Sound Tigers Hit Rough Patch, Drop Three This Week
Kevin Schultz , Islanders Point Blank:
After getting off to a solid 10-4 start to the year, the Sound Tigers hit a snag this past weekend as they lost all three of their games in regulation. It’s not good but it’s nothing to indicate the sky is falling either. They’re still 10-7 and in second place in the division with a whole lot of hockey ahead of them (imagine that, lots of hockey left to be played).
One of the things the Sound Tigers have really seemed to have trouble with this year is road games. Of course most teams won’t play as well away from home, but the Sound Tigers seem to have some extra issues. They’re 5-5 on the road this year, compared to 5-2 at home, and have now had a bunch of blowout losses on the road. Four of those five road losses were by three goals or more and the one that wasn’t was controlled by the opposition for the first two periods.
Young teams have kinks to work out, and one of this team’s kinks sure seems to be getting up to play on the road. After a five-day layoff, the Sound Tigers head to Hershey on Friday. Let’s see if they can come up with a better effort on the road this weekend.
Wednesday: ADK 5, BPT 1
Like the Sound Tigers, there are some top prospects on the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers farm team. The lockout version of the Phantoms features two top picks in Sean Couturier (8th in ’11) and Brayden Schenn (5th in ’09). Schenn ended up with a goal and two assists in this game, helping his team to a decisive win.
To Mike Fornabaio and Coach Pellerin, the game was reminiscent to last Friday in Wilkes-Barre and losses earlier in the year in Worcester:
The way Scott Pellerin described this one, I had to ask him: Wilkes-Barre all over again? “It was very similar, to be honest,” he said. “Very similar to the two games we played in Worcester and the game in Wilkes. It’s something I’m not happy with at all, the way we played for two periods.” Not physical enough, not competitive enough. He wasn’t going to criticize Brown and Koharski, but he called some of the penalties “uncharacteristic,”
The games in Worcester Pellerin is referring to were 5-2 and 5-1 losses. The games all obviously are similar in score and, I’m reading between the lines, somewhat similar in lack of effort or execution from the team.
Friday: CT 7, BPT 5
Yup, there were 12 goals in this game and both teams blew two goals leads before it was over. To add to that, fans got their money’s worth with a couple of fights.
Connecticut scored two to open the game, followed by a barrage from Bridgeport that saw the Sound Tigers lead 5-3 early in the third. The game would end with four straight Whale goals.
three straight Whale goals plus an empty netter to make it 7-5.
The Trio of Swedes — Johan Sundstrom, John Persson, and David Ullstrom — carried the scoring for the Sound Tigers in this game. They factored into four of the five Sound Tiger goals and each had a multi-point night. Sundstrom leads the trio with 11 points in 17 games, Ullstrom has nine in 12 and Persson seven in 17.
Pro Hockey Talk also quickly caught up with Travis Hamonic, on the topic of AHL rivalries as the CT Whale are the Rangers’ farm team.
“We play ‘em lots, we see ‘em lots. We know what they’re all about and since they’re so close as well, about a 30-minute drive, it’s almost like you’re playing a home game.”
For a guy like Travis Hamonic, playing with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers, matching up against forward talent like that presents him with his own set of challenges.
“I like it, I really enjoy it,” Hamonic says of facing other NHL guys there. “Those are good young players that are in the same situation I’m in. It seems like every team’s got a few of those guys so for me I enjoy it. Those are guys I play against on a regular basis so it’s nice to be able to compete against them.”
Saturday: BNG 6, BPT 1
On Saturday night in Binghamton, the Sound Tigers turned in what sounds like another clunker on the road. The Senators took the game 6-1 and poured on 44 shots (the two teams combined for eighty shots), bouncing Kevin Poulin in the second period after four goals.