Often times it happens in timed sports where a team picks up momentum and ultimately changes the complexion of the game. Yet the result usually ends up with the trailing team wishing if only they had just a few more minutes. Well Wednesday night the Albany Devils got just that… sort of.
With just over three minutes to go in the second period, play was stopped due to a broken partition in the glass, sending both squads back to the locker room. After the premature intermission the final minutes of the second were played out. Mike McKenna made a few nice saves until Robin Figren of Bridgeport found the back of the net to put the Sound Tigers up on the Devils by a count of 4-1. Then upon completion of the period, both netminders switched cages much like the ten minute mark of the Winter Classic and picked up the third period.
It didn’t look promising down 4-1, even though it was Bridgeport, even though the New York Islanders organization has gone through goaltenders like a toddler goes through Huggies this season. Surely Albany could break through and make this contest competitive again? Then the Wiseman came bearing gifts, frankincense, myrrh and goals.
I don’t believe Chad Wiseman is related to Charlie Sheen but with six of his ten markers coming this season against Bridgeport, one might say this Tiger killer has some “Tiger blood” when facing the orange and blue.
Just under ten minutes to go in the final frame it all started innocently enough with Wiseman off a Stephen Gionta pass, fluttering a shot over the shoulder of Mikko Koskinen to cut the lead in half. It fit the old adage of, when you shoot the puck good things happen.
It was about six minutes later that Wiseman would catch wild-fire and completely incinerate the Sound Tigers.
The next goal came after Olivier Magnan made a brilliant play to preserve possession of the puck in the Devils offensive zone and fired the puck on net. Again it was Wiseman out front for the re-direct and the goal to make it 4-3. Again, when you shoot the puck good things happen.
About a minute later Wiseman took another feed from the Captain Gionta and zipped it on net, where the puck deflected off a skate of a Bridgeport defender and in. Tie game, 4-4. When you shoot the puck, good things…
Finally with just 32 ticks left the Devils kept the pressure on and in a frenzy kept circling the puck around the zone. Rob Davison held the zone and funneled the puck down to Gionta, Gionta again fed Wiseman the biscuit. Wiseman then whirled and whistled the puck into the net for the eventual winner and a 5-4 Devils advantage.
It was almost surreal pandemonium, four goals, one player, from devastation to delirium in a matter of 9:35 in the third period. Though in a way it also made the most sense. Keep feeding the hot hand, continue firing the puck at the net and as a hockey “wise man” once said, sometimes good things will happen.