On the surface, Sound Tigers goaltenders Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson have a lot in common. They were born 24 days apart in the spring of 1990. Both grew up playing hockey and developed an affinity for standing in the way of vulcanized rubber traveling at high speeds. Both were drafted by the Islanders organization and played well enough in their first professional seasons (Poulin in 2010-11, Nilsson in 2011-12) to earn a call-up to the NHL. Both got hot and won AHL Goaltender of the Month honors last season with Bridgeport (Poulin in January, Nilsson in February).
They handed the baton back and forth past season, combining to play 4384 of the team's 4612 minutes en route to a Northeast Division Championship. Now, both are in Sound Tigers Training Camp to once again push each other to the next level in the crease.
“We’re both young guys, we’re the same age - it’s competition," Nilsson said. "You know you need to be prepared every day you go to the ice. You can’t take a day off. If you have a couple games where you’re off, you know he’s going to play the next game. I probably make him play at a higher level because he makes me play at a higher level.”