Sound Tigers Wake-up, Double-up IceCaps

 

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers earned their first win of the season Sunday afternoon beating the Saint Johns Ice Caps 6-3 at The Webster Bank Arena. The win ended an eight game winless streak against last seasons Calder Cup finalists.

The Caps most recent win over the Tigers was Saturday night when they scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 win. (I did not watch the game as the start time coincided with the Isles final home opener in Nassau – mea culpa.) Here is a link to CT Post’s Mike Fornabaio’s game summary.

Sunday it looked like St. Johns would continue their domination when they scored just 48 seconds after the puck was dropped. BST goalie David Leggio left the puck behind the net for his D-men to pick up but both were in their corners (miscommunication/systems breakdown). Eric O’Dell promptly placed the unattended puck in the net. Tigers down 0-1 (4 unanswered).

Bridgeport’s Alan Quine (pictured) would tie the game at one a short time later on a power play shot from in front after a sweet feed from Harry Z. (that’s Harry Zolnierczyk – pronounced ZOL-ner-chuk) after a dig out by Mike Halmo, but that lead wouldn’t last as long as it took me to type Z’s last name.

Just over a minute later O’Dell scored his second of the afternoon with another shot that got past Leggio. The Sound Tigers were once again out of position, on the boards instead of taking away precious space. Poor positioning again had cost the team.

Scooter Vaughan tied the game at the 14-minute mark with a tremendous individual effort through the neutral zone and to the twine. Gillies and Pedan were each given an assist on the play but I question that.

The second period, which the Tigers slept through the night before, was dominated by Bridgeport. The refs were allowing them a physical game and coach Brent Thompson let them run.

Zolnierczyk started the run scoring his first of this young season after a perfect pass from John Persson. Sebastian Collberg, one of the Isles final cuts, gave the Tigers a comfort goal and a 4-2 lead redirecting a Kevin Czuczman (CHUCH-man) power shot past St. Johns goalie Olkinuora (like it’s spelled).

Czuczman would get a goal of his own and Zolnierczyk, with his second of the night, would account for the Sound Tigers 6th and final goal of the night. The Ice Caps’ O’Neill , one of their top scorers from last year, scored on a power play to end the scoring giving the Sound Tigers their first win (6-3) of a long season.

Some observations:

  • Positioning was poor and allowed for the first two Caps goals.
  • Not transitioning well. Leaving too much ice open in the middle early.
  • Ryan Pulock throws some VERY heavy rubber at the net.
  • Harry Zolnierczyk plays much larger that his 5’11” frame.
  • Scooter Vaughan’s middle name should be hustle.
  • Sebastion Collberg has a LOT of untapped potential.
  • Andrey Pedan has one hell of a punch.

It is very early in a very long season and injuries (Aaron Ness left in the middle of the 2nd with an injury to his right leg) as well as the inevitable call-ups will constantly test the team and coach Thompson.

That being said, this is probably the most talented and mature team we have seen in several years. Another season of promise, perhaps a banner year.

 

 

-Mike Flannery

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