Not quite the gamer
Something obviously had to give after the seventh loss in eight games, arguably the worst of the lot. Lots of yelling early, and lots of talking later.
Talking about competition. Talking about, in Steve Regier's words (though not specifically about the meeting itself), wanting to win.
"We let it all hang out," Regier said. "We got a lot accomplished off the ice. You're going to see a whole new team in 2007. We're going to compete. Everybody working, everybody wanting to win every night. I can promise you, you're going to see it."
Captain Mark Wotton called it an embarrassment. That would be hard to argue after Albany took a 7-1 lead five minutes into the third.
"I think, from the players' side, the passion has to be there," Wotton said. "The passion to work, it needs to be there, and it obviously wasn't today. ... That is unaccceptable. It's not what I stand for. It's not what the New York Islanders stand for. It's not what Howard (Saffan, team president) stands for. It's not what (Islanders general manager) Garth Snow stands for.
"That kind of (stuff) will not be tolerated."
It's hard to believe this followed Saturday's game, a night when the Sound Tigers probably deserved better after generating lots of scoring chances in a 3-1 loss to Springfield. The coaches appeared to have high hopes for Sunday before the game.
That got dashed in a hurry.
"The little things are building," coach Dan Marshall said. "The little things, from the standpoint of getting guys to the net, center-lane drive. They've been building, but (there's) a little bit of slipping."
Albany's top line of Keith Aucoin, Ryan Bayda and Shane Willis turned it into a laugher quickly. Bayda's second of three goals gave the Rats the lead for good at 9:36 when quick passing found him open -- not wide-open like guys had been left in those other ugly losses, but just enough -- to beat Mike Mole.
Then the former locals got busy. Willis (Beast of New Haven) scored on a rush at 16:00, with Ben Guite (Bridgeport, 2001-02 and 2003-04) picking up the second assist; Guite scored on a breakaway off Matt Murley's lead pass 2:08 later after Bridgeport got caught with four deep and Guite broke smartly.
It was 4-1, and you might -- just might, mind you -- have been able to argue Bridgeport had the better chances. The Sound Tigers trailed first because a dump-in hit something along the dashers and kicked into the crease as Michael Mole was going behind the net to play it; Rick Berry (minus-5, were he and Jeremy Colliton) and maybe Mole got a piece of Bayda's first try, but Bayda finished the second. Jeff Tambellini tied it through a screen from the right point on a power play, and Frans Nielsen ran the scoring streak to nine with the second assist.
Bayda finished the hat trick on a two-on-two when Aucoin found him wide right.
Willis made it a five-point night off the post and in 58 seconds into the third, and Johnny Boychuk scored on an extended power play to make it 7-1. Eric Boguniecki and Jamie Fraser (1st AHL) scored 79 seconds apart to finish it off.
(A fond welcome to readers who have wandered over here from print for the first time,
looking for details on this game. Please take a look around.)
To make it look all printy:
1) SHANE WILLIS, ALBANY -- Five-point night, including two goals.
2) RYAN BAYDA, ALBANY -- Three goals.
3) KEITH AUCOIN, ALBANY -- The man can control a game.
UNSUNG HERO -- Ben Guite. 'Cause as we know well here, when is he not?
UP NEXT -- Friday at Albany, 7:05 p.m.
Albany 4 1 2--7
Bridgeport 1 0 2--3
First Period -- 1, Albany, Bayda 4 (Willis, Vernace), 2:02. 2, Bridgeport, Tambellini 17 (Boguniecki, Nielsen), 7:33 (pp). 3, Albany, Bayda 5 (Willis, Aucoin), 9:36. 4, Albany, Willis 12 (Angelidis, Guite), 16:00. 5, Albany, Guite 8 (Murley), 18:08. Penalties -- Love, Alb (tripping), 7:17; Murley, Alb (interference), 12:56.
Second Period -- 6, Albany, Bayda 6 (Aucoin, Willis), 5:37. Penalties -- Boguniecki, Bpt (interference), 2:17; Colliton, Bpt (hooking), 8:07; Boychuk, Alb, minor-major (cross-checking, fighting), 13:33; Nolan, Bpt, minor-major (slashing, fighting), 13:33; Comeau, Bpt (slashing), 15:47; McCormick, Alb (tripping), 18:36.
Third Period -- 7, Albany, Willis 13 (Aucoin, Bayda), :58. 8, Albany, Boychuk 7 (Estrada, Vernace), 5:00 (pp). 9, Bridgeport, Boguniecki 4 (Nielsen, Tambellini), 9:19. 10, Bridgeport, Fraser 1 (Nilsson, Regier), 10:38. Penalties -- Goulet, Bpt (tripping), 3:00; Berry, Bpt (roughing), 4:27; Nielsen, Bpt (roughing), 11:23; Angelidis, Alb, major (fighting), 11:55; Fata, Bpt, double minor-major (slashing, cross-checking, fighting), 11:55.
Shots on goal -- Albany 9-12-17--38. Bridgeport 12-6-5--23.
Power play opportunities -- Albany 1 of 8, Bridgeport 1 of 3.
Goaltenders -- Albany, Weiman 12-4-1 (23 shots-20 saves). Bridgeport, Mole 1-5-0 (38-31).
Attendance -- 2,827. Referee -- Hulshof. Linesmen -- Spannaus, Simeon.
And now on to your regularly scheduled bloggin':