Soundin' Off -- the lifeboat

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Who are these guys?

"We've got a lot of new faces," Dan Marshall said.

"We're the team that needs nametags in the dressing room," said Rick Berry, before hesitating briefly over James Sixsmith's name, making sure he got it right.

The kids have stepped in and done well. David Desharnais fit in well on the top line. Kyle Rank has some size and some grit and some sense. Sixsmith has the sense, and he popped in two goals tonight.

The second one almost gave the Sound Tigers two points. You had to figure it would at least get them to overt...


Yeah, exactly, get them to overt...


Two things stand out early.

One, the back-to-back penalties in the first period. They put you in a hole, and they talked about them Friday. It took Hershey a while to click, but Alexandre Giroux is gonna find a hole. Two, that short-handed goal. There has to be either better communication or better placement. As it is, Steckel goes and gets it and feeds Bourque before Thompson gets himself back in good position. Problematic.

But they came back. A ragtag group came thatclose to sweeping the series at Giant Center. "We knew in the dressing room we've been in their heads, got their number all year," Berry said. "If we got close, they'd give us a couple, and they did. Got to give them credit. They came back. They didn't quit and go 'here we go again.'"

Now Bridgeport's looking up at Albany, and if tomorrow wasn't a must-win before, it sure looks it now.

F: Magowan-Desharnais-Comeau
Marjamaki-G.Johnson-J. Johnson
D: Fata-Berry
Fraser-Wotton (C)

F: Giroux (A)-Tenute-Barney
Laing (A)-Steckel (A)-Werner
D: Milam-Hedlund

No immediate word who, if anyone, was coming back. Rourke makes sense, though who knows now that the NHL agreed to uphold Todd Simpson's leftover suspension in Germany pending the DEL's review. Regier, perhaps. Anybody else, good question. Not Boguniecki, who they're now conceding isn't exactly sick, though not more specifically than "head." ("General body soreness," perhaps?) Galbraith is out with an ankle.

Wade Dubielewicz made 42 saves tonight, so I'm sure he felt right at home.

Bruce Boudreau: "I think Mark Wotton was on the ice 55 minutes."

Left out Stephen Wood last night from the AHL-starters (though he didn't play right away for Peoria), so make it eight out of 17 skaters who began the year in the AHL.

ECHL transactions say Utah has waived Ed Campbell.

Now this is marketing: 7-11 will dress up several stores as Kwik-E-Marts.


Add David Desharnais to your program lineup (No. 42). Put up some flashy numbers; did it in the Q. He'll become the 45th player to play for the Sound Tigers this season, three fewer than last year's team record.

Edit: Welcome to the pros, kid: Desharnais skated the first line in warmup, flanked by Magowan and Comeau.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Last ones left

All three teams in the East race had home games tonight. Granted, they were home games against some pretty good teams. But still, all three teams lost, and lost ugly. Bridgeport's three-goal loss was the closest of the three.

Since I was crazy enough to start that little project after the last Albany game, the Rats are 3-4-0-1; Bridgeport and Philadelphia are 3-6-0-0.

It's do or die for Philly now. Those two games with Bridgeport give them faint hope of catching the Tigers, but Albany would have to plummet, too, on its own.

Which leaves Bridgeport and Albany. The miracle that is the bonus round means there's no way both teams can lose Sunday. Though you get the feeling they might find a way if they could. These teams are limping to the final weeks, and it doesn't look like fourth will go to the team that wins more, but to the team that clings best.

F: Comeau-G.Johnson-Magowan
Marjamaki-Ogorodnikov-J. Johnson
D: Fata-Berry ('A')
Fraser-Wotton (C)

F: Dawes (A)-Helminen-Bourret
D: Purinton (A)-Reese
Lampman (A)-Degon

Precisely seven of those Sound Tigers started the season here (three of them left wingers, oddly), and one of those spent the past three months in the Coast. One more started the season elsewhere in the AHL. The rest were a mixture of ECHL callups at some point or 'tother, one reassignment from Peoria who'd been in the Coast, and kids out of college.

I half-joked about making Bourret my No. 1 star. Set up three goals and drew two penalties in the last 5:25 of the second, including the one on Pitton that made it five-on-three.

Capuano did not sound like he expected people back tomorrow. Todd Simpson cleared waivers, and Deron Quint is supposed to clear today, according to Greg Logan's blog, as the Islanders keep bringing in veteran defensemen just to try to make the playoffs. Lance Galbraith had one of them lower-body injuries, so he was out and left Bridgeport with 16 skaters.

What might have been: Blake Comeau nearly scores twice on the same short-handed opportunity. Instead of 2-2, Bridgeport took two more penalties quickly -- and no one seemed too happy with Nygel Pelletier -- and gave up two PPGs. That was kind of the theme downstairs. ("The penalty kill has really got to step up the next few games," Comeau said, for instance. "Take away the power-play goals, it's a whole new game.")

Moncton forced a Game 7 Tuesday.

Coming alive

The influx includes three forwards: Steve Crampton (PTO), James Sixsmith (ATO out of Holy Cross, played for Peter LaVigne at Canterbury) and Kyle Rank (ATO, St. Lawrence).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gunfights and butter knives

Here's the promotion: One lucky fan gets to skate on the fourth line tomorrow.

Nothing's official yet, but Bridgeport will probably have at least a couple of ATOs in tomorrow's lineup (and no, not THAT one; put your Gophers stuff away). They're working on several.

Hadn't thought about it this way till just now. Here's the top 11 Sound Tigers in scoring: (red-traded; blue-injured; green-on recall)

Tambellini 30-26-56
Boguniecki 22-32-54
Nilsson 12-34-46
Nielsen 20-24-44
Regier 16-23-39
Comeau 11-25-36
Wotton 6-23-29
Colliton 10-12-22
Nolan 9-12-21
Ferraro 10-10-20
Rourke 5-15-20

Left out this fascinating Hartford story earlier, in which someone floats Bruce the idea of the Wolf Pack playing in... Danbury. (I just don't see it, and not just because Lessard and Purinton would need big raises. GF makes a little more sense.)

Ol' buddy Rich Bocchini gets to hang out with Torres and Spezza for the rest of the year. (So what if it's Daniel and Matthew, younger brothers of Raffi and Jason?)

Tampa-Norfolk is official.

Up, down, up, down, up, down too

Andy's source was good: Steve Regier went up to cover for someone undisclosed (at least as far as they knew here). As for who's playing Friday, well, good luck. Eric Boguniecki is listed as questionable; sounds like this is a little more than being sick. Frans Nielsen is definitely out through the weekend, maybe more, with the concussion. Dustin VanBallegooie and Cam McCaffrey are headed back to their ECHL teams for the stretch drive after pretty solid stints here. Michael Mole was reportedly driving up from Pensacola; Jimmy Sanca manned the other net this morning.

So that leaves, what, 17 spots in the lineup for tomorrow? (Actually, word was they were working on bringing several players in, possibly this afternoon, and if not, in the morning. So more later, perhaps, from the roster carousel.)

Jeremy Colliton is set for surgery in the morning, BTW.

Elsewhere, Greg Logan says Bruno Gervais may be shut down for the season. An interesting Mike Sgroi piece from Mike Sharp.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Holy crow...

Albany 8, Syracuse 6? Wow.

