Sports is shared experiences and whatnot, but yeah, the AHL changes things up so much that when you say “Bridgeport hadn’t won in Hershey in four years,” how much does that mean? The only Sound Tiger dressed that night who was in the house tonight is Aaron Ness. (Same coaching staff at the bench, at least.) When you say “one win there since 2007,” it probably means less*.
Still, it’s a franchise, there are records, and sometimes they’re sorta funny.
I keep it, but not entirely religiously, so put this at about 90 percent confidence: I don’t have another situation where Bridgeport scored twice on the same four-on-four. But tonight, with Justin Vaive and Chris Brown off for roughing, Alan Quine and Ryan Pulock (!) both scored on breakaways, 43 seconds apart.
That pretty much put a bow on what began on the first shift, with Kevin Czuczman taking the puck away, Joe Whitney chipping it ahead to Bracken Kearns for a two-on-one, and Kearns using the threat of Sebastian Collberg to get space to fire over Justin Peters’ glove.
All they needed.
F: Whitney (A)-Kearns (A)-Collberg
Three goals from defensemen — guess Matt Finn’s upper body was fine; he was in for Loic Leduc (only four righties), and Connor Jones got back in for Ross Johnston — and what seemed, from the little I was able to pay attention to (volleyball!), a solid effort.
This was the Sound Tigers’ 37th visit to Hershey; the first was to Hersheypark Arena, a 3-1 loss, but the other 36 to Giant Center. This was their most-decisive win there. They’d only scored five there three other times; they’d actually lost one of those**. Before tonight, the entire list of Bridgeport goalies with a shutout in Derry Township: Dieter Kochan, Dec. 20, 2003***, 31 saves in a 3-0 win. That is all. (The only home shutout against the Bears, actually, is Joey MacDonald, 11/11/07, 24 saves in a 4-0 win.) The Sound Tigers in Hershey: 10-23-1 tie-2 OTL-2 SOL. Of the 10 wins, two in overtime, two in shootouts, just now six in regulation. (In the playoffs, 0-3, one in overtime, and I don’t remember the circumstances, but jeez, Nygel Pelletier’s name popped into my head this morning, too.)
Joe Whitney’s scoring streak is up to seven games, 0-9-9. The penalty kill is now 29-for-30 and 42-for-44.
Not the franchise’s earliest game-winning goal. Not even the earliest in Pennsylvania. (Not even the second-earliest.) (More stuff I don’t keep religiously: I’m not positive that’s the earliest game-winner. But anyway.)
As if there weren’t enough dumb facts in here, the last four Bridgeport goalie assists have come in November. So, yes, Christopher Gibson outscored the entire opposition tonight. A quick cross-check of lists: appears he’s the first Bridgeport goalie ever to do that, get an assist in a shutout. A fight short of the Ron Hextall hat trick.
Elsewhere: Holy cro, Toronto and St. John’s. Nine-flipping-eight (OT), with the last five for the Marlies. Impressed that, with just three power-play goals, no one was plus- or minus-a-million or something like that. A couple of plus-3s, one minus-3.
Believe they’re off tomorrow, so more Monday, most likely.
*-Jeez, you just look at those three boxes, you’d think, “Chris Bourque, mainstay, never left.”
**-David Desharnais’ pro debut.
***-The first win against Hershey in team history, and the last of the team-record 12-game road unbeaten streak.