It showed up again in a four-on-four again, Scott Pellerin said: When they need a big play, a big stop, a big moment, it has not been there in these first seven games.
They led for the first time in five games — they scored first for the first time — but it turned out to be their shortest lead of the young season. (It’s kind of easy to check, as it was only their third lead.)
They will take a few things out of this one. “I thought our compete level was there,” Pellerin said. “The guys were focused. In the first period, the forecheck, I thought was pretty heavy.”
Hartford pushed back, though, and carried things for a while. It took two goals in 20 seconds to even that out. Same two guys in front, too: Mike Halmo and Anders Lee. They were the same two guys in front on Aaron Ness’ goal in the first period.
In fact, they were the same two guys in front on a power play in the second period; Jason Missaien stopped a tip from one of them, then stopped Halmo’s sprawling rebound. Not long after that, Aaron Johnson cleared the puck, it bounced to the front of Kenny Reiter’s net as Reiter went behind the net to play the puck, and Marek Hrivik made it 3-1.
But we were talking about Halmo.
“He’s playing his game. His conditioning level is elevated,” Pellerin said, calling him one of the bright spots.
“He’s going to the net, and he’s getting rewarded. He’s quickly becoming a leader of our team with his work ethic.”
Lee was right there with him. “Anders is a big, strong kid,” Halmo said. “He’s hard to move in front. He plays to his assets.”
It got them three goals. But Bridgeport gave up two more than that.
The Sound Tigers have played 429 minutes, 16 seconds this season. They’ve led for 34:13.
Rick DiPietro, wearing No. 31, returns in a 5-2 loss. The last was an empty-netter; 25 saves.
Roadgeekery plus radio geekery plus baseball equals one pretty neat story out of the Times.
And I won’t say anything just yet, Red Sox fans. But soon, I take it.