Philly lost to Norfolk, which is pretty crippling: eight back with eight to play. (But Binghamton's loss relegates the Senators to last place, for sure.)

Dubielewicz, Rourke and Tambellini are to return to the Islanders.

This week's notebook won't make it to print, but it's online here.

It's simple, really...

...When the schedule comes out, if it says "11 a.m." next to it, Bridgeport needs to say, "thank you, but what do you have after 1?"

F: Comeau-Tambellini (A)-Regier
Marjamaki-G. Johnson-Pitton
Magowan-Ogorodnikov-J. Johnson
Rourke (A)/McCaffrey
D: Fata-Berry
Fraser-Wotton (C)

F: Byers-Helminen-Bourret
D: Purinton (A)-Degon
Lampman (A)-Reese
Potter-Weller (C)

Weller played forward; the Pack's lines were different but I didn't keep close tabs on how different; Rourke played defense, and Wood spotted in.

Tambellini becomes one of three Sound Tigers to score 30. In fact, just this season alone puts him in ninth in all-time (all-six-seasons) goal scoring. No immediate word if he, Dubielewicz and Rourke would head back up, but that seems likely.

The Times Union does up a story on the match race, and Pete Dougherty reports that Shane Willis is due back tonight for Albany.

Daryl Reaugh calls for a ban on fighting in hockey... among other things.

Tip to Patrick Williams for this Garrett Burnett story.

More later, maybe. Churning out copy pre-Dr.'s appointment...

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Sign at the press gate instructed us to add 7-Jeff Tambellini, 38-Allan Rourke and 71-Sergei Ogorodnikov to the Bridgeport roster.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Up, down, like a merry-go-...

So get this: The plan is, at least now, for Wade Dubielewicz to dress for the Islanders tonight, come home, play for Bridgeport in the morning, and then play the rest by ear. Rick DiPietro is out with what they're calling headaches. Greg Logan says DiPietro could be back Friday. Regardless, Michael Mole is supposed to be coming up this week.

Elsewhere, Frans Nielsen is out (minor concussion, such as they exist), and Sergei Ogorodnikov has been called up from Pensacola. Allan Rourke is probably up for a while -- probably the rest of the Isles' season, however long it takes -- to replace Freddy Meyer, who needs surgery on a broken finger. Drew Fata is expected to play in the morning; Eric Boguniecki probably isn't ready and is targeted for Friday.

Farther elsewhere, Norfolk announces the new affiliation Thursday. And check out future Norfolk coach Steve Stirling's feelings about the Falcons' play this weekend. (Tip cap: Patrick Williams)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tenacious D

I saw Berry and Wood right away, so I wrote them down as the D pair to start the second period.

Then I saw Fraser. And then Wotton. And then Wood.

So, um, defensemen's convention? Gamesmanship? Just wait and see who Kevin Dineen puts on the ice?

Nope. Best of all, it was the straightaway obvious reason: If the forwards weren't going to keep up the pressure and shoot the puck, maybe the defensemen would.

Credit Jack Capuano with the idea, and it appears to have had some worth, because the Sound Tigers had as many shots in the first 3:18 of the second period as they did in the whole first.

It still wasn't enough, because they had already done plenty of damage in the first 20 minutes, and because they allowed too many goals.

"I don't think we were very smart with the puck in the first period," said Wade Dubielewicz, who went three-in-three but said he felt fine. "We had to play aggressively in the third, and I couldn't hold the fort."

So like Steve Stirling's bench-two-lines night (recently noted for one of the other reasons), and like Dave Baseggio's two-a-days, now we've got Capuano's five-D lineup.

F: Comeau-Nielsen-Regier
Galbraith-G. Johnson-Marjamaki
Magowan-J. Johnson-Pitton
Rourke (A)/McCaffrey
D: Berry ('A')-Wood
Fraser-Wotton (C)

(Start second:

(Start third (pp):

F: Keith-Hartigan (A)-Motzko (A)
D: Amadio-Rome (A)

Sing along: Phantom A on Berry, Rourke straight to D. VanBallegooie played a handful of shifts.

Nielsen took a stick upside the head on a faceoff early in the third and was held out for precautionary reasons.

Now that Notre Dame and Wes O'Neill are done, O'Neill may eventually come here. Howard Saffan said they'll be talking with him. "We like the kid. He's a good kid." Now if Dustin Kohn, Andrew MacDonald and he all show up, they'll be on the way to a 17-defenseman lineup...

Yeah, Peck Place with a little God Bless America first intermission! (Alma mater...)

A little short, 'cause I gotta get home and attempt to shake this cold. Somehow. Otherwise, that's not gonna be a fun wakeup call Wednesday... (That'd be eight days. (shudder))

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Great deal

They say it can take years to evaluate a trade, but there was an obvious decision tonight, one that only took a couple of days shy of two months.

Know who won that Mark Hartigan and Joe Motzko for Curtis Glencross and Zenon Konopka trade? Easy: the Sound Tigers.

The ever-petrifying Hartigan and Motzko don't score against Wade Dubielewicz and Bridgeport. (That fourth-round pick doesn't score, either.) And meanwhile four and a half hours away, noble Konopka has two points and Glencross has three, including the winner 8:45 into the third, as Albany misses out on one of the four that looked easy. (Apparently not.)

Dubielewicz shines all night. The defense gets it done. They play picture-perfect hold-the-lead hockey for the final five minutes and make it look easy. And all of a sudden they've got margin for error again.

It's an incredibly slim margin, make no mistake. But two points is two points.

F: Magowan-Nielsen-Regier
Galbraith-G. Johnson-Marjamaki
Pitton-J. Johnson-McCaffrey
Comeau/Rourke (A)
D: Berry ('A')-Wood
Fraser-Wotton (C)

F: Keith-Wirtanen-Melin
Miller-Hartigan (A)-Motzko (A)
D: Amadio-Rome (A)

Yep, Berry phantom-A'd it, and Rourke stepped right in on defense as usual. I had VanBallegooie for one shift. Comeau usually played the left in that Magowan spot, though Magowan played plenty, and effectively. The lines didn't stay particularly consistent, playing with 10 forwards.

Not that Bridgeport needed him, but did Tambellini play today?

Will probably do a Colliton story for Tuesday, but here's the gist, from our conversation tonight: They didn't think it was a tear until he sat out after the eight-in-10; he was ready to play that next Friday but felt bad Thursday. When he still felt bad in practice, they did an MRI. That's when they said he had tendinitis, but it did reveal a tear (indeed, labrum). They decided to try rest first, but that was not doing anything, so they did the MRI again and got the same thing. Surgery could come as early as Friday.

It's getting to that time of year when you say weird things like, "If the Sound Tigers go 6-6 to finish, Philadelphia has to go 10-0 to catch them... and hope Albany doesn't go 7-4 or better at the same time."

Fun typo in that ALB-SYR game: Szwez for cross-checking at 3:45 of the first, and Szwez for roughing at 5:00 of the first. That would be weird. (Thanks to Lindsay Kramer for the typo confirmation.)

Portland is the only team in the Eastern Conference that could still finish anywhere from first to last in its division. (Not that that means much: They sure won't finish last.)

Forgot to mention yesterday that Jamie Johnson had a five-point game in the Coast a couple of years ago.

Here's how the Hockey Rodent affected the NHL Eastern Conference playoff race. Or claims to, anyway.

