Disciplined victory: Lehigh Valley postgame

They pulled this one out behind Christopher Gibson playing yet another excellent game and a solid-enough penalty kill until the very last (literal) second.

And, well, it’s a win. Been a while.

“I think it was a good way to come off the break,” Ben Holmstrom said. “Everybody was playing the right way. We did enough to win.”

Cameron Voss and (mostly) Dave Banfield found very little they didn’t like tonight. There was precious little five-on-five flow — had Mike Halmo for eight even-strength shifts, playing alongside PKers Holmstrom and Justin Florek, and half of those were in the third — but what there was, Bridgeport mostly controlled, aside from probably the first two shifts of the game (short-circuited by the first of six Phantoms penalties) and one here and there on which Gibson was perfect.

“I think we (made) better puck decisions,” Sebastian Collberg said. “We got it deep. … We won some battles.”

It’s the fifth time in a little over a month that they’ve faced seven power plays, and the third time in that span they’ve faced at least nine.

“The guys in the room addressed it,” Brent Thompson said.

See how it goes tomorrow against Providence.


Curiosity that I forgot to ask about: The Phantoms’ runway runs next to a suite; it reminds me a little of what you see on MSG where the Rangers come alongside a glass wall with fans watching. The Sound Tigers come out from the opposite corner. But the benches are “backward”: That is, the teams cross each other. The Zamboni door is where Bridgeport comes from but in the end the Phantoms defend twice. It’s more curious than weird, but still.

Wondered if, two years and a city removed, it was still meaningful for ex-Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom to play against a set of Phantoms. Sure was, he said: “Obviously I was part of this organization for four years,” Holmstrom said. “There’s not that many guys left over there, but it’s still cool to see the building they have.

“It’s good to see a few people over there and where they’re at right now.”

No tip-off on Gibson’s possibly going up. Makes eminent sense if the Islanders need someone. Gibson has a .945 save percentage in December and dropped his GAA to 1.99. Assume Parker Milner would come up in turn.

Thompson said they’re looking at the first week in January for a possible Alan Quine return; Ross Johnston remains longer than that.

Missouri beat defending champion Allen on the road tonight. The Kyle Burroughs-Justin Courtnall fight is interesting.

Kirill Petrov’s KHL rights were sent to CSKA Moscow.

Prescout. Albany went 1-for-1 on the PP against the Bruins, who’ve lost three in a row since they beat Bridgeport the Friday before Christmas.

Notes from like the first of our days off: Clark Donatelli was named head coach in Wilkes-Barre. Jay Leach’s reign of terror didn’t last long enough, but he’s now associate coach of the WBS Penguins.

The World Juniors opened strong for the United States: a win over Canada to get started. Ridgefield’s Chad Krys is among the team’s defensemen.

More tomorrow.

Michael Fornabaio