The biggest difference, from Friday to Saturday, to Kevin Poulin? Maybe Sunday to Thursday.
“I think we had too much time to kill,” Poulin said. They’d been off since that third win, while Worcester needed a win. “They were more hungry.”
Bridgeport responded with some hunger tonight and earned itself a win in the bonus round.
With 32 saves, and a few of them just ridiculous, Poulin was no small part of that.
“Poulie played solid again,” Scott Pellerin said. “He made some spectacular saves all night long.”
Casey Cizikas kept the shootout alive. Ullstrom scored with “the only move I’ve got.”
A win, in a game that could’ve been even crazier without the goaltending display at both ends. Paul Dainton was as spectacular.
“We’ve just got to keep firing, especially me,” Ullstrom said. “I’ve got to put it on net. … I feel I’m getting chances.”
Ullstrom said he hasn’t been frustrated despite going without a goal on 11 shots in the first five games. (His only such AHL streak last year ended the month of January; before that, he hadn’t had one since the 24-game drought that ended with one goal, then two the next, then a hat trick Feb. 20, 2011, against Manchester.) Generating chances, he’s not worried.
“It hasn’t bothered me at all,” Ullstrom said. “The team’s winning. … (I’ll) do the little things that get rewarded.”
Said Pellerin, “He’s been playing well. I don’t think he’s been playing up to the way I want him to play. We’ve had some conversations. He needs to play a certain way, and we’re working toward getting there. It’s the fifth game.”
Brandon DeFazio got a look in Ullstrom’s power-play spot in the second period, went to the net to deflect in the puck that Jon Landry put there, and stuck on that unit.
“On the power play, it was more a gut feeling,” Pellerin said.
“We got some success with DeFazio’s goal. … If you look at the team, we have so much depth. As a coach, you’ve got to use it.”
Besides, the coach laughed, he used Ullstrom in the right spot in the shootout, right? That, he did.
Game 1 for Jason Clark. “It went well,” he said. “We played well as a team, and that makes everybody a lot better individually.” It was a bit of a switch for him, after practicing at center, to play on the wing, but he felt fine with it. “I struggled a bit at first, but my coaches and my linemates were patient. That was really helpful, with Riles and Watty (Blair Riley and Matt Watkins).” He took the elbow from Cody Goloubef that led to the power play on which DeFazio scored. To Scott Pellerin: “I thought he played hard. He played his position well. … Overall I was happy with him and Sean Backman. They brought something to the team.”
Replay scoreboard: One each way in the shootout. DeFazio hit the crossbar in Round 5; Ullstrom put it under in Round 7. Geoff Miller checked them both and stuck with his initial calls.
Neglected to tweet when it happened, so here it is now: Triple Minor Alert in the box score! (Not that I quite got why Amadio deserved three minors there. Backman was shaken on the hit; I didn’t catch on the replay exactly how they collided, so I’ll take Miller’s word that the elbow was up. Not sure where two additional minors came from. But it all worked out all the way around. Springfield killed it. The Falcons got chances in the third.)
Prescout. So they’ll likely be angry and/or hungry again. A night after they did everything against Bridgeport, McCarthy-Kennedy-Kearns/Irwin-Acolatse were all minus-3 by the game’s midpoint. A reminder, if you’re afar and out of computer range but have satellite radio, that tomorrow’s game is on Sirius and XM.
Wait. Ladies and gentlemen: NORFOLK HAS LOST. No wonder the storm of the millennium is coming. That was 32 in a row in the regular season, over two seasons (and affiliations).
Given the header in the Ullstrom link, I feel comfortable linking to this today.