Friday, March 23, 2007


So Tambellini walks out the door -- well, no he didn't, he waited patiently for your game to finish, 'cause he was going home with you before heading to the NHL, but wasn't permitted to play -- 15 minutes before game time. What are you do do?

Well, you promote someone to top-line left wing (Magowan). Then you move someone else up one spot (Marjamaki). Then your spare forward ('cause you only had 10 to begin with) moves up into the gap.

And that's how Jason Pitton, Jamie Johnson and Cam McCaffrey put on a show tonight.

This one was simply one Bridgeport had to have, and they came out like it. Frans Nielsen deflected one past the kid not three minutes in. And when Binghamton tied it, Stephen Wood tucked a loose puck back under Dubielewicz, and a couple of minutes later, the floodgates opened.

And if you had J.Johnson and McCaffrey for seven combined points, you'd have won some scratch...

F: (Tambellini (A)-scratch)-Nielsen-Regier
Galbraith-G. Johnson-Magowan
Marjamaki-J. Johnson-Pitton
Rourke (A)/McCaffrey
D: Berry-Wood
Fraser-Wotton (C)

F: Pecker-Ebbett-Heerema
Bois (A)-Hennessy-Vesce
D: Allison (C)-Virtue (A)

Lines as they actually ran:

F: Magowan-Nielsen-Regier
D: Berry-Wood*

*-VanBallegooie spotted in for Rourke early and Wood late.

So yeah, I get back upstairs, and LeagueStat has unofficial final: Hamilton 2, Albany 1, and Eric Manlow's first goal of the season is the game-winner. Wow, I'm thinking, that's two or three grafs of the gamer in itself. But the next time I refresh the page, Albany's Pat Dwyer has tied it late, and Hamilton finally won in a shootout. Oh. That's different. (Someone before the game mentioned that Hershey-Worcester game last week, when LeagueStat had a 6-3 Hershey lead -- a score which never occured before the game finished 6-6 with a bonus for Worcester.)

So apparently they got concerned when Colliton's shoulder wasn't improving, and the MRI showed something wrong. They'll operate next weekend, if I understood correctly, which will give him some good rehab time before heading home for the summer.

Pretty sure Wilkes-Barre clinched a playoff spot (Albany can only tie the Pens and lost the season series; the Pens would even win a three-way tie with Bridgeport to take third). (Ah: the Pens agree, and also got Robert Nilsson back.) (Three parentheticals in a row, top that, but check out the penalties at the end tonight in Wilkes-Barre.) (Make it four: Somebody's got to do that with Stan away.)

Binghamton is eliminated and, just like that, can finish no higher than sixth. (Neither can Springfield.)

Had I not caught myself, Marjamaki's first-period penalty would have been for "hoarding" in tomorrow's paper. That's something entirely different.

Interesting stuff from Todd Fedoruk in this Pierre LeBrun story. And here's one from Calgary based around Eric Godard and referencing the Mike Wilson knockout near the end of that March 30, 2003, debacle.

Check this out: If Albany beats out Bridgeport, it'll play its first-round home games in Glens Falls. That's in addition to four home games there next year.

Speaking of GF, Rick Carpiniello remembers...

Interesting night to be Catholic in the press room: Even the salad had ham in it. (A little fried rice and a couple of cookies. Yeah, that's a healthy dinner when you're sick.)

Colliton done

News from downstairs: An MRI on Jeremy Colliton's shoulder revealed a tear, and he's expected to undergo season-ending surgery.

More in a bit. And watch out for LeagueStat, which had the Albany-Hamilton game as an unofficial final five minutes ago and now has them in overtime...

Get outta here

Jeff Tambellini was recalled sometime between line rushes in warmup and 10 minutes before the game (when the lineups are due in). One short, it appears, as Fata's out with an injury of some sort. Ken Magowan is starting in Tambellini's place with Nielsen and Regier (who's in Boguniecki's place).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rich man, poor man

The rich get richer.

The poor get richer. (Late word is Elliott will start for Bingo tomorrow.)

The Sound Tigers get... Rourke back, so that's a start. But Eric Boguniecki (under the weather) won't make the trip to Binghamton. How much do they want these points? They actually left today. They'd spent most of this year traveling day-of, almost to absurdity.

A bit on Comeau in the morning. It sounds like it will be a day-to-day thing, but there was that "well, if not this weekend, then next week" talk going on. Sounds as if he is closest to returning.

(And while we're on the Norfolk site... Congrats to Steve Munn on Kid 2, a daughter.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Clever Sharks

Good night in the standings for Bridgeport, as Albany lost to Worcester -- one shot in the third, and it went in? -- and Philly lost to the Penguins. (Edit: Albany's loss combined with Hershey's win clinches a playoff spot for the Bears and makes Springfield the first team eliminated.)

Past and future

Nick Martens and Michael Mole (with a nifty new helmet) are headed back to the Coast. Wade Dubielewicz (who supposedly has a new lid of his own) was on his way.

Allan Rourke (who's ready to go) started up a game after practice at about 11, where the players had to shoot five pucks in a row into the net from the blue line, and they all had to go in airborne.

It was tougher than it looked. At 12:20, there were still eight guys out there. Steve Regier and Dan Marshall were still going after it when I left at 1.

Brandon Nolan and Blake Comeau both practiced, but Comeau is listed day-to-day, and Nolan isn't supposed to play this weekend.


The Lawrence Gottesdiener/AEG group got the lease on the Hartford Civic Center today: "The decision to dump MSG throws into doubt the immediate future of minor league hockey in Hartford and the future of the Hartford Wolf Pack specifically." It'll be an interesting little while up there...


Points in the season series is the tiebreaker that follows overall wins, so I sorted out some season series the other night for the database I keep at this time of year, including Bridgeport's vs. Albany. To draw even in the season series, Bridgeport needs to win in regulation both April 1 at home and April 7 upstate. Should Albany even force one game to OT, the Rats clinch the season series on points.

The tiebreaker after that is goal differential, in which the Rats now have a 13-goal edge. Let's just say they're still tied at that point; the next tiebreaker is goal differential in the season series, and Bridgeport would have had to have won those Albany games by a combined six-goal margin to even that count. Want to get beyond crazy? Next is in-conference points percentage. Bridgeport doesn't see the West, so its points percentage will be its conference points percentage. Albany is over .600 (10-6-1) against the West with three contests to play, including two against Syracuse, so if it's tied with Bridgeport, its conference percentage will probably be lower than the Sound Tigers', and Bridgeport would eke out a playoff berth on the last tiebreaker.

And let's not even THINK about what'd happen if there was a three-way tie with Philadelphia.


And finally: Go get 'em, boys!

Monday, March 19, 2007


Play it straight away: Take points percentage to this point, multiply it by games remaining, and you get this:

Albany 83.6
Bridgeport 82.4
Philadelphia 74.0

Go a level deeper: Play around with the remaining schedule, figure out some probabilities based around each team's home/road winning percentages, and you get this:

Albany 83.8
Bridgeport 81.6
Philadelphia 73.5

Maybe take a pass at predicting each game -- no six-point weekends, etc. -- and you might (today, at least) get this:

Albany 88
Bridgeport 85
Philadelphia 74

There's an awful lot of Binghamton, Syracuse and Springfield left on Albany's schedule. That's up to 12 points right there.

We've known this for a while now, ever since that eight in 10 ended, but Bridgeport's got its work cut out for it. And every point left on the table will hurt.


