"He did not look out of place in the American Hockey League, against a very fast team," Bingham said. "He hasn’t even skated with us, just a pre-game skate. ... He didn’t hurt us one bit. He actually helped us quite a bit.”
>>Bridgeport coach Pat Bingham on the debut of newly signed ex-Gopher Aaron Ness
So you're Aaron Ness. Your college career just ended -- sooner than expected -- last weekend with a home sweep at the hands of Alaska-Anchorage, whom your beloved Gophers should have beaten. You made the difficult decision to leave college a year early, sign your first contract, and get on with things. You're a Minnesota native and you turn up in Bridgeport, Conn. -- of all places -- joining a mix of prospects, old farts (no offense, Wotton) and less heralded TO's to play for a struggling AHL club in your first pro experience ever. You don't turn 21 until next month. A smallish defenseman, you don't get to practice with your new team before playing a game with proverbial bigger, faster men.
And what happens?
One defenseman (Dustin Kohn) leaves the game with a knee injury. Another leaves with a game misconduct (Mark Katic). You end up on the powerplay, and play about 24 minutes in your pro debut, a shootout loss made possible by a late shorthanded goal by Rob Hisey that sent it to OT.
All reporting on this by Michael Fornabaio with the Connecticut Post, who I hope you check out for Sound Tigers news (and interesting unrelated links, sometimes astronomy, sometimes not).
Fornabaio's post-game blog, linked in the opening quote above, is here. Full article on Ness with more quotes here. Official BST site's version of events here. It's just one game, but ain't that mix of circumstances something? Why do we love hockey -- why do we like sports, really? I swear the biggest reason is you never know what will happen.
The Sound Tigers are back at it Saturday night vs. Manchester. The education of Aaron Ness continues.