These two teams have already met once in Albany on the last day of a month. It did not go well. No, I meant for either of them. (Only slightly less-worse for one.)
The weekend’s opponents got reloaded on defense: Albany got Eric Gelinas back from Jersey, sending Mike Sislo up, while Columbus sent Tim Erixon to Springfield. (The Falcons are in Worcester tonight, a half-hour behind Bridgeport. I almost said “they may beat the Sound Tigers home,” but while they might’ve beaten Bridgeport to Bridgeport, they’re more likely just going home themselves and coming down here tomorrow. So, yes, they will almost certainly beat the Sound Tigers home.)
Stockton’s ECHL Hockey Heritage Weekend game next Friday gets a re-air Feb. 9 on NHL Network. The Thunder will be wearing special sweaters with an Islanders tie-in for the affair. (Meanwhile, Stockton loses Nathan Deck to Germany.)
2005 AHL Rookie of the Year Snubbed in the AHL, Zach Parise will serve as captain of Team USA at the Olympics.
Gino Odjick said there were times he wanted to get hit post-concussion. Yipes.
More in 45 minutes or so.
–Nilsson vs. Kinkaid. It’s Nilsson’s first game against Albany since the first against Albany, Nov. 11. Kenny Reiter and Parker Milner split the rest.
BRIDGEPORT from Corey, much as it was since mid-Sunday with the goaltending addition:
F: Lee (A)-Strome-Halmo
D: Ness (A)-Cantin
R: C.Brown, Ciamaga. L: C.Low, F.Murphy.
–Gelinas is not in the lineup for Albany. Game on.
–Josh is insistent that a Whitney shot to the blocker side of Nilsson went in at 2:19… Chris Brown took a look and says no goal.
–Three or four good early chances beyond that for the Devils. Shots 6-0 Albany not four minutes in.
–Shots 11-0 after Bridgeport kills a too-many-men minor and survives a couple of more shifts in its own end.
–The Langkow and Strome lines both spent some time in the Devils’ end, but still no shots on Kinkaid almost 12 minutes in.
–Alan Quine from the left circle at 13:04 of the first: Bridgeport has a shot on goal. Still no score.
–Not anymore. Reid Boucher on the rush at 13:37, taking a pass right-to-left by Kelly Zajac and wristing it past Nilsson. 1-0 Albany.
–Bridgeport gets it back relatively quickly on the power play after Dan Kelly’s called for delay of game/closing his hand on the puck. It’s Quine, following his own rebound (it bounced past John Persson in front). 1-1 about 15 and a half minutes in.
–Josh said the second period was moving briskly, eight minutes in. Press Box Logic dictates that the last 12 will take about an hour, presumably.
–River hockey (Hudson River?) midway through the period. Bridgeport odd-man rush breaks down. Albany odd-man rush broken up by Bouchard. Persson wide on a Bridgeport three-on-one. Hoeffel stopped on a rush.
–Bridgeport kills off a Strome trip with 5:22 left; Strome’s stopped on a rebound with the left pad soon after he gets out of the box, and Josh notes a Helgeson block on Lee that may’ve saved a goal. Halmo was hurting blocking a shot earlier in the period but he’s been back on the ice.
–Not a lot of action in the second, but when it was active, it was absolute chaos. Shots 8-4 Bridgeport in the period, 17-15 Albany overall, 1-1 after two.
–Springfield’s down 3-1 in Worcester after one. Someone wearing 11 for the Sharks has an assist. There’s no name on the scoresheet. Brad Larsen’s got to protest. There are rules and stuff. (Though they’re more about the hard copy and the back of the sweater… ah well.)
–My feed’s bopped around like mad for some reason. Bridgeport gets through a Ness minor. Was asked on Twitter if Strome is hurt; haven’t heard his name in a while but don’t know.
–Pesonen pass from the right wing to the left post makes it 2-1 on Tim Sestito’s goal at 8:13 of the third.
–Pete Dougherty confirms Strome not on the bench for the third.
–Not a lot going with Nilsson pulled for the extra attacker for the last 1:50; Albany 2, Bridgeport 1, final, and no Strome in the third period for Bridgeport.
–Fan on Twitter has Strome with a hand injury. Haven’t heard back from up there yet. He was on late in the second; that line had that crazy shift after he came out of the box, he had a big shot from the wing at the end of that shift, and then I don’t remember hearing his name.
–Scott Pellerin said Strome will be evaluated tomorrow, talking about it in precautionary terms. That would help.
On the start: “We were skating with them very well, but we weren’t able to sustain offensive-zone time, and when we did, we didn’t get any shots on net. … 8:48 was the first time out, and I was talking to the guys and said what’s done is done. We didn’t come out with a lot of jump. We weren’t able to finish checks. The guys responded. We got back in the game.”
And it seemed to be a pretty solid game after that, except for losing Sestito off the bench going to the net for the winner. “We talk about awareness; it comes down to picking the guy up. … We had a really long shift for some of our players. We talk about ‘sorting,’ and I was yelling ‘sort, sort, sort’. They made the pass, back door; at the end of the day, it’s unacceptable for a guy to sneak in without anybody seeing him.”
There were scoring chances, though. He talked about that exchange in the middle of the second, said it was a four-on-one. Generally, though, “they challenge you at the line. They don’t give you any free entries,” Pellerin said. “They’re going to be in your face. We had to make smart plays. They don’t give up many three-on-twos. … We weren’t able to get those second chances around the net. We weren’t able to capitalize on quality chances.”
Meanwhile there’s weirdness in Syracuse: Tampa Bay had two goalies injured last night, so they’re calling up both Crunch goalies after tonight’s game. But in the meantime, Riku Helenius was suspended for leaving his ECHL team, Lindsay Kramer reports. Edit: Here’s his updated story.
Home win for Sacred Heart over Niagara on Mitch Nylen’s goal with 0.9 left in regulation at Milford Ice Pavilion tonight.
Springfield lost, so they’ll surely arrive in good humor tomorrow. No morning skate, so probably more in the afternoon/early evening.