Out of pocket: Hartford postgame

Well, that’s disastrous.

If you’re sitting there with the Mike-Francesa-style, ticking off “that’s a win”s, there’s no question this had to be a win. The team that spent so much of this season finding ways to win found a way to lose this one: breakdowns at bad times in bad spots.

It started on the first one: “We lost our F3 pocket,” Brent Thompson said. He wasn’t naming names, and there was lots of puck-staring all the way up the ice and some double-teaming below the goal line and some messiness in other spots, too, ultimately leaving Michael Joly, who’d circled out to the blue line before coming back down the slot, open. Bang. 1-0.

Then Ryan Graves on a three-on-two (live, I thought Marek Hrivik was offside and implied as such in the tweet; on grainy video, don’t see evidence I was right). Then Ty Ronning (1-1-2 in two games: I’ve told other people I see some 2010-11 Sound Tigers in this Wolf Pack team, and if their ATOs are super-productive and they go on a run, I’ll feel even better about it) after pretty much every Sound Tiger goes to one side of the neutral zone. They finish it off on another three-on-two from the Hartford blue line.

In between, though, Andrew Rowe scored twice, and Kellen Jones got one not long after the fourth Wolf Pack goal. Where’d the spark come from? Dunno, Rowe said: “It’s not that we didn’t have chances earlier,” Rowe said, and heck, I had shot attempts sizeably in Bridgeport’s favor for two periods. Passes bounced away harmlessly at times. Pucks sailed past guys at the point. “Just a matter of bearing down in front of the net? To start winning a couple of battles? We turned chances for into goals for.”

It didn’t happen soon enough. They needed to be consistent, Kyle Burroughs said. “We know our style of play,” he said, “and it’s blue-collar.”

There were moments, though, and when they finally had to push, they did. They’d just dug the hole deep enough that they’re four points back.

“Typically this group of guys responds very well. They refocus,” Thompson said. “They know what’s at stake. Nothing has to be said. They know every point we give away, we’re going to have to work twice as hard to get back.”


Through it all, though, because Bridgeport plays Providence twice, the Sound Tigers still control their own destiny. Not a fire you want to play with in late March, but still.

Lehigh Valley will likely be ticked off, too, after falling five points behind. Correction from earlier: NHL Network says we’ll get Toronto-Syracuse tomorrow rather than Bridgeport-Lehigh Valley. FYI. (If you get NHL Net, guess it couldn’t hurt to set the DVR either way.)

Boston University lost in the regional final, so Doyle Somerby joins Jake Bischoff and Taylor Cammarata as Islanders draft picks whose college careers are over. See what happens with them.

Mathew Barzal was out last night as the Thunderbirds opened their series with a win, and he’s still not in for Game 2 out there tonight.

Matt Finn went all highlight-reel last night for Missouri, which is chasing a playoff spot.

Sacred Heart’s Justin Danforth, the onetime Sound Tiger (a week ago), latched on with Rochester.

Tucson had Craig Cunningham in the house tonight.

Winnipeg called up Islanders draft pick Brenden Kichton from the Manitoba Moose; he has yet to make his NHL debut.

Micheal Haley got himself a match penalty for this.

And Jonas Gustavsson got credit for a goal last night in Bakersfield.

More from Allentown.

Michael Fornabaio