Hey, there’s like a 6 percent chance this happens. Figure on any given Sunday the Sound Tigers have about a 40 percent chance against the Marlies, and cube it, and won’t Section 105 look silly for standing and cheering tonight as the Sound Tigers left the ice here for the “last time” this year…
It’s not likely. We kind of knew that coming in. Contrasting the moods, last night Brent Thompson seemed angry; tonight, he seemed more like the dad saying I’m not angry; I’m disappointed.
“Guys who have produced all year seem to be looking for the easy way,” Thompson said. “Certain individuals need to step up.”
We’d take a glance at the scoring to see who he might mean, because he refused to name names, but the scoring summary for two games is a pretty simple list. Justin Florek has one point, Parker Wotherspoon and Kyle Burroughs have none in one game, and then it’s a many-way tie for fourth.
But looking over the little plusses and minuses of shot attempts I try to keep, most of the multi-plus shifts tonight involved Ben Holmstrom and Sebastian Collberg, regularly with Florek but once with Jared Gomes on for a change before the flurry started. The others were mostly Kearns-Cliche-Wright. (You absolutely had Marc-Andre Cliche leading the team with eight shots through two games, didn’t you? Just checking.)
“I think the effort’s there. We were a little tighter defensively,” Thompson said. “There was improvement on some things; not nearly enough.
In the second, a Mike Halmo pass back to Burroughs got chipped out by Connor Brown, who scored the opening goal short-handed on a rebound. (Stephon Williams said the save selection he used on that initial shot should’ve kicked the rebound to the left and away from Brown. “It hit me weird,” it went right back to Brown, and Brown scored short-side.)
“After (the first goal), we could’ve packed it up, but it was a pretty even game after that,” Williams said. “It’s a credit to the character.”
Thompson, interestingly, saw it just the reverse.
“Up to that, it was a pretty even hockey game,” Thompson said. “We did a good job competing in both ends.
“The goal they got got us on our heels a little bit. It spiraled from there.”
Off to Toronto, seeking answers. The math says they have a chance. Then again, the math says this is about where you’d expect this series to be.
Well, before Toronto, no ice tomorrow, so we won’t see them until they practice Tuesday. Then off to Toronto.
No even-strength shifts for Michael Dal Colle in the third, though he got on for the power play (and got to serve Williams’ delay of game penalty for violating the no-fly zone). “We mixed a few things up, trying to generate some chances,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to earn your ice time. He didn’t earn his ice time. Too many turnovers.”
Matt Finn sat out a few shifts after an awkward third-period collision into the end boards with his old friend Brown, who seemed to be involved in everything but the 50-50 raffle these past two nights. Finn then came back for a power play, then left again after taking a bump along the boards and cutting the shift short about 10-15 seconds in, clearly frustrated. Thompson only said upper-body, re-evaluated. Couple of people said he went off holding an arm.
To quote a blog post from the other day, one has nothing to do with the other has little to do with the next, but sports is a series of shared experiences, so: Three shutout losses and just one goal in the other in the past four home games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who have lost 13 of their past 14 home playoff games back to 2004.
This was the only game in the AHL today; the six remaining series are all off tomorrow now. Catching up from late last night, San Jose evened things up with Ontario, heading south for Game 3 and the rest of the series.
Over in Sweden, a championship for Frolunda, which includes brief Sound Tiger Tom Nilsson, much longer and more legendary Sound Tiger Robin Figren, and Johan Sundstrom, given the Stefan Liv Memorial Trophy as playoff MVP.
Ridgefield’s Chad Krys and the U.S. took the bronze at the Under 18 Worlds. Krys had three assists in seven games.
Unless warranted, more Tuesday, which is a pretty big anniversary. (Then another personal one comes, like, 45 minutes later.)