This has been the season where something somewhere is always going wrong, and tonight’s turn was pretty clearly Kevin Poulin’s.
Some bad luck, perhaps — what looked like an Adam Comrie floater apparently ticked off Colton Gillies for the tying goal — but not his night, as Brent Thompson put about as bluntly as he’s put a goaltending comment: “outgoaltended” by Anthony Stolarz, who made 38 saves and shook off the two early goals.
Poulin shut out Providence on Nov. 30* to boost his numbers about as high as they’d get this year. His .935 save percentage then would rank second in the league going into today (hard to maintain, sample sizes, etc.; it was up there, IIRC, back then, maybe not second, though), and his 2.24 GAA would rank 13th.
We can tick off the myriad things that have gone wrong since then, some of which were there earlier but masked by the early victories: When the goaltending’s been there, they haven’t scored. When they’ve scored goals, they’ve been abysmal at the other end. It’s been a learning process all the way around, as Thompson said, needing everyone to do their jobs.
How has this year been for Poulin, the ups and downs around this team?
“I’m just focused on myself, trying to do the best I can,” Poulin said. “I can’t score goals. I’m focused on my job. It’s a team sport. I can’t do it all.”
Kent Simpson tomorrow.
Alan Quine’s two early goals sent me to the list of hat tricks, which includes the oddity that Bridgeport could be 15 games away from its first season without a hat trick. But it could be a multiples-of-five thing: The only seasons in which the first hat trick came later in the season than this: 2004-05 (April 1) and 2009-10 (April 9).
Prescout. Carter Ashton with the classic Empty-Net-Game-Winner-With-17.5-Seconds-Left.
In Binghamton, 367 days after he signed, Stamford’s Ryan Haggerty records his first two-goal game as a pro. Hartford’s back in playoff position for the moment. That looks like a dogfight.
West Haven’s Mike Pereira was back in the lineup tonight for Stockton. He’s been out since Dec. 20 in an injury-plagued rookie year.
Former Bridgeport ATO and former UConn right winger Brant Harris signed a PTO with Adirondack today. He scored a goal tonight.
South Carolina is pulling a Norfolk.
Among the college seasons ending tonight: Sacred Heart’s. Gave Canisius a run tonight, sounds like, outscored just 4-1 in the two games, but eliminated nonetheless at 13-19-6.
Tip of cap to Hamden High coach Bill Verneris. Well, I guess former coach Bill Verneris now. Good guy. There’s no reason his successor shouldn’t be Todd Hall, formerly of the Hartford Wolf Pack.
And RIP, Al Rosen.
*-That’s, coincidentally, the last time Bridgeport has had a three-goal lead on home ice.