PLUG IT IN! PLUG IT IN! (1F02): Rochester liveblog

“What, the rock tumbler or the TV?”

In case you missed it, which given the nudges I’ve gotten on Twitter includes a few people, tonight’s game is on MSG. We’ll be watching along. If you don’t have access to the TV feed, there are the usual options: Alan’s up at The AHL Live (audio/pay-per-view). Don Stevens’ call will be on the TV feed; his audio is also here. We’ll follow Alan, the team, and the Amerks. And we’ll be missing Kevin Oklobzija.

The box should be here. First Bridgeport game for referee Nick Gill, with linesmen Donald Jablonski and Jeff Walker.

Prescout. Siena basketball is playing Niagara tomorrow night, hence the 1 p.m. hockey start, which’ll be fun for Bridgeport after a three and a half hour bus ride.

The AHL Playoff Primer is out. Start that Magic Number countdown. Not sure I ever mentioned that Providence lost Matt Bartkowski to an NHL deal from Calgary.

And RIP, George “The Animal” Steele.

More closer to gametime.

–Bridgeport lines, from the team account, with the ‘A’ presumably returning to Jon Landry. Wouldn’t think Tanner Fritz is healthy if he’s missing, but checking that.

F: Verhaeghe-Kearns (A)-Rowe
Dal Colle – Winquist – Ho-Sang
St. Denis-C.Jones-K.Jones
Johnston-B.Holmstrom (C)-J.Holmstrom
D: Lafranchise-Pulock
Landry (A)-Leduc
G: Halak

–Meanwhile I just nearly put orange juice in my coffee, so if I tweet something about why Justin Mapletoft is playing right-handed or something, please forgive me.

–Yes, Fritz reportedly not feeling well.

–From the Amerks:

F: Schneider-O’Reilly-Baptiste
Catenacci – Muzito-Bagenda – Fasching
D: Austin-Nelson
G: Ullmark
think it’s Muse

–Bridgeport in blue. Wonder if there’s something different in Albany tomorrow.

–Gonna try to match Alan to TV. Dicey, but see what happens.

–The Joneses make it 1-0 40 seconds in, before the full change. Verhaeghe makes the play at the Rochester blue, hands over to Kellen Jones, to Connor in the right corner, back to the front, Kellen bangs it in at 41 seconds, actually.

–It’s 2-0 at 2:02. Quickly moved up; not sure if Ho-Sang tipped Landry’s first pass up to Winquist, but then Winquist dropped to Dal Colle for a wrister that Ullmark only got a piece of; it was trickling toward the goal line, but Winquist got in behind to make sure.

–From behind the Bridgeport net, Cal O’Reilly sets up Patrick Mullen near the top of the right circle for a one-timer that makes it 2-1 Bridgeport at 7:07.

–Ho-Sang did get a tip on that lead pass on the second goal, according to the scoring. Rochester gets its first PP on a Landry hook on Muzito-Bagenda. (Bridgeport had a fruitless PP after the second goal.)

–Pulock and Burroughs to start the PK.

–Oof — O’Reilly backchecked to break up a Jones Brothers two-on-one. The Amerks carried back on an odd-man rush, but Kennedy went in a stride early.

–Third forward group is Kearns and St. Denis with Toews and Lafranchise. Halak tries something he’s tried surprisingly often: a clear right up the middle. He fanned on it, but the shot was ticked out of play.

–Justin Vaive ties it up at 11:29. Halak steered aside a shot, but Burroughs had it taken away behind the net with a quick feed to Vaive at the top of the left circle. 2-2.

–And then Halak stops a… well, Alan calls it a two-on-one, which it is, though the Amerks had the next two guys coming, too. Held onto it for the whistle and a TV time out.

–Rochester’s winning an awful lot of puck battles the last few minutes. Some you can hardly call battles.

–Providence leads Hershey 3-1 late in the first. It’s early for scoreboard watching, but there you go.

–Dal Colle sends Ho-Sang down the right side. Ullmark holds the left skate to the post, but Austin slashed Ho-Sang for Bridgeport’s second power play with 5:10 left in the first.

–5:09. I thought TV said 5:12 left at the whistle, then it said 5:10, and the penalty’s recorded in the box at 14:51. So.

–Good zone time. Nothing on net.

–It’s 2-2 after a busy first period. Shots 13-10 Rochester.

–TV notes that it’s Tyson Strachan’s 600th pro game as the second period begins.

–Halak robs O’Reilly on a two-on-one; the puck stays loose, gets pulled away from the left post by the late-arriving Pulock, but then Geiger hits a post.

–St. Denis feeds Winquist alone at the doorstep. Ullmark stops him, and Winquist reaches in and trips Kennedy going for the rebound 2:01 into the second.

