And then chaos: Springfield postgame

Boy, Don Stevens calling Bridgeport a bunch of divers seems a long way away, no?

Start with the first 54:30: A so-so first (“We didn’t play the way we needed to play,” Brent Thompson said. “They got a goal, and now we’re playing catch-up”) turned into a dominant second. Seriously had five-on-five shot attempts at 16-4 in Bridgeport’s favor. The third was also fine. But Springfield got a goal on its seventh power play to make it 2-0.

“We were just waiting to score that goal,” Matt Carkner said. “It never came.”

Carkner was the only one to beat Nicklas Treutle today. Well, less “beat,” more “plow into.” Because the last 5:30 is what’ll be memorable about this one. Thompson vaulting the boards, giving you a split second of “um, which direction is this thing gonna go?” Mike Halmo twice getting into it with the officials. Ben Holmstrom getting a game misconduct for a hit on an icing touch-up.

The officials, ultimately, going off through the other tunnel to stay away from the Bridgeport side.

It’s not even the power-play disparity that drove it all, though they were frustrated about that, feeling they deserved at least one of the two calls around Christopher Gibson that set the whole thing off with five minutes left. Thompson mentioned another non-call while Bridgeport was up a man that bothered them.

It was an assortment of things. The one that stood out at the time from here was the first penalty of the second period: Jesse Graham put the puck into the stands a second after an apparent icing was waved off as it crossed the goal line. The Sound Tigers got through that, but it began a parade to the box in that period.

“I just think if the referees made one or two calls differently,” Carkner said, “it wouldn’t have escalated.” Asked how conversations went with the officials; “They didn’t want to listen to us,” Carkner said.

So it went. It turned up the heat on a three-in-three Sunday, at the very least. But Thompson, even while waiting for an audience with an AHL supervisor (that I’m not sure ever came) to talk about the officiating, stressed that they had to be ready to put it behind them. They play Wednesday night.

“Discipline,” Thompson said, “will be a big key for our team.”


Strange things happened in the last six minutes tonight, so I forgot to ask for a Joe Whitney baby update. Apologies. Team’s off tomorrow, so more Tuesday unless warranted.

For the sake of argument, I asked Thompson if he was worried, considering his suspension at the end of the 2012 playoffs, about getting a game misconduct today and possible discipline: “I didn’t contact anybody. It was nothing more than me yelling about a missed call,” Thompson said.

Coaches getting ejected: There was Geordie Kinnear’s getting tossed in 2009 here for Albany in that downright zany Sunday. Steve Stirling got a gross misconduct at the end of regulation in Manchester in January 2003 in a delightfully insane 4-4 tie, though I don’t remember seeing him go and it wasn’t announced until later. Every other similar penalty has come at the end of games, at least as I recall, and we all know my recall’s shaky. Anyway.

The power play, with all three of those chances Sunday, now has gone 23 tries without a goal. Doesn’t quite make the top 10, but it’s the longest in a while. “I think we’re getting good chances,” Jesse Graham said. “Right now they’re not going in.” The PK, on the other side, allowed 1 in 11 tonight, which is borderline a slump. The of-their-lasts for the moment, even with two PPGs against in two nights: 12 for 13, 30 for 32, 51 for 54, 64 for 68.

Missed the shuffle somewhere in the last little bit, but Quinn Smith of Fairfield has wound up with Norfolk. He scored his first pro goal today in Manchester. (Looks like an AHL file photo; was really from today.)

And RIP, Jim Perry.

Michael Fornabaio