Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bridgeport 4, Adirondack 3 3/2

They say that bad things come in threes, and the Adirondack Phantoms got all kinds of threes today.

Rookie Brock Nelson snapped a 3-3 tie with 3:33 left in period No. 3 as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers handed the Phantoms a 4-3 loss Saturday at Webster Bank Arena. Imagine if this game was played Sunday, not Saturday, and all of this happened on March 3, 3/3. That might be a sign, or something.

When I was covering the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a few years ago, Reid Cashman, who at the time wore No. 11, scored at 11:11 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie and the Penguins went on to beat the Philadelphia Phantoms at the Spectrum. It was Cashman's first AHL goal, too. Go figure.

As far as today goes, the Phantoms are having a really difficult time winning games on the road this season. Tonight was their eighth straight road loss and that's the longest active such streak in the AHL. They last won away from home when they beat Albany in a shootout Jan. 20 in Atlantic City.

The Phantoms are 9-16-2-1 on the road this year, scoring 57 goals while allowing 89. They are getting outscored, on average, 3.17-2.03 in each road game they play. At home, however, they're just about a .500 team. They're 12-13-0-1, but have scored 71 goals and allowed 71 goals. That translates to an average of 2.73 goals for and goals against at home, which is a really substantial difference.

What went wrong tonight? Well, the power play got two goals, which is a big plus, but they also didn't convert on Nelson's tripping minor late in regulation. He comes out of the box, takes a pass from Matt Donovan, dekes around Oliver Lauridsen and roofs the game-winner over Scott Munroe.


They also got outshot 31-11 over the final two periods, which was more than enough to allow the Sound Tigers to overcome the 2-1 deficit they faced after 20 minutes. Jon Landry fired home a point shot midway through the second period, and Matt Watkins tipped in Jack Combs' shot in the third.

Matt Konan's first pro goal, on a power play nonetheless, tied it back up 3-3. Jason Akeson also scored on a power play in the first period to put the Phantoms up 1-0 before Combs tied it 1-1 about four minutes later. Then Garrett Roe scored 23 seconds after that. Lots of action early for both teams.

Munroe made 36 saves, but he got bested by Rick DiPietro, a former teammate, who had 22 stops. Friend of the blog Mike Fornabaio of the Connecticut Post caught up with him after the game.

Bridgeport snapped a seven-game winless streak, while Adirondack has now lost six of seven.

What could have been an eight-point weekend can now only earn them three points, and they'll need to beat Albany Sunday. The good news for Adirondack is that the game is at home, not on the road.

More before the game, which starts at ... 3.
-- MC


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