–A 25-second five-on-three as Burroughs smokes Kennedy with a cross-check near the front of the net.

–(Fixed the time on that two-man; remind me the TV clock isn’t synced up) Winquist back after one shot blocked on the five-on-three.

–Landry with at least three blocked shots on that shift. Back even.

–River hockey: Ho-Sang stopped on another breakaway coming this time from the left side, pad/blocker. Sprawled out, Ullmark stopped Dal Colle. Then Rochester came out four-on-two and a pass to the front didn’t work.

–This isn’t close to Bridgeport’s crispest game. Halak has bailed them out a couple of times, including just now a Winquist turnover right to Fasching at the front of the Sound Tigers net.

–Kennedy knocks down St. Denis at the front of the Rochester net at 13:09. Third Bridgeport power play.

–Bridgeport reclaims the lead on a Dal Colle goal. Ho-Sang’s pass caromed to Lafranchise in the right circle; he couldn’t handle it, tried to recover it, backhanded it toward the net, had it carom off an Amerk right to Dal Colle. 3-2 Bridgeport.

–Mark Divver reports Aaron Ness has gone to the room after taking a shot to the hand. Providence led the Bears 4-2 at last check.

–Bridgeport hangs onto that 3-2 lead after two, after Rochester set up Baptiste for a shot that was blocked. Shots 21-20 Bridgeport, 11-7 in that period.

–Geiger gets a roughing call 1:40 into the second, getting the gloves up on Connor Jones on the way into the Amerks zone. Fourth Bridgeport PP.

–One of those rare and awful delay-of-game minors: Nelson cleared it over the glass behind Halak from his own zone. About a minute’s five-on-three for Bridgeport.

–Pulock hits a post on the five-on-three after Kearns won a battle at the front to get it to him. Geiger’s back.

–And both men back. That might’ve been a save on Pulock, actually.

–Josh Holmstrom called for cross-checking Mullen at 5:10.

–Ullmark gloves a Dal Colle shot on the rush after the kill. Still 3-2 Bridgeport with 12:20 left.

–Devils meanwhile burying the Penguins late. Nick Lappin has a nine-game scoring streak; he was out sick Wednesday.

–Leduc vs. Dupuy with 11:40 left, right in front of the Bridgeport bench. Lots of discussion at the scorer’s table, but looks like they’ll be even.

–Love that we’re getting the Rochester commercials. Still 3-2 Bridgeport as Halak holds out a few chances as it gets under nine minutes to go.

–Providence hangs on to beat Hershey 4-3.

–Took him 55 minutes and a crazy carom off an official, but Carter Verhaeghe’s got his daily two points. A clear caromed off a linesman into the middle to an oncoming Verhaeghe; he tucked a backhander under Ullmark. Bridgeport leads 4-2, now with 4:44 left. Wasn’t it Verhaeghe who got that carom off the referee against Albany earlier this year?

–(A: Yes.)

–(Also over Ullmark.)

–Ho-Sang had the tip-up into the linesman, so three points for him. Ullmark to the bench with 2:16 left. … Make it four for ho-Sang, as he hits the empty net with 1:44 left off Dal Colle’s shot wide.

–Halak makes 26 saves in his 11th consecutive win: Bridgeport 5, Rochester 2, final. Four points for Ho-Sang, three for Dal Colle, two apiece for Verhaeghe and Lafranchise.

–Hartford clung to a 3-2 win over Lehigh Valley. Bridgeport is two behind the Phantoms and three behind Providence, three ahead of Hershey. Games in hand, points percentages, etc., whatever.

–Game’s re-airing, so got to see that Andrew Rowe helped set up that first goal, taking a huge hit as he moved it up to Carter Verhaeghe, who did a good job waiting for the line change to finish.

–Had a couple of Ho-Sang and Dal Colle twitter questions moments after the buzzer; Brent Thompson went to them on his own. “I thought (the line, with Winquist) generated a lot of chances … and even played well defensively. It’s a step in the right direction for the young kids’ development,” Thompson said. “When they focus on playing solid away from the puck, they get points. Tonight, I thought they were strong away from the puck.” There are still things to be done, he said, eliminating turnovers, making sure they don’t blow the zone too soon. “They want to be the guys out there in those key situations. It’s an opportunity for those guys to play and develop.”

Overall, he said, “I thought the game itself was a sloppy game.” After they got the two goals, “we got away from going to the net, got away from putting pucks to the net. … They took over. A couple of turnovers were in our net.” They still could’ve been sharper with their puck plays, he said, but he thought the structure got sharper as the game wore on. “Overall,” he said, “the effort’s undeniable.”

Warmup will be winding down in Albany in about 14 hours. More then.

Michael Fornabaio