Falcons pull out overtime win in Game 1

Game 1 (OT)

Cody Bass redirected home a Ryan Russell feed 10:36 into overtime as the Springfield Falcons ended a decade-long playoff drought with a 2-1 win over the Manchester Monarchs in Game 1 of the teams’ Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Saturday night.

The dramatic win came in the Falcons’ first postseason game since Apr. 21, 2003.

The first half of the game was scoreless, and then Springfield defenseman Blake Parlett was hooked on a breakaway as he came out of the penalty box. He converted on the ensuing penalty shot at 10:25 of the second period to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.

That advantage held up until Brian O’Neill deflected a Nick Deslauriers point shot past Curtis McElhinney at 11:11 of the third period.

McElhinney (1-0) finished with 29 saves for Springfield. Martin Jones (0-1) stopped 33 of 35 shots for Manchester, which fell to 4-11 all-time in Game 1’s.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series is Sunday afternoon (4 ET) in Springfield.