Stephon Williams departs, Jaroslav Halak comes in, and apparently since Jaroslav Halak no longer loses, it’s another Bridgeport win, somehow.
But it wasn’t all Jaro, though he made a handful of brilliant saves among his nine, Brent Thompson pointed out. Bridgeport had the better of the play, in general, in all three regulation periods. It got away with a couple of first-period mistakes and had two goals go in on the Providence rush in the second, a couple of lost men and coverages.
“We were sloppy in the first period with puck plays” — a couple of turnovers right to the front of the net, I assume, is what he meant — “but (the last two periods) got us prepared to defend really hard tomorrow.”
Not sure who’ll be, presumably, backing up. “We’ll wait and see what the doctors have to say” about Williams, said Thompson; upper body, day-to-day. Does that mean Eamon McAdam, who had a 53-save shutout Friday in Tulsa and backed it up with 44 stops tonight in an overtime win? “We’ll see,” Thompson said.
Carter Verhaeghe’s two-points-a-night average remains intact. He had a goal and an assist in his return from Missouri. “The coach down there was great, John-Scott Dickson,” Verhaeghe said. “I just tried to get better.” Coming back up “wasn’t too hard. I jumped in, playing with (Bracken Kearns), I’m familiar with him, and (Tanner Fritz). … We had some good chances.” He went to the net to tie the game on a deflection, seeing Fritz get the puck back to Kane Lafranchise.
“He gives you a little secondary scoring,” Thompson said of Verhaeghe. “We’ve got the Ho-Sang line going, Kerno, Fritzy, they’re all putting some points up. I liked the fact that Verhaeghe came in and had second effort on his wall battles, second effort tracking, his physicality. … Now he’s got to back it up.”
Thompson said he swapped Travis St. Denis and Michael Dal Colle before the game looking for secondary scoring. “I’d like to have all four lines scoring and reliable defensively,” he said. But then he liked the chemistry and the aggressiveness of the old Dal Colle-Winquist-Ho-Sang line and went back to it.
Anders Nilsson’s franchise-record nine-game winning streak ended with a shootout loss. He won his next start, lost the one after that, then got the loss in relief at Worcester in the game that ended his season. Nilsson had a .949 save percentage in his streak, never giving up more than two goals, with one shutout, and a 1.43 goals-against average. Halak has a .938 save percentage and 1.74 GAA in his run, with two shutouts.
Evgeny Tunik. Jeremy Colliton. Chris Lee. Mike Keenan. Adam Pelech. Mike Halmo. The list of Bridgeport players bagged for playing with a broken stick increases to seven: Ryan Pulock with 1:47 left in regulation.
Prescout. Hershey has six guys with 29 points or more; five of them had a point tonight. The Bears are 6-0-1-1 in the past eight after they slumped behind Bridgeport. This’ll be fun.
Adam Erne returned from injury pretty well.
Jon Tenca had a day in San Antonio.
Back at it tomorrow. Weather sounds like fun.