Friday, January 16, 2009


A big matchup tonight for those Cuddly Connecticut Tigers that the Islanders have relied on so much this season. They're playing the Washington Capitals AHL affiliate the Hershey Bears. The Bears roster boasts some familiar NHL names such as Keith Aucoin and former Islander Kip Brennan.

Unfortunately, Tiger Track Tom and I ran into traffic on the way up here and missed all but the last minute of the first period. I promise to run a live blog for the remaining two periods of what is a 2-2 tie after one. Mike Iggulden and Ben Walter were your Sound Tigers scorers in a very active first.

8:01 The Sound Tigers begin the 2nd on the powerplay and fail to convert on the chance.

8:02 Joensuu gets a nice close in change from the right of the crease that is stopped by Daren Machchesney.

8:05 Hershey penalty on Francois Bouchard for hooking at 16:23 as Trevor Smith burst through down the left side.

8:07 Junior Lessard, the Islanders latest trade asset, gets a redirection on net that Machchesney turns away on the Sound Tigers powerplay.

8:11 Trevor Smith gets a sharp angle shot on net that gives Machchesney little trouble as he gloves it down. The crowd gets pumped up to the tune of "Staying Alive" by The Bee Gees.

8:13 Mike Iggulden gets left alone in the slot and belts one low that gets turned away.

8:14 A terrible offside call is made by Paul Simeon (66).

8:18 Good pressure by the Bears as Lawson turns away several quality chances from in close. The Bears were able to sustain pressure for a solid minute of play.

8:20 Great passing play Bentivoglio to Kohn to Walter who puts one into the pads of Machchesney.

8:21 Lessard tries a stuff job left of the crease. On regaining the puck, Sixsmith gets handed a hooking penalty with 5:57 left to go in the 2nd.

8:23 Huge save on the powerplay as Lawson gets across to his left and gloves one down in the splits as Giroux gets robbed. Great stat from one of the journalists sitting next to me says that Giroux has a 12 game goal scoring streak.

8:25 Giroux barrels into Lawson and his helmet pops off and the net goes flying as the Sound Tigers goalie skates bucketless to the bench. Walter gets a an elbowing penalty on the play as he pushed Giroux into Lawson. Lawson slowly makes his way back to his crease and utilizes as much recovery time as he can muster from the officials.

8:28 Giroux walks into the slot and scores in his 13th straight game on the 5-on-3 to make it 3-2 with 4:06 remaining in the 2nd.

8:30 Trevor Smith steals the puck and center and walks in 2-on-2 and forces Machchesney to make a save while the Tigers force a draw low.

8:31 Chris Lee takes a very lazy hooking penalty coming back on the play with 2:08 left, putting the Bears back on the powerplay.

8:34 Lawson is able to fend off another great scoring chance from the Bears as the puck grazes the crossbar as the net gets knocked off forcing a defensive zone faceoff.

8:35 Andrew Gordon takes an untimely hooking penalty with 3.6 seconds left in the 2nd for the Bears giving the Tigers 1:56 of powerplay time to start the third. At the end of 2, Bears 3, Sound Tigers 2.

8:54 As we wait for the puck to be dropped on the third period we get the announced attendance of 5, 050. That's better than the average weeknight at the Nassau Coliseum (J/K).

8:56 Chris Lee misses the net from the high slot and Trevor Smith is stoned from the bottom of the right circle by Machchesney with :25 seconds left on the penalty that carried over from last period. There is some pushing and shoving after the whistle but nothing else develops.

9:02 Andrew Joudrey of the Bears takes the "phantom" tripping call with 15:04 remaining in the 3rd.

9:04 Andrew MacDonald streaks down the right side and unleashes a wrist shot pad high that Machchesney turns away. As the Bears come back up the ice Mike Iggulden takes a hooking penalty. We're 4-on-4 until 13:03.

9:06 Alexandre Giroux pounds home a one-timer from the far circle beating Lawson glove side giving the Bears a 4-2 lead.

9:07 Now with the Bears up 4-2, Sean Collins takes slashing penalty at the 11:41 mark to give the Sound Tigers a much needed powerplay.

9:09 Ben Walter streaks through the defense at 11:10 and pots a low wrist shot to Machchesney's glove side to keep the game close at 4-3.

9:15 Francois Bouchard fools Lawson and sneaks one through the 5-hole with 8:40 left to restore the 2 goal lead at 5-3.

9:16 Hershey is able to put the puck in the net again however the play was offside and the goal is immediately waved off.

9:17 Greg Amadio takes a cross-checking penalty at 8:14 to put the Sound Tigers back on the powerplay.

9:19 On a doorstep cross-crease pass the Sound Tigers nearly slide one home on the powerplay but the Bears are able to clear.

9:21 Jesse Joensuu takes a very bad penalty in the offensive zone for interference as he fought for the puck down low. The time of the penalty was 5:43.

9:23 On a heady play by Mark Wotton on the PK he's able to draw two penalties from the Bears as both Chris Bourque and Keith Aucoin take a trip to the "Sin Bin". Hooking and Unsportsmanlike Conduct respectively. Sean Bentivoglio also takes an unsportsmanlike to even up the manpower.

9:28 Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano takes his timeout with 2:14 remaining to try and draw one up for a quick goal to get the Tigers back in this one. It'll be 6-on-5 the rest of the way as Lawson takes a seat on the bench.

9:30 Tigers are pouring it on but a heads up play by Lang of the Bears gets the puck down the ice as he gloves it to the Bridgeport zone.

9:32 Even with a 39 shot effort from the Tigers they fall to the Bears of Hershey, 5-3.

I'll be back tomorrow with a game wrap-up and analysis. If you tuned in to my live blog, I thank you. Trust me, as I alluded to in my A Night at Harbor Yard post, get the family up to Bridgeport to catch a Sound Tigers game whenever you can. For the price the Port Jefferson/Bridgeport ferry charges it's a no-brainer.

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