Worth noting is that Bridgeport's loss clinched the first AHL playoff spot for Norfolk. Bridgeport can only tie the Admirals, and and Saturday's Norfolk win clinched the season series.

The shuffle begins: Blackhawks to Rockford became official today; here's the Blackhawks' release. Edmonton announces a three-year affiliation with Springfield. Here's Tampa Bay's statement.


Nature Channel, Live: Not how I expected to spend St. Joseph's Day afternoon, but just sat at the window watching a hawk kill and peck at a squirrel for about 40 minutes.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Shoot the puck, Barry

Would it have helped had Bridgeport not passed up three or four good scoring chances to try to make one more pass?

It's not that likely.

Would it have helped?

Well, maybe.

You sit there at the end of two periods, when Bridgeport has been outshot 13-5 and 14-3, and you've got to figure it might have helped.

Not giving up the two-on-ones, being quicker on changes, not falling into David Banfield's penalty sights again, not giving up the rebounds: Those might have helped, too, in the opposite direction.

And when Albany loses and you have three leads -- even after eking your way back into it in the third -- this one smarts.

Still, you look at the cobbled-together lineup, you look at all the guys on the shelf who could be in key roles for this team, and do you marvel more that they didn't win this one, or that they won Friday?

F: Tambellini (A)-Nielsen-Boguniecki
Galbraith-G. Johnson-Regier
Marjamaki-J. Johnson-Pitton
D: Fata-Berry ('A')
Wotton (C)-Fraser

F: Kane (A)-Cullen (A)-Potulny
D: Timonen-Guenin
Ruggeri-Printz (A)

(Rushing this one a bit. The compy's a-crashin'.)

Fata came back and was minus-4.

Marjamaki had his first two-point game since last April 2.

If you want to follow the junior defensemen's progress, here's Brandon's first round for Dustin Kohn, and here's Moncton's for Andrew MacDonald.

Speaking of, you have got to love the emergency recall from juniors rule. (Unless you're an Oilers fan.)

Connecticut in the news: Check out where the Boston Bruins stopped for lunch yesterday in this ProJo report from Dan Hickling. (If you can't scale the subscription wall: West Haven.)

The Daily News' Filip Bondy is a-bloggin', and check out the third-to-last graf here.

Greg Prince at Faith and Fear in Flushing gets chills from 19 years ago, and so do I.

Shooting gallery

Don't really know much about the Sound Tigers game tonight besides what's in the box score: Spent the day at Ingalls for the CIAC finals tripleheader. So, some thoughts (which I'll try to make pertinent):

--All three lower-seeded teams won, and all by the same 3-2 score.

--Great final between Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame-Fairfield, as recounted by Emmett Spillane. (Actually, they were all good games, but this one was outstanding.) Prep had the better of the play but the Lancers caught some breaks at good times and twice tied the game. Sean Patrick Bowley does a fine job capturing the atmosphere in his column, although he only hinted at my favorite exchange between the sides of the rink. Notre Dame's star goalie is Hubert Morin; his twin brother, Sam, is the top-line right winger. They're from Quebec. At the start of the second, Prep's side chanted "Where's your passport?" "Where's your girls?" replied the co-ed ND side.

--On St. Patrick's Day, only one team wore green: New Milford. The Green Wave lost.

--In the two years since the CIAC went from two divisions to three tournaments, the Division III champion in each year (Cheshire and now Wethersfield) has barely qualified at 8-12, then won four in a row to become a state champion at .500.

--Covered Barlow's girls basketball team last week, with coach Nikki Tartaglia leading the team to its first state title since she was a sophomore. Tonight, Immaculate won its first state title since its coach, Mike Bonelli, was -- wait for it -- a sophomore.

--Tip of the cap to New Milford coach Bob Greco, who announced his retirement tonight after the game. He was always good to us, even though we barely covered them. Assistant Rory DeRocco will take over.

--New Milford had one penalty shot -- Stephen Kirkwood scored -- and came a borderline call away from at least two others. The Green Wave went just 1-for-8 on the power play, though, and that was costly. (East Haven went 1-for-7 against Immaculate, which was equally costly.)

--Four of the six teams -- Notre Dame (26), East Haven (23), New Milford (21) and Wethersfield (17) -- had as many or fewer shots in 45 minutes as Norfolk did in the first period tonight against Bridgeport. None of the three games had as many total goals as Norfolk did tonight. (See? Told you I'd make it pertinent.)

F: Capelli-Nebel-S.Morin

F: Cox-Cotter-Summerlin
D: Wirkus-Dishon

Cam McCaffrey and Ken Magowan scored, which is at least a little bright spot for Bridgeport. Doesn't look like much else, from the box score. Had to figure Norfolk would be ticked off.

Edmonton to Springfield will be announced Monday, Fran Sypek reports in the Springfield Republican.

Ben Guite's second NHL goal was a winner tonight.

Edit: Forgot to include this story from Peoria, noting how Peter Ferraro has a knee injury that will keep him out four to six weeks.

First came Fairfield County's Chris Drury with the Hobey Baker, and now Fairfield's Julie Chu wins the Patty Kazmaier as the best player in women's college hockey.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Detour to Busch Gardens...

...'cause that one was a roller coaster.

Here's the complete list of teams to win at Norfolk this season:

Nov. 22: Manchester 2, Norfolk 1 (OT)
Dec. 1: Worcester 3, Norfolk 1
Dec. 6: Hershey 3, Norfolk 2 (OT) (then 14 wins in a row)
Feb. 9: Albany 4, Norfolk 2
Feb. 10: Portland 4, Norfolk 2

Compiled that list after Gregg Johnson's second-period goal, when it looked like Bridgeport and its 2-0 lead might add itself to the list with what sounded like a hard-working performance.

But then Jordan Hendry scored twice. And then Troy Brouwer scored, and Albany was finishing off Binghamton (Matt Murley broke a tie in the third), and this was looking like a rough night, wasn't it?

But then Tambellini ties it, and then Hendry attempts to spear Boguniecki*, and now...

March 16: Bridgeport 5, Norfolk 3

The 2-0 lead had evaporated in a tick less than 200 seconds. The green in both flanking columns here had been posted soon after Brouwer's go-ahead goal. There is a rematch in the same you-don't-win-here barn in 21 hours... And they pulled it out.

Stuff from off the radio (Norfolk's again, 'cause I still can't figure out why I can't keep the stream of Phil's cast): Bridgeport held Norfolk without a shot for the last 10 minutes of the first period, taking the final 11 shots. Shots were 20-8 at 6:31 of the second, when Johnson gave Bridgeport that two-goal lead. Hendry got the Admirals on the board soon after. Pat Shetler gave the Bridgeport blue sweaters a pop early in the night. He then moved on to the hard-to-argue position that the Blackhawks' reds are the nicest in hockey.

Dustin VanBallegooie earned an assist on Frans Nielsen's goal, his fourth point in six games as a Sound Tiger.

Sound Tigers all over the scoresheet late for the Islanders Thursday, as Anon Lori noted in the last comments set: Drew Fata scored his first NHL goal, and Wade Dubielewicz was perfect in relief. Then, Robert Nilsson, featured in the Edmonton Sun, scored his first Edmonton goal Thursday.

