"Obviously their goalie has to make the saves," the Bridgeport coach said, and Springfield Falcons goalie Paul Dainton made 28 of them. "We didn't finish. I put the pressure on our guys. We didn't finish our chances."
Bridgeport had Dainton scrambling on the doorstep without a stick late in the first period. The Sound Tigers had a three-on-one in the second.
"I had a couple (of chances) on the doorstep," Brock Nelson said. "I kind of fanned on one. One was bouncing."
Bridgeport, short-handed up front after winning its past two games, didn't put one past Dainton until Jack Combs' power-play goal with 29 seconds left.
By that time a few good bounces had given the Falcons an easy win and a 12-point lead over the defending Northeast Division champions. Two Falcons goals went in off Bridgeport defenders, and Pellerin thought the Sound Tigers deserved better on the other two.
"We've just got to forget about it," Pellerin said.
Attendance was 4,778.
"That got them in the game," Pellerin said. "The first period, we outchanced them 6-2, and they led 1-0. But we're still in the game. We're still generating offense."
With 6:36 left in the second and the Falcons on a power play, Wade MacLeod's pass hit Scott Campbell's stick at the top of the right circle. As nine players and Poulin looked to the left side, the puck, as if in slow-motion, beelined for the right post. It hit the post, trickled along the goal line and went in.
"We executed a drop pass, the guy (Springfield's Nick Drazenovic) gets a stick on it, two-on-one, we backcheck hard. It happens to lay in the slot, and the defenseman puts it crossbar-in."
Bridgeport played without injured Johan Sundstrom and Matt Watkins, both of whom have played center. Jack Combs moved to the middle, and Sean Backman took some shifts there as well. Without the ill Max MacKay, defenseman Jordan Hill played a few shifts at left wing.
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1. PAUL DAINTON, SPRINGFIELD: Made the first 28 saves.
2. NICK DRAZENOVIC, SPRINGFIELD: Scored a goal and set up another.
3. NICK HOLDEN, SPRINGFIELD: Scored as a trailer on the rush, got another in the third.
UNSUNG HERO: Bridgeport's Jack Combs moved to center and broke up Dainton's shutout late.
UP NEXT: Friday at Norfolk, 7:30 p.m.
-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO
Springfield 1 2 1--4
Bridgeport 0 0 1--1
First Period -- 1, Springfield, Drazenovic 13 (Craig, Audy-Marchessault), 3:12 (pp). Penalties -- McIver, Bpt (interference), 3:00; Weber, Spr (cross-checking), 6:29; Weber, Spr (holding), 19:06.
Second Period -- 2, Springfield, MacLeod 2, 13:24 (pp). 3, Springfield, Holden 3 (Drazenovic), 18:44 (sh). Penalties -- Donovan, Bpt (boarding), 11:45; Prout, Spr (tripping), 16:50.
Third Period -- 4, Springfield, Holden 4 (Russell), 9:14. 5, Bridgeport, Combs 2 (Nelson, Donovan), 19:31. Penalties -- Nelson, Bpt (interference), 1:28; Halmo, Bpt (interference), 12:24; Weber, Spr (hooking), 19:16.
Missed penalty shot -- Russell, Spr, :40 second.
Shots on goal -- Springfield 7-11-8--26. Bridgeport 13-8-8--29.
Power play opportunities -- Springfield 2 of 4, Bridgeport 1 of 4.
Goaltenders -- Springfield, Dainton 3-3-1 (29 shots-28 saves). Bridgeport, Poulin 12-9-2 (26-22).
Attendance -- 4,778. Referees -- T. Koharski, Leduc. men -- Simeon, Wahl.