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Here’s something new and exciting. Tom Liodice and I are enroute to The Arena at Harbor Yard to catch the Bridgeport Sound Tigers take on the Springfield Falcons.

I have never been up to Bridgeport before, but I have seen the Sound Tigers a bunch – either way it will be a fun experience seeing them from the press box.

My seatmate in 309 – Anthony from Brooklyn – claims the food there is outstanding. Good thing I brought my appetite!

I am going to do my best at blogging during the game – but check out Tom’s live blog as he does it best.

More from the road – a route MANY of the players in the Islanders system have seen a bunch this season.

Update: 6:11pm

Ok, so road updates were pretty much pointless, unless you wanted to know about accidents and traffic on 95. However, Tom and I are now nestled comfortably in the press box here at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

My first impression of the arena was “Wow”. Although smallish, the place is brand spanking new and looks really nice (you know for an AHL arena I guess). I don’t really have anything to compare it to – just to be honest.

Upon arriving, I went and got my media pass and a USB thumb drive containing the game notes and media kit. At the Coliseum, you know – an NHL arena, the game notes are handed out in a very, very thick booklet. They should totally do what they do here for the BST.

As you can see from the picture above, the press box isn’t nearly as high as it would be normally in other arenas – the arena only has one lower bowl and then a level of skyboxes. We are located at the top of the seating area – which would be just a tad higher then where the blog box is located at the Coliseum. The view is really good from here – you still feel as if you are part of the action, although I am having a problem seeing the names on the back of the jerseys. Oh well, that’s what the numbers are for.

Gametime

About to see the Tigers skate out of a gigantic inflatable here – if anyone wants to know where the Islanders introduction video featuring players on a pirate ship went – it’s alive and well in Bridgeport.

Puck has been dropped here, Ryan Duncan is out on the ice for the Sound Tigers – apparently this kid is very talented, despite his listed size of 5’6″.

Sound Tigers get on the board first – Haley from Hennigar. The arena does something nice here, after a home team goal the house lights dim and they have a spotlight on the goalscorer. It was a really nice touch. The goal song – I have to add, is MUCH better than that of the Islanders. There is also something special about a tiger’s growl that does something for the soul.

Watching these future Islanders skate around here – something just occurred to me; this team is GOOD, no – GREAT! It makes you realize that the systems put into place on the Island and here in Bridgeport are really coming into their own. What’s important, at least in my eyes – is how you can plug players into the NHL lineup with relative ease (as we have seen, what – 1000 times?). I think all of the injures the Sound Tigers parent club suffered this year certainly jump started the rebuild process in a way.

7:28pm Tigers were shorthanded, but then Springfield took an offensive zone penalty to even it up, however, Lawson took a retaliatory and the Tigers still find themselves down a man.

7:35pm Lawson just did his best DiPietro impression and got caught out of position due to chasing down a loose puck – the game is all tied up at one a piece.

7:39pm Tigers power play coming up.

End of the first period and the score is still all knotted up at one. It’s been a while since I have seen an AHL game and it’s quite different. The pace is a lot slower than I am used to and it makes it seem like the players have an extra second to make a decision with the puck. It’s evident why players like Tambellini would really flourish here and have a problem adjusting to the NHL.

More after the break. Going to watch Tom do a radio spot.

Second Period

Second period underway here as the teams switch sides – the Tigers have been dominant at times, let’s see if they can keep sustained pressure on the Falcons this period and get the go-ahead goal.

8:04pm Sound Tigers headed back to the power play.

That was quick, Jon Sim pots a rebound in for a power play goal. Sim (16th of the season) from Lee and Iggulden.

8:06pm As I was typing, the Tigers scored again – 3-1 is the score. Lassard from Joensuu and Walter.

8:11pm Tigers shorthanded here – hooking.

And just like that, Springfield fires back and scores on the power play. 3-2 Bridgeport

8:13pm Even though I said I wasn’t going to “live blog” – Bridgeport is headed back on the power play.

8:18pm Abbreviated Bridgeport two man advantage here, which ends right now. Still a man up.

8:20pm Even though the Sound Tigers did not score on either of those power plays, there were TWO golden opportunities lost. The first was a redirection that hit the far side post after it trickled through the crease. The second, a chance on the doorstep that was misfired. Still have good pressure on Springfield at even strength.

8:27pm Callahan with speed breaks through – everyone and from behind the net throw it through traffic to Joensuu who promptly puts it in. Joensuu (20th) from Calahan

4-2 Sound Tigers

8:32pm Clearly the Falcons are playing on their heels as they have taken yet another penalty. Holding.

Well, there was a goal – but this time Springfield has converted on a shorthanded goal after Macdonald lost control of the puck at the Falcons blue line. It was a two on one going back and the perfect pass left Lawson pretty much helpless. 4-3

8:35pm One minute warning – final minute of the period.

Springfield almost stormed back to tie the game – they came close to scoring another shorthanded goal on the same Bridgeport power play. Springfield must have had some talking to by their bench boss, as they certainly responded after taking their latest penalty.

More after the break, going to try to get something to eat quick.

Third Period

Tom and I scoffed down two foot long hotdogs in record time – just to get back to the live action. I will touch on the concourse here in a second.

We are back underway. We were just handed an official attendance report for the evening – 3322 people are present on this rainy Friday – I believe this to be around 1200 less than the typical average for a game if my memory of the game notes is correct.

Back to the concourse – it’s a big difference from what we are used to at the Coliseum. Yes, there are less people – but it’s 50% wider than the old barn. Ingress and egress as well as general movement is a lot easier.

9:03pm Bridgeport is headed back to the power play, maybe this time they wont give up a shorthanded goal?

9:11pm Sound Tigers have taken another penalty, Springfield had pretty good pressure for a good part of the first half of this period too – going to be interesting.

9:19pm As the clock is under the five minute mark in the third period, both teams are playing a bit differently then they were before. Not much real pressure at each end, although there have been a few decent shots – not many scoring chances.

Final minute, empty net Springfield.

Time out Springfield – :37.6 remaining in the third period.

And that’s the game! Final score Bridgeport Soundtigers 4 Springfield Falcons 3

3rd Star: Nathan Lawson BST
2nd Star: Ryan Potulny SF
1st: Jesse Joensuu BST

At least two of the players I voted for were chosen! First time I ever picked the three stars of the game.

Gonna head downstairs tonight for the post game.