FALCONS FORCE OVERTIME LATE, EARN POINT
Springfield, Mass. - Ryan Johansen's goal with 27.1 seconds left in regulation helped the Springfield Falcons (14-5-2-3) secure a point in a 3-2 overtime defeat to the St. John's IceCaps (12-14-0-1) at the MassMutual Center on Saturday night.
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Johansen's dramatic goal kept the Falcons six points in front of Bridgeport for first place in the Northeast Division, as the Sound Tigers dropped a shootout decision to the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday.
Sean Collins redirected a Michael Chaput shot 10:29 into the contest to give Springfield a 1-0 lead. Collins positioned himself in the slot and deflected the puck with the shaft of his stick by St. John's netminder Eddie Pasquale as the Falcons struck first.
With the IceCaps on a power play, Spencer Machacek at 18:34 of the first collected a puck in the slot, held it as he skated toward the left post, and backhanded the puck by Allen York, making his 2012-2013 AHL debut in net for the Falcons, to tie the game, 1-1.
After a scoreless middle frame, Ray Sawada notched the IceCaps' second power-play goal of the game as St. John's grabbed a 2-1 advantage. Sawada found the puck in the slot and backhanded it by York's stick at 5:07 to provide the IceCaps with their first lead.
With York pulled late, Springfield fended off multiple St. John's attempts at the empty net. A blocked pass by Jonathan Audy-Marchessault in the final minute kept the game within reach for the Falcons. Cam Atkinson sent a puck toward the goal as the Falcons converged on Pasquale, and as it squirted free in the crease, Johansen backhanded a shot in at 19:32, pushing the game to overtime.
Ivan Telegin finished off a two-on-one in front 56 seconds into sudden-death, driving in a Ben Chiarot feed to clinch the contest for St. John's, 3-2.
York (0-1-0), who played in five games recently with the ECHL's Evansville IceMen for his first action of the season before rejoining Springfield, stopped 21 of 24 IceCaps shots in his first appearance with the Falcons since Dec. 21, 2011. Pasquale (7-8-1) made 21 saves on 23 Springfield bids.
The Falcons finish off their three-in-three stretch on Sunday in Manchester against the Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
After venturing to Portland and Hershey, the Falcons return home on Thursday, Dec. 27 to host the Albany Devils at the MassMutual Center.
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).
Springfield is winless in five overtime appearances this season (0-2 in sudden-death overtime, 0-3 in shootouts)...The Falcons are one of two teams in the AHL along with the Albany Devils (0-6 in shootouts) to have not won past regulation this season...Springfield's last sudden-death overtime win was on Nov. 16, 2011 against Worcester...With an assist on Johansen's tying goal, Atkinson extended his point streak to seven games (6g-6a)...Nick Drazenovic's point streak ended at six games (2g-5a)...The Falcons last won a game following regulation on Mar. 23, 2012 versus Bridgeport, beating the Sound Tigers that night in a shootout...Springfield was 0/3 on the power play, while St. John's was 2/6...The Falcons have gone consecutive games without a power-play goal for the first time this season...Springfield is winless in its last four home games (0-2-1-1) and has not earned a victory at the MassMutual Center since Nov. 11