Falcons outlast Bruins in overtime, take 1-0 series lead

credit: Springfield Falcons

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP/FALCONS) – The Springfield Falcons defeated the Providence Bruins by the final score of 3-2 in overtime Wednesday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five, Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

For the box score, Click Here.

Fans gave the team an enthusiastic sendoff, lining up outside the Basketball Hall of Fame Wednesday night. They want everyone to know that their team is in the running for a Calder Cup Championship.

Springfield Falcons President Sarah Pompea told 22News, “We have a very strong team. We have a lot of character and veterans on our team, and we’re hoping for a long playoff push. I hope we’re playing well into June.”

Andrew Joudrey scored the game-winning goal 2:21 into overtime, firing a wrist shot from the right-wing circle past Providence netminder Niklas Svedberg. For Joudrey, it was the fourth goal and second overtime game-winner of his AHL postseason career. The Bedford, Nova Scotia native has totaled 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 71 career AHL playoff games.

After falling behind, 1-0, after 20 minutes of play, the Falcons rebounded with two goals in the second period. Jean-Francois Jacques found the back of the net at the 2:46 mark, one-timing a cross-ice feed from rookie Marko Dano to even the score at 1-1.

Springfield took a 2-0 edge at 16:14 of the middle frame when Ryan Craig redirected a Patrick McNeill shot from the point past Svedberg. Craig now has 22 points and seven goals in 33 career AHL playoff games.

Providence evened the score at 2-2 with 12:17 remaining in the third period, as forward Ryan Spooner notched his third career playoff goal. The Bruins first goal, a power-play tally scored at the 13:41 mark of the opening period, was registered by defenseman David Warsofsky.

Mike McKenna made 35 saves on 37 shots in net for the Falcons, earning the win and improving to 4-8 in his AHL postseason career. Svedberg stopped 31 of 34 shots faced in a losing effort for Providence.

The Falcons went 0-for-6 on the power play in Game 1 Wednesday night, while the Bruins went 1-for-7.

With the victory, Springfield holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five, Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series with three of the four potential remaining games at home. The Falcons are now 5-8 all-time in Game 1 playoff matchups in the team’s 20-year history.

The series now shifts to Springfield for Game 2 and Game 3, scheduled for Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, respectively. Both games begin at the MassMutual Center at 7:00 p.m.

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