Sorry for the delay. Finishing up that “moving” stuff. Sigh. Anyway. You don’t care.
Per Corey, same lineup, but different lines:
Scott Wedgewood for the Devils in net.
Later on, Prescout. Game on in Albany.
–Fourth line, first goal: Justin Johnson takes through the left circle, puts to the net to Riley Wetmore, Nick Larson finds the rebound for his second goal at 3:04.
–Albany ties it on a Langkow trip: Sislo from the left circle off Tim Sestito’s faceoff win. Tied at 6:13.
–Kind of a funny answer for the Sound Tigers on their own first power play. Jackson tried to find Halmo in the slot; he was tied up by Chris McKelvie, so the puck got through to Mike Keenan, just on for a changing Matt Donovan, at the backdoor for his second goal. 2-1 Bridgeport about 12 minutes into the first.
–Cantin overskates a dump-in, and Reid Boucher collects in the left circle and fires it post-and-in to tie it again at 15:20.
–Takes the Devils 46 seconds to take the lead. Tim Sestito sets the screen, then scores on the rebound.
–Albany goes to the room with a 4-2 lead after one. Reece Scarlett scores a power-play goal (Mayfield roughing) with 2.9 seconds left, from the center point through Sestito’s screen.
–On a Lee penalty, Chris Bruton goes off favoring his left leg, Phil reports.
–Quine skates it all around the Albany zone, around the right circle, down the slot and scores his first pro goal. 4-3 Albany at 4:24 of the second. (Stefan Matteau might get a charge out of that time.) Chris Bruton’s back, Phil says.
–Sislo gets his second of the night on the right wing, led ahead by Kelly Zajac after the Devils won a couple of battled back in their zone. 5-3, mid second.
–Donovan takes it from the left point, around the net, to the right point, cross-ice, back to the left half-wall… he puts it to the front, and Bruton tips it to make it 5-4 with 4:05 left in the second. Not long after, Mike Cornell takes a big hit that shatters a pane of glass to the left of the Bridgeport bench. They’ll take an early intermission to fix the glass.
–Tie game yet again, just 19 seconds after they start again. Lee and Halmo battle along the left-wing boards with a couple of Devils. One pushes it along, but Strome gets it back to Donovan for his first AHL goal this year. 5-5. The Devils soon after go to a power play.
–Phil notes that his scoresheet has room for only 13 goals. That would break a team record for combined goals. Soon after, Donovan clears, the Devils regroup quickly, Pesonen fires wide, and Matteau one-times the carom off the endboards to make it 6-5 Albany.
Shots after two are officially 24-12 Albany and 14-3 in the period. Yes, Bridgeport scored three goals in the period. They’ll turn around and start the third.
–There’s Goal 12 and a 7-5 deficit: Donovan gives one away in the neutral zone, Matteau takes it in alone and puts it around Kenny Reiter’s left skate.
–McKelvie, out of the box after Bridgeport’s second power play, scores on the rush on a give-and-go with Tim Sestito to make it 8-5, a new Bridgeport record for combined goals and one shy of the team record for goals allowed. Parker Milner comes in to replace Reiter… But then off the draw, Langkow pushes it forward, Bruton gives it to Larson, and Larson scores from the top of the left circle, six seconds after McKelvie’s. It’s 8-6. Yeah.
–Last minute in Albany, and I looked up during a time out, and I don’t believe what I just saw on TV: what looked like a 109-yard return (not officially in college) of a missed field goal. In overtime. Auburn beats Alabama. Holy cro.
Game’s over. Albany 8, Bridgeport 6, final.
–It appears to be the end of regulation now; thought I’d seen that earlier. Time put back? I don’t know. Supposedly covering hockey here.
–You’re welcome, Phil!
–Bridgeport credited with three shots in each of the second and third. Six shots in 40 minutes.
–This is the one-quarter mark of the season, BTW, 19 games. Bridgeport’s previous worst 19-game start: 2007-08, 7-11-1-0. Game 19 was six years ago tonight in Binghamton. Joey MacDonald fought Danny Bois. (Bridgeport took 51 shots in regulation the next night against Lowell and five more in overtime before winning in a shootout; 57 is the franchise record for SOG. That’d be one heck of a turnaround if they repeated that tomorrow.)
–Wondered if at any point Pellerin thought about a goaltending change. He said he gathered the team and the defensemen early in the third and said, “‘Kenny’s shutting the door; we’ve got to make smart plays.’ All of a sudden there’s a turnover, a breakaway, and they scored. At the time I (was) second-guessing myself. I believed in it at the time. I thought we had a chance to win the game, crazy as the game was.”
Truly, no lead was safe, but that was partly because, “and it’s the part that hurts me most, some guys got outworked, outcompeted, didn’t show up.” When they made mistakes, Albany capitalized: He said he’d talked about puck-management, and two Albany goals came off turnovers. They made critical errors on the PK and didn’t block shots. “There were times we were one goal out. We needed to have a response. We just weren’t able to take that step.”
Two things I hadn’t caught. One, Pellerin mentioned, was that John Persson didn’t play the last half of the game; back to upper-body, day-to-day for him, it appears. The other, he didn’t mention, is that the ECHL transactions this afternoon had Reading loaning defenseman Mike Banwell to Bridgeport. That’s presumably a PTO tomorrow, getting them to seven defensemen with Sean Escobedo out.
I was reminded that I hadn’t seen the daily transactions post in part because, after I asked if there were any changes to the injury/illness list, he said “I don’t have a lot to pick from. That’s the frustrating part for me. … I’d say a lot of guys would be sitting. They’re not playing at the level I believe they should be playing at.”
It’s only the Eastern Conference’s leader coming in tomorrow.