Stephon Williams stole the show — I mean, that diving glove save on Matthew Peca is gonna stand out a little — but Johan Sundstrom getting the winner, man…
“Listen, he definitely deserved it, with all the chances he’s had all year,” Brent Thompson said. “He’s done a great job for us on the penalty kill and the defensive side. He’s been snakebit. He’s had a ton of chances.”
Snakebit barely covers it. Posts on breakaways. Shots just wide. all alone, sliding it under the goalie, hitting the post. If you can somehow not score on a golden opportunity, Sundstrom has probably found it this year. Or rather, it has found Sundstrom.
“It was nice to see him get a big goal for us,” Thompson said, “and two, to get the monkey off his back.”
It was, as Sundstrom said, a nice play by Ryan Pulock to set him up, from the hash marks on the outside of the right circle as Sundstrom went to the net for the redirection. It went top shelf on Allen York to win it.
“It’s been not my bounces lately,” Sundstrom said. “The whole year mirrored that. It’s good to get some confidence, get some power-play time.”
And it got a win for Williams. Thought I might be referencing this post from last weekend to talk about shutouts in a Bridgeport debut, but just like last week, that didn’t happen. We’ll reference it for this reason: Aside from Mikko Koskinen and Anders Nilsson, who’d played professionally as young players in their native lands, I didn’t have another Bridgeport goalie winning his pro debut until C.J. Motte. (And again, not a ton of guys making their pro debuts as Sound Tigers.) Now there are two in a week.
“The guys were sacrificing the body,” Williams said. “Especially in the third, they were making some big blocks.”
Williams said he tried to keep it simple.
“I think I got more comfortable as the game went on,” Williams said. “I started getting more shots and got into a rhythm.”
And then there was that time he got tangled with Kevin Lynch in front, had to dive to his left and glove the puck after Peca swatted it away from Matt Carkner (who’d just blocked a Justin Courtnall shot)… Yeah, not bad.
A reminder that there’s a game Monday night, postponed from Dec. 21. Bridgeport’s taking tomorrow off for Easter.
Lower body for Mike Halmo, who departed after two periods; to be reevaluated.
A solid debut for Colin Markison, who got something like eight shifts but still managed to put four shots on goal. Playing mostly on the fourth line, but they generated a bit.
Pulock’s power-play goal was his 16th (tying Bruno Gervais’ 2005-06 single-season record for Bridgeport defensemen) and his 13th power-play goal (tying Gervais’ career record for power-play goals by a Bridgeport defenseman). The 13 PPGs tie Trent Hunter for the fifth-most by a Sound Tiger in a season. (Jeff Hamilton had 20 in 2003-04, then 15 when he came back two years later; Trevor Smith had 14 in 2008-09, matching what Dave Roche did in the inaugural season.)
Didn’t know until my figures didn’t add up tonight that Aaron Ness got credit for a second assist last Friday in Syracuse:
(Through 4/4/15, SYR. Italic: defenseman record.)
Ray Giroux had 40 assists in 2001-02. Getting 10 more for Ness in seven games will be tricky, unless there are some other scoring changes they can pull off.
Um, yeah, so Peca can play a little bit. He always stood out at Quinnipiac, tonight, the pass he made to set up the Lynch goal — denied by Griffin Reinhart in the left circle after Charlie Dodero fired a pass to send him in as the teams changed, changing gears, pulling up, turning and backhanding a pass to find Lynch going to the net — was a thing of beauty. (I tweeted about it: There was a kid in a Quinnipiac sweater in front of us who jumped up for each of Peca’s first few shifts. Very excited. Very pumped when he made that pass. It was awesome to see.)
Junior Draft Pick (And Free-Agent-Signing) Watch: Kyle Burroughs’ Medicine Hat Tigers are trying to finish off Red Deer in Game 5 tonight, which could well keep him from making an appearance here this spring. Edit: Burroughs assisted on the game-winner. They advance. Oshawa finished off its first-round series Friday night, so similarly, a Michael Dal Colle visit here got dramatically less likely. Niagara and Charlottetown are both up 3-2 in their series, so Joshua Ho-Sang and Ross Johnston are a win away from joining Dal Colle in their respective leagues’ second rounds.
Prescout. (“Why, that’s from last night.” “Shhhh.”)
Kevin Woodley on practice, for goaltenders, and how it’s not exactly conducive to goaltending practice.
The United States is the women’s world champion for the fifth time in six years.
And RIP, Canadiens legend Elmer Lach.