New ways

Maybe it’s a young defenseman reversing the puck to nowhere in the last minute of a period. Maybe it’s a neutral-zone turnover (repeat) that turns into an odd-man rush. Maybe it’s a faceoff win on a five-on-three PK, followed by the defenseman hitting the centerman with the clearing attempt.

Maybe it’s all of them, capped off after a comeback by a shot that hits a guy in the arm and goes in the net. But they had made their bed, or maybe that one doesn’t hurt.

“It’s not one guy,” Pat Bingham said. “You go through the lines, and it’s a different guy every time. We can’t kill 8 of 8, or 7 of 7, whatever it is.”

Penalties destroyed any flow this game might have had in the middle. That left guys like Jason Pitton and Jesse Joensuu sitting again. (Joensuu didn’t get a lot of power-play time, with DiBenedetto going and Rakhshani back in town. In fact, he and Pitton came on the ice late in that last power play and wound up scoring at even strength.)

The point was, though, that players were sitting and waiting and watching as penalties added up.

“They’re not only getting cold,” Bingham said, “they’re getting sour.”

This one mirrored, in a funny way, each of the two weekend games. Like Worcester, they gave up a goal in the last minute of the first and took a penalty in the last minute of the second. Like Springfield, the power play went 1-for-8, scored one just a few seconds later, and gave up a short-handed goal on a two-on-one.

They overcame the first one. They didn’t overcome the last two.


Team’s off tomorrow. That’s my goal as well.

DiBenedetto said he wasn’t sure where the puck came from on his second goal, but he found it. Watched it again up here: Rakhshani’s trying to complete a give-and-go with Ullstrom, but the puck hits a defenseman and bounces toward the net. DiBenedetto spins and whacks it off McKenna and in.

That Marcinko penalty that became the five-on-three where Albany scored? Felt a little October 2005 to me. I guess you can say he went and had the stick perpendicular more than once. But still.

Tip of cap to Bruce Betts, who’s stepping aside as Staples High School’s boys volleyball coach (he’d been the girls coach for years as well). Good coach. Good guy.

And RIP, Jack Matheson.

Michael Fornabaio