Bridgeport treated today’s practice a little like a morning skate, Scott Pellerin said, complete with the forwards all wearing orange rather than different colors for different lines.
That’s OK. A slew of Sound Tigers weren’t there anymore.
Stockton should be loaded up next month. Bridgeport sent Matt Mangene, Jeremy Langlois and Riley Wetmore to the Thunder today, and Andrew Clark was also released from his pro tryout. For the former two, it’ll get them eligible to play there in the playoffs. Wetmore had been in a fourth-lineish role, so this seems more to get him going again.
Clark, well, though center’s eventually crowded (Victor Crus Rydberg arrived sick, Pellerin said, and has been at the hotel, missing today’s practice), there goes a guy who was the team’s active leading scorer for a few weeks. He wouldn’t have been anymore: Bridgeport called up Alan Quine and, for the first time, Mathieu Gagnon.
“(Clark) came in and did things to elevate his game,” Pellerin said. “He improved his pace, his hockey sense. He’s one of the guys, I believe, separated himself from the pack. It’s an opportunity for him now to take what he learned here and to continue that progress as he goes back to Stockton.”
Kenny Reiter sat out sick as well.
Though there’s a few newbies or returners on the way in, the only ones on the ice today were draft pick Kyle Burroughs and right winger Brant Harris, UConn’s all-time leading scorer in Division I. Believe he’d be the first UConn guy to play for the Sound Tigers; Matt Scherer was here only in camp.
Numbers: Harris 14, Burroughs 4. Per the website, Gagnon gets 21 on the eve of Dallas Jackson’s return to Bridgeport (it’s Jackson’s birthday, by the way, should you run into him somewhere; assume the Falcons are coming in tonight for tomorrow’s game), and Crus Rydberg gets 61, the second Sound Tiger to wear it (Justin Mapletoft in the lockout year — the last one), the reverse of his junior number.
Less-happy numbers: Bridgeport’s tragic number is in essence one. Norfolk and Hershey play two games near the end of the year. Best-case scenario for Bridgeport then is that the teams split, with at least Hershey’s win in regulation, and every single other thing breaks right for the Sound Tigers (most notably Worcester not getting to 80 points), and they get in on the nonshootout-win tiebreaker. I’m ballparking just the Bridgeport/Norfolk/Hershey part at 1 in 33.5 million. (So you’re saying there’s a chance? Well, SportsClubStats says there isn’t, but…)