Blown opportunity

A 4-2 lead after 12:21, and they collect precisely 16 more shots in 47:39.

OK, they hit a couple of posts. OK, they were looking for a penalty call or two to go differently (suspect they may have evened out, though you’ve got to love the interference call in the last minute).

May not be fatal, but it’s pretty devastating.

“I thought we turned the puck over too much,” Scott Pellerin said; he’d said earlier he thought he had some passengers. “You play that kind of game with a speedy team like that, it’s a track meet. … We’re better in a wrestling match.”

Even at 4-2, it wasn’t like they were peppering Allen York. They had seven shots, and you could identify them all, because their only shots came, more or less, on their scoring plays. Wishart save, Riley rebound goal. Campbell off DeFazio’s centering pass; goal. Niederreiter kicked out with the right leg; Nelson scores from the top of the right circle seconds later on the same power play. Watkins stopped in front; Backman rebound goal. (one two three four) There’s your seven.

They’d found ways to score there. They didn’t again.


They score two power-play goals, and you kind of remember the 0-for-6 that finished the night more than the 2-for-2 that started it. In the second, they got a power play off a too-many-men penalty — a puck hit a guy’s skate at the door, but Bridgeport still broke out three-on-two; it may’ve been the play, in fact, that left Paul Dainton injured — and had a two-man advantage for 36 seconds. Those were, in fact, the only three power plays in the second. And they were credited with one more shot than that in the full 20 minutes (though Diamond hit iron at even strength late).

John Persson couldn’t go today; he’s day-to-day, Pellerin said, and the coach is hopeful he’ll be OK for Saturday.

The Whale shut out Worcester, moving back into sixth place, a point ahead of the Penguins (and a point behind Portland) and now nine ahead of Bridgeport. Worcester’s back-to-back losses have knocked the Sharks’ games in hand down quite a bit. They’re at 65 along with Bridgeport and Albany still, six behind the eighth-place Bears, two behind 10th-place Norfolk, four behind ninth-place Manchester.

Time’s running short, in other words.

Not as big a lead blown late for the Big Club, but they get a shootout win after Colin McDonald scores twice.

Michael Fornabaio