Here's a Matt Reid story from the (Charleston) Post and Courier that winds up in the same vein as that Vigilante story from yesterday. (It also quotes Cail MacLean.)

The Peoria Rivermen have signed two kids from Northeastern in the past week. It's like there was some kind of connection between the two teams, isn't there...

Now let's see if the weather clears up enough so we can see some hockey at Ingalls tomorrow...

*-Sideshow Bob, Op. cit..

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Virginia's far away

Interesting note, passed on by Jonathan Bombulie, from the Gwinnett Daily Post: Bridgeport asked for Mike Vigilante last week from Gwinnett, but he turned down the invite. Luke Curtin said something similar when he came up from Atlantic City three years ago (three years ago?): If he was going to leave his teammates at this point in the season, it would have to be for a long stint and a good-sized role.

Elsewhere, Alexei Kovalev is suffering through vertigo, and that can't be good for the flying, either.

The boys are in Virginia, so I went to the dentist. Ow.

So I enjoy reading the Hockey Rodent, and the guy has some fine statistical and analytical talent at his disposal. A recent post pointed out BerthWatch, a graphical representation of the results and the remaining schedule of the NHL's Eastern Conference combatants for the final playoff spots. (It also figures each team's mathematical chances at a playoff berth.)

Duly impressed, I started thinking. (Dangerous.) So I drew up this here to do something similar with the three-team race for fourth place in the AHL East Division. It lacks heavily in mathemagics, and it's less elegant because formatting isn't a strength, but I hope the visual representation of the playoff race translates.

One thing that jumped out: Bridgeport will never give up a game in hand to either team again. In fact, they won't catch up in games played to Philadelphia at all until the last Wednesday night of the season.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Adding Frans Nielsen's assist to Bridgeport's only goal, the PA announcer here at first asked us to add it to "Bridgeport's last penalty."

They didn't need any more penalty help tonight.

"We deserved 'em," Mark Wotton said.

The Sound Tigers seemed to disagree at times. VanBallegooie's didn't look like much of a hook. Aucoin appeared to fall down himself on Wotton's "trip" that led to the first goal. Albany may have had too many men on at the end of the second.

("And now," comes the soft voice from the south-southwest, general direction of Philadelphia, "you know how it feels!")

Still, like Saturday, I had my 2-0 deficit story written after two periods, and then Bridgeport scored in the first minute of the third. Here we go again, I thought, hoping work-compy wouldn't crash on deadline as I recast the...

Oops -- Aucoin left open in front. ("Really," I note to myself.) Tomas Malec couldn't get to him in time, and it's 3-1. And then a three-on-one, and that's that.

After the second power-play goal, opponents were 11 for the previous 28. Granted, that's a lot of Wilkes-Barre, but still, Philly 2-for-2, Hartford two goals, Albany 2-for-4 to start tonight.

"You've got to work hard to earn your breaks," Wotton said. "Obviously tonight, they got a few quick power-play goals. We've got to get the penalty kill back in order."

The power play might have cut into the lead a bit, but it went 0-for-5, including two chances in the last 10 minutes. They had only one official shot on their first three opportunities.

In the end, all that was left was the bloodlust. The fans were chanting for Fata. He came onto the ice with a minute and a half to go. Cody McLeod found him. They went. Fata's right found McLeod's nose. Not pretty.

Not that there's a causal relationship, but the Islanders recalled Fata after the game. So at least something went right for a Sound Tiger.

F: Tambellini (A)-Nielsen-Boguniecki
Galbraith-G. Johnson-Regier
Marjamaki-J. Johnson-Magowan
D: Fata-Berry
Wotton (C)-VanBallegooie

F: Murley-Aucoin (C)-Bayda (A)
McLeod-Gove (A)-Dwyer
D: Cumiskey-Flood

The newbies fit in fine. Galbraith got a lot of time; McCaffrey got in here and there.

Fraser apparently got cleared late yesterday. Rourke was kept home to give it some rest, especially since there wasn't going to be a lot of opportunity to get him on the ice as they toured the Mid-Atlantic.

Robert Nilsson got called up today.

The Crunch have scrapped plans to put that orange shamrock on their jerseys on St. Patrick's Day, reports Lindsay Kramer. Here's the "New look".

And finally, ND-Fairfield vs. Fairfield Prep in the finals? That'll be a fun one.

Early returns

This is partly here because of the interesting name at the end of Bridgeport's list (they said yesterday he wouldn't even travel, let alone play), and partly because it's already soupy up here in sweltering Albany, and this computer crashes in the cold, let alone the heat. So if you don't see anything by midnight, don't expect it till about 3.

F: Tambellini (A)-Nielsen-Boguniecki
Galbraith-G. Johnson-Regier
Marjamaki-J. Johnson-Magowan
D: Fata-Berry
Wotton (C)-VanBallegooie

F: Murley-Aucoin (C)-Bayda (A)
McLeod-Gove (A)-Dwyer
D: Cumiskey-Flood

(Galbraith 41, McCaffrey 55. Mole in 30 as usual.)

Dubielewicz up

On the eve of Bridgeport's biggest road trip of the season, Rick DiPietro went and got hurt. Bridgeport called up Michael Mole to replace Wade Dubielewicz, who's going up to the Islanders, from one playoff race to another.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Let's go the short way (updated)

Here's who's healthy:



Comeau practiced today and will make the trip, but don't necessarily count on him playing yet. Fraser practiced but won't travel. Rourke and Pitton ("upper body") didn't practice but may play tomorrow. Tambellini is supposed to be back; McCaffrey, who'll be the first to wear 55, was in town, and another PTO may be coming, too. (Edit: Idaho announces Lance Galbraith is on his way here. Check out some of those numbers: 17th in ECHL scoring, second in PIMs.) Rob Rankin was released back to Pensacola.

Random links: Bruno Gervais gets the "Getting to know..." treatment on the Island. Check out what Peter Ferraro did last week. Just a neat and unrelated uniform story from the Uni Watch blog.

No word at all about other suspensions. Edit: In case you missed them, Cote's and Grenier's were announced yesterday.

And got an e-mail from Sean Bergenheim, who confirmed that, yeah, it wasn't a torn ACL, just a torn MCL that he played on a few weeks ago. Rumors swirled for a while that he'd played two periods on a torn ACL**, which would have hurt. (Bergenheim appeared very pleased that he'd been in front on both goals in a 2-1 win.) He said he's hoping to be ready for the Finnish national team's training camp April 1 and to play in the Worlds.

*-"I don't know. YOU?" (8F15)
**-"As usual, the playground has the facts right, but misses the point entirely." (7F11)***
***-I don't quote Lisa nearly enough. (Actually, haven't quoted any of them much lately.)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Six and three*

Suspensions: Riley Cote got six games and Martin Grenier got three for coming off the bench during the fracas late Saturday. They'll both miss Sunday's rematch in the City of (ahem) Brotherly Love.

*-This is coincidentally how old my father thinks my brother and I still are.

Player of last week/Player of this week

After maybe the best weekend ever for a Sound Tiger, Eric Boguniecki is indeed the AHL Player of the Week. It breaks the Sound Tigers' rut of one and only one POTW each season.

Jeff Tambellini was again recalled, and it appears the Sound Tigers will bring in Cam McCaffrey from South Carolina. Here's the IHDB. And here's the stat: 18 majors. Hmm...

HF's Tom Liodice is a-bloggin', too. And you gotta love the M*A*S*H reference.

