Granted, there are no moral victories at this level, but that may’ve been among the more inspirational 5-4 losses around here.
Team ATO down 3-0 to the Hershey Bears. Bridgeport hasn’t scored more than two against anyone but Adirondack since February. Bridgeport hasn’t scored more than one against a team still alive in the playoff race since St. John’s, almost a month ago.
And they take a lead. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t enough. But it wasn’t one of those nights where it all went to pot.
“We, in my opinion, competed against one of the best-talented teams in the American Hockey League,” Scott Pellerin said. “For them to be in that position, with that talent, it’s hard to understand. Give my guys credit. We competed. We worked. We pushed a team that’s a desperate team, we pushed them right to the end.”
Mistakes? Yep. Ended up in their net. (They thought Kevin Poulin was interfered with on Hershey’s second goal, for what it’s worth.)
But they got something from just about everyone, whether three points from Andrey Pedan or a drive to the net from call-up Mathieu Gagnon (which earned a little extra congratulations in the celebration from Justin Johnson, whose rush helped set that goal up; “he created that whole situation,” Johnson said), or a couple of fights from Brett Gallant and Scooter Vaughan that they felt turned momentum toward them.
“We need it from everyone,” Pellerin said. “Everyone has a different part.”
They’re winless in nine, which ties for the second-longest in team history, and they’ve had some awful nights in this stretch of 16 games with just one win.
But you can’t say they haven’t shown up. They’ve been very competitive with teams like St. John’s and Springfield through this stretch, and now Hershey. No victories, maybe no moral victories, but they’re outgunned, and they’ve made some teams sweat.
Just gonna cut-n-paste these again:
D: Finley (A)-Burroughs
F: Byers (C)-Newbury-Watkins
Pedan was glad to get a couple — he had the lone goal Tuesday against Springfield, too — and is trying to make the most of his extra ice time. He’s focusing on his own end, though, he said. “I think I still have some mistakes,” he said; missing that much time to injury cost him, but he feels he’s making progress.
Gallant’s fight was his 66th as a Sound Tiger, one better than Micheal Haley. He and Patrick Wellar took their helmets off but weren’t immediately assessed the unsportsmanlike-conduct minors. They were after the game.
Don’t believe anyone’s ever been a minus-6 for Bridgeport;
Joe Finley was a minus-5 tonight Edit: told that’s not right, that he wasn’t on for the last goal, with help from a ruling that made Hershey’s fourth goal an even-strength goal. The clock ticked after the puck was dropped on the faceoff-violation penalty Brant Harris took (think that’s the first one we’ve seen, no?), so the penalties were running from different times… but weren’t at different times, officially.
No hint of any new ATOs coming. You’ll never get to 70 that way. Team’s off tomorrow. More as warranted, here or on Twitter.