His old team on the other side, a bunch of his old teammates, and Jeremy Smith came up with a big win, backing up a return to basics for his current teammates with 28 saves.
“(Goalie coach) Chris Terreri said it’s always fun playing against your old team. You know so much about those guys,” Smith said.
“They’re a good team. Top to bottom, front to back, they are a good team. They’re fun to play against, no matter if I played with them last year or not.”
There were a handful of big saves, one on Andrew Poturalski in the last minute maybe the biggest, but the Sound Tigers blocked some shots, too, and once things got going a few minutes into the first, they generated some pressure at the other end, too. They got a couple of good bounces to get the job done.
But Smith came a minute and change and an extra-attacker goal away from his second shutout in four starts after going three years without one.
“I’m happy for him. It’s always nice to beat your old team,” Brent Thompson said. “I thought he was controlled, focused, gave us big saves when we needed it, quieted the game when we needed it.
“I couldn’t be happier with the tandem we have.”
He could be a little happier with the rest of them. Puck management, he said. Things to clean up. But all in all, a heck of a lot happier than Wednesday night.
“Simple difference: We battled. We competed,” Thompson said. “It was a great hockey game, intense, physical. I thought it was playoff-style hockey.”
Mike Sislo remains day-to-day, Thompson said.
The magic number is three, thanks to Springfield’s win in Wilkes-Barre (despite Goal No. 20 for Ryan Haggerty). Lehigh Valley won in Cleveland, so the Sound Tigers have yet to clinch a finish ahead of the Phantoms (two points). Hershey’s win over the Bruins — game-winner in his pro debut for Joe Snively — makes it 10 points to finish ahead of Hershey and six to finish ahead of the Bruins.
Heck of a comeback for Providence College today, from 3-0 down to 6-3 winners, with the game-winner on the power play off the stick of one Tyce Thompson. (His brother has three goals in two AHL games this year.)
And Quinnipiac plays tomorrow in Allentown for a spot in Buffalo. Speaking of which, more tomorrow.