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Well that’ll exorcise some demons, eh?

It almost seems unfair that Finland can play so well, stun the world throughout this tournament, lose its first game and go back to the real world in second. Still, this Swedish team earned the gold. Great finish, too: Lidstrom wins the game in the first minute of the third period, then saves it with a block in the last minute.

Back to normal…

Frederic Cloutier is back from the Isles. Cody Rudkowsky was sent back to Reading.

Wade Dubielewicz had an interesting point after Friday night’s game at Lowell: When was the last time (before Friday) the Sound Tigers had a chance to shoot at an empty net? Answer: Jan. 28 against Philadelphia. In the 11 games since then before Friday, Bridgeport was 7-3-1-0. In fact, during this 20-6-1-2 streak that has vaulted them from the basement to (most likely) the playoffs, Bridgeport has shot at an empty net just six times. Both empty-net goals have come in this stretch. Their wins have (mostly) been decisive ones.

And after starting the year so horribly defensively, the Sound Tigers woke up this morning in the top half of the league in goals-against.

If I’m counting right, Wilkes-Barre’s magic number for a playoff spot is 15 points.

Two bad breaks in Portland, one much more frightening than the other: Pirates defenseman Jordan Smith took a puck to the left eye and needed emergency surgery Friday night. Didn’t see an update this morning. Also of note: Dieter Kochan’s out six weeks with a broken ankle.

And a near-nightmare in California: Fresno defenseman Cory Murphy broke his left fibula and dislocated his left ankle on bad ice in Fresno. The game was postponed, and that’s the least of their worries. (Thanks to Bill McLaughlin for the tip.)

Hey, are you upset the Olympics are over? This might help keep the torch lit on your own PC.

Michael Fornabaio