BOURQUE'S LATE GOAL LIFTS WHALE PAST FALCONS
Springfield, Mass. - Ryan Bourque scored with 15.6 seconds remaining in the third period on Sunday afternoon, leading the Connecticut Whale (9-7-1-0) to a 3-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons (10-3-1-3) at the MassMutual Center.
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Matt Gilroy skated from the slot to the right circle and slid a puck off of Falcons netminder Paul Dainton and just over the goal line just 2:23 into the action, giving Connecticut a 1-0 lead.
Sean Collins scored the first of his two goals on the afternoon to tie the game, 1-1. Collins took a feed on the doorstep from Ryan Johansen and jammed the puck past Whale goaltender Jason Missiaen at 6:29 of the first period, putting Springfield on the board.
Marek Hrivik collected a loose puck at the bottom of the left circle and flipped it past Dainton at 8:07 of the first, as Connecticut jumped back ahead, 2-1.
The Falcons applied consistent pressure in the second period and eventually broke through to even up the score again. Collins took a neutral-ice pass from David Savard, skated down the left-wing side, and flipped the puck by Missiaen at 15:11, making it 2-2. Savard extended his point streak to seven games (2g-6a) on the play, the longest by any Falcon this season.
Springfield continued to create chances in the third period with 13 shots, but could not get the puck past Missiaen.
With time winding down, Bourque snuck a shot from a sharp angle past Dainton's stick to give the Whale the stunning 3-2 victory at 19:44 of the final frame.
Dainton (1-2-1) set aside 23 of Connecticut's 26 attempts. Missiaen (2-2-0) relinquished two goals on 34 shots.
After taking to the road on Friday in Manchester, the Falcons welcome the Monarchs to the MassMutual Center on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 p.m. on Gary Rome Auto Group Night.
The game will begin with a ceremonial puck drop by Gary Rome, owner of Gary Rome Auto Group and one of the Falcons' valued corporate partners, along with his dog Jack. The first 3,000 fans into the building that night will receive a postcard with details about a Gary Rome Auto Group Facebook promotion, which includes a grand prize of dinner for two at Picks Restaurant, an overnight stay at the Sheraton Monarch Place, and tickets to a Falcons game. Visit GoToGary.com for details on Gary Rome Hyundai in Holyoke, Mass. and Gary Rome Kia in Enfield, Conn.
As part of the evening, fans are encouraged to bring a toy to donate to Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. The Toys for Tots bins will be located next to the Pride table in the concourse under section 29 and will be manned by on-site Marines. As an incentive to support this program, any fan who brings a toy for donation will receive a free ticket voucher for the Falcons' home game on Saturday, Dec. 15 when Springfield welcomes St. John's to the MassMutual Center at 7:30 p.m. (one voucher per person).
Fans will be invited to participate in a holiday sing-a-long during the intermissions. Santa Claus will also be venturing down from the North Pole to meet and greet Falcons fans and hang out with his friend Screech.
Single-game tickets to see the Falcons in 2012-2013 can be purchased at the MassMutual Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. through game time on Saturday home dates, and starting four hours prior to Sunday home contests. Fans can also purchase tickets by logging onto Ticketmaster.com. For information about discounted group packages to Falcons home games, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
The loss snapped Springfield's six-game home points streak, as the Falcons fell in regulation at The Nest for the first time since Oct. 20...The game was the 100th of Cam Atkinson's pro career and 400th of Ryan Craig's AHL career...The Falcons dropped to 2-1-0-0 against the Whale this season...Springfield went without a power-play goal for the fourth time in 17 games in 2012-2013...The Falcons and Whale each were 0/3 on power-play attempts...Springfield maintained its position in first place in the Northeast Division but fell to second in the Eastern Conference...Collins scored two goals in a game for the first time in his career