Returns to the Land of Chocolate: Hershey liveblog

On Bridgeport’s last trip to Hershey, it was without Ryan Pulock, when he got his call-up and warmup. It’ll make its second (and different-kind-of-last) trip, but with Pulock this time after he missed, basically, 20 games for an entirely different reason.

We’re home, unfortunately (or with the weather, maybe the opposite), but we’ll be listening to Scott Stuccio (audio / pay per view) and following Paul and Tim Leone.

The box should be here, and this would then be Norfolk at Worcester. First Bridgeport game for referee Jonathan Alarie.

Could also be the first Bridgeport game for Carson McMillan and Cam Reid.

More closer to gametime.

–Poulin for Bridgeport, reports Tim.

–From Scott, same four forward lines for Hershey as Sunday in Bridgeport; defense pairs tweaked with Cameron Schilling up and Steve Oleksy back:

F: Conner-Kennedy-Galiev
Cornet-J. O’Brien-Wellman
L. O’Brien-Broda-Mitchell (A)
D: Carrick-Oleksy (A)
Moore (A)-Burgdoerfer
G: Copley

R: Alarie. L: Alphonso, Pomento.

–While we await the Bridgeport lineup, Pete Michaud tweets that Norfolk’s in white in Worcester. Again tomorrow for the Admirals’ last visit ever? Could be, huh?

–No McMillan, says Scott, but Reid’s in. If they run as they did yesterday and just add Reid to the fourth line, it’d be something like:

F: Persson-Langkow-Conacher
Zolnierczyk (A)-Quine-Vaughan
Gillies (A)-Sundstrom-Stretch
D: Ness (C)-Pulock
G: Poulin

We’ll see.

–Quine taking a defensive-zone draw with it looks like at least one fourth-line winger on with him. The Bears win it, Carrick comes in off the left wing and trickles a shot under Poulin; looks like Broda beats Pulock back to it. 1-0 Bears early.

–With Gallant off for interference, Kennedy skates it into the zone to set it up, Kennedy later takes it across the top of the right circle, fakes a shot and puts it upstairs. 2-0 Hershey early on.

–This is so far like one of those Bridgeport-Hershey games at Giant Center from the middle to late part of the last decade, where the puck never left the Bridgeport zone and the goals just felt inevitable.

–Bears had the only shot on Bridgeport’s first power play after Pulock lost the puck at the point to Newbury.

–Kennedy’s hit by a Carkner shot, but the puck bounces up in the air, and Cam Reid backhands it home out of midair in the right circle to make it 2-1 Hershey in his Sound Tigers debut.

–With Reid off for tripping, Carkner’s also sent off for tripping to make it a short five-on-three, and though Johan Sundstrom blocks one pass, Galiev scores through traffic from the top of the left circle, inside the right post, to make it 3-1.

–It’s 3-1 after one, and shots are 18-6 Hershey (and one of those six was Scott Mayfield from about 200 feet at the buzzer). There’s 23 seconds of an Aaron Ness cross-check left to start the second.

–Bridgeport kills another Ness penalty, this for a trip as Wellman goes to the net. Went to grab the Florida Everblades boxes from the past couple of nights, belatedly. Graham and Czuczman were both minus-1 Friday (Peter Sivak down there for Orlando), out there together on the last goal they were on for. Czuczman’s got an assist tonight (as does Sivak).

Meanwhile tonight in the AHL: Another Bridgeport power play goes somewhat quietly…. but after it ends, the puck bounces off Quine in the slot; he spins and fires to cut it to 3-2 Hershey.

–Chaos. Courtnall drives off the left wing to the net, Copley makes the save, Hershey wants a penalty, and after the whistle, it all slowly boils. Brown chases a couple of Bridgeport players all the way to the box. Mayfield gets shoved into the penalty box by one of the linesmen, Gallant winds up chasing someone to the other box, Mayfield comes back and jumps into the fracas, and everyone’s in on it including Copley and Poulin. Copley quickly takes Poulin down.

–Chaos. The goalies are out, naturally, secondary altercations.

–If they are, in fact, fighting majors, it’s the first Bridgeport goalie major since Joey MacDonald’s three in 2007-08, right? (The last was with a goalie, John Curry.)

