by Jim Morlock
There's an old saying that "there's no place like home." But ask any member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and they may beg to differ.
After finishing a season-opening four-game road trip with a 2-1-1 record, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers were looking forward to opening up the home portion of the schedule over the weekend with back-to-back games against Portland Pirates and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. But what was once a promising weekend turned into a nightmare as the Sound Tigers lost 4-1 to the Pirates and 8-3 to the first-place Penguins.
Darien, Connecticut native Ryan Shannon scored two goals to lead the Pirates to a 4-1 win over the Sound Tigers on Saturday before a crowd of 4,018 at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Special teams proved to be the difference in the game as the Pirates scored three of their four goals on the power play and killed of all nine Bridgeport's power play chances.
After a scoreless first period, Shannon scored two power play goals in the second period to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead. He scored his fourth goal of the season 1:41 into Kevin Colley's hooking penalty and followed up with his fifth of the season with 1:06 left in the period. The Sound Tigers scored in the closing seconds of the period to cut the lead to 2-1. After missing the first four games with a back injury, Travis Brigley made his long-awaited debut for the Sound Tigers and scored his first goal of the season with nine seconds left in the period. Brigley took a pass from Wyatt Smith and beat Nathan Marsters low to the glove side for the goal.
In the third period, Portland out-shot the Sound Tigers, 18-4. The Pirates had numerous chances to put the game out of reach, but goaltender Wade Dubielewicz kept the Sound Tigers in the game. The Pirates added to their lead midway through the period when left winger Curtis Glencross scored his first goal of the season at 10:09 to increase the lead to 3-1.
Bridgeport couldn't generate any scoring chances in the last eight minutes of the period as they spent most of the time killing off penalties. Geoff Peters closed out the scoring for the Pirates with an empty net power play goal with one second left in regulation. Marsters made 23 saves, while Wade Dubielewicz stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss.
On Sunday, the Sound Tigers looked to avenge their 8-1 season-opening loss to the Penguins, and they got off to a good start as Justin Papineau and Matt Koalska scored in the first period to give them a 2-1 lead. But during the first period intermission Pens coach Michel Therrien, who wasn't pleased with his team's performance in the first period, gave his team a talking to and they responded by scoring four unanswered goals in the second period to take a 5-2 lead.
In the third period, the Penguins put the game out of reach with two goals to start the period. Travis Brigley scored his second goal in two games to make it 7-2. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Dan Carcillo scored his second goal of the season less than a minute after Brigley's goal to close out the scoring.
Wade Dubielewicz made his second consecutive start for the Sound Tigers and allowed five goals on 29 before being replace by Chris Madden at the start of the third period. Madden stopped 10 of 13 in 20 minutes of action. The Penguins out-shot the Sound Tigers, 45-36, in the game. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 2-for 7 on the power play while Bridgeport was 1-for-8.
Saturday, October 29 at Hartford (New York Rangers), 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday, November 2 vs. Norfolk (Chicago Blackhawks), 4:05 p.m.
Friday, November 4 vs. Manchester (Los Angeles Kings), 7:35 p.m.
Saturday, November 5 at Albany (New Jersey Devils), 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 6 vs. Binghamton (Ottawa Senators), 4:05 p.m.
*Justin Papineau leads the team in scoring with nine points (5+4) in six games. Papineau is tied for 13th in the league in scoring.
*Rob Collins is second on the team in scoring with eight points (3+5) in six games.
*Wyatt Smith and Travis Brigley both made their Sound Tiger debuts on Saturday against the Pirates. Smith, who missed four games with an ankle injury, set-up Brigley in both games over the weekend. Brigley, who missed four games with a back injury, has two goals in two games.
*Goaltender Wade Dubielewicz has a record of 1-3-1 with a 5.74 goals against average.
Allan Rourke (high ankle sprain), Joel Bouchard (broken shoulder bone) and Masi Marjamaki (slight shoulder separation) remain out for the Sound Tigers.
Sound Tigers tickets are on sale at the box office, on-line at ticketmaster.com and by calling 203-368-1000.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I'm not very happy right now with what happened over the weekend. I guess I'll watch the tapes and see if I can come up with anything." Dave Baseggio on Oct. 24 to the New Haven Register