Sound Tigers - Lambs Or Lions

 

Last years Sound Tigers came into March like lambs, losing 9 of their first 11 games, and went out like lions with a 4 game win streak that stretched to 7 in early April. If this years’ Tigers don’t reverse their fortunes and enter March like lions the season could end before April begins.

The team will begin their third consecutive three-games-in-three-nights series this Friday. Needing to capture every point available, let’s hope they can avoid the weird series played two weeks ago and the one that began last Friday night with a slug-fest in Springfield. (Photo:Dave Csordas)

Kevin Poulin started the game at Springfield’s MassMutual Center, his last as a Sound Tiger (?) before his call-up, and was totally screened on the first shot he faced. He was also screened on one or two of the others he allowed and spent most of evening as a spectator watching one line-brawl after another develop in front of him.

In all 244 penalty minutes were assessed (149 against Bridgeport and the remaining 95 for Springfield). Seven players were ejected and Bridgeports’ bench was near empty for the final 10 minutes of a game with only one memorable moment being Kirill Kabanov's first professional goal. (SPR 5, BST 2, Photo:Dave Csordas)

On Saturday the Sound Tigers played host to the Manchester Monarchs and fans had the opportunity to see goalie Ken Reiter in his debut at the Webster Bank Arena. Although the Tigers would lose their first of the year to the team from New Hampshire, Reiter’s home debut was a definite success. While he did allow two power play goals, the one even strength shot that got by Reiter came on a deflection off of Tom Kostopoulos’ stick leaving the goalie little chance for a save. (MAN 3, BST 2)

Sunday afternoon the team faced the always-tough Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and gave another solid performance once again coming up just short of a win but grabbing their only point of the weekend. Ken Reiter had another terrific start in the net stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced and had many fans and myself commenting on how much he reminded them of former tender Wade Dubielewich. (WBS 2, BST 1, S.O.)

Reiters’ trip to the pros, which began when the Pittsburgh, PA native started playing Canadian Junior ‘A’ League hockey at the age of 16, has shown how determined he is to make it. Few have taken his path and found success but his 58 saves on 62 attempts the past two starts show it was a path well chosen.(Photo:Dave Csordas)

The Sound Tigers now sit in 12th place (could drop to 13th if Norfolk wins tonight) with a record of 22-23-3-4. They have taken 51 points in the 52 games they have played and must turn things around this weekend in order to make the playoffs. They will need to take 34 points in their last 24 games to make the playoffs (85 pts. being a number I pulled out of my arse as a line in the sand).

Bridgeport is 0 for 23 on the power-play, that must improve.

Need more top line scoring, this should improve as players heal and regain strength. (Sundstrom is skating again with others still on the mend)

Goal tending needs consistency with fewer soft goals allowed. I think Mr. Reiter solved that. (Nilsson health improving)

Time is short but we will soon know if the Tigers are lions or lambs.

 

-Mike Flannery

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