Abundance of cowardice: Providence liveblog

Home tonight on account of the header (or caution, but with a couple of other factors, so if I write something here about Westhill, yell back). Presumably the roads will be fine tonight at 11:30ish because I’m not on them, so you’re welcome. In the meantime, since one of the factors was our deadlines, wrote something for the paper off some notes from yesterday and a bunch of database sorting.

Bridgeport sent Mike Cornell to Worcester, which doesn’t sound like an indicator of Sebastian Aho’s immediate potential to return. Worcester’s playing tonight after a win in overtime last night ran a winning streak to four. (Mitch Gillam vs. Eamon McAdam in that one.)

We’ll pretend we’re there and fill in the blanks:

BRIDGEPORT, an educated guess from yesterday and what we could see through that silly fish-eye lens
F: Bellows-St. Denis-Fritz
C.Bourque – Koivula – Ho-Sang
R.Bourque (A)-Gionta-B.Holmstrom (C)
D: Wotherspoon-Burroughs
Vande Sompel-Casto
Helgeson (A)-Rathgeb
G: Gibson

PROVIDENCE looks like
F: Hughes-Szwarz (C)-Kuhlman
Blidh (A)-Smith-McNeill
D: Clifton-Vaakanainen
Breen (A)-Lauzon
G: Vladar

R: O’Donnell, Halkidis. L: Colby, E.Ernst.

This should be the box.

Bridgeport scratches (believed healthy unless noted): Aho (upper), Bernier (suspended 3/3), apparently J.Holmstrom, Kubiak (upper), Lorito (lower), Sislo (upper), Stevens (lower).

–B’s up 1-0 about six minutes in. Vaakanainen nice move down the slot to the right circle, centers to Kuhlman for a shot Gibson stops; Szwarz there to clean it up patiently.

–St. Denis hit on Lauzon forces a turnover, and he cuts out of the right corner with it to set up Bellows to tie the game with 5:35 left in the first.

–And high school hockey is officially in my brain, as I wrote that down as 9:25.

–1-1 after one. Bridgeport has 1:37 of an Eansor trip to kill to start the second. It’s 0-for-2 on the power play (B.Holmstrom, Ho-Sang, Bellows, St. Denis and Rathgeb; Fritz, Gaudreau, Koivula, C.Bourque, Vande Sompel).

–McNeill takes a setup from Carey just inside the right circle and beats Gibson stick side, post and in, and it’s 2-1 44 seconds into the second… and another Providence power play will come soon after; Casto for a hook.

–Now a 37-second five-on-three on a hook on Ryan Bourque… and Alan says Stephen Gionta’s headed to the room.

–A Holmstrom hit on McNeill in the slot helps get the puck out, and in fact Kyle Burroughs chases it down, carries up the right side and gets a shot on goal to all but kill off the two-man.

–In fact, at that stoppage, Carey gets a high-sticking minor.

–Had some technical difficulties, which let me take a look back on the timeline at what’s up in Worcester, where Tyler Mueller was knocked out of the game, and Mike Cornell and Newfoundland’s Brady Ferguson may’ve received coincidental match penalties. Edit: no, ultimately. Meanwhile back in Bridgeport, a stretch pass catches Bridgeport changing, and Zach Senyshyn makes it 3-1 Providence with 3:33 left in the second.

–Senyshyn is just onto the ice himself on that goal, it appears. (It’s 3-1 after two) Bridgeport doesn’t appear to have completed a change, but at the same time there are four guys within shouting distance of him if they happen to notice him. Further back, didn’t see anything untoward happen to Gionta; he slaps the puck all the way down the ice on the penalty kill, then goes slowly to the bench, then to the room at the next whistle

–Shots are 19-9 Providence. Yeesh.

–Ben Holmstrom does something about it, scoring on a rebound 24 seconds into the third period. Off a Wotherspoon shot. We assume. AHLTV is still on the fish-eye. There has got to be a better way. 3-2 Providence.

–Alan notes that Stephen Gionta remains in the room. Chris Bourque started the third with his brother and Ben Holmstrom, effectively Gionta’s spot.

–Ben Holmstrom ties it on his next shift, 3:10 into the third, working at the front of the net again, it sounded like. 3-3.

–Jones stopped on a short-handed breakaway, then winds up crashing into the endboards. Takes him a few seconds to get up; wanted a call that didn’t come.

–Having all kinds of AHLTV problems tonight for unknown reasons. Gamesheet suggests there’s 3:01 to play, still 3-3. Hey, I click on the away feed and get live hockey. This Providence guy sounds just like Alan.

–(There is no Providence guy)

–With about a minute left, Lauzon knocked Ho-Sang down, and Ho-Sang was on top of the puck… Ho-Sang refused to get up, and the referee there refused to blow the whistle. Had to be 15-20 seconds of waiting for something to happen. A Bruin finally got it out of there. They’ll go to overtime tied at 3. Nine games in a row now without a regulation win for Bridgeport. Alan notes it’s five overtime games in this season series, seven games so far.

–I am like 90 percent sure that Ho-Sang, late in a shift and feeling some pressure from a defender, flung the puck back to Christopher Gibson from the offensive zone. Remember, if you’ve been around awhile, when Tomi Pettinen used to do that on the penalty kill? Win the draw, send it all the way back to Rick DiPietro? I think Ho-Sang did it. Anyway. Two minutes in now, and Gibson makes a stop to keep it going.

–Chris Bourque’s third whack at Urho Vaakanainen takes out his skates. Providence’s fifth power play with 2:46 to go after a Bruins time out.

–Heck of a battling penalty kill for Holmstrom, Burroughs, Helgeson and Gibson. Holmstrom knocks the puck out as Bourque comes out of the box; Bourque tries to make a move around Vladar, but Vladar reaches out to trip him. Bridgeport wants a penalty shot; it’ll get its fifth power play with, according to the rough AHLTV time box, 39 seconds left in OT.

–Time out, Bridgeport, after they hash out why it’s not a penalty shot, which took a while. 38.5 left.

–Vladar may’ve tripped Bourque with his arm, in the end. Anyway. Blidh tries to rush in the final seconds, and his shot is blocked out of play by Chris Bourque with 0.7 seconds left. Looks like the bonus round… and indeed.

–Chris Bourque gets his penalty shot in the bonus round and scores, but Trent Frederic ties it up. Tanner Fritz scores in the fourth round to win it: Bridgeport 4, Providence 3, final (SO). Holmstrom’s the first star, which is right and just. He’s laughing in the postgame on-ice interview. Can’t wait to hear about that one. Tough night not to be there.

They rerun his goals: first one off a bit of a scramble, Wotherspoon left-point shot after Holmstrom puts it back to him, Ryan Bourque’s poke stopped, Holmstrom jumps on it in the crease. Second one, Bourque in the left corner gives it to him in front; he’s stopped, but Cumiskey can’t get the handle on the rebound, and … actually, on second look, he hands it right to Holmstrom to slap home.

Yeah. So. Be safe out there. More Monday unless warranted.

Michael Fornabaio