Bridgeport pays its lone visit to Binghamton tonight. After they were division rivals and, for one brief, shining moment, playoff rivals, they have met just once in each city for six years in a row now. Understandable but disappointing. Anyway.
To remain mathematically alive, Bridgeport needs: (a) a win; (b) a Worcester regulation loss to St. John’s; (c) a Springfield regulation loss to Hartford. (To get through the weekend, it’ll need Springfield to beat Worcester in regulation on Sunday while beating Hershey itself, with at least one of its wins this weekend coming in regulation or OT.) Fun with math!
Ex-Yalie Andrew Miller got his first NHL goal on a penalty shot last night for the Oilers. Chris Kuc wrote a nice piece on the NHL Department of Player Safety… and he happened to be there the day Andrew Shaw head-butted Brock Nelson.
RIP, Joel Moskowitz.
More 6:30ish, if not earlier. College games to watch in the meantime.
–Fairfield’s Quinn Smith and BC were knocked out in Providence.
–It’ll be C.J. Motte getting his first pro start tonight. Peter Mannino will be in for Binghamton for the first time since last Sunday’s game in Bridgeport.
BRIDGEPORT as we’re told
F: Persson-Mouillierat (A)-Collberg
D: Ness (C)-Pulock
BINGHAMTON from Grady
R: Luxmore, Brenk. L: Kotyra, Harper.
—Trevor Gillies has a goal for Adirondack tonight. I know Colton Gillies would like one for Bridgeport. Game on in Binghamton, though I’m getting some technical difficulties.
–The Sens throw some rubber on Motte early, but he’s up to it.
–No-go for Bridgeport on an early power play, with Gallant drawing a slash on Sdao on his first shift back. I didn’t see Gallant on that power play (he said, tongue in cheek), but since his PPG against Portland, Bridgeport is now 7-for-92.
–Sens are outshooting Bridgeport 10-2 about 11 minutes in. Still scoreless.
–After Bridgeport kills off its second penalty, Mike Halmo collects a Binghamton turnover at its own blue line and beats Mannino with 4:22 left in the first to make it 1-0. Shots 10-4 Bingo, says Grady. Halmo’s first goal in eight games since coming back from injury; first since Dec. 5 in all.
–Wow. Gallant-Sdao in a long one. Gallant was all over him for a long while with the right until Sdao pulled him down. Gallant got up, and it became a little more of a trade for a few seconds before Sdao landed one of the bigger shots I’ve ever seen Gallant take, a left hand to end it. Seven minutes apiece for taking off the helmets, so they’ll sit the first three minutes of the second.
–With 1:04 left in the first, Dzingel takes a stick to the face and goes straight to the room. Is that injury? Apparently not, because the referees take Ryan Pulock for a high-sticking minor. The interest compounds because the replay pretty clearly showed Pulock did nothing and it was probably Kael Mouillierat’s stick that did the damage. Works for Bridgeport, though; Pulock doesn’t kill penalties, while Mouillierat does. C.J. Motte makes a blocker save on a one-timer and finishes the first with 14 saves as the Sound Tigers lead 1-0 after one with 56 seconds left on the penalty.
–Bridgeport gets through the rest of the Pulock minor. Grady notes that Brett Gallant is in the Bridgeport penalty box but Mike Sdao is not.
–What a crazy day of college hockey so far. BU on to the Frozen Four after a late PPG. Providence leading Miami 6-2 after two. RIT being RIT.
–For clarity as I crack myself up, Sdao is not in the Binghamton penalty box. It’d be a bigger story were he in the Bridgeport box.
–With Prince serving a Binghamton bench minor, Pulock keeps in a Senators clear, and a few seconds later, with Mannino without a stick, Pulock blasts one home a bit past five minutes into the second. It’s Pulock’s 11th power-play goal (Stan Galiev went into tonight with 13 and doesn’t seem to have one yet) and first since he came back. Ness gets his 90th career assist and now has third all alone in that category.
