It’s ’80s Night in Syracuse, so maybe they throw together a 7-6 game or something like that. We’ll be following Lindsay Kramer Paul among others. We’ll be listening to Dan D’Uva (audio / pay-per-view).
Was asked on Twitter about the AHL playoff primer, which, you know, really never had to worry about that this year. Bridgeport’s mathematical playoff hopes hang by a thread, because there are still seven head-to-head games among the teams in sixth to ninth in the East, not to mention that Albany, back in 10th, still plays those teams five times. It’s obviously just a mathematical exercise at this point, but still, it’s conceivable that the mathematical end comes tonight.
–Poulin and Gudlevskis, Lindsay says.
–From the moment I looked up NCAA regional sites, I couldn’t help but think of this guy. Quinnipiac out there tonight. Yale was knocked out in overtime today in a heck of a game against BC.
Word from up there is that Bridgeport looks pretty much as it looked last Sunday and through practice this week, which implies:
F: Persson-Mouillierat (A)-Collberg
D: Ness (C)-Pulock
–Bridgeport called for too many men in the first minute. Poulin plays along a dump-in, it doesn’t get out, the point shot goes to the corner, Ashton sends it to the front, and new dad Mike Angelidis puts it in at 2:41. That ends Bridgeport’s streak of consecutive penalty kills at 16, tied for the season high.
–PK streak at one now after Bridgeport kills a McMillan boarding minor.
–Poulin’s had to make a few good saves here in the middle of the first period.
–Quine deflects in a Mayfield point shot with 4:03 left in the first to tie it. Gudlevskis has to stop Pelech from the point with Halmo in his eyes a moment later.
–Not 4:03, 4:24.
–They’ll start the second at four-on-four after a late tussle between Halmo and Marchessault; it’s 1-1.
–The assists on the Quine goal go to Mayfield and Pelech. Hilariously, they were originally credited to Persson and Collberg.
–Ryan Martindale follows up a rush — Kunyk was hauled down by one or the other of Czuczman or Reinhart — to backhand it home at 3:06. Meanwhile Sutter — without his helmet; he’s been wearing a full shield to protect that broken jaw — and Charlie Dodero fight after the puck goes in. Seemed as if Sutter was OK. 2-1 Crunch.
–Haven’t been counting the Corsis and whatnot, but shots on goal are 23-10 Crunch, 6:09 into the second, when Martindale gets called for hooking Jeffrey.
–Bridgeport gets a 48-second five-on-three as Luke Witkowski’s called for going at Halmo on a faceoff.
–Couple of shots on the five-on-three, including a Pulock blast, to no avail. Syracuse kills the second minor, spending a good bit of it in Bridgeport’s end.
–The Sound Tigers have failed to score on their past eight five-on-threes. And, granted, that includes three instances of 10 seconds or less, but it includes this 48-second one, one of 23 seconds, one of 32 seconds, and two of two minutes. (The last goal was actually that Kael Mouillierat goal late in the WBS game that was the last goal Matt Murray allowed for a month.)
–Bridgeport’s turn for an unsportsmanlike penalty: Mark Louis. Late in the minor, Sundstrom loses a draw, Dotchin misses one wide from the left point, the Crunch wheel it around quickly back to him, and he picks the far post with the one-timer this time. Crunch lead 3-1, sixish left in the second.
–Gourde knocks Collberg over after Gourde and Pelech collide going for a popup. A couple of fights seem to break out all at once — Dan D’Uva was calling a Mayfield-Ashton fight while Mouillierat and Gourde were going on camera — but it’s Mayfield who gets the game misconduct for the presumable secondary altercation.
–Crunch lead 3-1 after two, though Poulin had to make a couple of big last-minute saves to keep it that way. Slight Crunch shots edge in the second, 32-22 in all after two.
–Even on second thought, the secondary to Mayfield and Ashton seems even weirder since that’s where the linesmen were. Rank pulled Gourde off Mouillierat himself.
–Crunch kill a penalty with lots of Kristers Gudlevskis action. But then Syracuse turns it over to Ness at the Bridgeport blue line, Ness sends Jeffrey ahead, Jeffrey shucks his way into the Syracuse zone and scores from the left circle at 5:21 to make it 3-2 Crunch.
The assist puts Ness in 12th place in team scoring (23-89-112), one ahead of Jesse Joensuu, one behind Rhett Rakhshani, then three more to Ben Walter in 10th. He’s seven points behind Matt Donovan for the most points for a Bridgeport defenseman, and he’s tied with Steve Regier for third in franchise history with 89 assists. (Rob Collins is second with 110.)
–Joel Vermin makes it 4-2 midway third. Carries it up the right, may’ve used Gillies as a bit of a screen and rings it off the left post and in. Justin Courtnall gets the assist way back in the D zone.
–Hartford ran over Providence 5-0. The Wolf Pack clinch a finish ahead of Bridgeport for the fourth time in five years. (The other time, Hartford won that playoff series.)
—Worcester beats Springfield. I think that keeps Bridgeport mathematically alive for one more day.
–Meanwwhile Gudlevskis makes a couple of saves on a late Dodero interference minor, but soon after, McMillan buries a rebound of a Sundstrom bad-angle shot with 2:34 to go. Crunch lead 4-3.
–Poulin out for an extra attacker after Bridgeport calls time out with 1:54 left.
–A little more than a minute to go, Pulock stepped up in the slot, fired through and… hit a post, apparently. Aaron Ness raised his stick in front thinking it went in. Garrett Rank will take a look at the overhead.
–Twitter’s ahead, so we know it’s no goal with 50.3 seconds left.
—Syracuse 4, Bridgeport 3, final. J.P. Cote with some key blocks down the stretch.
–Only semi-noticed: Vaughan was on defense for the McMillan goal; got the second assist. Didn’t catch if they’d done much of that after Mayfield was tossed, but in the first game of three-in-three, on the road, far from a bad idea.
–Tossed the Devils-Admirals game. Mike Keenan’s out there killing a penalty in overtime. Love it.
–For closure, Albany won that game when Joe Whitney stepped out of the box and took a lead pass. Norfolk defenseman played the pass instead of trying to cut off Whitney (would’ve been close at best, but still), and Whitney sniped it on Jason LaBarbera.
–They didn’t quit, Brent Thompson said. I said, yeah, there were times they could’ve kind of taken it over, and Bridgeport didn’t let them. “I don’t think we have that in us,” Thompson said. “It’s a pretty good group of guys. The older guys stepped up, but I’m happy with how the young guys played.” Some of the young defensemen joining the play, for instance, impressed him.
So did Mayfield and Mouillierat going at it. “It was the right time,” he said. “We were down. It inspired the rest of the guys to get going. Mayfield, Mouillierat, they said ‘we’re going to make it hard on you guys.'”
The first period was OK. The second, they made a couple of mistakes on the forecheck that led to rushes, and that was costly. And he loved their third. (There’s score effects and whatnot, but they played well.)
Special teams had to be better, obviously. “The penalty kill did a lot of good things, but we gave up two.”
Thompson said Matt Carkner is possible for tomorrow, and he’ll talk to Brett Gallant, too. He’s expecting lineup changes, anyway; had a couple of healthy scratches tonight.