A little blast from the past on a Friday morning: Because the monster trucks have invaded Harbor Yard, and the Silver Sticks tournament is at Wonderland, the Sound Tigers practiced this morning at Milford Ice Pavilion, where the team practiced in Year 1 and occasionally in Year 2. I feel like I’m missing one, but a quick search through the archive had the last Milford dateline on a Sound Tigers story on April 29, 2003: The day before Game 3 of the Binghamton series. Wild.
The group out there on the ice had Steve Bernier and Travis St. Denis back, but it was missing Scott Eansor again. Michael Dal Colle was on when I arrived just as they were starting, but he came off after a couple of minutes (and hung around, as he needed a ride). Brent Thompson did not sound concerned about that: “He looked good. He was out. He moved. He did the warmup. I thought it was a step in the right direction, so, again, day-to-day. It’s questionable this weekend, but day-to-day.” Eansor, as well, he continued to term day-to-day.
The combos today had the Bourques on a four-man unit with Tanner Fritz and Bernier; a four-man group of Otto Koivula, St. Denis, Mike Sislo and Stephen Gionta; Kieffer Bellows-Ryan Hitchcock-Josh Ho-Sang again; and the fourth line as it was Sunday, Jones-Kubiak-Holmstrom (and, at least in jersey color, Dal Colle joining them). Tweaked defense pairs, with Wotherspoon-Helgeson, Vande Sompel-Aho and Casto-Rathgeb to go with old familiar Toews-Burroughs.
Edit: This section has become irrelevant, as the league has made corrections to the box score in question, taking away the dubious record. Left here italicized for posterity.
Meanwhile, fun with the historical record (and none of which is meant to deride anybody herein, who are doing their job as best they can from the vantage point they have, which as we MAY have noted once or twice is not ideal for stuff going on at that end of the ice): As noted Saturday night, a few things were wonky in the Bridgeport plus/minus in Providence. Most notably, two goals listed four Bridgeport forwards at a time when there wouldn’t be four forwards. Right behind that: The plus/minus for the first two goals appeared to be listed backward, not to mention that the first listed (which was actually scored second) appeared to list the guys who’d been on the ice for the shift before the goal. Logically, one of those guys apparently noticed he’d been dinged an unearned minus, and Bridgeport asked for a review of that first goal. The league did its due diligence and checked the first goal, and indeed yesterday corrected all five minuses to the proper guys who were on the ice when the first goal was scored…. who, you may remember, were already dinged, correctly for a goal but incorrectly for the second goal.
One of those guys doubly dinged is Josh Ho-Sang. Let’s not pretend Saturday was his best game or anything, but he takes that minus, and he’s also one of the four forwards listed on the last Providence goal. Four guys, two defensemen and two wingers, appear on video for that goal; the other is the centerman, so it’s unlikely to be Ho-Sang coming on for a change. St. Denis started the shift, and the box lists Hitchcock, 24 or 34. Ho-Sang may get hit because the unlisted defenseman is Yannick Rathgeb, who’d replaced Devon Toews: 25+6+like 250 feet at a bad angle=26?
None of this would probably register, except, to get to the point: Ho-Sang was on the ice for the other three Bruins goals (I think, anyway; pretty confident about two). So all this makes him, officially, minus-5 for the night, which, if I haven’t missed anyone over the years, ties a team record set on New Year’s Rockin’ Interminable Meeting Eve 2006-07 (Jeremy Colliton and Rick Berry, of all people).
Except, you know.
DVD extra for today’s story about Sunday’s third-period shift, three minutes in the Phantoms end: I had to paraphrase Kieffer Bellows’ story for space, but here’s how he told it.
“Back in my U18 year at the NTDP, me, Clayton Keller, Joey Anderson had a — it’s going to sound crazy — a five-minute shift, just all of us on the ice. We were playing against Youngstown, and we hemmed them in their zone the whole time. They just couldn’t get the puck. They were exhausted. We were tired. But we had the puck, and we just kept going.
“They finally got it out. We changed. We look at the clock: There’s like 15 minutes left in the period. We’re like, jeez, we’re going to have to sit down for a little bit.
“The goalie was standing on his head, and we just couldn’t bury it.”
I enjoyed that story. I also enjoyed that, when I tried to Google this five-minute shift for background, no matter how many terms I added, it kept returning me results about Alexei Kovalev.
Worcester is in Manchester tonight, then back in Glens Falls tomorrow.
And RIP, former NHL president John Ziegler.