Fairly sure Griffin Reinhart played more tonight than in his last two NHL games combined.
For the second time in three games, a defenseman was missing most of the night (see the pregame post for Aaron Ness’ update; tonight, Andrey Pedan gets the ever-popular interference major/game misconduct for a hit on Stefan Matteau). Then with 15:19 left in regulation another disappeared (Brent Thompson didn’t have the early update on Scott Mayfield, who didn’t play again after a fight, when we talked).
Now pit that short bench against a team full of quick little forwards. Have fun.
“Our D, I tip my hat to them,” Thompson said. “They worked hard. They’ve got to realize that (the Devils) do have a lot of speed. Seven of the nine forwards on their top three lines can all fly. … You’ve got to be aware.”
The Devils found a way a few times — a cross-ice pass to the open guy across the bottom of the circles? Ehh. A floater through lots of traffic? Happens. Broken play right to Raman Hrabarenka, the hottest shot in the building? I mean come on — but Bridgeport found a way to (a) contain that, (2) never get down by two, (iii) come back each time, even down to the simplest defensive rotation this side of a D-III high school game.
“Short shifts,” Thompson said. “That’s the biggest thing. Credit to the conditioning. It was a tough haul for the guys on the back end.”
Had seen some concern on Twitter about the dry scrape taking a lot of the energy out of the building after regulation. I can see that. There were only a couple of three-on-three shifts because of Albany’s penalty (looked like Griffin Reinhart gave Paul Thompson a bump into Kevin Poulin), and really the only Grade-A chance was Johan Sundstrom, point-blank, off a Pulock feed from behind the net. It’ll take some getting used to. Actually, hopefully don’t get a chance to get used to it. (I will admit to being just a little disappointed that Brent Thompson didn’t bust out the line he used a few times three years ago about four-on-score overtime and the shootout: “That’s not playoff hockey.”)
When you’ve got a guy with a shot like Pulock’s, as Kael Mouillierat said, you try to get him an open shot on the power play. They haven’t been able to do that as much as they’d like, but he had a couple of tries tonight. Wondered how they felt they were moving it on the PP (which is 3-for-11, including 1-for-5 tonight on a nice Graham to Mouillierat to the front for a Lee backhander), especially with talk of chemistry a few times in the first couple of weeks. “It’s early in the year,” Pulock said. “Every game it’s getting a little better. Obviously we’re trying to get used to where guys are going to be. We’ve got to continue to work hard, to outwork the other team. We’ve got a lot of skilled guys. It will come. We’ll keep getting better.” At this instant, though, there are only two teams better statistically: Lehigh Valley at 41.7 percent, and the Albany Raman Hrabarenkas at 33.3 percent. (Sample sizes and what have you.)
First replay look of the season: A peek at Mike Sislo’s shootout goal that went over the glove and under the bar. Didn’t take Dave Lewis long.
Speaking of Phantoms, the new barn in Allentown opens for hockey with a Lehigh Valley win on Brandon Manning’s OT goal. In Norfolk, two fights for both Nate McIver and Scott Sabourin tonight, so they both got tossed under the new two-fights-yer-out rule.
Stockton opens tonight in Bakersfield.
While we’re at it, Sound Tigers- or local-tied players (including camp tryouts) noted on ECHL season-opening rosters. (I’m sure I missed a few. Sorry.) Italics on either NYI or BST contract.
Alaska: G Andy Iles, D Corey Syvret, F Justin Johnson. Allen: G Riley Gill, F Chad Costello. Brampton: F Jason Pitton, F Jason Dale. Cincinnati: F Kevin Sullivan (Darien). Colorado: G Kent Simpson, F Darryl Bootland. Elmira: F Brayden Irwin. Evansville: D Ty Wishart, F Matt Lowry. Florida: D Mike Cornell, F Brant Harris, F Adam Brace, F Matt Mangene. Fort Wayne: F Matt Pistilli. Greenville: D Sean Escobedo, D Dallas Jackson, D Mike Banwell. Gwinnett: D Art Bidlevskii, F Bobby Hughes. Kalamazoo: G Scott Munroe, G Joel Martin, D Sam Ftorek, F Jean Bourbeau, F Justin Taylor. Missouri: D Guy Leboeuf. Orlando: D Blake Kessel, F/D Ben Rosen, D Mike Keenan, F Greg Miller, F Alex Gallant, F Nick Larson. Quad City: G Parker Milner, D Matt Duffy. Rapid City: D Dan Tetrault. Reading: F Sean Wiles, F Ryan Cruthers, F Pat Mullane (Wallingford), F Olivier Labelle. South Carolina: F Joey Diamond, F Andrew Rowe, F Jack Downing (New Canaan), D Drew MacKenzie (New Canaan). Stockton: G Philippe Trudeau, D Loic Leduc, D Keith Seabrook, D Brad Stebner, D Shawn Boutin, F Adam Phillips, F Mike Pereira (West Haven), F Peter Sivak, F Lukas Sutter, F/D Tyler Maxwell, F Jack MacLellan, F Tyler Shattock, F Ryan Hayes, F Jessey Astles. Toledo: D Shane Sims, F Justin Mercier, F Josh Holmstrom. Utah: D Marc Cantin, F Michael Pelech. Wheeling: F Max MacKay.
In the big football game ’round here, Newtown denied Ansonia a share of the state record for the longest winning streak with a 14-8 win. Sounds like instant classic.
Thomson and Thompson in the penalty box a day after a Giant hits a homer to win the pennant? #toogeeky
— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) October 18, 2014
Sorry, I’m absurdly proud of that one.