Road game: Bridgeport at Springfield

Might save the listicle for nonliveblogs. Should be hanging around for this one. AHLTV pay-per-view/Mixlr audio. Box here (R: Duco, Biggers; L: Richetelle, Colby). First Bridgeport game for referee Mike Duco.

The Islanders assigned John Stevens to the Sound Tigers this morning, which means he’s at least healthy enough (reportedly lower body) to be sent down. He was supposed to be skating this morning; not sure about with the team, who had an optional. Matt Lorito is next up.

We await news on Jeff Kubiak’s condition; if no word on the pregame, we’ll try Brent Thompson postgame.

Elsewhere, Hartford, whose lineup was somewhat beaten up, gets Lias Andersson back from the Rangers for tomorrow’s rematch. We await any fallout from last night’s game and its assorted incidents beyond the automatic one game to Cole Schneider for the last-five-minutes instigator. (Forgot to mention last night that back in the press box, Gerry Cantlon made the point that, if the refs wanted, Noted Thug Stephen Gionta could’ve been tossed as the third man into Schneider-Jones.)

Worcester is in Portland. Josh Ho-Sang appears set to play with Brock Nelson and Anders Lee.

Also, Ultima Thule, you guys!

  • Aren’t you supposed to be doing something else: Like a Podcast!? (This will likely be a regular Friday reference)

More in a bit.

–Struggled to pick up the lines on AHLTV, but looked like Hitchcock and Holmstrom in for Kubiak and Gionta, still no Bernier, and Rathgeb for Casto. Gibson in net.

–There was also a funny moment where it looked like Jonathan Ang lost his stick, which slid almost to the Bridgeport blue line. Had to disobey the confine-your-activity-to-your-half rule.

–Lower on Bernier, says Alan, and Kubiak (upper) is still to be evaluated.

–The lines are the same as last night except for the two straight-up swaps; the D-pairs are shuffled.

F: Dal Colle-Koivula-C.Bourque
Bellows-Jones-R.Bourque (A)
St. Denis-Hitchcock-B.Holmstrom (C)
D: Aho-Burroughs
Helgeson-Vande Sompel
G: Gibson

–Audio issues on AHLTV for Alan. His mixlr is up, but it’s ahead of video.

–The nightmare is over for Mike Sislo, set up at the base of the left circle by Michael Dal Colle on a power play (Repo high-sticked Rathgeb). He one-times home his first goal since Nov. 10 after 17 games without one. He lets out what looks like a deep breath of relief on the way to the flyby. It’s 1-0 Bridgeport at 4:44.

–Now Ryan Smith’s audio is ahead of the video on the away feed of AHLTV. This is fun. Sam Montembeault makes a right-leg save on a Dal Colle breakaway after a defenseman turns it over to Koivula and falls.

–And now he’s not, so that’s good.

–Rathgeb trips Horton. First Springfield PP with about six and a half left in the first.

–Then Burroughs hits Zolnierczyk from behind, and the Thunderbirds will have a little over a minute of five-on-three.

–With a second left on the Rathgeb minor (Edit: five seconds, after they fix the box), Hunt bangs home a second rebound from practically the goal line off a McCoshen point shot; think Matt Marcinew got a first whack at the rebound. 1-1. Bridgeport does kill the rest of the Burroughs minor while AHLTV hiccups on me.

–1-1 after one. Shots 9-6 Springfield.

–1:25 into the second, Hunt squeaks one through Gibson. It trickles toward the goal line. Gibson pulls it off. Hunt thinks it’s over. Gibson makes a stop a few seconds later. It looks as if the referee wants to review it, but Ryan says it doesn’t seem to be happening, whether the machine isn’t working or what. The camera was in the crowd (hi, Kevin!), then shows an empty sheet with the puck on the dot. Let’s risk buffering and go back to see what it looks like…

–The puck kinda wobbles right at the goal line but I don’t see it all the way over. It might’ve wobbled enough to get there, but apparently they couldn’t review it. On they go.

–And after another AHLTV hiccup, hey, it’s Alan!… and now it’s Ryan again. Just in time for Gibson to make a glove save on a Paul Thompson partial breakaway.

–Rathgeb has drawn one penalty and taken two. Holds Hunt at 5:56 of the second. I got the video to pause at what looks like Gibson is about to sweep it off the line, and, yeah, the puck’s kind of on edge, and is it over? You need the overhead, which apparently they didn’t have.

–Sislo for a hook with 16 seconds left in Rathgeb’s minor, so another (shorter) five-on-three.

–One shot attempt on the five-on-three before they get Rathgeb back.

–Lowry, in behind Vande Sompel and Wotherspoon at the front of the net, puts in a rebound of MacDonald’s shot to make it 2-1 Springfield. Greco gets the second assist, so now it’s an official BPT-SPR game. Midway second.

–Bridgeport somehow survives a couple of atrocious shifts in its own end — Repo had an open net twice, fanned on his first try and missed his second — and winds up with its second power play a couple of shifts later after Zolnierczyk dumps Jones behind the Thunderbirds net.

–Bridgeport’s not even set up yet — looks more like a messy umbrella — when Vande Sompel wrists one through traffic, St. Denis still up high and Bellows in front, and it’s 2-2 with 5:55 left in the second.

–But Springfield gets it right back a shift later, 3-2 Thunderbirds. A turnover, a puck that doesn’t get out, Helgeson didn’t have a stick and might’ve screened Gibson… and it might go off both Helgeson and Vande Sompel in front, caroming in.

–Holy cro: A Wotherspoon shot gets through traffic with 0.2 left in the second period, and it’s 3-3. A Koivula pass got cross-ice with a tap-along from Chris Bourque. Wotherspoon collected it off the boards and one-timed it off the boards. Not sure if it ticked off Farnham (who slapped his stick against the boards) and changed direction up high, but Koivula was right in front of Montembeault. Holy cro.

–RIP, Yevgeni Zimin.

–As the third starts, it looks as if they’ve swapped Eansor and St. Denis. It’d appeared that way late second but wondered if that was just after some penalties.

–Too many passes as the Sound Tigers take a 4-3 lead with 12:47 left. Koivula finishes off a three-on-one rush with help from both of his linemates. It’s too many passes because Gibson had stepped out of the crease to play it away from Mangene up the left wing; Paul Thompson, covering for Mangene, stepped up and missed it, letting Dal Colle out to start that three-on-one; if Chris Bourque somehow scores before dishing right to Koivula, it’s another assist for Gibson. Ah well.

–RIP, Nancy Grace Roman.

–Looks like we finally get Alan for the last six minutes on AHLTV! Just in time for Ben Holmstrom to shoot high on a two-on-one. Still 4-3 Bridgeport with 5:10 to go.

–And he’s gone again. Poor Alan. (Poor us. It has been a rough AHLTV night.)

–Just about prison rules out there. Montembeault to the bench with 1:45.

–Bridgeport was offside with 33 seconds left, which got Montemebeault back into the net for about 15 seconds, helping the Sound Tigers kill off the last minute: Bridgeport 4, Springfield 3, final. Bridgeport has its third-best 34-game record: It was 22-5-5-2 in 2003-04, and 22-9-1-2 in 2008-09 (noticed because this is the third-fastest team to reach 20 wins; 2003-04 did it in 30, and 2008-09 did it in 31).

More tomorrow.

Michael Fornabaio