Whitneyless: Portland liveblog (2/2)

This is the 19th time in team history that the Sound Tigers have allowed at least four goals in four games in a row. You probably won’t be surprised to know it’d only happened once in the team’s first four seasons, but it has happened at least once every year since, beginning with four times in 2005-06 as the rules changed.

But this is only the fourth time the team has allowed five or more in four consecutive games. It has never happened five times in a row. That’s the history Bridgeport is trying to avoid tonight.

Their focus is on scoring one more than Portland, obviously, however it happens. But still.

(The team record for four goals or more in a row? Seven, earlyish in the 2012-13 season. They started 2005-06 with six, then nearly ended 2007-08 with six more.)

With Joe Whitney out (injured last night, and it doesn’t sound good; more if you missed it), Bridgeport tries again in Portland. Andrew Miller and the ECHL transactions report they’ve called up Andrew Rowe from South Carolina. Rowe’s a veteran of 129 AHL games, most of them for the Adirondack Phantoms, with 32 career AHL points. Don’t know if he is in Maine tonight or not.

We’ll be listening to Paul on AHL Live and hoping the feed hangs in better tonight. You could also listen to Jeff Mannix (audio / video) if you’d like the Portland side or AHL Live breaks down on you. We’ll be following Chris Roy, Paul, Jeff and the Pirates.

The box should be here (R: Schlenker; L: Bathe, Ross). Chris Schlenker hasn’t been to Harbor Yard yet, but he worked Bridgeport’s games in St. John’s in October.

Prescout. First visit of the year. Returns for Colin McDonald and Andrew MacDonald. Military Appreciation Night.

–Gibson vs. McKenna, one more time. Pirates report Turgeon in for Brickley, with Simpson moving up.

BRIDGEPORT as we’re led to believe
F: Verhaeghe-Kearns (A)-Beck
Florek-Holmstrom (C)-Halmo
D: Czuczman-Leduc
G: Gibson

PORTLAND per the Pirates
F: McFarland-Schremp-Simpson
D: Olsen-Regner
G: McKenna

R: Schlenker. L: Bathe, Ross.

–The Pirates hit a post on a three-on-one on the third shift of the game.

–Around seven minutes in, and shots are 7-0 Portland.

–Gibson stops a breakaway and a rebound. Shots are like 42-0. More seriously, RIP, Rudy Migay.

–The Wright line actually gets a little flurry going. McKenna makes one save and a rebound apparently misses.

–Acolatse and Halmo go at it on a draw, then as the play goes on, and then they finally go with 5:01 left. Acolatse gets a few lefts and a takedown.

–Verhaeghe called for a cross-check on Regner, and Schremp steps up to the top of the right circle on the power play to blast one over Gibson’s glove with 3:49 left in the first. 1-0 Portland.

–That’s how the first ends, with a 13-6 Portland shots edge.

–Gomes pulls up a hair too soon, and a Bridgeport four-on-two goes offside about four minutes into the second.

–Shots are 18-9 a little past midway. The first 10 minutes set that up, but still.

–McKenna blockers out a Czuczman shot up the left wing. The Pirates push it, McKegg and Wilson go in two on one, and Wilson’s open at the front to make it 2-0 Portland.

–Bridgeport soon after goes on its first power plaay, and Pulock hits a crossbar. Four forwards on Unit 1, Verhaeghe on the left, Wright on the right, Kearns and Vaive in front. Beck-Holmstrom-Halmo, Graham-Burroughs on the second unit.

–Could deal with the feed crashing this often if they updated the box once in a while.

–McKenna stops Vaive on a breakaway backhander, and to add injury, Vaive is called for a trip after the stop. Portland will start the third with almost the full two minutes of PP time. 2-0 Portland.

–Bridgeport survives a funny bounce to the front on that power play to open the third.

–The puck comes out and back in, and Holmstrom reaches to take it away from a Portland defenseman; it’s ruled a deliberate offside and brought all the way down. Balisy wins the draw from Wright, and Dylan Olsen blasts one home to make it 3-0 just shy of five minutes into the third.

–The Sound Tigers break the shutout midway through the third. Cullity steps in front of a Portland dump to start it the other way; lots of work below the goal line before Beck centers it to Kearns to McKenna’s right. 3-1 Portland.

–Bridgeport has had some chances in the last couple of minutes to no avail. Meanwhile, Stephon Williams starts for Missouri tonight.

Portland 3, Bridgeport 1, final. Five losses in a row. Five in a row on the road, too. The five-goals-against streak ends at four, for what it’s worth. Twelve wins in a row for Mike McKenna, who got an assist on the Pirates’ second goal, too.

–“I thought the shot clock wasn’t even close to accurate,” Brent Thompson said. “I thought we stayed the course the whole game. I don’t think we drifted off the game plan. We didn’t sell the farm at any point.”

The early edge was a lot of perimeter stuff, he said. “I thought we were fine the whole way,” he said. The Pirates took advantage of their opportunities: “We’ve got a young group of D,” he said, “if you really look at it. Right now that group’s very, very young, very raw. It’s going to be a process.”

Whitney was sent back here to see the team’s doctors, and though Thompson was not dealing in any specifics tonight, he conceded “it’s bad.” So pretty much as feared, apparently.

On that happy note: More tomorrow.

Michael Fornabaio