In attendance for ’80s Night at the Arena at Harbor Yard: pop star Cyndi Lauper. (Seriously!)
Not in attendance: the kind of precision that had helped Bridgeport win six in a row.
Like Friday, just little things that turn into big things. Failures to clear the zone that end up in bad-angle shots that somehow sneak through. Two-on-ones. Breakaways. Failures to clear the zone — to clear the zone for nearly two minutes against the fourth line, no less — that end up in the back of the net.
And here come the Penguins.
I’m not going to say that the defense is getting worn out yet, although playing three in three, then four in five, with a shortened defense corps is not conducive to getting first-rate results every night. But right now, four of the team’s top six are out. Joel Bouchard has been out since the first period of the season. Allan Rourke missed a month and has returned to play these seven games in 10 days, quite often playing every other shift. Jody Robinson is gone for the year. Ryan Caldwell has missed the whole of this mess. Paul Flache has been out with the concussion since the middle of Wednesday night. Mike Jarmuth and Jeff State have done yeoman’s work, but they’re being used in limited roles, which means the current top four has to play a lot.
The opening-night pairs were Bouchard-Bruno Gervais, Rourke-Robinson and Caldwell-Flache. Macri was in reserve, Jarmuth was in Trenton, Jarrett was at forward and State was in a different part of the state.
Two of those original six dressed Friday and Saturday. Patching the holes, filling the gaps, bringing the kids along: Keeping this thing above water is an accomplishment.
Random Ex-File: John Morlang got sent back to Reading late this week, but Saturday he got the call to Hershey, where he attended training camp. He went with Josh Gratton tonight, his second fight against the Phantoms in his career. (Ben Eager last year.)
And a note from the box score for the completists: Norm Milley was hit with an interference minor at the buzzer tonight, and I missed it when I sent the box score to the paper.
F: Bergenheim-Smith (A)-Collins
F: Craig (C)-Jaspers-Milley
D: O’Brien-Tiley (A)
And even more randomly, since I obliquely brought up the subject a while ago: Congratulations to the Bears of Brown, who won their first outright Ivy League football championship Saturday. (Didn’t get to Macri tonight.) Only two of the eight have yet to win one outright. One is Cornell, which has shared the title three times. The other, the team Brown pummelled Saturday at Baker Field to clinch, the school that split a championship with Harvard 44 years ago… well, that’s my alma mater grand. Our boys are fighting, and they are bound to win someday… (Oh well. At least they’ve won a Rose Bowl.)