Hershey from afar: Liveblog

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No trip to the Land of Chocolate for us tonight, so we’ll be listening to Scott Stuccio and following Tim Leone, Corey and Scott. Eventually, the box should be here.

Scott Linesburgh reports the logical move from Stockton: Mike Dalhuisen is coming up.

Prescout early: Adirondack started at 5 in Albany and is leading in the first period behind Yann Danis, looking for win No. 6 in a row.

Bridgeport looks for No. 3 in about an hour and a half. More in a bit.

–Scott says to expect Nilsson vs. Grubauer.

–Corey tweets an ‘A’ for Brett Gallant tonight. Meanwhile, Tim says Miller’s in for Clark.

–From the tweets and stuff down there, they look something like:

BRIDGEPORT
F: Lee-Strome-Halmo
Diamond-Sundstrom (A)-Sim
Larson-Quine-Wetmore
Gallant (A)-Miller-Johnson
D: de Haan (A)-Cantin
Keenan-Mayfield
Pedan-Jackson
G: Nilsson
Reiter

HERSHEY
F: Whitmore-Stoa-Segal
Byers-Taffe-Wellman
Brittain-Watkins-Rechlicz
Walker-LeBlanc-Mitchell
D: Schilling-Strachan
Genoway-Carrick
Kolomatis-Kundratek
G: Grubauer
Leggio

R: Burchell, Mayer. L: Goodman, Trempe.

The alliterative-or-nearly-so D-pairings is an interesting strategy from Mike Haviland.

–Well then. At 18 seconds, the Bears take the lead on Strachan’s shot that’s deflected in by Dane Byers.

–Not the fastest goal ever against Bridgeport; that’s Ken Gernander, 12 seconds into the game Oct. 12, 2001, at Bridgeport, Game 4 for the Sound Tigers. Meanwhile, Scott mentioned that Rechlicz and Gallant were both on the ice, I heard a whistle, and I was kinda disappointed it was for the net coming off.

–Ah, Gallant-Rechlicz once again. Bombs away. Eagerly awaiting video.

–Segal-Larson after a Segal hit on Keenan; they say Segal gets the better of it. About three minutes in, they’d said Bridgeport hadn’t had the puck much, but now it’s turned around 11 minutes in; shots 8-2 Bridgeport.

–Best chances by Halmo and Wetmore on a Pedan slashing minor.

–Sounds like Cantin saves one on a four-on-four as a shot trickles through Nilsson.

–Still 1-0 Bears after one; shots 13-9 Bridgeport. Jon Sim involved and getting his props from the broadcast crew.

–Over in Albany: The Phantoms head toward Route 8 with a 2-0 win. Yann Danis made 28 saves.

–Haven’t watched this yet, but I’m sure tonight’s Hockey Night in Canada open was awesome as usual.

–Did watch this: Gallant-Rechlicz video. Yup. Second period is underway down there.

–Thomas Vanek’s out for the night for the Islanders with a reported upper-body injury.

–Will be a longish five-on-three as Mayfield called for a hold, then Larson gets a stick up on Taffe. Two-man advantage for 72 seconds. Power plays are 4-0.

–A save, a couple of shots wide, a de Haan pressure, and the five-on-three is done… but now Nilsson gets called for knocking the net off its moorings. Another five-on-three for 43 seconds.

–Sundstrom wins the draw off the hop, which helps get Larson back from the box. A few shots again, and a few wide, and Bridgeport gets through all three penalties.

–The Sound Tigers get their first power play in the closing seconds of the second period as Schilling whacks Halmo. It’ll carry over to the third; Hershey still leads 1-0.

–Had it in the back of my mind that one of tonight’s refs was the one who’d called Nilsson for that kind of delay-of-game minor last year in Manchester, then didn’t call Niklas Svedberg in Bridgeport for it. It wasn’t; it was Trevor Hanson. Darn it, back of my mind.

–Third period begins, and 49 seconds in, Halmo goes for holding the stick behind the play. So that first power play lasts 65 seconds.

–Sim for a high hit — yet another five-on-three coming.

–Sim’s called a check to the head. Nilsson pushes off the post again; no call this time.

–The Bears finally break through on their seventh power play, a deflection. The only minor consolation for Bridgeport is it comes after Halmo’s back. 2-0 Hershey.

–Hershey pushes ahead short-handed but doesn’t convert; Joey Diamond gets the routine power-play breakaway and scores to cut it to 2-1.

–At the end of yet another Hershey power play, and a long shift for the penalty killers, Nilsson again pushes off the post and takes it off. Scott (a goalie himself) doesn’t believe it.

–Bridgeport gets its own five-on-three, a short one. Didn’t know Francois St. Laurent was still working AHL games. About seven and a half minutes left.

–It continues. Sundstrom called at the tail end of the last Hershey minor.

–While Bridgeport fights through this ninth penalty kill, Matt Carkner has left the Islanders game, @StapeNewsday reports on Twitter. And then Riley Wetmore takes a puck to the jaw at the end of the kill.

–Tie game: Sundstrom backhand pass to Strome in the circle, and it’s 2-2 with 2:59 to play.

–With 1:42 to go, Strome shoots it right off the draw, then scuffles with Dane Byers. They each get unsportsmanlike minors. A little four-on-four to the wire, why not.

–Overtime; 18 seconds of three-on-three.

–Bonus Round No. 3. If we don’t see Joel Rechlicz, I will feel cheated.

–Apparently Johan Sundstrom skated over the puck in the sixth round, and Scott said Sundstrom touched it, but he’s getting a second chance, and Haviland’s furious. This should be fun. Nope, Sundstrom stopped. On they go.

–It takes 10 rounds before it ends. Hershey 3, Bridgeport 2, final (6-5 SO). Dane Byers yes, Brett Gallant no on a pokecheck in that last round. Sounds like a blast of a game. Big points for the PK.

–By the way, Wetmore played in overtime and took one of the penalty kicks, so apparently he was OK. Will double-check.

–Did I mention at all about how they’d been skating Wednesday, skating hard, and Pellerin saying (audible from the top of Wonderland) how they couldn’t possibly think it was going to be easy going into Hershey on a Saturday night? ‘Cause Pellerin brought it back up tonight, 18 seconds. “I warned ‘em. We all knew it was coming,” Pellerin said. “You look at a team that’s going to set up a forecheck. We try to set up a breakout. (I lost connection here.) We miss coverage by a half-step, and we’re down a goal 18 seconds into the game.”

But still. “We talked about character, grit and perseverance,” he said. They faced some adversity, being down and facing all those penalties. “We didn’t give up.” He said some guys were disappointed, thought they had chances to end it. He’s hoping they’ll be there to support each other.

On Brett Gallant, wearing the ‘A’: “Gally’s a special hockey player. He’s still improving. He plays a physical game, and he understands. He’s got great hockey sense. He’s really working on the fundamental skills he has to work on, and he’s really committed. … He had a great battle with Rechlicz. He played quality minutes in the first.” The second-period penalty parade kind of limited that.

He said he thought Wetmore had just been cut by that puck, no teeth lost or the like. And he said he hadn’t heard about any further moves.

Short turnaround. More tomorrow.

Michael Fornabaio

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