Micheal Haley, Goal Scorer?- Bridgeport Sound Tigers 8 Springfield Falcons 1

Micheal Haley found a new use for his hands against the Springfield Falcons.

Well-known for his ability to drop the gloves, Haley isn’t considered a goal scorer.


That may change after Saturday Night.


Haley had his first career AHL Hat-Trick and defenseman Ty Wishart scored two goals, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers routed the Springfield Falcons 8-1 at Webster Bank Arena, Saturday night.


Bridgeport was all over the Falcons from the opening whistle. Just 55 seconds into the game, Matt Donovan beat Manny Legace to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead. Haley doubled the lead at 17:13 snapping a quick wrist shot past Legace. Just 75 seconds later, Trevor Frischmon converted a breakaway off a feed from Donovan for a 3-0 lead. The Tigers outshot the Falcons 13-6 in the first.


The second period was all Sound Tigers. Haley banged home a rebound at 3:35 for a 4-0 lead. The lone bright spot for the Columbus Blue Jackets afilliate was a rebound goal from Alex Giroux to bring the Falcons to within 4-1. The game was in the balance at 4-1 when the Falcons had nearly a two-minute 5-on-3 advantage in the middle of the second period. 


Two penalty kills and a Justin DiBendetto Power-Play goal later, the rout was on in Bridgeport. Wishart completed the second period scoring with one of the three power play goals scored for the Tigers. 


After the second period, Legace was replaced by Paul Dainton. The only thing left in doubt was if Haley would complete the hat-trick. After Wishart scored at 9:33, just 52 seconds later, Haley secured his hat-trick  converting a beautiful feed from Kael Mouilleriat.


Mouilleriat had four assists for the Tigers and Andres Nilsson was solid in goal with 29 saves. Bridgeport set a team record with 8 goals. 



Madonia Minute- Sound Tigers Edition


Second time I have been to Bridgeport this season for a game, the first was a pretty bland game against Albany. Tonight was all Sound Tigers and I liked the talent I saw.


Michael Haley should be playing with the big club. He was dominant tonight, not with his fists, but with his stick. He created good chances and was in the right positions at all times. His schtick is to be a fighter, but he has a great ability to score. He also brings it every night. He looks like he has worked hard to become a more complete hockey player and it showed tonight. 


Casey Cizikas is a nice player as well. He wasn’t as visible as Haley tonight but he looks nearly ready as well for the next level. He can play on the penalty kill as well as the power-play. A two-way player and a good skater with a good scoring touch. Expect to see him play for a spot next season. There is a log-jam of quality forwards in the organization, with Strome also in the mix for next year, but having a surplus can never be a bad thing going forward.


David Ullstrom still looks like he is recovering from his concussion and getting up to speed. He took a nasty hit, but returned to the game after a quick visit to the locker room. In his brief stint in the NHL, he looked like he belonged. When he is back to 100%, he should be back with the Islanders.


On defense, Ty Wishart and Matt Donovan stood out. Wishart has a cannon for a shot, something the Islanders lack from the point with Streit lacking the velocity he had before his shoulder injury, His physical play, something that was lacking, has improved. The issue with Wishart is how waivers works .(that’s for another day) Gist of that story is, if he is sent back to the AHL, he has to clear waivers, and he likely won’t with that upside. Donovan is protected as a rookie for waivers, so he would be the next in line and rightly so. He plays with confidence way beyond his years and has great presence around the net, a rarity for a defensemen. He is similar to Streit in terms of his offensive prowess, but he can be a tight checking defensemen as well. 


Mike Flannery, our Sound Tigers Guru, would be better served at telling you more about each individual player, as he sees a lot more of the kids then I do. For a game’s worth, i saw a lot of great things. There is a great mix on the team of spry youngsters and willy veterans. Players like Jeremy Coliton and Trevor Frischmon are crucial to developing the younger talent on how the game needs to be played. The two players named above have been to the ‘show’ and in the game for many years, their role on the team is invaluable. 


Goaltending, ironically, is a strong suit for the Islanders organization. Kevin Poulin, most recently named AHL player of the month for January and Anders Nilsson both continue to play solid hockey. 


Overall, a great experience in Bridgeport. I recommend anyone looking for a fun night to check out the Islanders of the future.



John Madonia