–It sounded as if Gallant got two game misconducts out of all that. If so, that could be automatic suspensions, depending what they were for; he already had three, though two that counted toward accumulation. Meanwhile, as the Gallant minor that sparked all that expires, Grubauer trips Zolnierczyk to send Bridgeport to the power play.

–Scott wonders if this is the first time both Hershey goalies were penalized in the same game.

–The wacky second period expires with Hershey leading 3-2. A stronger period for the Sound Tigers, who were on the verge of being blown out of the building in the first 25 minutes or so.

–Gallant did get two game misconducts, though the box doesn’t have the rule numbers yet. Liam O’Brien also got two for the Bears. Connor Carrick is listed with one for the Bears, but there’s no complementary one for Bridgeport. Courtnall and Oleksy get misconducts. And the goalies with game misconducts, too, and fighting majors.

Chaos. (And we’ve seen in the past in melees like this, the penalty record is often updated.)

–Impressive job by Chris Brown, stirring the pot, getting it to a boil… and skating with just a major.

–Gallant with 37 penalty minutes there, 39 for the night. Team record is 45 (Godard/Brennan).

–They updated: Mayfield got a game misconduct, too. That’d be his third, and I’d have to double-check if they all qualify for accumulation.

–And they upgraded Newbury and Courtnall to game misconducts from 10s. Fighting majors, too.

–Sundstrom gets away with hauling down Galiev at one end with Hershey on a power play. At the other end, Wellman gets called for a hook. Wacky.

–Not that it matters. Hershey threads a cross-ice pass to Conner in the right circle. He does a 360 spin on Reinhart and goes blocker side on Leggio, a beauty, to make it 4-2 Bears with 9:07 left. Technically short-handed by two seconds.

–Zolnierczyk gets one back with 3:36 to go, shoveled neatly by Stretch on his backhand across the front of the net. It’s 4-3 Hershey.

–Meanwhile, WBS goalie Matt Murray picked up his seventh shutout of the year. I think Wade Dubielewicz still has the AHL rookie record with nine in 2003-04.

Hershey 4, Bridgeport 3, final. Could’ve been a lot worse, and earlier in the year, you’d say character, something to build on. But it’s getting beyond that point. Too bad. Wild night.

–Carrick’s the No. 1 star with three first-period assists. Tossed in the line brawl, he’s already dressed; got the suit and the glasses going.

–The relievers get the decision. Leggio faces five shots, and one of them is that thing. Lucky him.

–Troy Mann said he thought Poulin cut the back of his head when he went down; didn’t notice that. Said they wanted a penalty on Courtnall crashing the net, thought Gallant instigated the whole thing, agreed Mayfield left the box.

–Mayfield is listed as a secondary altercation right now, and Courtnall is listed as leaving the box. That could be backward.

–From Newsday, a good start for Kael Mouillierat up there. Nice.

–Good win for Sacred Heart over Holy Cross.

–Now Mayfield’s and Courtnall’s rules are switched… and now Gallant has only one game misconduct, for the secondary altercation. Liam O’Brien’s two are for a third man in and for leaving the bench. So apparently they’re calling Mayfield-Brown the primary and everything else secondary.

–Thompson said Poulin’s OK. More in a few.

–Thompson wanted to see the tape before he went too deeply into the fight, but he liked the emotion at least. “We pulled together. We stuck up for each other,” he said. “I like the fact Gally initiated. We came together, the emotion, the passion. Again, the second and third periods, we played hard. We responded to that physicality we had. It was too little, too late, obviously.

“But again: bad start, we played 40 minutes. You could say that’s our M.O. all year. When we put together a 60-minute game, we win. When we spot teams a two-goal lead, it’s always a tough game.”

But, yeah, he said Poulin’s fine. Just a cut, I asked? “Poulin’s fine.”

Carkner “played solid. He didn’t hurt us. He gave us a bit of bite, edge.” Pulock’s timing wasn’t quite there, “as far as shots on net, executing passes.” But that’s to be expected; good to have him back. Reid jumps in and scores a goal “in limited minutes. He comes in, that’s what supposed to be his thing, leading Reading in scoring.” It was probably either Reid or McMillan in the lineup tonight, and they went with Reid. “We’ll give (McMillan) a chance,” Thompson said.

Norfolk in tomorrow.

Michael Fornabaio