Tough start. They spend most of the first period in their own end but do enough to get out of it down only… 1-1?
“That’s obviously a huge goal,” Andrew Clark said, “for Marty (Joey Martin) to read the play and pick the pass off, make a nice shot. We came in after the first, tied 1-1: It’s a lot easier to play a road game when you can get a goal like that at the end of the period.”
Anders Nilsson (save percentage .901, cresting 90 percent for pretty sure the first time this year) credited his teammates for keeping shots to the outside — for all that zone time, Providence didn’t have a ton of memorable chances — and for getting the puck out when they could/had to.
And they settled in in the second. Justin Mercier’s hit led to retaliation on Joey Diamond; Aaron Ness’ hit in the neutral zone led to Matt Donovan’s power-play goal, crashing the net. Clark scored a short-handed beauty, carrying up the right wing after a Providence rim went awry. And Clark was involved again on a power play; Donovan’s keep got it to Alan Quine, who was knocked over but kept the play alive flat on his stomach.
And they get out of the second up 4-1.
So they’re eight points out of seventh.
In addition to stepping up on the penalty kill, Clark moved back to the middle, with Quine going to the left, John Persson still on the right. “It’s been good to play with those two guys,” Clark said. “We’re starting to find our chemistry.”
Martin had the first Bridgeport shot of the game and the last shot of the first period. That line seemed to work well. “(Martin and Mercier) fit in really well,” Pellerin said. The message to them was the same as to the rest of the guys, he said; it’s a hard-working team, and they’d have to skate hard and play responsibly. “I thought they did that. They had some really good shifts. I trusted them a lot on the ice.”
Worcester was off tonight, coming in tomorrow.
Wilkes-Barre sent struggling former Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell to Wheeling, which brought Peter Mannino back up.
Via James Mirtle, Latvia’s Olympic team is being looked at for doping.
Computer’s dying, so more tomorrow.