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The Sound Tigers Report

by Jamie Palatini / New York Islanders
THE WEEK THAT WAS… The Sound Tigers grabbed five of a possible six points this past week courtesy of some impressive play from their top line forwards. Josh Bailey, Jeremy Colliton and Rhett Rakhshani combined for 14 points over this week’s three-game span and the Sound Tigers benefitted from some timely goals to finish the week 2-0-0-1. However, the biggest news of the weekend came on Friday before the Sound Tigers hit the ice.

American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced Friday that Bridgeport Sound Tigers Captain Mark Wotton will serve as a playing captain for the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital Blue Cross, to be held January 30-31 at Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. The captains for the American Hockey League All-Star teams are selected by the league president in recognition of their outstanding service and leadership to the AHL. A veteran of 849 AHL games – most among all active players and good for 20th place all-time – 17-year pro Mark Wotton has worn the captain’s “C” for his team in 11 of his 14 seasons in the American Hockey League, including the last five with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Wotton is the Sound Tigers’ all-time leader in games played (321) and ranks fifth on the club’s all-time list in assists (84). Wotton has also played for Syracuse, Utah and Hershey, where he was a member of the Bears’ Calder Cup championship team in 2006. A native of Foxwarren, Man., Wotton, whose only previous AHL All-Star Classic appearance came in 1998, will captain the Eastern Conference All-Star team in Hershey next month.
The Sound Tigers hosted the Falcons just five days after losing to Springfield 5-3 at the MassMutual Center. Tomas Marcinko’s first goal of the season midway through the first period tied the game at one, but Jonathan Sigalet scored with just two seconds remaining to put the Falcons in front 2-1 after 20 minutes. Rhett Rakhshani and Dane Byers traded goals in the second period, but the third belonged to the Sound Tigers. Trent Campbell scored his first goal as a Sound Tiger with eight minutes to go, and Josh Bailey scored the eventual game-winner with just over three minutes remaining. Tomas Marcinko scored his second of the game and season on an empty net and the Sound Tigers came away with a hard-fought 5-3 win. Kevin Poulin continued his strong play in net and made 21 saves for his seventh win of the year.

SOUND TIGERS 4, SYRACUSE 3… Pat Bingham’s squad traveled to Syracuse, NY for their only road meeting against the Syracuse Crunch this season on Saturday. After a scoreless first period, the Sound Tigers erupted for three second-period goals courtesy of Jeremy Colliton, Rhett Rakhshani and Brandon Svendsen which gave Bridgeport a 3-1 lead heading to the third. Syracuse responded with a pair of quick goals from Matt Clark and John Mitchell to tie the game at three. However, defenseman Wes O’Neill scored an important third-period goal for the second time in two weeks. The 6-4 defenseman received a cross-ice pass from Josh Bailey by the right-wing circle and one-timed a shot past Syracuse netminder Timo Pielmeier with 6:27 remaining as the Sound Tigers held on for a 4-3 win.

Following a 7:30 game on Saturday night against Syracuse, the Sound Tigers had a quick turnaround with a 3:00 p.m. showdown in Worcester on Sunday. The visitors showed no ill effects from the travel as Micheal Haley scored two first-period goals to give the Sound Tigers a 2-0 lead heading to the dressing room. The second period belonged to Worcester as the Sharks broke out for three goals in the middle frame to take the lead 3-2 after 40 minutes. It appeared the Sharks would skate away with the one-goal win in regulation, but that all changed in an instant. With just eight seconds remaining, the Sound Tigers shorthanded and Nathan Lawson on the bench for the extra attacker, Jeremy Colliton won a faceoff back to Josh Bailey who blasted a one-timer home to tie the game at three. The game eventually went to a shootout where T.J. Trevelyan scored the only goal and the Sharks earned the extra point with a 4-3 win.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK – JOSH BAILEY Forward Josh Bailey has been named the Sound Tigers Player of the week after recording five points (two goals, three assists) in a week where the Sound Tigers went 2-0-0-1. Both of Bailey’s goals came in crucial spots. His power play goal with just over three minutes left in the third period of Wednesday’s game turned out to be the game-winner in a 5-3 decision over Springfield. Bailey’s heroics were on display once more on Sunday. The Bowmanville, ON native one-timed a shot from the left circle with eight seconds left in regulation to tie the game at three and steal a point for the Sound Tigers in their 4-3 SO loss to Worcester.

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