New Year’s Rockin’ Liveblog 2013-14

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We’re back home in Connecticut while the Sound Tigers are up in Maine, so we’ll give a listen to Jeff Mannix (video here) and follow Chris Roy, Jeff, the Pirates and as always Corey on Twitter. The box will be here.

Bridgeport sent Sean Escobedo down to Stockton yesterday; he’s finally fully healthy, at least, so they’ll get him back playing. He hadn’t played since his one game in mid-November, banged up that night and then hurt in practice soon after.

Phoenix has called up Chris Brown; meanwhile, the Yotes sent Gilbert Brule down, but Brule did not report and is suspended.

Some links: Great Kyle Okposo story from Arthur Staple. Our annual BST Trivia post is up (hopefully improved from last year). And Justin Bourne, whose Systems Analyst posts are always awesome, counts down the 10 most blatant defensive meltdowns of the year.

Meanwhile, at this writing we’re pumped for the third period of USA-Canada from the World Juniors, streaming live.

More later on.

–Bummer of an ending (for an American). Heck of a game.

–The L.A. Times reports Jonathan Quick could go to Manchester for a rehab assignment when he’s back from his groin injury. Bridgeport is in Manchester on Jan. 10.

–Nilsson vs. Louis Domingue, per the tweets.

–Via Corey, the lineup, with Kabanov back in for Devos:

BRIDGEPORT
F: Lee-A. Clark-Halmo
Bouchard-Quine-Diamond
Persson-Langkow-Bruton (C)
Gallant (A)-Lowry-Kabanov
D: Donovan (A)-Cornell
Jackson-Mayfield
Cantin-Vaughan
G: Nilsson
Reiter

PORTLAND, from Chris Roy:
F: McMillian-Miele-Todd
Lessio-Shinnimin-Szwarz
Reider-Martinook-Yip
Dzuirzynski-Hextall-(Louis-scratch)/Veilleux
D: Jones-Summers
Gormley-Melindy
Brodeur-Brisebois
G: Domingue
Visentin

R: T.Koharski, Sylvain. L: T.Whittemore, Dussureault.

–At 12:16, a Maine guy gets it going. Diamond takes it on the right side, cuts into the slot (beating two or three guys), feeding Bouchard at the right post. Bouchard makes a move and puts it home for a 1-0 Bridgeport lead. Nilsson shook off some early chances and made big saves on a penalty kill.

Meanwhile, it’s like the New Haven Coliseum (and some local college rinks, sure, why not): Benches at the Colisee are on opposite sides.

–Graham Skilliter is working the Rangers-Panthers game today.

–A long five-on-three coming for Portland, 1:49 with Jackson and Lee in the box.

–Some blocks by Donovan and Cantin help kill the whole thing off. Bridgeport, leading 1-0, will start the second period with about 1:44 of power-play time after Martinook slashes Diamond’s stick.

–Bridgeport makes it 2-0 at 55 seconds on Lee’s goal on a rebound of a Jackson shot. Halmo and Bouchard won a dump-in to set up a Donovan shot, and they got the puck back.

–Scooter Vaughan — giving up a lot of size, Jeff notes — fights Keven Veilleux. Note to self: Don’t fight Scooter Vaughan.

–Chris reminds us of Vaughan’s and Veilleux’s ugly history in the Coast last year.

–Period had gone well until a tough icing, a tripping call off of that, and six seconds after Chris Bruton returns, Brett Hextall puts in a third rebound to cut it to 2-1 with 2:09 left in the second.

–It’s 2-1 Bridgeport after two, and it’ll begin the third on a power play. Melindy gets an extra minor going with Halmo after a Halmo hit on Miele.

–Cantin gets a match penalty 6:03 into the third for a blindside check to the head on Brendan Shinnimin. Cantin’s last major was chuckle-worthy, but this wasn’t pretty; Shinnimin needs time to get up, tries to stay at the bench but goes to the room. Jordan Szwarz scores at the front of the net in the first minute of the major, and it’s tied with a little over 13 minutes left.

–Lessio carries all the way up the left wing, beats a couple of defenders in the left circle and scores on a backhander with 9:10 left to make it 3-2 Portland, in the last minute of the major.

–My feed seems like it’s about two minutes behind Twitter. They may be packed up and gone by now in reality. I’ve got 1:11 left with Portland calling time out for a draw in its zone.

–Brett Hextall’s empty-netter finishes it: Portland 4, Bridgeport 2, final.

–Scott Pellerin wanted a better look at the hit before he commented on it directly. There were a few things around it he didn’t like, though. He didn’t like Jordan Szwarz’s pass to put Shinnimin in that position; “sucker pass,” he said. Cantin came across and finished the check. Pellerin also thought back to Saturday night in Springfield; when Cantin took Jonathan Marchessault’s hit from behind, got up and went back at Marchessault, Cantin got a minor that knocked two minutes off that major penalty. He was curious why something similar didn’t happen to Mathieu Brodeur tonight.

Still, the power-play goals: one’s a mistake, the second’s unacceptable, he said. I said it’d seemed like a good game for them up until the first Portland goal. “There were a lot of good things we did. We had opportunities to continue to put pressure on,” Pellerin said. “We had chances on the power play, at five-on-five.

“We talked about habits, fundamentals. … We had opportunities to take over the game, and we didn’t take that step. In the end, that hurt us.”

They’ll next practice down in Norfolk, so we won’t see them for a while. More here as warranted, and if not before then, liveblog Friday night.

–I may’ve missed one along the way, but if I haven’t, the last match penalty for a Bridgeport opponent was Pierre-Luc Leblond on Nov. 27, 2009, called for a slew-foot on Micheal Haley when he was with Lowell. Since then, Bridgeport has been called for seven (Haley 2, Gallant, Donovan, McDonald, Cornell and now Cantin).

–A 28-37-7-6 year in 2013. (Most overtime losses in one calendar year.) By just about any measure, second-worst calendar year to 2011. Though when the calendar turned there, so did the fortunes. (And then when it turned again, so did the fortunes again.)

So adieu to another year. Thanks for hanging around. See you on the other side.

Michael Fornabaio

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