From yesterday's gamers: Bruce Landon says no on an Edmonton-to-Springfield, Tampa-to-Norfolk rumor. Wilkes-Barre got to Syracuse, somehow, through Vermont.

And speaking of Syracuse, support for Syracuse University or not, is it really a good idea to ask people to "put aside the traditional green this St. Patrick’s Day and wear orange"?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Riding the clutch

Eric Boguniecki has four goals and four assists in four periods. And with Albany breathing down Bridgeport's neck, if the Sound Tigers make it to April 16, we'll do well to remember these four periods.

There have been 21 four-point games by 15 different players in the Sound Tigers' six seasons. Boguniecki is the second to score four in back-to-back games, following Blake Comeau's nine points in the first two games of this season. Juraj Kolnik did it twice in three games late in 2001-02.

But has anyone done it at bigger times, with this much on the line? Steve Regier couldn't remember any in three years; Wade Dubielewicz only compared Boguniecki's to some of Hamilton's clutch performances over the past four years.

"It's like I've said, I always want to score, want to do anything I can to help the team win," Boguniecki said. "I want to do anything I can to help this team get into the playoffs, help this team go far. If you want to take that as a challenge to myself, you can use that term."

Boguniecki has a six-game scoring streak now, with four goals and nine assists in that span. He has been in on all six of the Sound Tigers' power-play goals the past two nights (6-for-20). He just notched the 13th Sound Tigers hat trick.

Can you think of more clutch four periods for a Sound Tiger? Not sure I can.

F: Tambellini (A)-Nielsen-Boguniecki
Magowan-G. Johnson-Regier
Marjamaki-J. Johnson-Rankin
D: Fata-Berry ('A')
Wotton (C)-VanBallegooie

F: Giroux (C)-Wilson-Klepis
Laing (A)-Steckel-Robitaille
D: Arsene (A)-Milam

Martens played defense; he and Wood didn't quite alternate shifts, but they were both in that slot.

Report is that Petteri Nokelainen does have a broken finger and will miss four to six weeks. Allan Rourke was walking around afterward and said he's hopeful of playing Wednesday ("day to day," he pronounced himself). That foot has been giving him problems for some time.

Looks like Boguniecki's eighth pro hat trick, and his fourth in the AHL, if I dug up the right numbers. He had two others in the IHL for Fort Wayne (including a four-goal game against Grand Rapids), and two in the ECHL for Dayton (including a four-goal game against Wheeling).

Giroux scored his second goal on the five-on-three, but Bridgeport killed two others at key moments. Regier said they wanted to pressure more than they have in the past, and it worked OK.

For Marjamaki, his assist on the short-hander was his first point in 20 games.

Billy Thompson allowed a Dean Arsene goal from the red line 2:08 into the third period; two players crossed in front just as Arsene shot, Thompson said, and he couldn't pick up the puck; he looked on the glass, expecting a rim, "and I see it whiz by my shoulder," Thompson said. "It's a thing you laugh about after, as long as you win."

Noted late last night that Saturday's was the 20th win over Philadelphia, the third team to which Bridgeport has done that. Hartford and Albany are the other two. (Lowell would also qualify, if you combine the Devils' and the Lock Monsters' histories. But the league doesn't.)

Albany came from two goals down and won despite Ryan Caldwell's coming an assist short of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick. Philadelphia came back and won in a shootout.

Nigel Dawes was at the Garden this morning in case Jaromir Jagr couldn't play. When Jagr was good to go, he apparently raced up to Hartford and scored for the Pack.

Well now

I joked that my opening question to whomever tonight should be, simply, "holy" plus some kind of curse word.

Sounds like there was enough of that.

You've got Cote coming off the bench mid-altercation, you've got Kjell Samuelsson apparently melting down (don't know what happened once he got off the ice, but there was a gross misconduct at the end), you've got 105 third-period Phantoms penalty minutes, you've got Rourke getting slashed in the foot on a faceoff and going for X-rays tomorrow, you've got Nokelainen going for X-rays tomorrow on a possible broken finger, you've got general ugliness. Who knows what's all going to come of it.

You've got Jamie Koharski somehow giving Bridgeport 14 -- 14! -- power plays. (But for whatever you can say about that, you can't blame him for Bridgeport's initial comeback.)

And all that goes with what was a pretty solid offensive performance in a pretty big game.

You talk about four-point games, and that right there was a four-point period. When Zingoni pops that puck home, it's 2-0 Philly, and after all those scoring chances Bridgeport had in the first two periods, you wondered if they had had their chances. Heck, if I had been thinking ahead, I'd have saved you the story I had written after two periods.

Well, here's part of it:

Nate Guenin blocked Eric Boguniecki's attempt at an otherwise-gaping net on the second power play, midway through the first period. That came after Frans Nielsen put a backhander into the crease that a defenseman pulled out.

The Sound Tigers totalled five shots on those five power plays (in the first two periods), no more than two on any single advantage. Munroe stopped Nielsen alone in front on the final advantage to keep the game scoreless.

Philadelphia controlled the first 10 minutes, even with a Sound Tigers power play. The Sound Tigers had the better of the play for the next 20 minutes or so.

Bridgeport had chances. Masi Marjamaki stole the puck from Don Morrison in the first period, but the defenseman hooked him off just enough to both disrupt the shot and avoid a penalty from referee Jamie Koharski.

Munroe stopped Steve Regier point-blank soon after that. Zingoni, back on a Bridgeport three-on-two, blocked Allan Rourke's shot. And then Boguniecki just tipped a Regier centering pass wide.

Whew. A game like that goes one of two ways: Team with all the chances caves, or the breaks even out. And if I have to bet, I usually bet on the caving.

Tonight, the breaks evened out for Bridgeport. And then some.

F: Magowan-G. Johnson-Pitton
Marjamaki-J. Johnson-Nokelainen
Rankin/Rourke (A)
D: Fata-Berry ('A')
Wotton (C)-VanBallegooie

F: Kane (A)-Cullen (A)-Tolpeko
D: Printz-Slaney (C)

From Dan Marshall tonight:

The guys pulled together, 19 guys on the ice, together as a team after six losses. They were desperate. Between periods, Bernie (Cassell) went in and relayed the message from the coaching staff: We needed these two points. They went and got them. I was proud of them sticking up for each other. A young guy like Pitts (Pitton fought Gino Pisellini after he slashed Rourke). The camaraderie, between the injuries and the callups and the losing streak, has actually been heightened. ... They haven't been getting on anybody's cases. The guys have stayed positive instead of pointing fingers. I'll say one thing about the team as a whole, I'm very proud they didn't point fingers at all. Guys would come to talk to us about things we could do, and it was "we," "we," never finger-pointing.

Here's the official word on why Ogorodnikov didn't get the call from Pensacola: "Sergei needs some more development in the defensive zone," Howard Saffan said. "That's why he didn't get the call up. ... He needs to be more of a two-way hockey player. Hey, look, Sergei's 20. He's going to be a Sound Tiger for a long time."

The baby Berry is Natalie Lauren; she and Tonya Berry are both fine. Daddy Berry didn't wear the Phantom A tonight.

Here's Chris Simon's statement.

Andy notes the five-point game tonight out of Jeff Hamilton.

More from the Battle of the Ferraros from San Antonio.

