“Give Worcester credit,” Brent Thompson said. “They threw everything at us.”
“The first period, there’s no excuse,” Justin DiBenedetto said. They didn’t get a lot of bounces, he said, but “we were sloppy.”
I mean, if you turned this game off in disgust at 4-1, you’ve got to be excused. This was shaping up into their second clunker against Worcester in the past couple of weeks, a messy first period turned into, well, whatever it was going to turn into in the second and third.
Blair Riley got them one back, but then the Sharks capitalized again, with John McCarthy driving to the net and driven into Kevin Poulin. (And they did get some bounces to build that lead. The second goal, Kennedy’s power-play goal, was a de Haan attempt to clear the puck to the corner that bounced off Frischmon’s skate, right into the net. The third one, early in the second, they were denied a couple of times before McCarthy came in and got it.)
But then Steve Oleksy, diving for the puck, sets up Scott Howes. The power play comes through — “it continues to get better,” Thompson said — for DiBenedetto’s first of two. Kael Mouillierat scores a pretty one on his own rebound. They get another power-play goal in the third, with help from that awful delay-of-game, puck-over-glass rule. And they’re back in first place.
Figure this game out.
Nothing made itself apparent tonight as far as transactions, though the Islanders announced that Evgeni Nabokov left tonight’s win in Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury. Arthur Staple noted at one point that David Ullstrom wasn’t on the bench, and indeed Ullstrom apparently didn’t play in the third period after scoring a goal in the second, but I didn’t see anything further on that.
I wasn’t entirely clear on the whole sequence of events on that early-third disallowed goal, but the fact is that the replay system isn’t supposed to be used to review a kick. So there’s that.
Oleksy played another solid game up front, moving back on the penalty kill (“our defense penalty-killed very well,” Thompson said). Almost got that disallowed goal. “He’s a leader,” Thompson said.
The lines were all over the place. Everywhere. “I had to change the chemistry,” Thompson said. ” I was juggling like I’ve never juggled before, to generate some kind of chemistry, some kind of energy.” The defense pairs settled into de Haan-Wishart as usual, but Donovan-Landry and Ness-Sinkewich.
DiBenedetto scored his 20th goal in just his 48th game. He had 19 last year.
Romano becomes the seventh player to score four assists. (Colliton did it twice.)
Islanders prospect defenseman Brenden Kichton is out for the year after surgery on a broken jaw, the Spokesman-Review reports.
Yannick Riendeau was named ECHL Player of the Week.
ECHL transactions say Brandon Gentile was returned to Alaska, though Charlotte didn’t have its half of that transaction on the official books before tonight’s game.
And finally, have you waited patiently for three years to see Mikko Koskinen take a couple of swings at a guy and get a right hand to the chops for his troubles? Thanks to Lighthouse Hockey, wait no more.