These Sound Tiger-ThunderCougarFalconBird games are tons of fun, mostly because I don’t have to play in them. Throw in some creative officiating, and that was a powder keg there for a while.
“They’ve got a group like us,” Kane Lafranchise said. “Everyone over there plays physical. They play tough in their own end. We’re similar teams. That’s why every game is like playoff hockey.”
Connor Jones was (you’ll not be surprised) knocked around pretty good, and for his trouble got a holding-the-stick minor in the second period. Bridgeport killed that off, then went back on the kill on a Ben Holmstrom-Bobby Farnham interaction that wound up with Farnham on the ice and Holmstrom in the box. And after Anthony Greco scored, Josh Ho-Sang was called for tripping, allegedly, Alex Grenier.
Grenier went in the box during that minor for allegedly hooking Jones, and I should’ve asked him whether, indeed, his look back at the whistle wasn’t to make sure he wasn’t getting called for something.
“We had a 10-minute lapse in the second there where we just kind of lost our focus,” Jones said.
He credited Brent Thompson helping to bring it back. It was all in all another pretty hard-fought, hard-edge win for Bridgeport. They’ve ground out three in a row, two against really good teams and one that, like them, doesn’t go away easily.
“Moving forward from the all-star break, it’s the grinding point of the year,” Jones said.
Optional tomorrow. We’ll opt in.
Josh Holmstrom matches last year’s goal total. John Stevens gets his first goal in almost three months. Thompson has mentioned getting secondary scoring, and it came tonight. “It takes the pressure off the other guys,” Thompson said. “They can focus on just playing. Secondary scoring is something you look for in any league, on any team.”
Worcester sent goalie Mitch Gillam up to Utica for tonight’s game against Hartford. The Wolf Pack won in overtime, the third game in a row they’ve done that, which Bob Crawford notes is historic. Lias Andersson, the other first-rounder for the Rangers last summer, made his North American debut and got an assist on the winner, winning a draw in his own end.
(Bridgeport has won three games in a row beyond regulation once, if you’re curious in 2009-10, but that included two shootout wins. The Pack’s are all with the clock running. The Sound Tigers have played four overtime games in a row twice and three straight overtime games eight other times.)
Speaking of Utica, Jaime Sifers is back practicing, Ben Birnell writes.
Get your very own Hartford Whalers license plate from the state.
Huge local high school football news as Marce Petroccio takes over at Trumbull.
Tip of cap to a worthy Baseball Hall of Fame class.
Holy cro, ice jams on the Susquehanna. (H/T: Stan.)