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Game Preview: Sound Tigers at Monarchs

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders

Friday, Oct. 5: Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Manchester Monarchs
6 p.m., Sullivan Arena, Manchester, NH
(Streaming live on
Tonight’s matchup
The defending Northeast Division Champion Bridgeport Sound Tigers (41-26-3-6, 91 points in 2011-12) conclude their preseason schedule Friday on the road against the Manchester Monarchs. The puck drops at 6 p.m., and fans can watch the live stream on

Last season, the Monarchs finished second in the Atlantic Division with a 39-32-2-3 record (83 points), losing in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals.

Last game: Sound Tigers 3, Bruins 1
The Sound Tigers defeated the Providence Bruins 3-1 Thursday at the New England Sports Center behind goals from Johan Sundstrom, Mike Halmo and Nino Niederreiter. Goaltender Anders Nilsson stopped 34-of-35 shots. The Sound Tigers went 1-for-8 on the man advantage while killing all four Bruin power plays.


Expect tonight’s lineup to change as Head Coach Scott Pellerin continues to evaluate his roster. This was the lineup Thursday:

Niederreiter – Nelson – Kabanov
Halmo – Sundstrom – Backman
DeFazio – Watkins – Riley
Gallant – Clark – MacKay


Ness – Landry
de Haan – Wishart
McIver – Cantin



Scratches: Casey Cizikas, Travis Hamonic, Colin McDonald, Aaron Ness, John Persson, David Ullstrom, Ken Reiter

What they’re saying:
Matt Donovan led Sound Tigers defensemen with 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 2011-12 (Photo: New York Islanders)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers Head Coach Scott Pellerin has had less than a week to get to know his new team. He has a handful of practices next week to evaluate his team prior to the season opener on Oct. 12, but will be taking an extra hard look at his players during the preseason games.

“I’m just looking for consistency,” Pellerin said. “I think as a coach that’s all you can ask for. We’ve gone through all our systems, everything that we need to do. The guys’ attention to detail and work ethic and conditioning is there. I just want to see them play. I want them to have fun and play to their max. I want them to play the best hockey that they can play because I’m going to have some real tough decisions.”

Pellerin added that even though this week’s contests won’t go down in the standings, he wants his team to get off on the right foot.

“We want to win,” Pellerin said. “We want to set a standard and it started the first day of Training Camp. We’ve been pushing that standard every day.”

Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan knows what the players will be trying to accomplish come 7:05 Thursday.

“We’re just trying to get back into game form,” Donovan said. “None of us have played a game since last season. I think it’s just about getting ready as a team and getting in the flow of things as a team and learning about guys and seeing which guys can play where. I think everyone’s going to play a lot and show the coaches what they have.”

Donovan said that even though the players have been getting acquainted with one another during the first few practices, nothing compares to building chemistry with teammates during real games.

“They’ll probably switch it up in the exhibition games and put us with different guys so we can learn about everyone else on the team,” Donovan said. “I think in the end that will make us a better, closer team and we can learn about each other.”

Watch Friday’s live stream

Fans can watch Friday’s game at Manchester live on starting at 5:45 p.m.
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