Well, the kids made their cases. Of the 18 skaters, 14 played for the second night in a row, and they put together a 3-2 win Saturday night. It appears that most of them won’t be around for long — official cuts come down Sunday, though some long faces appeared Saturday night amid several meetings with the coaching staffs — but they’ve made their cases.
“I saw a team with just a bunch of guys competing for jobs,” Jack Capuano said. He especially praised the defense, but moved on to the goalies (and Koskinen made some big ones late, in particular as Hartford outshot the Sound Tigers 17-2 in the third) and forwards. The Sixsmith-Nikiforov-Healey trio accounted for all three goals.
Oh, yeah — and Koskinen was out of his gourd a few times. Like your average 6-foot-6 goalie, he’s a little vulnerable when he’s moving around. But he got himself back in the way. He and Sudsie Maharaj appeared bound for a postgame session.
Gannon’s is a name that popped up a few times this week. “He’s just a big kid, a right-handed shot,” Capuano said. “He was a true freshman at Colorado College, a two-year captain, a teammate of Jack Hillen.
And Healey, Capuano said, had back issues Friday night but rebounded tonight with a couple of goals.
He made his case, too.
F: Vladimir Nikiforov-James Sixsmith-Paul Healey (A)
Mike Lesperance-Adam Perry-Jason Dale
Jean Bourbeau-Bobby Hughes-Jeff Pierce
Justin DiBenedetto-Tony Romano-Robin Figren
D: Jan Piskacek-Evan Stoflet
Victor Bartley-Jake Gannon
Luke Sellars (A)-Dustin Friesen
G: Scott Munroe
F: Ryan Hillier-Patrick Rissmiller-Jordan Owens
Dane Byers-Paul Crowder-Derek Couture
Devin DiDiomete-Tomas Zaborsky-Andres Ambuhl
Brent Henley-Tyler Arnason-Dale Weise
D: David Urquhart-Michael Sauer
Nigel Williams-Ilkka Heikkinen
Trevor Glass-Corey Potter
Hartford 1 1 0–2
Bridgeport 1 1 1–3
First Period — 1, Bridgeport, Healey 1 (Nikiforov, Sixsmith), 8:13. 2, Hartford, Couture 4 (Henley, Rissmiller), 19:33. Penalties — Henley, Hfd (roughing), 3:01; Figren, Bpt (holding), 5:22; Lesperance, Bpt (hooking), 9:07; Sauer, Hfd (holding), 13:01; Romano, Bpt (hooking), 17:20.
Second Period — 3, Hartford, Byers 1 (Ambuhl), 4:03. 4, Bridgeport, Healey 2 (Nikiforov, Sixsmith), 9:43. Penalties — Owens, Hfd (interference), :48; Bourbeau, Bpt (holding stick), 1:58; Couture, Hfd, major (fighting), 4:59; Gannon, Bpt, major (fighting), 4:59; Gannon, Bpt (hooking), 13:06; DiDiomete, Hfd (roughing), 15:51.
Third Period — 5, Bridgeport, Nikiforov 1 (Friesen), 9:18. Penalties — Sellars, Bpt (holding), 1:21; Byers, Hfd, major (fighting), 8:47; Bourbeau, Bpt, major (fighting), 8:47; Potter, Hfd (slashing), 9:06; Sellars, Bpt (interference), 10:09; Sellars, Bpt (hooking), 14:03; Owens, Hfd (unsportsmanlike conduct-diving), 18:14; Lesperance, Bpt (hooking), 18:14.
Shots on goal — Hartford 9-14-17–40. Bridgeport 7-9-2–18.
Power play opportunities — Hartford 0 of 8, Bridgeport 1 of 5.
Goaltenders — Hartford, Zaba 0-1-0 (18 shots-15 saves). Bridgeport, Munroe (9-8), Koskinen 1-0-0 (start second, 31-30).
Attendance — 1,723. Referee — J. Koharski. Linesmen — Spannaus, Wahl.
At least, I think that’s who the officials were. The numbers checked out, at the very least. And there was some discussion, both at the snack bar and apparently inside, about who actually scored a couple of those goals. But it’s the preseason, and right about now, all those numbers go back to zero.
Enjoyed reading Jonathan Bombulie’s twittering and reading about an attempted head-butt. We just get the twin hook-and-dive coincidentals. Naturally, if you’re following my twittishness, you got the Sideshow Bob reference.
Gregg Johnson joins the local contingent in Houston’s camp. Other Sound Tigers alums headed for the AHL: Jason Krog and game-winner-scorer Drew Fata; Tim Sestito, meanwhile, is battling for a job in The Swamp. (Jaime Sifers is in the mix in Minnesota, too.)