“Let this abomination unto the Lord begin!”

From a Bridgeport perspective, you could call this an evening ruined by one moment.

Bad clear, thrown back down low, deflected, rebound deflects back out to the slot, Wade Dubielewicz is helpless as Dwight Helminen tosses it upstairs. That cost Bridgeport a point.

The Abomination ends up 4-3, and the game ends up 3-2.

Great game for Masi Marjamaki (more in the days to come, I hope)… For two and a half periods, I had him first star. And I kind of wish I had put him as one of the stars (he was on my ballot, but not in print). Dubielewicz got better after a somewhat shaky start, though that shaky start didn’t include a goal against; they weren’t bad. He kept creeping up my three-stars ballot.

Hartford again took a lot of shots. They were most scary for Bridgeport in overtime, a wacky affair that began three-on-three because of late penalties in the third. That Ivan Baranka near-three-on-oh was fascinating. It came about after Dave Karpa, who was being responsible and sitting back almost to the point of absurdity, got nailed late along the boards by Craig Weller. That sprung the rush, but Dubielewicz got the stick out on the defenseman.

Three out of four points against Hartford and the Penguins is a pretty good week. Maybe it could have been better. It could definitely have been much, much worse.

A coupla postgame notes, since we were one-edition-fits-all tonight: Jeff Hamilton was (technically) sent back down after the Islanders game; whether he’s actually here, we’ll see after the break. It’ll all depend on injuries. And defenseman Scott Ford, who appeared to fit in quite nicely alongside Vince Macri, was released from his PTO.

F: Bergenheim-Colliton-Nilsson
Thompson-Brigley (A)-Regier
D: Jarrett-Gervais (A)
Caldwell-Karpa (A)

F: Dawes-Helminen-Genoway
Giroux (A)-Immonen-Taffe
Falardeau-Fedorov-Weller (A)
D: Baranka-Taylor
Grenier (A)-Pock

You no doubt have seen by now that former Sound Tiger Rick DiPietro and former Fairfield Prep Jesuit Chris Drury have been named to the U.S. Olympic team. Oh, but it gets better: ex-Beast of New Haven Herbert Vasiljevs is on the Latvian team; ex-Beast Marek Malik is on the Czech team; and 1989 Nighthawk finalist Mario Chitaroni is — as always — a member of Team Italy. The AHL has a list of Olympic players who also played in the league.

Al Sims is the new assistant coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Ex-Nighthawk, ex-NHL head coach. Press release here.

Way off topic: Saw in Phil Mushnick’s column this morning that Barry Halper died Sunday at 66; the link is to a longer Star-Ledger piece. His son Jason and I were in the same class in college; Jason played baseball, and I covered it, so my path and Barry’s path crossed often. You’d never know this was a gajillionaire with a piece of the Yankees. The kind of down-to-earth guy you could argue with endlessly about whether to bunt on a Wednesday at Baker Field, down a run with first and second and nobody out in the sixth, and shake hands with a laugh at the end. Condolences to his family.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…

…for now we take a needed three days off. (And hopefully shake this cold.) Whatever your faith or creed, whatever you’re celebrating at this time of year, may it be happy, fun and safe, and see you on the other side.

And if you’re of the same persuasion as I am, Buon Natale, Nollaig Shona, Merry Christmas.

Michael Fornabaio