‘Gutsy’: WBS postgame (1)

Just the day you want to kill six penalties: the night your veteran PK guy sits out for the first time in a year and a third.

Bridgeport found a way, swept the weekend, got a point in its 14th home game in a row, got Christopher Gibson his first shutout since Feb. 18 and the team’s first since Kristers Gudlevskis’ a week later.

“I got the shutout in the stats, but it was a great team effort,” Gibson said “It was a gutsy win from us, and we battled the entire game.” And doing it short-handed? “That’s great. It shows what character we have in this team, that we can play a gutsy game like this at the end of a three-in-three. It’s something we need to build on.”

(The most important part of that quote is “gutsy”: It was part of my web headline for my gamer until I realized I didn’t use that quote. Ah well. It’ll work here.)

Saw Seth Helgeson after the game; he said he’s doing OK, and he was pretty pumped after watching his teammates get that done.

“It was definitely different not seeing Helgs out there, but guys stepped in,” Kyle Burroughs said. “You can look at anyone on our D-corps — 1 to 8 can slide in there. It’s nice to create the chemistry and cohesion we have to step up and do a job when we needed to.”

They got key shifts from Mitch Vande Sompel and Sebastian Aho, taking steps up on the PK.

“That’s pretty much why our team’s so good. Helgy’s a big part of the team, and especially on the PK, he logs a lot of minutes,” Aho said. “Other guys stepped up when he wasn’t there and did a good job.”

It did not hurt that Gibson was on top of it. He controlled rebounds, made good stops, moved the puck with authority.

“It juust started with Gibby, the battle level,” Burroughs said. “We can’t say enough about our goalies lately. They’ve been giving us a chance every night and shutting the door. Tonight, especially, it was a five-man unit back there working for Gibby.”


Brent Thompson more or less said all three guys out today were day-to-day. Depends on the swelling going down for Dal Colle, obviously, and how Helgeson feels. He wouldn’t divulge on Fritz beyond lower body but said he didn’t expect anything long-term.

Gibson ties Dieter Kochan for fourth on the team’s shutouts list with seven. Wade Dubielewicz had 15; Rick DiPietro and Kevin Poulin had eight apiece.

Second 1-0 win against Wilkes-Barre for Bridgeport (Feb. 18, 2007, Billy Thompson 25 saves, Mark Wotton even earlier than tonight, 3:26), both here. Second for the Pens against Bridgeport (Andy Chiodo/Michel Ouellet, Oct. 30, 2004; Tristan Jarry/J.S. Dea, Nov. 26, 2016), both there, not counting one in the playoffs, Game 4, 2006 (Dany Sabourin/Max Talbot, April 25, 2006), here.

Improper starting lineups happen. One happened during the last 13-game home point streak, Nov. 23, 2003, against Binghamton. It happened April 6, 2007, here against Providence, too, and as noted in there, it’d almost happened earlier that year, too.

I stand by this joke.

The league hit Providence’s Austin Fyten with a game’s suspension for an incident that turned into a slashing major at the next stoppage, presumably called by a linesman. The slash wasn’t on AHLTV film, but he and Kieffer Bellows were at it their whole last shift, and they’d come together near the Bridgeport bench (looked like Bellows might’ve taken him down) as the puck went into the Providence end.

And RIP, Scott Matzka.

More Tuesday.

Michael Fornabaio