Rochester in Crisis, Day 2, in which the mayor promises to appease the hockey folks with the U-Haul or the ECHL or maybe even the NAHL, I guess?

Tip o'cap to the Barlow girls on their state title. They were fun to watch the other night.

Finally: Ah, Czech opera...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ranked up

Pensacola says they've sent rookie forward Rob Rankin up to Bridgeport. It'd be his AHL debut.

(And this is the first post on "New Blogger." Any issues, please let me know.)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Get the point

Hey, so it's not two. It's one. Tonight, that's enough to get you back into fourth place.

But... the other goalie gave you both of your goals, one directly, one indirectly.

And meanwhile you're only getting one abbreviated power play.

And then you don't put three of your six shootout opportunities on the shaky other goalie after you put 10 fewer shots on him than their guys put on your guy.

And then the guy who was inexplicably 0-for-7 for you in shootouts scores twice, including the game-winner after he lost the handle, to take the second point away from you.

And then your leading scorer gets called up. (They were going to get a forward in for Saturday's game to replace Tambellini, but they didn't immediately know who.)

But it's a point, and it had been six games since one of those came along. So it's a start.

F: Tambellini (A)-Nielsen-Boguniecki
Nokelainen-G. Johnson-Regier
Marjamaki-J. Johnson-Magowan
Pitton/Rourke (A)
D: Fata-Wood
Wotton (C)-VanBallegooie

F: Nilsson-Schremp-Filewich
D: Ratchuk-Skolney (A)
Lannon-Carkner (A)
Rome-DuPont (C)

Rourke skated as a defenseman right away. Actual pairs were Malec-Rourke and Wotton-VanBallegooie and Fata with either Wood or Martens. Rick Berry had a baby girl this afternoon; heard Natalie is the name, and Mom and baby are reported healthy.

Lowell beat Albany again, and after Philly took a 2-0 lead in the third period (which seemed natural, after Providence appeared to dominate the second and get nothing), the P-Broons came back to win. So a good night for Bridgeport in the standings.

Curious icing calls and non-calls all night. One or two curious penalty calls or non-calls, too.

Wade Dubielewicz changed masks for the third period after some foam came loose and was disrupting his vision.

Battle of the Ferraros tonight kinda went to Chris.

Norfolk can finish no lower than fifth. Eight points clinches a playoff spot.

Mindboggling story out of Rochester today, where the Amerks and (ahem) Knighthawks are threatening to leave at the end of their lease -- like, this summer -- if they don't get a piece of concessions revenues.

Stan noted the passing of the Courant's Alan Greenberg. Jeff Jacobs writes a nice column about Greenberg today. And RIP, Hershey off-ice official Allen G. Fausnacht, who died Thursday.

Finally, Fun With Credit Card Signatures (As seen on Freakonomics).

New Blogger?

When I logged on just now, Blogger gave me even more pressure than usual to move up to its new interface, blah blah blah, and it said something like I can use the old one only once more. Hmm. So if you don't see a new post after tomorrow's game or Sunday's game, or if the RSS feed stops working (as I've heard it does when you "upgrade"), check back to the main page, soundinoff.blogspot.com. We may have been improved.

On the bright side, supposedly the real site'll be fixed really soon.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sad day

Condolences to Michel Therrien and his family on the passing of his father, and also to the family of Rick Pyman, who was instrumental in bringing the old Rinkside AHL program to cable.

On happier notes, Monroe's own J.R. Bria signed with Fresno. Three years to the day after Alain Nasreddine left Bridgeport, theAHL.com posts a story from Pittsburgh about him. Jason Spezza needs to avoid the supermarket (or needs to "get hitched up"). Here's an interesting Ted Nolan interview from ESPN.com's David Amber. And it'll be a heck of a tripleheader at Ingalls Rink Saturday: ND-Fairfield vs. Hamden, ND-West Haven vs. South Windsor, Prep vs. Conard. It'll all go off OK as long as one of them doesn't go triple-OT, like BCL vs. St. Bernard did tonight. (If it does, will they postpone the game and bring everybody back the next day like in 1999?)


Dan LaCouture caps a crazy 69 seconds with the game-winner, and Bridgeport has a game in hand.

Story on Marty Kariya, who led Finland in scoring. Bad news for ex-Admiral James Wisniewski, who tore his right ACL.

And Barlow won.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Stuff before Barlow

Jeremy Colliton is probably out for the weekend to rest the shoulder.

Here's a comedy of impressions and sample size: I thought Ken Magowan had played long stretches in Albany a couple of years ago. I remember being impressed in a game against Bridgeport, and I remember seeing his name a few more times in box scores.

Know how many games Magowan played in two years with Albany? Nine.

But wait, I thought, I remembered him last year, too, somewhere. Surely he...

Philly: Four games. Rochester: two more.

Magowan played three of his 15 previous AHL games against Bridgeport; he had two of his five AHL points against the Sound Tigers in that shootout game I remembered from two years ago.

And that's all.


Chris Thompson joins Paul Flache in Gwinnett in a deadline deal. Training camper Bryan Rodney heads west.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hay! Hay! Hay!

A chant we'll never hear again from a barn we'll never see again: Dwayne Hay announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season.

From practice today, Jeremy Colliton and Allan Rourke sat out. Blake Comeau is skating on his own but probably won't be back this weekend. Jamie Fraser, who didn't practice today, is also likely out for the weekend. The team won't skate tomorrow.

Meanwhile, anyone know a good open-access wireless internet spot near Sheehan High in Wallingford?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Speaking of three stars...

DiPietro only gets the third star? After 56 saves? Hmm.

That shift about five minutes into the third period may have been the greatest shift I have ever seen. Isles keep pounding the Rangers... and the Rangers keep winning the puck back. Couple of posts, couple of unconscious saves. Unreal.

Edit: Journal News writer Sam Weinman includes this line from his editor, Joe Erwin, in his blog postmortem: "After a performance like that, Rick DiPietro should demand a contract extension." (Inside baseball: Joe used to work for us. Great guy, great editor, and great wit.)

Edit2, this from John Dellapina in his blog for the Daily News: "If you saw what transpired at the Garden tonight and still don't get it about hockey, you never will. There is no other sport that can even approach the relentless excitement that the Rangers and Rick DiPietro provided last night. And no other sound like the one that comes down from the Garden stands when the ice is down and the Rangers are up."

Well, though I had planned to save some of this for a tomorrow post, here we are:
-At the end of practice, Regier and Magowan were heading pucks into the net off of each other's feeds. Like soccer players. Seriously.
-Matt Reid went back to South Carolina over the weekend, and Hershey just called him up.
-Here's more on the Glass-Daigneault fight from Michael Sharp in Bingo.
-The Pittsburgh Penguins mean it, they may actually move this time.
-Philly (seven points back) plays Tuesday at home against Binghamton.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Dead (even)

It's tied. Albany made up nine points in 12 days.

Just noted: Norfolk doesn't play another game outside the division.

Peter Ferraro took two restraining fouls in the first period, then popped in a goal and an assist in the second and was third star in a Peoria win over Dieter Kochan and the Aeros. Dave Baseggio and the Rivermen are 5-0-0-2 in the past seven and have more games remaining than anyone in the league.

Jason Krog's scoring streak ended Sunday, his first AHL game without a point this season.

The Sound Tigers get back to work in the morning, and now their work is cut out for them...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Halfway helpful

(Is it too early to do this? Yeah. This is an irregular feature for now.)

