immediately capitalized on the situation.
On the ensuing faceoff, Cody Golubef sent the puck cross-ice to Marko Dano, who sent a wrister past Poulin to make it 2-1 Springfield.
And that would be all the offense the Falcons would need on this day.
After a scoreless second period, the Sound Tigers finally got on the scoreboard with less than two minutes rembaining in regulation. After the Sound Tigers dumped the puck deep in the Springfield zone, Ben Rosen and Chris Bruton dug it out and sent it over to Andrey Pedan. The Bridgeport defenseman rifled a one-timer from the high slot past Springfield goaltender Anton Forsburg to cut the Falcons’ lead to 2-1.
Both teams generated offensive chances in the third period, as well, but neither scored until there was less than two minutes remaining in the period. Still trailing 2-0, the Sound Tigers dumped the puck deep into the Falcons zone. The combination of Ben Rosen and Chris Bruton dug it out, and found Pedan in the high slot. The defenseman ripped a one-timer past Falcons goaltender Anton Forsberg and cut the lead in half.
Bridgeport head coach Scott Pellerin then pulled Poulin for a last-ditch effort to tie the score, but the strategy backfired when the Falcons’ Cody Bass rifled one into the empty net with 30 seconds left in the contest to seal the deal for Springfield.
With the win, the Falcons, first in the Northeast Division, improved to 43-20-1-5 (92 pts). 27-34-2-5 (61 pts).
The loss eliminated the Sound Tigers from playoff contention this season.
Next up for the Sound Tigers will be a two-game road trip that will take them to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., for a game with the WB-Scranton Penguins on Friday night, then on to Glens Falls, NY, where they will take on the Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday night. The Tigers return home on Sunday to wrap up the three-in-three against the Hershey Bears on Sunday. First puck drops at 3 p.m., and tickets are available at the WBA box office, by calling 203-334-GOAL (4625), or by clicking HERE.