–Chris Wideman drives the slot and runs into Motte on a rebound. Try to get the kid off his game, why not. For all our 7-for-92 (now 8-for-93), might as well point out they’re 3-for-their-last-16 now.
–Bridgeport gets 20 seconds of five-on-three after Lepine puts one over the glass (grumble). Bridgeport wins the draw, but Pulock’s shot goes wide, and a backdoor pass doesn’t make it to Mouillierat. Wideman’s back. (3-for-17… sorry.)
–Distracted by an assortment of things, mostly digging up some facts but partly Twitter reports of accidents on ice (it’s spring and it’s snowing and I give up), and Miami pulling its goalie for an extra skater (with 12 minutes left). Bridgeport leads 2-0 after two; it’ll have 33 seconds of a Lepine hook left to start the third.
–Actually, it appears Bridgeport will not have that 33 seconds of power play: Halmo’s got a roughing minor on the ledger at the 20-minute mark for a scrum behind the net.
–Miami’s cut it to 6-4 with about four minutes left here. Huh.
–Holy cro, Providence College lead cut to 6-5 with 93 seconds left.
–The scoresheet indicates no third-period shots on goal, 7:12 into the period. Bridgeport’ll take that. Meanwhile, Providence got an empty-netter with a few seconds left. A Miami defenseman prevented an empty-net own goal with about 50 seconds left, diving into the crease and deflecting the puck up off the post and away. Insane. Back to Bingo, Persson gets a shot from the left side of the net soon after that faceoff; Binghamton comes the other way and breaks up the shutout on a rebound at 7:44. McCormick, a rebound of Aaron Johnson’s left-circle shot.
–The stuff I was looking up, which no longer matters: The only Bridgeport goalies to earn shutouts in their Sound Tigers debuts? Rick DiPietro (Game 1 of the franchise), Oct. 5, 2001; and Dusan Salficky, nine days later. (Nate Lawson made all of six saves in relief on Nov. 8, 2008, and got the win in overtime. He relieved, of course, one Peter Mannino.)
–Bridgeport gets it back a minute and a half later, Halmo’s second of the night. He spun away from a Senator behind the net, came out to the right circle and somehow beat Mannino long side to make it 3-1.
–Griffin Reinhart comes down the right wing hard, carries through the circle and puts it short-side past Mannino’s glove with 6:09 to go. Bridgeport leads it 4-1.
Rough break for the Sound Tigers only playing Binghamton twice, apparently.
–Both Worcester and Springfield have separately reached overtime. Assuming both don’t brain-cramp, pull their goalies and lose in overtime, Bridgeport will be mathematically eliminated tonight.
–Bridgeport hasn’t had a ton of guys make their pro debuts in its uniform, but if you don’t count Mikko Koskinen and Anders Nilsson (given their European pro careers as younger guys in a different development system), Motte may be the first Bridgeport goalie to win his pro debut. It’s tricky to dig through, so I don’t want to say that too confidently. But anyway: Bridgeport 4, Binghamton 1, final.
Oh, and Worcester won, so it’s official: No playoffs for the third year in a row (longest drought in the team’s 14 years).
–Fairly sure this is a personal record for opening up the door, looking out and saying “are you (bleep)in’ kidding me?” on a March 28. What the heck, weather.
—Trinity College won the Division III championship tonight out in Minnesota. (Amherst and David White was knocked out in the national semis.)
–Brent Thompson was impressed with Motte. “I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops and grows.” Toss him back in tomorrow? He sounded doubtful but said they’d talk about it on the ride home.
Nice to see Halmo get back on the board? “He played a little simpler game,” Thompson said. “He kept it simple.” Shooting the puck more, more success on the boards, finishing his hits: “That’s his game in the offensive zone.” He was doing all those good things, but the team was doing a lot of good things. “They were obviously inspired by the young goaltender,” Thompson said, “and Gally’s fight, too.” Gallant didn’t play much after the fight, but that was more about the injury that’d kept him out recently than it was about anything he took in the fight, Thompson said.
They’ll come home to finish the three-in-three tomorrow. More then.