And the Lombardi Trophy goes to....

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers had their franchise record 8th consecutive road game win Friday night. Their streak was extended with the defeat of the Portland Pirates by the final score of 6-2.

Out scoring their opponents 34 to 13 during their time away from Webster Bank Arena, they now have 13 road wins for the season. That gives them one more road win than they had all of last year. With 12 away games left on this years calendar this club has earned the title ”Road Warriors”.

Giving all the recent success the team has enjoyed, you would think being the head coach would be a dream job. I think this is actually a tough time for the head coach Brent Thompson. With the glut of talent he has, quality players such as team captain Jeremy Colliton, Rhett Rakhshni, and Justin DiBenedetto are returning from injury and deserve ice time.

So every game night, not only does “Tommer” have to decide which of the two talented goalies get to start. He must decide which of the studs in his stable gets a ‘healthy scratch’. I for one don’t envy his position, but the players accept the call and produce when called upon.

Saturday night Travis Hamonic took a puck to the face during the Isles game against the Sabres. Any hit to the face is serious, but Rob McGowan (@IslesRM) tweeted that ’it looks like the puck hit him on the nose and not the eye’.  Speculation on who would be called up from Bridgeport began on Facebook and Twitter before the first drop of blood hit the ice.

Called up by the Isles on November24, 2010 Hamonic’s numbers in 19 games with the Sound Tigers were 2 goals, 5 assists, 45 PIM, and a -6. I do not think that a shot to the snot locker will keep Travis out. He is a hockey player!           

If a call up is necessary, here are some candidates to consider.

Player                     Games                 Goal                 Assists             +/-      PIM


Jon Landry                   8                    1                      2                      +3       2


Ty Wishart                 45                   1                      11                   -5        19


Steve Oleksy              24                   0                      5                      +9       57


Brandon Gentile          8                    1                      2                      +10     6


Aaron Hess                  45                  2                      15                   +6       24


Matt Donovan            44                     5                    25                   +8       47

Islanders fans are probably salivating to see top picks, Ness or Donovan. While each one is qualified, I would not rush them up. Personally, my choices come down to Brandon Gentile or Steve Oleksy.  They have both impressed.  My call would go to Steve Oleksy, who comes highly recommended from a good friend, Greg Mauldin. 

When I first learned that Mr. Oleksy was going to join the Sound Tigers I checked and found that he had been a teammate of Greg’s on the Lake Erie Monsters.  I sent him a message on Facebook asking about Steve and he said, “Great guy, hard worker, comes to compete.”  No better recommendation than from a teammate, roommate and friend. 

Steve's favorite quote sums up his approach to the game, "Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.”-Vince Lombardi

Another difficult decision that comes with being a coach and I am sure that he will make the right one.


-Mike Flannery

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