Eight and Hoberg

In all, Bridgeport and Lowell played 480 minutes, 17 seconds this season.

Lowell led for just 18:29. The teams were tied for only 124:50.

That’s freaky.

A huge special-teams effort in the second period. Rob Collins got lucky (so he says; he wasn’t even going to go for the puck at first) and took the puck away from Johnny Boychuk in the neutral zone, came in on the breakaway, beat Tyler Weiman, and spun this game right around.

The fans no doubt thought referee Scott Hoberg did, but…

Hoberg — working a Sound Tigers game for the first time since the Dec. 3, 2004, brawlfest at Bridgeport against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton — took some heat from the Lowell fans. He called more — a lot more — on Lowell than he did on Bridgeport in the first 40 minutes. Give him this, though: Unlike some other calls in Bridgeport games this year, Hoberg’s were at least rooted in reality.


In the first 59 Sound Tigers games this year, there had only been seven power plays resulting from holding-the-stick calls. Hoberg called three tonight.

Mid-first period, Chris Thompson’s heading up the left wing. Linesman John Costello doesn’t get out of the way of the puck, and it stops in Costello’s skates outside the blue line. Thompson reaches back to bring it in, gets whistled down, and takes another swipe at the puck in the snow in front of the Lowell bench. That swipe hits Costello’s skates, and the guy checking Thompson shoves him toward the linesman. Hoberg goes into a long lecture, apparently, about how he should give Thompson a game misconduct.

Funny stuff. Oh, wait: It wasn’t comedy?

F: Bergenheim-Colliton-Hamilton (A)
Thompson-Collins (A)-Regier
D: Jarrett-Gervais
Rourke (A)-Pratt

F: Ladd-Aucoin (A)-Healey (C)
D: Boychuk-Finger (A)

Word is Vince Macri will be back with the team Sunday. Still no word exactly why he’s been away.

Bridgeport’s first power play tonight was its 403rd, the most in a season in team history. (Yes, already.)

Collins’ short-handed goal was the 11th for Bridgeport, which had 14 last year to set the team mark.

Kevin Colley made official today all we’d been hearing: He’ll have to retire because of the injury he suffered last month. Tough to hear, but thankfully he’ll make a full recovery.

Tomi Pettinen — a little more on him in Sunday’s paper, most likely — is wearing his fourth number as a Sound Tiger: 18 (2002 playoffs), 8 (2002-04), 9 (December), and now 25. This is one short of a team record held by Marco Charpentier and, if one wishes, Graham Belak. Charpentier wore 17 (Nov. 24-Dec. 7, 2001), 7 (Jan. 19-Feb. 8, 2002), 14 (March 30-31, 2002), 23 (Oct. 11-Nov. 10, 2002) and 12 (April 5-6, 2003)*. Belak has also been worn five numbers but didn’t skate a shift in two of them: 8 (Dec. 7, 2001, at Philadelphia) and 51 (March 17, 2002, at Hershey). He wore 33 (Feb. 22-24, 2002), 18 (March 23, 2002) and 53 (2002-05) in games. Macri is the only other player to wear four numbers (22, 11, 3, 7).

Great Simpsons reference, only slightly misquoted, pasted onto the license-plate frame of the van in front of me as I approached the barn tonight: “Can’t sleep” on top, and “Clowns will eat me” on the bottom.

*-This is, indeed, a lot of numbers for 32 games, perhaps topped only by the four numbers Derek Armstrong wore in seven games with the New York Rangers…

Michael Fornabaio