With the two pre-season games completed, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers ended up at 1-1-0-0. They defeated the Providence Bruins 3-1 in Marlborough, Mass, and were defeated last night by the Manchester Monarchs 2-0 at St. Anselm, NH.
I went to practice, which was open to Islanders season ticket holders at IceWorks today. The practice, as usual, was spirited, and much more intricate than any practice that I have seen of late. In some instances, when they guys were doing sprints in two different directions, there was an expectation of a mid-ice collision. However, there were no injuries on the ice, although for a moment, it looked like goaltender Kevin Poulin was hurt, and was helped off the ice by the training staff. But about 10 minutes later, he returned, looking no worse for the wear.
One name that was not out there today, was Travis Hamonic. The 21 year old defensemen suffered a ‘slight’ injury, according to some of the media staff for both the Islanders and Sound Tigers. They have said he is day-to-day, and will be ready for the AHL opener on Friday, in Hartford.
The line of Kirill Kabonov, Nino Niederreiter and Brock Nelson seem to be skating like they have been playing together for a long period of time. According to a friend of mine, he is calling them a ‘Legion of Doom’ trio. I have just gotten more and more impressed with the way that the young Russian (Kabonov) skates. His movements are so fluid and simple, that he glides in an effortless piece of poetry. With a goal in the game on Thursday, Nino seems to look a little more comfortable in his skates.
Another player that I really liked watching is Sean Backman. The former Yale winger, is not only a ‘local’ boy (from Cos Cob, CT), but an absolute spark-plug for the Sound Tigers. The 26 year old undrafted forward scored 7 goals and 11 assists in 66 games with Bridgeport last season, and has a combination of Jason Blake tenacity and Pat LaFontaine hands. It doesn’t hurt to wear number 16 on his 5 foot 10 inch frame to make people think it is a Patty 2.0 version on the ice.
The Sound Tigers will be practicing at Ice Works until Thursday, when they head up to Connecticut to start the season. If you are really in a hockey fix, then take the trip to Bridgeport to see the Tigers take on the Providence Bruins on Saturday night. There are deals to get your ticket to the game, as well as the ferry ride from Port Jeff. It is a guarantee that you can get the Port Jeff Ferry after the game concludes, so how can you beat that. Hockey and a boat ride!