Both coach and captain said they didn’t see anything in common between tonight’s three-goal deficit and Wednesday’s.
“Tonight, they were mental breakdowns,” Brent Thompson said. I thought we were sharp off the hop. I left the first period thinking it should be a lot closer.”
That second goal’s quite the mess, puck-staring to positioning to plain ol’ letting guys have their way. It’s kinda remarkable Christopher Gibson gets the first stop.
The third goal comes off a blocked shot, but Bridgeport seems to recover well enough before it leaves Colton Hargrove wide-open in the slot while watching Jordan Szwarz behind the net.
(The first PPG, the first goal of the game, caromed off Ryan Bourque’s stick right to Ryan Fitzgerald. You’d maybe like a guy in the shot lane rather than getting a tip, Thompson said; still, “luck of the Irish there.” One PK situation more correctable than the other, Ben Holmstrom said.)
The focus needed to be sharper. Little things blew up.
“We competed very hard the rest of the game,” Thompson said, “against a team with a very strong defensive group as well.”
But they were down 3-0, and unlike Wednesday, there was no miracle comeback.
The goal was the 100th pro point for Casey Bailey, Alan points out. 43-54-99 here, 1-0-1 in the NHL. The power play went 1-for-7. Most of the power play is elsewhere, but absence creates opportunity, etc.
Mild weirdness in the second period after that Tommy Cross-Travis St. Denis scrum. St. Denis’ helmet needed repairs. They didn’t get it back to him until seven seconds remained in his minor. The recently added AHL helmet rule says that a player without a helmet can’t return to play from the penalty box. Had the penalty run out with St. Denis stuck in the box without a bucket, he’d either have to stay in the box, leaving Bridgeport short like an unserved major, or go out and take the penalty under Rule 9.6. (Or it’s possible they just don’t let him go.) Conceivably they could have had someone serve the penalty for him, but probably not one you think about.
Hartford had Alexandar Georgiev called up this afternoon after the Rangers lost Ondrej Pavelec last night. Didn’t hurt much tonight at Hershey. Charlotte put up seven on Springfield tonight. So in points Bridgeport fell to sixth, but those three games in hand on Hartford keep the Sound Tigers in fifth as the league calls it.
Utica signed Justin Taylor to a PTO yesterday. Taylor didn’t play Friday, so today was his first AHL game in almost seven years, since the last of his 15 games in his rookie year for Bridgeport. He got his first AHL point: a second-period, go-ahead goal. Nice to see. (Linked to this Taylor story earlier this year.)
Couple of goals for Chris Langkow tonight as Worcester closed an 11-game homestand. Got up there last night for their 4-1 loss to South Carolina (Parker Milner nearly shut them out and nearly gave me a premature substitution for the goaltender penalty, but he played the puck instead and got them nabbed for too-many-men). Product coming this week.
Craig Cunningham’s All Heart Foundation is up and running.
Sacred Heart won twice at Niagara this weekend.
And RIP, Reg E. Cathey.