Every second counts: Springfield postgame

Last night’s even-strength unblocked shot attempts in the second period, by my silly “scribble plusses and minuses” method: 17-9 in Providence’s favor. Today’s for Springfield: somewhat ridiculous 17-3.

Since I’m supposed to narrative the heck out of these things, asked a few people if there’s a second-period thing going on.

“I don’t think it’s anything in particular. It’s early on in the season,” Ben Holmstrom said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re focused in all three periods.”

They had more moments last night than today. Small crowd, end of the week, a win yesterday: who knows, but if yesterday was sloppy, today had the added indignity of a bunch of odd-man rushes, tons of penalties and no Bridgeport shots on goal between a Ryan Pulock slapper on the power play early in the second and a Scott Mayfield shot from the right point 49 seconds into the third.

It also had two opposing goals, an odd-man rush and a deflection.

“Little mistakes,” Mayfield said. “It’s stuff we’ve got to fix through video, practice, getting the systems down a little more.”

Bridgeport coincidentally scored its first goal in transition in Saturday’s second period, so it’s 1-1 in second periods this year. It’s 3-3 overall in goals for-goals against. It’s the shots that are against them, and if Christopher Gibson and Stephon Williams hadn’t been as good as they were this weekend, the narrative might be different.

“I just want to see 60 minutes consistent,” Brent Thompson said. “I want every shift to be similar or better.”


Team’s off tomorrow. More Tuesday unless warranted. No signs in the room after the game of any impending transactions.

In the third period, the lines shifted around: Dal Colle-Kearns-Fritz remained intact, with Winquist-St. Denis-Markison, Johnston-Jones-Holmstrom and Rowe-Schempp-Ho-Sang. Thompson wasn’t saying anything about Ho-Sang today, but he was off the power play at the end of the second period and didn’t play the first two shifts of the third; neither did Kyle Schempp and Colin Markison, but then they appeared thereafter. As you may recall, we don’t get time on ice (which is kept, but not distributed to us) or shift charts (nope, not here), but I’m curious about Ho-Sang’s shift times. He seems to stay out there*, for instance late into the power play that turned into the first Springfield goal, and I’m not sure if that’s meaningful, even factual, coincidental necessity or random glimpses over two games.

Thompson didn’t have anything on Adam Pelech, who blocked a Rihards Bukarts shot off his arm in the last few minutes of regulation and was hurting.

The good news: Bridgeport is 12-for-12 on the penalty kill, tops in the league early on. “We’ve got a lot of guys who are familiar with the PK from last year,” Holmstrom said, “and obviously some new guys, DC (Dal Colle) and Schemppy, are doing a good job so far. It’s just work ethic. … So far, it’s been good, but it’s a long season. Two games are not going to tell you too much, but it’s good to start well.”

The bad news: Bridgeport has been short-handed 12 times in two games. Mayfield talked about needing better discipline as a team, “but (the penalty kill) is something I know I take pride in, and I know other guys do.”

Not included in the 12 are those two penalty shots, a ridiculous 37 seconds apart. (Pelech holding Rau, Toews hooking Bukarts, by the rule numbers on the sheet.) Remember 11 years ago and Hershey getting two in eight and a half minutes (holy early days of the blog) and thinking jeez, isn’t that crazy? And here we are. Thanks to Jason Chaimovitch, who may or may not have come home from the Renaissance Fair to dig up that those are the fastest two AHL penalty shots in at least 20 years. The fastest in that span was 3:55, in 2014, coincidentally Springfield-Portland, and the first of the two was taken by Paul Thompson, who played tonight for a different Springfield team that used to be Portland. Mind blown. (I had to double-check my story for “Indians,” “Falcons,” “Portland” and “Pirates” tonight, and I used Falcons at least twice.)

Tip of cap to Geordie Kinnear on his first win as a head coach. An assistant in this league for a long time.

Weird seeing the changeover crew striking the glass without covering the ice, but the ice is coming out: Circus is coming in.

Elsewhere, former Sound Tigers forward Justin Hickman reportedly had his nose broken by a Michael McCarron head-butt in a fight after the Bruins beat the IceCaps.

A goal for Justin Florek tonight.

Didn’t catch this in all the hoopla of last night here, but the Maple Leafs retired everybody’s number last night. (Well, all their hono(u)red numbers, anyway.) I’m super-mercurial on number retirement, but gut feeling on that one: I like it.

And RIP, Bruce Marshall.

*-I can’t even think about the concept of overstaying shifts without thinking of this. And yes, that’s two Alexei Kovalev references in two days.

Michael Fornabaio