Cody Bass had scored just two goals in a frustrating season that was beset by injuries, but he made up for lost time in a big way this weekend.
The rugged winger sent a backhander through the five-hole of Manchester goaltender Martin Jones with 1:16 remaining in the first overtime session, handing the Springfield Falcons a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five opening round series. The goal came minutes after the Falcons saw a golden power play opportunity fizzle out, but they continued to apply the pressure inside the Monarchs zone.
It was Bass' second consecutive overtime goal, as he also tallied the winner in Game 1 on Saturday night. According to AHL media relations, Bass is the third player in league history to score back-to-back overtime goals in the Calder Cup playoffs.
And much like Saturday night's game, this was a very competitive and energetic tilt that featured several momentum swings, the majority of which were neutralized by Falcons goaltender Curtis McElhinney. The 30-year-old veteran was a rock between the pipes for Springfield, making 41 saves including a handful of big ones in the third period and in sudden death.
Dublin native Trent Vogelhuber opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal early in the second period, finishing a terrific set-up from Ryan Russell at 2:49. The Monarchs had an answer, though, and scored two straight goals to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. At the time, things looked pretty good for Manchester with Jones playing solid between the pipes - but the Falcons got a big lift from their power play in the third period.
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault set up David Savard's first goal of the playoffs at 7:11 of the third period to draw Springfield even at 2-2, and the Falcons had a few chances to take the lead shortly thereafter.
It seemed fitting that one of the Falcons' emotional leaders scored another big goal for them, and as a result, they've got a stranglehold on the series. Up next is Game 3 on Thursday night at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, where the Monarchs will be looking to stave off elimination.
Stay tuned to BlueJackets.com for continuing coverage of the Falcons in the Calder Cup playoffs.
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