Getting back into it: Springfield postgame

A little sloppy, Brent Thompson said. Turnovers. Defensive-zone coverage. (Toews-Pulock was on for three goals against.) Things we’ve heard before. They still escaped with two points this time. (Obviously: 5-0-3 in overtime, 3-0 in shootouts.)

And involved in the winning goal: Who else. Come on.

“I kept it kind of light, working my way in,” Josh Ho-Sang said. His line was on for the first goal. “The game started to open up a bit.” He felt better and better.

And late in regulation…

“This is where I have to pay Tommer dividends times 1,000,” Ho-Sang said. “I know it’s tough for him. The last two games I played prior, I had a couple of turnovers that cost us in the end. Today, when the clock was at 7 minutes, I didn’t think he was going to put me on the ice. But he kept playing me. He kept playing me right up to 2. That was huge for my confidence. Personally, I think that’s what allowed me to make that play in overtime. Having that confidence from your coach, that gave me peace of mind, that he can trust me — or he’s trying to.”

That play in overtime, the culmination of a wild shift of bounces and caroms and spin moves, finished off Ho-Sang’s return to the lineup after two games out.

“It was definitely a step in the right direction,” Thompson said. “His pace, his effort, his puck decisions — and he still got his points playing the right way away from the puck.”


There was some fun housemate stuff from Josh Ho-Sang and Travis St. Denis that led the game story.

Michael Dal Colle… fought? I meant to check this before I went down, but the game was gaming and it slipped away from me, but here’s Dal Colle’s card. Um. Well. He more than held his own against Jared McCann, got some good shots in. Thompson said he didn’t have a problem with it, called it a step for Dal Colle’s development.

“Just adrenaline,” Dal Colle said. “I got run there. … I wanted to stand up for myself.”

Dal Colle had a good scoring chance in overtime, too, a goal shy of the Gordie. (Pretty pass to Ho-Sang on the power play off a feed from Tanner Fritz, who had two points tonight, five in the past five games.)

The game got chippy quickly. Connor Jones threw a couple of hits on his first shift, and Sena Acolatse gave him a jab on the way off. Joey Diamond (three points!) tried to fight him. There were other shots along the way. Acolatse tossed Kellen Jones into the boards in front of the Springfield bench on a penalty kill.

Thompson said Steve Bernier didn’t have a concussion from the cross-check he took from Ryan Horvat, but he didn’t have a report yet on the possibility of other injuries.

Asked Thompson how he could justify scratching this No. 36 for two months; a point-a-game player. “(Eric Boulton) was just what we needed as far as energy on the bench, a voice in the locker room,” Thompson said. “He was a calming force. I think the guys played bigger with him in the lineup. Congrats to him on getting the point (the second assist on Ryan Pulock’s goal, which gave Bridgeport a 2-0 lead). He was a really big part of our win.”

Boulton had a chat with referee Furman South at least once as things threatened to get crazy, or, crazier. Had him for nine shifts, five of them in the first period.

“I felt good once I got the first period out of the way,” Boulton said. “There were so many penalties during the game there wasn’t a lot of ice time.” But just getting back into it was good. “The competitiveness, once you’re out there, you want to win,” he said. “It was actually a lot of fun being a part of it.”

We were trying to figure out if Boulton could possibly have become the guy who went the longest between points in the AHL. My first thought was there could be at least one longer streak by an assistant coach who signed a PTO, and turned out there was at least one; Hall of Famer, no less. In the meantime, Jason Chaimovitch provided that Boulton’s last AHL point was the game-winning goal in Game 4 of the 2000 Calder Cup Final against Hartford. His last regular-season AHL point that year was 17 years ago this month, Dec. 11, 1999, Rochester at Albany.

Prescout. Four goals in 5:03 with an intermission, and nothing else (well, scoring-wise) until overtime, which ends on a four-on-four. Impressive. Bridgeport is seven points out of fourth. Syracuse sent Quinnipiac’s Matthew Peca up; he made his NHL debut tonight.

The USA won at the WJC, beat Slovakia 5-2, and holy cro Bigger Little Thompson. Russia tomorrow. (Afternoon. Quick turnaround. How these things go.)

And RIP, Russ Harris and — for crying out loud — Debbie Reynolds.

Michael Fornabaio