It wasn’t like Bridgeport was in firm control or anything. It had a lead after having the better of a not-much-special second period. It was 0-for-3 on breakaways. It had 20 minutes to go.
Utica scored on two rushes and an empty-netter from the East End in the third to come from behind for the second night in a row.
“I thought we played a good game up till (the first Comets goal),” Travis St. Denis said. “They kind of got a lucky one, their second goal to make it a one-goal game. I think the focus in here is just to reset for tomorrow.”
Sunday sends Bridgeport to Providence, one of the hottest teams in the league, which has moved 13 points ahead of the Sound Tigers. The Sound Tigers are nine points out of playoff position at nearly the season’s midpoint.
The second one was a three-on-two off a blocked Bridgeport shot, with a carom on a deflection leaving Alex Grenier alone for the tap-in.
The first one was a little more innocent-looking, a three-on-three. Grenier got a step on Toews on the right side. Darren Archibald got away from Kyle Burroughs.
Toews thought he defended well enough, and thought Burroughs gets a piece of that pass “97 percent of the time.”
Neither part happened, and the puck was in the back of the net to tie the game.
“They were kind of jumping in the rush all day,” Toews said. “They pushed hard on us. They make it hard to keep your gaps.”
Brent Thompson would’ve liked something more aggressive there.
“We know how to play a rush,” he said.
“You’ve got to be able to defend. Don’t wait for the play to happen.”
Josh Ho-Sang, said Brent Thompson, was late tonight to the arena so was scratched. (More in the story.) How late? “Late enough.” What gave me pause about thinking “discipline” before we got the official word was that he was there in warmup. Wondered out of curiosity why have him do that if he wasn’t going to play. “Because I told him to,” Thompson said with a glare. Fair enough. Basically not to let him out of his responsibility to show up and be ready to play, even if he was late, is how it sounded. He said he didn’t know who’ll play tomorrow but Ho-Sang is an option.
While Ryan Pulock was shooting this morning at that very-optional skate that we thought revealed the lineup (well, guess it did at the time), Colin Markison was yelling “unleash it!” Most of them were going wide. That one tonight did not. “I felt good enough now to play,” Pulock said, disclosing no more of his Jan. 1 upper-body injury than Thompson has. “I’m obviously not going to feel perfect for a while, but I’ll battle through it. I felt comfortable. … There’s going to be some soreness. I’ve played through some injuries before. You’ve got to battle. Through a season, there’s not many guys in pro hockey who feel perfect. I’ve missed a lot of time. It’s been frustrating.”
Showed my age tonight by repeatedly calling Darren Archibald David.
Prescout. And holy cro. Jordan Szwarz banked in that game-winner off Dylan McIlrath with 16.5 seconds left.
Craig Cunningham was back at the rink in Tucson.
Tip of cap to Hayley Wickenheiser, who announced her retirement yesterday.
And it’s not just Tage And Pals. The United States won the Women’s 18-and-under World Championship this morning against Canada.