About 13 years ago, I wrote something for a franchise preview about how great it’d be to have people all over see “Bridgeport” in AHL standings, know where it was…
— Dee Cee (@ontherawk) March 7, 2014
Ah well. We tried, gang. We tried.
It’s a semi-momentous anniversary: A decade ago today, the Islanders traded Alain Nasreddine to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Steve Webb. A month and a half later, Nasreddine and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were celebrating on Arena at Harbor Yard ice, and Bridgeport hasn’t won another playoff round. (Heck, they’ve only won one other playoff game there.)
But it’s 2014, and once again, there’s AHL Live for video and possibly audio from St. John’s; we can double check tonight. There’s also hopefully a stream here, with the bonus of local music. If not, try the IceCaps’ site.
The IceCaps try for eight in a row (with a shootout loss before all that). Bridgeport tries to avoid four losses in a row.
–Robin tweets that Carl Klingberg, injured on that hit from Aaron Ness late in last night’s game, and Kael Mouillierat are both out tonight for the IceCaps.
–Poulin-Hutchinson again, from the IceCaps.
–Last night’s scratches (Johnson, Jackson, Mangene) in, Mangene for his Bridgeport debut (becoming the 400th man to wear the sweater in a game, including the backup goalies); Mercier, Diamond and Newton out.
–The box is here. Quine-Clark-Persson, Ness-Mayfield to start.
Looks like, in fact, those who drew in have just swapped in for those who are out:
F: Broda-Sundstrom (A)-Pistilli
D: Ness (A)-Mayfield
R: Kaval. L: Vail, Maynard.
–Here’s a new one: Scooter Vaughan playing the point on the power play, and he gets one through traffic from the center point to make it 1-0 at 7:00 flat. That snaps the 18-in-a-row PP drought.
–A slow-developing scrum as Lipon gives Ness a shove and stirs the pot a little more, drawing a crowd; Poulin tries to hop in with Samson and Mayfield. Then a slow-developing set of penalty calls. Brian’s getting agitated.
–Twitter’s way ahead of me. O’Dell scores on a rebound — Blair Riley involved again — to tie it at 12:48. Soon after, Sundstrom gets a stick up on Jaffray to pick up a double-minor. Twitter suggests to stay tuned.
–Yep. Langkow intercepts a pass, somehow gets it up the right wing one-on-two, finds a wide-open Ness trailing in the slot, and Ness scores short-handed to make it 2-1 Bridgeport at 13:36.
–Mayfield was hit with an instigator out of all that scrumming earlier, by the way, so he’ll be out awhile.
–2-1 Bridgeport after one, though the second will begin with Aaron Ness in the box. Poulin robbed Jaffray near the end of the period.
–Robin says Broda’s nickname has got to be “Turk,” his teammates probably all call him that… Rog: They’re probably all saying “who the heck was Turk Broda.” Heh heh. (Joel said Turk’s a distant relative.)
–40-second five-on-three for the IceCaps. Johnson slash, Finley puck-fly-away.
–And quickly, it’s tied on an Andrew Gordon one-timer from above the tops of the circles.
–The power-plays thing had been slowly evening out, but now they’re going the other way again: Midway second, they’re 6-1 in the IceCaps’ favor after a 9-5 night last night. Of course shots are something like 60-33 so far this weekend.
–Cormier knocks a guy over to cancel out the second half of that minor. Power play 2, perhaps, to come.
–Ness hooks MacKinnon from behind on a breakaway; doesn’t disrupt much, but he gets a penalty shot. He might’ve had a better chance the first time. Still 2-2.
–Ness retakes the all-time lead: He’s been the apparent culprit on five regular-season penalty shots, one more than Matt Donovan. And in the past two seasons, penalty shot attempts: opponents 10, Bridgeport 2.
–It’s 2-2 after two.
–Bridgeport gets through a Mayfield tripping minor to start the third.
–Not a ton of shots (though still in the IceCaps’ favor) midway through the third, still tied up.
–Overtime, for the first time for Bridgeport in 16 games, since Jan. 24. Shots 11-2 in the third — Bridgeport hasn’t had one, then, in a long while, though there was some back-and-forth awhile in the third — and 36-15 overall.
The Sound Tigers still only have one game decided in the five minutes, back in October against Binghamton.
–Neutral-zone turnover goes the other way, and Adam Lowry, in alone, scores on the backhand with
26.0 seconds left they announce 4:35 of OT: St. John’s 3, Bridgeport 2 (OT).
–In the 10 games before this trip to St. John’s, only three times did Bridgeport give its opponents more power-play chances than it received. It had been a decent little stretch. And then this weekend, 16-8 in the other direction. “Last night we got behind early on too many penalties, undisciplined plays,” Scott Pellerin said, and “it put too much pressure on our team. Nine yesterday, seven more tonight, you’re not going to win hockey games like that. The odds are against you. And one of them was a four-minute penalty. It’s too much stress. The other team gains momentum. … There were times we were running around frustrated because the other team was better. We just have to find a way to manage the puck better.”
He had said that earlier: St. John’s was simply better. I’d asked about that third period, the 11-2, if it was representative, and he said they were outplayed. “They cycled the puck really well,” he said. “We weren’t able to generate any rush response. … We didn’t get our shots on net. We weren’t able to sustain any serious pressure. But we were still in the game. Pouly was the best player on our team again.”
(Poulin’s got a .924 save percentage in these four games, 10 goals on 132 shots.)
Mangene’s debut: “I thought he played well. He’s a very fast player. He made some good reads in different situations in his first game, which I was impressed with. He’s got to continue to develop his puck protection.”
So they’ll come home with a point. They’ll travel tomorrow and take Monday off. May drop in a note or two here in the meantime; we’ll see. If not, practice Tuesday.