Start to finish: Providence postgame 2

You take a ride for a three-in-three game, and you get something unlike you’ve ever seen.

Absolute history. At the House of Pain.

Three games this weekend, and three games where they went deep into the first without allowing a shot on goal. It took 6:21 today, and that was by far the soonest.

So I asked a bunch of people where these starts came from. The answers from three of them are in the paper tomorrow.

Kyle Burroughs’ version: “Everyone’s just ready.”

“It comes from the coaching staff, but it comes through Ben (Holmstrom), the leadership group, all the veterans. A good start sets us up with momentum. If we can carry that through to the end of the first, the end of the second, each period, we can restart.”

The coach’s perspective?

“They’re mentally focused. They’re ready,” Brent Thompson said. “They want to get better. It’s a group that’s coachable, hungry to get better.”

I didn’t want to be that jerk asking who they were and what they did with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. But from the team that had such troubles against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to this, it was remarkable.

Completely lost in all this is Kristers Gudlevskis’ best start of the year and his first shutout in almost two years, since, with the same number of saves, he did it to some team we’ve never heard of.

Wondered if he’s one of those guys who likes early work, because he could’ve gone out for a sandwich in the first and come back to a competitive game.

“For a goalie, it’s the next save,” Gudlevskis said. “The next shot, you’ve got to be ready.”

He was. They were. Three in a row. They’re two points out of a playoff spot.


The gamer includes the like 47 ways this game made a little franchise history. That it includes the first hat trick by a Bridgeport defenseman is probably the general-audience coolest. That it’s the first for a Sound Tiger against Providence might be the weirdest. To me, I think, the coolest that it’s the team’s first shutouts in back-to-back visits anywhere. (It would take more digging than I want to do — at least sitting in an empty arena two hours from home — to check if this is the longest shutout streak in a visiting barn, but it’s only 124:05; the Bruins scored two goals late in the last visit last year, a 2-1 Bridgeport loss.)

On Michael Dal Colle’s scratch: “It’s all part of development,” Thompson said. “It’s the same as Saint (St. Denis Saturday night), Hos* (Ho-Sang) last year. … Understand it’s an opportunity for him to watch a game up top and visually understand the expectations we have for him.

“He’s a big part of our organization.”

Awesome moment in the third period. Sena Acolatse hit Steve Bernier hard. Kyle Burroughs went over to fight Acolatse. Steve Bernier stepped in between and was trying to push Burroughs away; didn’t need to go in a five-goal game in the third period. Burroughs went ahead anyway.

“I didn’t want him to” hold him back, Burroughs said. “Bernie’s a guy, I think, who’d do the same thing for me if I were in that position. I was happy to do it for him.”

Hey, remember when the beat writer was all “what’s up with the PK?” Bridgeport has killed 20 in a row.

Breaking down the ice here. Interesting. Janet Jackson and Comic Con before the B’s come back in almost two weeks.

Cool fact from Mark Divver that Jacob Bryson of Providence College is Mitch Vande Sompel’s cousin.

Prescout. Danick Martel has had himself a month. Didn’t hold up today, though. See them bright and early Wednesday.

Worcester got an all-AHL-contract goal, Matt Gaudreau’s second, but wasn’t enough against (again) Reading. Couple of points for Milford’s Mark Naclerio.

Matt Duchesne finally got traded, and for quite a bit in a three-way deal. (He was dressed tonight in Brooklyn and left in the first period after the deal went down.)

Sacred Heart fell behind Canisius, tried to scrape back, didn’t. On to AIC (with its coach from the Bronx) next weekend.

Team’s off tomorrow; well-earned. More Tuesday unless warranted. (There’s a City Council meeting tomorrow, after all.)

*-Trying to decide how to spell Thompson’s nickname for Ho-Sang. It’s his last name without the -ang, so it’s not really “Hose.” Long ‘o’, voiceless ‘s’.

Michael Fornabaio