Road game: Bridgeport at Charlotte (2)

  • Who, when, whatever: Bridgeport at Charlotte, BoHANglays’ Coliseum, Saturday, 6 p.m.
  • Callback! My cousins are awesome.
  • Watch: AHLTV pay-per-view
  • Listen: Mixlr audio
  • Twitters: Alan / the Sound Tigers / the Checkers / Jason Shaya
  • Box score: Looks like it (R: Faist, Fernandez; L: D’Loughy, Senger).
  • There’ve been some interesting last names on the lines this weekend, haven’t there: I would agree.
  • Storyline: Last game before break. (Last game for dark sweaters on the road. They’ll come home Thursday, too.) The Checkers are the ones looking to bounce back tonight. One of Bridgeport’s best all-around efforts last night. Once again, see if Tanner Fritz is good to go.
  • Meh, what else is going on: Worcester hosts Reading in the Railers’ last game before the break, too; they’re off until Friday. (The ECHL is dark Sunday-Wednesday; the AHL comes back with six games on Wednesday, but Bridgeport doesn’t return until the three-in-three starting Thursday.) We had that link wrong last night, so it’s probably wrong today, too. Big Club practices today near Dallas before Sunday’s game.
  • Aren’t you supposed to be doing something else: This, I gotta hear from you, too? (But yes, actually.)
  • If this were a regular blog post, what word or phrase would most likely follow “More” at this point: “at some point tonight, depending on game flow elsewhere.”

–OK, high-school gamer in, let’s pick up the liveblog with 20 minutes to go; no score after two, though it sounds like it’s been a fun 40. I’ve been looking up here and there since I got home late in the first. Christopher Gibson made a great stop with about 1:20 left in that period: a Ben Holmstrom pass attempt went off Janne Kuokkanen’s skate and caromed back to Nicolas Roy, who sent it right-to-left to Julien Gauthier on the left side. Gibson got across and kicked Gauthier’s shot away (I’d thought it looked like the puck hung there a moment and Gibson kicked it away with the back of his leg; on another look, maybe not, but still pretty nice.)

Shots are 18-16 Charlotte, though there’ve been some blocked shots.

–First time Bridgeport is scoreless after two since Laval last month.

–Appears as if Bridgeport has swapped Kubiak and Fritz from the way they tweeted it:

F: Dal Colle-Koivula-CBourque
St. Denis-Fritz-Bernier (A)
Eansor-Kubiak-BHolmstrom (C)
D: Wotherspoon-Burroughs
Vande Sompel-Aho
Helgeson (A)-Casto
G: Gibson

Charlotte kills a Robertson tripping minor early on in the third.

–Huge Gibson save on Geekie in front off a turnover.

–Stop Bishop right-pad on the re-entry after Bridgeport finally does clear, but Chris Bourque called for slashing moments later. Charlotte’s fourth PP with 12:47 left.

–A Helgeson whack broke Roy’s stick. 1:19 of five-on-three for the Checkers.

–Not less than three blocks on the five-on-three, but Roy buries the rebound of a Poturalski shot to give Charlotte a 1-0 lead at 8:58.

–And Geekie scores on the back end of the power play, too, dragging it off the right-wing boards into the circle and beating Gibson glove-side. 2-0 at 9:26.

–RIP, Bob Crocker (h/t: Mark Divver)

–Casto sends Eansor in from the blue line, and he goes around Nedeljkovic’s left pad to backhand it home to cut it to 2-1 with just under seven minutes left.

–Wotherspoon jumps alertly off a draw to Nedeljkovic’s right and gets a pass from Chris Bourque; Nedeljkovic gloves his shot with 5:48 left.

–Christopher Gibson gets an assist on the Eansor goal, his third of the season (only Rick DiPietro has better, four in 2002-03; otherwise only Peter Mannino in 2008-09 had as many), fourth of the calendar year and fifth as a Sound Tiger (second only to DiPietro’s seven).

Time out, Bridgeport, with 2:14 left and Gibson apparently headed to the bench.

–Poturalski for some reason tries to feed Saarela with the empty net; loses it. Saarela’s pass back is blocked. But his second pass back is not, and Poturalski gets around Aho. 3-1 with 50ish seconds left.

Charlotte 3, Bridgeport 1, final. Gibson’s first regulation loss since Oct. 28, not that it’s much on him. The Checkers restore their seven-point lead in the division.

The Big Club plays tomorrow, so there’s conceivably a chance of more tomorrow. More likely, More Thursday. Merry Christmas.

Michael Fornabaio