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Falcons Rally to Defeat Pirates

April 16, 2016 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Falcons News Release

Springfield, MA - Christian Fischer scored late in regulation to tie the game and Dakota Mermis scored in overtime as the Springfield Falcons topped the Portland Pirates 3-2 on Saturday night at the MassMutual Center.

The Falcons opened the scoring compliments of a nifty play on the man advantage. Craig Cunningham fed Brendan Shinnimin, who posted a shot on Pirates goalie, Sam Brittain. The rebound found Fischer who fired a shot into the back of the net for his first career professional goal at 7:28. Falcons' goaltender Adin Hill stopped all eight shots in the frame as Springfield carried a 1-0 lead into the second period.

Portland evened the game early in the middle frame thanks to a shorthanded tally. After a turnover in the offensive zone by Kyle Wood, Wade Megan and John McFarland entered the Springfield zone on a two-on-one. Hill turned aside McFarland's shot but Megan deposited the rebound for his 14th of the season at 3:36. The Pirates took the lead just over seven minutes later when MacKenize Weegar fired the puck from the slot. The blast hit both posts, bounced off Hill and moved into the back of the net. Weegar's seventh, scored at 10:46, was assisted by Rihards Bukarts and Cameron Gaunce.

Springfield's power play came alive again at the 9:46 mark of the third period to even the score. Cunningham fed Alex Grant at the point, allowing him to unleash a bomb that was tipped past Brittain by Fischer for his second goal of the night. The tally forced overtime which both teams haven't seen in almost a month.

In overtime, Springfield wasted no time collecting the extra point as Cunningham left the puck for Mermis on a zone-entry. Mermis made a nifty move around a Pirate defender and ripped a shot over Brittain's shoulder for his third of the season. The game winner, scored just 29 seconds into overtime, also saw Tyler Gaudet notch an assist. Hill made 27 saves for his first professional victory which pushed his record to 1-2-0. Brittain stopped 24 shots in the loss which downed his record to 8-10-3 on the year.

The Falcons finish the regular season tomorrow at 5 p.m. against the Portland Pirates for Cancer Awareness Night. The team will wear specialty jerseys with a silent auction held on the concourse until the second intermission. Once the second intermission begins, a live auction will commence on the concourse outside Fan Relations (Section 28). The proceeds for the jersey auction will be donated to the Griffin's Friends.

To reserve your seats, call 413-739-GOAL (4625) or visit the team office inside the MassMutual Center Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For all the latest Falcons information and updates, follow the Birds at www.falconsahl.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/falconsahl and on Twitter (@TheFalconsAHL) using #YourTownYourTeam.

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