Packed for the Pack

This was the kind of night where the Sound Tigers could score a goal, not have it count, blow a five-minute power play and still take a lead.

This was the kind of night where Joe Tallari would finally get on the board, where he’d neatly set up Peter Tsimikalis, where he’d go sprawling to block point shots and nearly get offense out of it.

This was the kind of night where Tomi Pettinen and Ryan Caldwell could both be beaten up, but still be on the ice every other shift throughout the third period; the kind of night where Pettinen, with a swollen-up right eye, could nail both Hugh Jessiman and Dale Purinton in the neutral zone and earn his team a power play out of it.

“A gutsy win,” Dave Baseggio called it, and it was that, gutsy, a lot more physical than Friday, a lot more emotional than Friday, and a huge win at a huge time.

Wade Dubielewicz was phenomenal in the third period again in front of a great crowd, and it’s two points down, two to go for the Sound Tigers.

F: Marjamaki-Koalska-Collins (A)
D: Pettinen-Jarrett (A)

F: Dawes-Helminen-Jessiman
Wiseman (A)-Sonnenberg-Weller (C)
Giroux-Korpikoski-Grenier (A)
D: Purinton-Girardi

Grenier went back to defense to take Liffiton’s place. Lines were rather different and varied at times.)

If David Masse’s shot did not go in and through the net 3:13 into the game, I can’t square the physics with what I saw. Baseggio had a funny line about it; it’s in the gamer. But that’s at least the third time that’s happened here, which is remarkable. Peter Smrek of Binghamton had one that clearly, from my angle, went through the net back in 2003-04. And Jason Guerriero, coincidentally a year ago Sunday, put one through the net against Lowell.

There wasn’t a huge crowd around the computer after the game ticking down the seconds on the Binghamton-Rochester game, a back-and-forth PPG-fest. Maybe they are just focused on themselves.

So the playoff picture: Norfolk’s win cuts its magic number over Bridgeport to one point. With Bridgeport at two over Binghamton, both series matchups could be set by 8 p.m. Sunday. There are tentative schedules for the playoffs, but they’re still just that, tentative.

Providence’s loss cuts Hartford’s magic number for home ice to one without margin for error. Manchester’s win opened up a three-point lead on the B’s, though Providence still has two games in hand.

Albany is locked into last in its division for the sixth year in a row. And in other news, the “Welcome, Carolina” rally should be scheduled any day now.

Grand Rapids needs one point against both WBS and Portland to secure first overall.

And Iowa’s win over Chicago makes the Stars’ magic number 4 over the Wolves (with two more head-to-head games this week) and eight over Omaha, which fell to Peoria.

In the second period tonight, Evgeny Tunik was called for playing with a broken stick. To my recollection and off a quickie search, that’s the first time that’s ever happened in a Sound Tigers game. (He also didn’t play again.)

Props to the dude in the vintage 1987-88 Dave Pichette sweater in Sec. 105.

Begrudging congratulations to Wisconsin on its national championship. (The grudge is nothing more than a family-tie rivalry thing.)

Got a weird stat in second-edition Sunday: Bridgeport is 11-1-2 at AHY in front of an announced crowd of 7,000 or more. Drop down to 6,700, and it’s 15-1-2. (Then there’s four losses in a row.)

Everybody hear Michael Nylander drop the ‘S’-word on national TV today?

Michael Fornabaio