" . . . Banners Last Forever!!!"

On Friday the 13th, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Providence Bruins 4 to 1 clinching the teams first Division Championship in ten years. Steve Oleksy posted a tweet minutes later that captures it all.

“Teammates come and go but banners last forever. @TheSoundTigers  clinched  the division tonight. It’s only a step!! #longwaytogo “.

For most of the year coach Brent Thompson has been fond of saying that they haven’t accomplished anything yet. He reaffirmed that in an April 4 interview with Mike Fornabaio, of the Connecticut Post, after the team secured a playoff position.

“I just look at it as Step 1,” he stated.

There are still areas that need improvement he inferred, and the team continues to work on those areas.

“This is Step 1, “ he said. “A little step in the direction we want to go. We look toward getting home ice. That’s Step 2.”

The Sound Tigers have home ice now after Fridays win. In his post game interview after clinching the division Rhett Rakhshani repeated the teams mantra; “(the division title) is pretty awesome, but it’s just a step. It’s one of many we want to take”. This is but one more step in a climb, a climb that has brought the team from last seasons worst in the division to this years first.

The 2011-12 season started with a 4-2 loss to Portland on Oct. 8th.  New Years Eve the Tigers would lose by the same score to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and finish the calendar year once again in last place. But I, and many others saw a good team, with more talent than we have seen in years. The teams’ 13 wins vs. 20 losses did not tell the story. Ten of those losses were one-goal games (twelve if you count two, 2-goal games with empty netters) the team was being out scored but not out worked. Steps were being taken.

2012 was a new and exciting year. I started writing my blogs for The Checking Line-Isles Edition (www.TCLIsles.com) and all the hard work the team had put in started to payoff. This is not the story of a team risen from the ashes, there are no heroes in this story of heroes. This is the beginning of a story still being written of a team that will not be forgotten. The 906 boys and the three amigos will be gone but the banner they left us will be seen forever. Thanks, from all of us.

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