Joensuu scores a goal and an assist to put Sound Tigers in a tie for 1st place in the Eastern Conference
In only his first professional season, Jesse Joensuu hit the 20-goal mark last night and also added an assist to lead the Sound Tigers to a 4-3 victory over the Springfield Falcons. Micheal Haley, Jon Sim and Junior Lessard had the other three tallies for the Sound Tigers. Nathan Lawson was in goal for the Sound Tigers and stopped 26 or the 29 shots he faced to earn his 17th win of the season. Ryan Potulny scored twice and Shane Willis recorded his fifth goal of the season to round out the scoring for the Falcons. The Sound Tigers now pull into a two-way tie with the Hershey Bears for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 48-23-3-5, giving them 104 points.
Haley opened the scoring 3:22 into the first period, to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead. Rob Hennigar fed a pass to Haley skating into the Falcons’ zone where he snapped a shot from the top of the left circle that snuck through Springfield net-minder, Devan Dubnyk for his fifth goal of the season. With 2:52 remaining in the opening frame, Potulny evened the score at one, with his 36th tally of the season. Ryan Stone and Jordan Eberle had the assists on the goal, knotting the score at 1-1.
Less than a minute into the second period, the Sound Tigers would take a 2-1 lead on Sim’s 13th goal of the season, extending his point-scoring streak to six games. Chris Lee fired a shot on goal, but crashing the net was Sim to grab the puck and wrist it over the right pad of Dubnyk. Mike Iggulden also had an assist on the power-play goal. Lessard would give the Sound Tigers the two-goal lead 39 seconds later with his 13th goal of the season. Joensuu dropped the puck for Ben Walter below the goal-line where he sent a behind-the-back pass to Lessard in front. Lessard snapped a shot low to the stick side of Dubnyk to give the Sound Tigers a 3-1 lead. Springfield would trim the Sound Tigers’ lead to 3-2 when Willis redirected a shot by Charles Linglet past Lawson for his fifth marker this year. Stone had the second assist on the goal. Joensuu and the Sound Tigers would regain their two-goal lead at the 14:56 mark of the middle frame. Joe Callahan fired a shot on Dubnyk that he made the initial on, but Joensuu was on the door-step to backhand the loose puck past Dubnyk, giving him 20 goals this season and the Sound Tigers a 4-2 lead. Lawson contributed with his second assist this season on the goal. Potulny would pull the Falcons back within a goal when he scored his team-leading 37th tally of the season with a minute remaining in the second period. Stone had the lone assist on Potulny’s shorthanded goal to make the score 4-3 entering the third period.
Lawson faced his heaviest barrage of shots in the final 20 minutes of play, turning aside all 13 shots to earn the win. Dubnyk made 27 saves on 31 shots for the Falcons. The Sound Tigers were 1-for-6 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty-kill.
The Sound Tigers will conclude their 2008-09 regular season tonight when they skate against the Lowell Devils. Face-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Arena at Harbor Yard. The Sound Tigers will play their first two home games of the Calder Cup Playoffs on Friday, April 17th and Saturday April 18th at the Nassau Coliseum. For tickets or information on any upcoming Sound Tiger games, contact the team’s front office at (203) 334-GOAL or e-mail email@example.com.