Things happen, like injuries (John Persson is “week to week,” though nothing major, is how Brent Thompson termed it), curious unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties, accidental backhanders short-side. For the most part, Bridgeport’s response all weekend to those was pretty good.
“Our response was excellent tonight,” Thompson said. “We didn’t hang our heads. We played hard.”
It got them only two points in six games.
“Their goalie (Anthony Stolarz) made a lot of good saves tonight,” Harry Zolnierczyk said. “Their goalie (Rob Zepp) made a lot of good saves last night. It’s not always that easy to put in a rebound.”
They had 21 shots in the second period, a few shooting-gallery moments when the Phantoms blocked shots in front of Stolarz. And in a special-teams game like this, flow’s always at a premium, but they had their chances.
The power play got a couple; the penalty kill gave up three. In one view, the difference. There were other things along the way, too.
“It’s a matter of making the right puck decisions,” Thompson said. “If we’re always turning it over and chasing it into our end, we’re not tiring them out; they’re tiring us out.”
There was plenty of effort, decent enough pace for a Sunday afternoon. But the Phantoms just had a little more.
The Phantoms’ second goal is Darroll Powe’s, unassisted, because Scott Mayfield tucked it in himself. He felt Powe coming and went to backhand hit behind for Adam Pelech; it went in on Poulin. (More on that in the gamer.) Bridgeport gave up a power-play goal seconds later and was behind the 8-ball. “The goal I put in was a little momentum shift, but it happens. We’ve got to build on that. Our penalty kill has got to be better. (Saturday) night, it was a big difference in the game, nine PKs.”
Since we went all #fancystats during the week, Bridgeport’s Fenwick Close this weekend: in all situations (including overtime) 107/108 (49.8 percent), even strength 76/58 (56.7 percent), five-on-five 66/55 (54.5 percent).
They played 36:30 at five-on-five tonight, by the way, almost 11 minutes in the first period, 12 and a half in the second, a bit over 13 in the third. (See if I’m moved to do the full Penalty Party chart. Might be worth it for these two games. Thirty power plays in 127 minutes.)
Further down on the farm, Sebastian Collberg scored the game-winner Saturday night in Stockton with 2:57 left. He had an assist each of the past two nights as well, so he’s 1-2-3 in three games with five shots. After three-in-three against Alaska, the Thunder play Wednesday, then Friday-Saturday-Sunday, all at Colorado. (And we’re weirded out by back-to-back games against the same team.)
They’re practicing tomorrow before a day off Tuesday — funky Friday/Sunday schedule this week — so we’ll give a look then.