Wilkes-Barre had a 2-0 lead on Albany Saturday night. (Oh, that's good.) No, that's bad.* The Pens coughed it up on two goals by Dave Gove, and Albany went to overtime with a chance at a second point. (Oh, that's bad.) No, that's good. Kyle Brodziak's second goal of the night gave the Pens the win. (Oh, that's good.) No, that's bad. Albany is two points behind Bridgeport, and a win Sunday against plummeting Binghamton would make it a flat-footed tie with 21 games to go. (Oh, that's bad.) No, that's awful.

(Not really, but I had to get out of that joke already.)

Meanwhile in Philly, the Phantoms blew a 2-0 lead of their own and lost in a shootout. The decisive round of the Bonus Round had a distinctive Fairfield flavor: Hugh Jessiman scores; Peter Zingoni doesn't. Philly is seven points behind Bridgeport and has played one more game.

Robert Nilsson has six points in three games as a Penguin despite being called out for his defense by Todd Richards. Speaking of Richards, BTW, Jonathan passed on a quote last night after my deadline, and I figured I'd let those use it as they wanted for today's story and then put it out there for you guys:

"The big thing that really changed the game was Jensen's penalty," Richards said. "It was a 2-0 game and they (the Sound Tigers) had no interest at all in playing the game. They had none. They were dead. It was a penalty and it was a bad penalty. There was no reason to do it. That gave them life."

Interesting. I might not have gone so far as "dead," but I sure wasn't expecting to write a comeback story at that point...

Elsewhere, a big bonus round for Big Stephen Valiquette today at the Garden. The stops on Boyes and Metropolit were clutch.

*-Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, and please insert "for Bridgeport" after all of these.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Distant Replay

You sit back and you look at a game like this, and you see the early 2-0 Penguins lead disappear and the 3-2 Bridgeport lead taken in the second, and maybe you think back to, say, Game 5 of last year, which played similarly albeit more drawn out. That third Bridgeport goal, after all, came in overtime. This one came with four minutes to go in the second.

As it turned out, that was way too much time.

While everyone else of importance was winning, the Sound Tigers were leaving newly minted Penguins captain Micki DuPont alone in the slot twice.

Ryan Stone, killer of Sound Tigers, found him the first time. Stephen Dixon knocked a puck down with what may have been a high stick -- Chris Ciamaga was a lot closer than I was and immediately waved it good -- and fed DuPont in almost the same spot.

Even with a makeshift lineup, with no Colliton or Berry or Fata or Fraser or Comeau or Nolan and barely any Regier, those were two points for the taking going into a week off.

Now you just hope you don't sit back and look at a game like this in April, and see the 3-2 Bridgeport lead taken in the second, and say, man, those two points...

F: Tambellini (A)-Nielsen-Boguniecki
Marjamaki-G. Johnson-Magowan
Pitton-J. Johnson-Nokelainen
D: Malec-Wood
VanBallegooie-Wotton (C)
Rourke (A)-Martens

F: Nilsson-Schremp-Filewich
D: Young-Skolney (A)
Lannon-Carkner (A)
Rome-DuPont (C)

(I must've re-read that Game 5 gamer 15 times this summer. But I'm obsessive-compulsive that way. Was very happy with it, too.)

Jack Capuano was away on a personal matter again, so Bernie Cassell was on the bench with Dan Marshall again. Capuano should be back this week as it sounds like things are going well.

The newbies all looked fine. VanBallegooie had a fumble or two on his first couple of shifts, but he recovered well on those, and I thought he made a really good play to break up the Penguins' rush and set up Nokelainen's goal.

Albany scored all four goals on the power play. The Rats play their two games in hand this weekend, here Saturday and Sunday at Binghamton.

I didn't get to Nilsson, but the way his old teammates were talking to him, it sounds like That Quote was interpreted the way it was apparently said: without malice intended. This was from a question directed at losing guys at the deadlines, but Rourke said this: "Nilsson's a well-liked guy. Obviously he was a huge part of the team. It's never fun to have to lose your leading scorer, but the Islanders had to do what they had to do. ... Hopefully Robert gets a chance in Edmonton. I wish him the best. And the Islanders got a great player in Smyth."

Kimber Auerbach writes up a nice bit on Paul Camelio and the equipment guys.

Early stuff

After the drive to Nilssontown:

Here's all the Clear Day lists. Bridgeport's is as it sounded yesterday:

Goalies -- Wade Dubielewicz, Billy Thompson

Defensemen (8)-- Rick Berry, Chris Campoli, Drew Fata, Jamie Fraser, Bruno Gervais, Tomas Malec, Allan Rourke, Mark Wotton

Forwards (12) -- Eric Boguniecki, Jeremy Colliton, Blake Comeau, Jamie Johnson, Ken Magowan, Masi Marjamaki, Frans Nielsen, Petteri Nokelainen, Brandon Nolan, Jason Pitton, Steve Regier, Jeff Tambellini

In residence -- Gregg Johnson, F; Nick Martens, D; Dustin VanBallegooie, D; Stephen Wood, D... and Matt Reid, F, who is apparently up from South Carolina.

And for historical recapitude, here's last year's post that had all previous BST lists.

It appears they sneaked through AHL deals for the Johnsons and Magowan.


Some random stuff that came up while researching an (unused, obviously) option for a Clear Day story:

--The next point for Steve Regier, who is 37-56-93 as a Sound Tiger, will move him ahead of Eric Manlow (27-67-94) into fifth on the all-time BST list. They trail only Rob Collins (163), Jeff Hamilton (155), Trent Hunter (136) and Justin Mapletoft (130).

--Robert Nilsson in 79 games was 20-53-73, good for ninth place, two points behind Jeremy Colliton (31-44-75), three behind Sean Bergenheim (40-36-76); both had played more games. In fact, of the top-20 all-time BST scorers, only Jason Krog had played fewer games (64).

--Among players with 35 or more points (that's 37 players; the last is Blake Comeau):--Nilsson was 10th in assists as a percetage of points (72.6), which made him the third forward out of 28 (Marko Tuomainen 75.6, Masi Marjamaki 73.1). He was fourth in points per game (.924), behind just Jeff Tambellini (1.07), Krog (.969) and Eric Boguniecki (.950). That obviously makes him tops among those who appeared in two or more (regular) seasons, ahead of Manlow (.922), Hunter (.907) and Hamilton (.896).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Clear Day wrapup

My computer has slowed to a crawl for some reason, but highlights:

--Shoulda mentioned that Frans Nielsen was back.

--No further moves in or out, so 8 D, 12 F on the Clear Day list. From the bubble: Jamie Johnson and Ken Magowan are reportedly on; Gregg Johnson, Nick Martens and newbies Stephen Wood and Dustin VanBallegooie (who took the red eye in from the coast/the Coast) are in residence, and so too will be Sergei Ogorodnikov and Michael Mole at some point. They didn't seriously consider taking a chance on putting Brandon Cullen on, which with Gervais and Campoli up would have made for Instant Emergency.

--Nilsson debut stories from the Citizens Voice and the Times Leader.

--Travis Scott Dubielewicz was born early this morning. He and Mom are reported to be doing well.

Say hi to Bags

One move so far: Peter Ferraro gets reassigned to Peoria, and defenseman Stephen Wood is coming here.

More later.