Ends, to seasons and careers

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(Covered my first game since Game 76 tonight. Lacrosse. It ended 19-2. A little different.)

Binghamton took a lead to the third. The Penguins scored three, one into an empty net, before the Senators tacked on a goal in the final seconds, too late to avoid a sweep at the Penguins’ hands. Trevor Smith and Dylan Reese move on at the expense of Nathan Lawson.

Another sweep completed tonight in Portland: Ondrej Palat tied it late (back from 3-1 down in the last seven minutes), then won it on a rebound with 16.2 seconds left: Syracuse sweeps the Pirates. Had Palat’s potential goal been allowed in overtime back in Game 1, he’d be on that list with Cody Bass.

Speaking of Springfield, Manchester stayed alive behind a late-second-period David Meckler goal and 32 Martin Jones saves. They’re back at it Saturday, which is also when Hershey goes for the sweep against Portland.

The Worlds get going for Nino Niederreiter and Switzerland on Friday (afternoon our time; thanks, IIHF time-zone check-box!) against Sweden. Theoretical Islanders prospect Kirill Petrov is on Russia’s roster. A few officials are familiar as well.

And Notre Dame-West Haven’s Bill Gerosa retired today after 24 years as a varsity hockey coach, the last 15 with the Green Knights. A class act, and to hear him talk about one of his mentors today, you can see where it came from. Gotta share this story Gerosa was telling today. He was in Colorado Springs earning his USA Hockey masters certification, 1987; he’d just got the Guilford job. He walks into the cafeteria and who’s there but Bob Johnson and, saying hello, Tim Taylor, with whom he worked with Yale Youth Hockey.

The next day, there are two speakers, Lou Vairo and Taylor. Gerosa gets himself into the front row, introduces himself to the guy sitting next to him, who’s in from Toledo. He looks around the crowd, sees Terry O’Reilly, sees coaches from the Swedish national team — “I mean, it’s the hoity-toity,” Gerosa said. Taylor, going to the podium, says “Bill, how are you?” The guy from Toledo’s in awe: “He knows you?” Gerosa laughs now, telling the story. But it gets better: At the end of Taylor’s talk, Gerosa asks him a question, “about regrouping in the neutral zone.” Taylor answers the question, starts adding something, looks over to Gerosa and says, “you know this, but…” and then goes on for the benefit of the rest of the class.

Gerosa said he sat there, a young coach from Connecticut in a crowd with the elite of the sport, and Taylor had just made him feel 10 feet tall.

I imagine there are a lot of similar Taylor stories, considering what’s been said about him lately. I imagine a bunch of us have some similar Gerosa stories, too.

Michael Fornabaio

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