Making assertions: Lehigh Valley postgame

“Assertive” keeps coming up with the kids, particularly with Ryan Pulock but with Michael Dal Colle, too. Consider this one tonight pretty assertive.

“We switched up our power-play breakout. I got my touch early,” Dal Colle said. “I played with the puck a lot tonight.”

He was around the net to help set up the power-play goal in the first. He was around it again to score the second one after his initial shot went wide and Pat Cullity recovered it on the left side.

And then there was the scary moment later that period when it looked like he might’ve been the third forward lost for Bridgeport (Tanner Fritz has a limp; Kellen Jones said he’s usually tied down but wasn’t tonight, and isn’t that the night he gets his sweater pulled over his head). Just a stinger, Dal Colle said, when Robert Hagg inadvertently got him with knees to both the neck and the midsection when Dal Colle went down.

But he was able to stay in. With 10 forwards, everyone got a crack in key situations. They were still rolling everyone in the final few minutes — fate had shortened the bench already, I guess — and just about everyone contributed in the defensive zone.

And with Hershey suffering the same fate in Hartford as Bridgeport did last weekend, the Sound Tigers are one point out going there tomorrow night, destiny back in their hands.

“The effort level, the will to compete, was outstanding,” Thompson said. “To be down two forwards most of the game, it shows the guys have got a lot of guts.”

Include No. 17, who might’ve played his best game.

“I thought Dal Colle was engaged physically,” Thompson said. “Moving your feet is key for anyone’s success. … He was moving his feet. He was attacking. When you do that, good things happen. He got rewarded.

“He’s got to continue to do that,” Thompson said. Oh, yeah: Consistency’s the other word, right?


No Hershey for me tomorrow, so hang out for the liveblog. Might even do a fake early notebook.

Fritz will be evaluated when they get home, Thompson said. If they’d heard about John Tavares being helped off — time-stamp-wise, I’m not sure Tavares had happened when we talked — I didn’t hear about it downstairs. See if that affects the Bridgeport roster tomorrow.

Thompson broke out the old line that a defenseman has played well when you don’t really notice him, and that’s how he felt about Jake Bischoff’s pro debut. “He played a solid, simple game,” Thompson said. Bischoff said he felt the hands weren’t all there, but it looked from up top like he did some good things; broke up a play in front with his stick in the third period, scored the power-play goal (“a gift,” he said, and OK, but still).

Speaking of young defensemen, Parker Wotherspoon‘s team just gave up two late-second goals to Seattle and could be 20 minutes from being swept at this writing. (It’s a long ride home.) Mitchell Vande Sompel plays on, though.

For those who may not remember why there’s a game misconduct for not tying down your sweater: Blame Rob Ray.

Not a good night, probably, for any Hershey Bear except Garrett Mitchell; his wife gave birth to their second daughter, the team reports. Congrats to the Mitchells.

Wilkes-Barre lost at Springfield; great night for the bottom of the East. Providence beat Albany to move one point behind Lehigh Valley and two ahead of Hershey (with a game in hand on the Bears) and stay three ahead of Bridgeport (with a game in hand).

Sacred Heart’s Mitch Nylen signed with South Carolina of the ECHL.

The U.S. women shut out Canada to open the World Championship.

Tip of cap to Patrik Elias.

And RIP, Ruben Amaro Sr.

Michael Fornabaio