Milford CT : Home of BIC, Schick, Quick and The Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Milford, CT is a typical blue-collared New England town. Like many, it has its’ green (the second largest in New England), a rich Revolutionary War history (Liberty Rock) and the strip malls, auto dealerships and struggling franchises that dot the Rte. 1 landscape from Maine to Florida. Milford is also the home of Schick, BIC, Subway, PEZ (actually nearby Orange, CT) and a guy named Jonathan Quick. It is also the winter home of most of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
In the photo (Wikipedia/Benutzer:makemake) you see an aerial view of the Milford harbor. The ubiquitous island, top center, is Charles Island, a bird sanctuary and well-known sight to most Sound Tigers players. The players often rent beach cottages along the stretch of beach facing the island during the winter months and for good reason. Many of these homes demand $1800 per week and more during the summer months, off-season these same homes are available for a small fraction of that amount. This is where they pool their resources and form what can best be described as ‘frat-houses’ where life long friendships are born. In April of 2010, after being abducted, I was given a personal tour of one.
It was Easter Sunday, April the fourth, and in Al Gore’s world of global warming, it was a balmy 68 degrees of beautiful spring weather. After completing my Easter duties at St. James Church and a family Easter egg hunt I stopped by my ‘place of choice’ to wish friends a happy holiday before they closed for the day. The parking lot was near empty and the only five seated at the bar were Sound Tigers. With no game scheduled until Friday and a day off on Monday, they had stopped in to pick up a couple of cases of Bud Light for the night.
Pleasantries exchanged, Hasky (Tyler Haskins) asked me what I was up to. After I explained that I had stopped by to wish our friends a happy holiday before heading home, he said, “No you’re not, you’re coming with us.” We bickered a bit before I enlisted DiBo (Justin DiBenedetto), to act as my agent in resolving the conflict. The team agreed to buy a 12-pack of my preferred drink, ‘Bud Heavy’ as they call it, and we piled into the car. (Justin DiBenedetto/Pope Steve XXVII)
Their home for the season was a 5 or 6 bedroom glorious 'cottage' directly on the beach facing Charles Island. Hasky gave me a brief tour, stopping at each bedroom to mention which players were sharing rooms and with whom. When he got to one room he spoke with a near reverence as he stated that this is 'A-Macs' room. He and all members of the team knew that Andrew MacDonald had 'made it' and would not be returning. We played a little wiffle-ball (a product of nearby Shelton, CT) tossed a Frisbee, another CT invention, and talked hockey. It wasn't long before the house started to fill up.
Several of the neighboring cottages were also rented by players and this was the main house used by the fraternity. With more than twenty players and their friends in place, the food started to arrive. Pizza, Chinese and all forms of take-out soon filled the main dining area. Not wanting to over-stay my welcome, I said my good-byes and thank-you's and I asked my 'agent' DiBo for a ride home.
With casinos an hour to the east, the 'Big Apple' an hour to the west and a good night-life in the Milford harbor area, what better place to live while developing your skills. With a solid team in an organization commited to development and home ice in the state-of-the-art Webster Bank Arena what better place to begin your career. Welcome to the fraternity, welcome to the Sound Tigers.