Call the whole thing off: Springfield postgame

You’ve got to go back four and a half years to find a Bridgeport game with more combined power plays than this one. Heck, given a few more minutes, these teams might’ve combined for 20. Over half the first period was spent on the power play.

Bridgeport gave up a couple on Springfield’s power play, though it will still insist that the first of those two was kicked in. Still, a longish five-on-three in the third and a six-on-four in the final seconds: the PK came up big when the Sound Tigers needed it most.

“It’s a work in progress,” Connor Jones said. “We go out there, we obviously all don’t want to get scored on, but they’re getting some bounces, and, we’re a little shorter on our routes, and they’re going in right now.

“Especially (bearing) down the last five minutes: It’s tough killing penalties. The back-to-back-to-backs, you get tired. The chances work against you when you’re taking five, six, seven penalties a game.”

Or nine.

“We do those mental mistakes, those discipline penalties, it shifts us from the right direction,” Steve Bernier said, “and sometimes it’s not even bad penalties. High-stick, it’s going to happen. We still had a lot of penalties, but the PK, they played well, and the PP, we did play well as well. If you’re able to do five-on-five, PK, power play well, then you’ve got a good chance to win.”


When playing his third game in three days so far this year, Bernier has five goals and an assist in three games. “You see the intensity level in his battles, going to the net: That’s hard hockey,” Thompson said. “That’s playoff hockey. He plays it all the time, and that’s probably why you see him a little stronger in the third game in three nights, is because of his conditioning and his strength.”

Bernier’s is the 40th hat trick for a Sound Tiger, not counting Jason Krog’s in the 2002 playoffs. As I was adding things up and searching for other hat tricks, Stan Capp noticed that this was Bernier’s 200th AHL game to go with 637 NHL games. Somehow, his first pro three-goal game.

A couple of notable absences down the stretch: Josh Ho-Sang didn’t appear to play the last 16 minutes or so, after the Thunderbirds cut it to one. “We were in a one-goal game. Nothing on Josh, just the way the rotation (went), the (penalty) kills, coming out,” Thompson said. And Devon Toews didn’t see a lot of ice in the last five minutes or so, and Mitch Vande Sompel was in his spot on the last power play, though with Kyle Burroughs in the box, Toews came on to kill off the last 35 seconds. That appeared more to be physical (he took a memorable second-period spill on a four-on-four, taking out Mike Sislo in the process and sending the T-birds out four-on-two), but Thompson said he didn’t have a medical report yet.

Worcester lost in Brampton. Tyler Mueller’s first pro goal in the loss. Mitch Gillam returned to action with 28 saves on 30 shots.

Team’s off tomorrow. (Not us. #fooball) More Tuesday unless warranted.

Michael Fornabaio