BY: Brian Ring
Scott Tanski scored twice for the Whale and Tommy Grant added three assists in the win, while Phil Ginand assisted on both of Springfield’s goals for the Falcons.
“It wasn’t a giant deviation from what we look for every night,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “They just happened to do it rather well tonight and cashed in on their chances.
The Whale had jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead just 26 seconds into the first, as Kelsey Tessier crashed the net and beat Springfield goaltender Mike Spillane (18 saves) off a pass from Grant.
Tanski’s first goal extended the lead to 2-0 on a nice tip-in in front of Spillane, as Grant earned his second assist of the night on a pass from the corner. T.J. Fast also assisted on the play.
Connecticut extended its lead to 3-0 6:08 into the second period, as Jordan Owens beat Spillane high to the blocker side for his first goal since returning to Hartford’s AHL club. Kale Kerbashian earned his second point in as many nights with the assist.
Tanski and Grant connected again with 1:24 left into the second period. Falcons goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson (12 saves) stopped Grant’s initial bid, but Grant found Tanski with a pass in the slot for the 4-0 advantage. Tessier recorded his second point of the night with the secondary assist.
“You’re getting opportunities, you’re getting looks, you’ve got to make the most of it,” said Gernander of Tanski, an undrafted right wing who had spent the last four seasons with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL.
Springfield closed the gap to 4-1 just 41 seconds into the third frame, when Tom Mele scored on Whale goaltender Jerry Kuhn (17 saves). Phil Ginand and Obi Aduba assisted on Mele’s goal on Kuhn, who had replaced Connecticut starter Cam Talbot (11 saves) midway through the second period.
Wade MacLeod scored for the Falcons on the power-play to draw Springfield within a pair at 4-2 at the 9:44 mark of the third. Ginand recorded his second assist of the night and Dalton Prout also assisted on MacLeod’s tally.
Connecticut will finish its preseason slate against the Worcester Sharks, with games Friday at Quinnipiac University’s TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden (7:00 PM faceoff) and Sunday at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell (2:00 PM faceoff).
Connecticut Whale 4 at Springfield Falcons 2
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 – MassMutual Center
Connecticut 2 2 0 – 4
Springfield 0 0 2 – 2
1st Period-1, Connecticut, Tessier 3 (Grant), 0:26. 2, Connecticut, Tanski 1 (Grant), 8:16. Penalties-Grimaldi Spr (high-sticking), 4:09; Chappell Ct (holding), 16:45; Grant Ct (roughing), 20:00; Mele Spr (roughing), 20:00.
2nd Period-3, Connecticut, Owens 1 (Kerbashian), 6:08. 4, Connecticut, Tanski 2 (Grant, Tessier), 18:36. Penalties-Wilson Ct (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 2:46; Bogosian Spr (fighting), 2:46; Kearney Spr (hooking), 6:35; Grimaldi Spr (clipping), 9:13.
3rd Period-5, Springfield, Mele 1 (Ginand, Aduba), 0:41. 6, Springfield, MacLeod 1 (Prout, Ginand), 9:44 (PP). Penalties-Bogosian Spr (high-sticking), 0:44; Chappell Ct (hooking), 9:31; Kundratek Ct (delay of game), 19:27.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 13-14-7-34. Springfield 9-8-13-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 3; Springfield 1 / 4.
Goalies-Connecticut, Talbot 1-0-0 (11 shots-11 saves); Kuhn (19 shots-17 saves). Springfield, Spillane 0-1-0 (21 shots-18 saves); Mahoney-Wilson (13 shots-12 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46).
Linesmen-Jim Briggs (83), Chris Millea (33).