Blow this thing and go home: Utica postgame

Kristers Gudlevskis is 22.0 seconds away from shutouts in back-to-back home starts.

He has, precisely, no home shutouts. Springfield got him with 3.5 seconds left two weeks ago, though Bridgeport won 2-1. And now this on Star Wars Night with 18.5 left on a bowling-for-dollars play on the left-wing boards set up Joseph LaBate.

“A battle on the wall, we lost positioning, they got the bounce,” Thompson said.

Aggravating for the Sound Tigers, since they could’ve scored like three or four in the third period. Thatcher Demko robbed them. (Simple tricks and nonsense.) They weren’t bad to start overtime, had some possession and some chances, but then they had two defensemen and two forwards on the ice with a minute to go in the extra period. Trouble.

They sent Kyle Burroughs, Ben Holmstrom and Seth Helgeson out for the overtime penalty kill. In order, each of those three guys blocked a shot in that last 59.5 with the clock running.

“(You’d hope for) a little good karma or something going to the shootout,” Helgeson said. “Our kill was good tonight.”

The bonus round went to the Comets. After two wild and crazy games, three points apiece isn’t injust. Just aggravating for the home team.


Fun games to watch, I told Thompson. He talked about playoff intensity. True enough.

Tanner Fritz is at this writing fourth in the AHL in scoring, the games-played tiebreaker ahead of Phil Varone and three points behind Manitoba’s Jack Roslovic and his left winger’s big brother.

Sebastian Aho was in the middle of the Bridgeport goal tonight, giving him eight points in a six-game scoring streak. He’s the sixth Bridgeport defenseman to get that far — Ryan Pulock did it twice, so it’s the seventh such streak — and two games off the team record for defensemen set by Chris Armstrong back in the inaugural season (his was the first streak by any Sound Tiger to get past six) and matched last season by Pulock. (The other defensemen: Brandon Smith had a seven-game streak in 2002-03, and Mark Wotton (2006-07), Matt Donovan (2012-13) and Pulock (earlier last season) had six-game streaks.)

First fights on home ice this year! Noticed that last night and couldn’t quite believe it. Four fights now for Ross Johnston and three for Helgeson.

The Islanders wanted to talk about commitment this week, apparently. Jon Ledecky spoke to us about their belief in Bridgeport and their desire to invest in the arena, to turn the team’s facilities into something like what they’ve done in East Meadow…. All subject to Belmont coming through. (See Newsday.)

Prescout. Austin Czarnik and Jordan Szwarz were not in Providence when Bridgeport was last month. They have combined for 26 points in 22 combined AHL games, is all.

Worcester lost a tough one to Manchester.

Sacred Heart salvaged a split at Mercyhurst. The Pios are 4-10-2, 2-7-2 in Atlantic Hockey. Yale comes into Harbor Yard next Saturday.

More tomorrow.

Michael Fornabaio