“ There’s always positives,” Brent Thompson said after that, “but at the end of the day we’ve got to respond tomorrow, get those points back and battle. I thought they outworked us the majority of the game. Turnovers gave them life.”
Turnovers cost them dearly, one a singular effort, one more of a team failure, turning what felt early on like a playoff game into a game Charlotte seemed to have a handle on, even if it was a one-goal game all the way.
You saw the disparity worst in the second period, when the Checkers outshot Bridgeport 13-7 though it felt more lopsided than that (Bridgeport blocked some shots, which helped). They got some big saves from their goalie.
“(Eamon) McAdam played solid,” Thompson said. “A couple of other guys who hadn’t played in a while played well,” presumably talking about Patrick Cullity and Josh Holmstrom drawing in. “At the end of the day, we have to be able to compete. We have to be ready to compete for 60 minutes.”
They get another chance tomorrow, and it’ll kind of be a big one.
The power play falls into an 0-for-20 drought, tied for the longest in the past two years. It was tweaked a few ways tonight, and within those tweaks was tweaked, partly from Josh Ho-Sang’s late-first benching, more about which (some thoughtful quotes) in the gamer.
“We’re trying to generate some offense with the power play,” Thompson said, “to find the chemistry. You see it with the (even-strength) lines. We’re trying to find some offensive-zone time, create the intensity we need. The bottom line is we’ve got to find the chemistry and work ethic with each line.”
They have tried different combinations, different players.
“It’s an opportunity,” Thompson said. “We’ve got three or four guys up, a few guys injured. It’s an opportunity for guys to step up.”
Brock Nelson in the house tomorrow. Bobblehead day.
Did not get to ask Ben Holmstrom what he said to get himself an abuse-of-officials game misconduct. Can hazard an unprintable guess. Wish I counted how many times Petr Hejna and Kevin Briganti tossed guys from the circle tonight, both ways. Thompson was in Briganti’s face on the way off the bench at the end, after they tossed Holmstrom from the last faceoff (which Steve Bernier won anyway), but he said that was more frustration with how they played.
Lots of familiar names on the scoresheet for Worcester tonight. Kellen Jones and Matty Gaudreau are expected back in Bridgeport tomorrow.
Bronze for Kevin Poulin and Chris Lee. Rushing home to watch the end of Germany-Russia. And kind of hoping to hear my alma mater sometime in the early morning. (What’s the joke if “OAR” wins, “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” or “This Town”?)
Sacred Heart lost at Army to finish the regular season. The Pios will visit RIT next weekend in the AHA tournament; they split with RIT just last week, losing here and beating the Tigers at Ingalls.
Hat tip to Mark Divver on the retweet: Patrick Harper of New Canaan is reportedly out for the year at Boston University. (“The Year,” obviously, goes at most about a bit more than a month in college.)
And… Jim Bransfield had a recording of the kitschiest, most fantastic baseball songs, and he’d play them at Palmer Field in Middletown during high school and American Legion games. Because of him, I was wandering my kitchen singing “Ah… love… base… ball” yesterday as the Grapefruit League got going. RIP, sir.