Sound Tiger Suspected Of Theft
Bridgeport, like too many cities in the northeast, is struggling through bad economic times. Closed businesses and empty buildings dot the landscape. Well-intentioned projects are started and then abandoned due to a lack of funding, often leaving acres of property empty and unused.
The Webster Bank Arena is an oasis in the downtown Bridgeport area. Hosting a wide variety of events, it has thrived for ten years now. The arena is the home of The Bridgeport Sound Tigers and it is a Sound Tiger who is responsible for a number of recent thefts at the arena.
Having witnessed some of these thefts, and given the description of the ‘perp’ - ‘a male Caucasian, 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, early 20’s, no facial hair and no discernable accent’ it was obvious that Matt Donavan from Edmund, Oklahoma (another 2008 draft pick of The New York Islanders) was guilty. His crime? Stealing the puck off the stick of a poor unsuspecting forward as he tried to navigate the neutral zone. Guilty as charged.
Once he had possession of his prize he would turn the aggressor, taking the puck home to the back of the net with his powerful left handed shot or passing it to one of his many accomplices for the same purpose.
Game over. This gang will shower, put on their street clothes and meld un-noticed into the suburban landscape. If you live in Stratford or Milford Connecticut the odds are you have spotted a Sound Tiger. It might have been at the mall or bowling alley. Very likely you spotted one at a deli, restaurant or diner…they do love their food. If you were eating in one of these establishments and overheard someone say, “Pass the ketchup…eh!” you had a dangerously close encounter.
Unlike some sports, hockey does not reward you for being 7 feet tall, nor is it impressed with your 350-pound frame and ability to bench press big numbers. Speed, skill and heart are the only requirements. As such, professional hockey players are difficult to spot in public. Following is a brief list of things to look for when trying to identify these gifted athletes:
- They are rarely spotted alone. Just as in their natural on-ice habitat, they watch and protect each other’s backs.
- They generally are spotted wearing woolen caps; some with a Matt Moulson flow (i.e. Sean Backman and Tony Romano) might prove exceptions.
- They often exhibit evidence of a recent gang fight. Black eyes, cuts, bruises and missing teeth being the most noticeable.
- You can be CERTAIN you have a Sound Tiger in your sights if his relaxed fit jeans or warm-ups are being stretched to the max by the size of his thighs.
It’s the thighs, the pistons that drive the engine, that bring a player from a standstill to top speed in just a few powerful strides. Speed can be improved with hard work. Skills can be developed and honed with hours of practice. Heart…another story, you have it or you don’t. If you have made it to the American Hockey League (AHL) you have all the ingredients, you are now a professional hockey player.
Matt Donovan was caught in the act again on Sunday afternoon, passing the evidence to fellow co-conspirator Casey Cizikas who promptly made the gangs deposit in the back of the net. This time Donovan was caught on video tape and most knowledgeable sources expect a plea of ‘nolo contendere.’ He is expected to be sentenced to time served in Bridgeport and then told to report to the big house, the NVMC, for the remainder of his sentence.
Charges against his co-conspirators are pending, but Matt can expect company on the Island soon.
All photos courtesy of Pope Steve XXVII