Six power plays? Six Hershey power plays in the first 14 minutes?
The first four, all on a different defenseman? They were a Mike Cornell and a Mike Dalhuisen penalty away from completing the set.
“It taxes the guys so much,” Scott Pellerin said. “I was looking after the second period, and (Matt) Donovan had 20 minutes of ice time, and he’s just one example. It takes a lot out of your team. That’s why you try to balance it out later in the game.”
A month ago, this thing’d have been like 4-0 by the middle of the first, no? It’d be one disaster after another.
“Doug Holewa has done a great job to continue to teach the fundamentals, the foundation of our kill,” Pellerin added.
No one-disaster-after-another tonight. Instead, they’re blocking shots like it’s going out of style, and they’re shaking off the one goal Hershey did bury.
“Talk about unsung heroes, (Chris) Bruton, some of those guys, eating pucks, getting bruised,” Strome said.
Kenny Reiter remains solid; remains humble, too, passing the credit to the guys in front of him. He and the PK kept this thing a game as the parade happened.
And then, jeez, the power play. This whole thing was like the inverse of November. Great PK. And a great power play that scored three times.
“We’re on a roll right now,” Anders Lee said. “Things are clicking.
“We’re on the same page.”
Strome got the first of his four points (his second four-point game this year, including the five-point night in Worcester, taking over the AHL scoring lead) on a five-on-three, though he missed the net with his own one-timer; Johan Sundstrom fed the puck across the goal mouth to Jon Sim.
The next two were almost carbon copies, Matt Donovan to Strome on the left half-wall, Strome shot, Leggio save, Lee rebound.
“They play to their strengths,” Pellerin said. “Lee’s a strong individual in front. He’s got a good stick. Stromer’s able to find seams, to find those passing lanes, and get pucks to that area. They’ve been able to have that success.”
First time I’d seen Reiter since Wednesday, so had to ask. “It’s always special to get a shutout, and it just means a lot to get one at this level,” he said. “It kind of felt like getting the win, that first win a week or two earlier. I’ve got to give credit to everyone else. The guys played really well this week.”
Well enough, in fact, that with Hartford’s loss to Springfield, the Sound Tigers are no longer in last place in the Berkshire League. (The teams meet again in Hartford tomorrow, so that could change in less than 24 hours, but still.)
Pellerin said Marc Cantin is day-to-day after taking that shot in the ear yesterday. No real change on the others; he said Sean Escobedo wasn’t available.
And at this writing, the AHL scoring lead: (1) Ryan Strome, Bpt, 9-24-33; (2) Colton Sceviour, Tex, 18-12-30; (3) Travis Morin, Tex, 11-18-29.