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The week that was in Bridgeport

by Jamie Palatini / New York Islanders
THE WEEK THAT WAS… The Sound Tigers had impressive week grabbing a possible six out of eight points as the calendar turned to 2011. It wasn’t easy for the Sound Tigers as each of the four contests were decided by just one goal, but some solid play in net and timely goals gave the Sound Tigers a 3-1-0-0 mark last week.

Jeremy Colliton
SOUND TIGERS 4, ALBANY 3 (SO)… The Sound Tigers traveled to Albany for the only time this season on Tuesday to face the Devils at the Times Union Center. The Devils jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on first period goals from Chad Wiseman and David McIntyre, but the Sound Tigers would respond with two goals of their own from Brandon Svendsen and Jeremy Colliton in the first half of the second period. Albany’s Adam Henrique retook the lead for the Devils with a goal at the 18:30 mark of the middle frame, but Micheal Haley tied the score once more with his eighth goal of the season 1:51 into the third period to tie the game at three. The teams went scoreless the rest of the way through the third period and overtime, where the Sound Tigers would prevail. Michael Swift scored in the first round for Albany, but Rob Hisey and Jesse Joensuu scored in rounds four and five and Mikko Koskinen stopped Stephen Gionta to give the Sound Tigers a 4-3 win in Albany.

The Sound Tigers opened up a home-and-home series against the Worcester Sharks in Worcester last Thursday. After a relatively quiet first period, the Sound Tigers broke through with goals from Robin Figren and Olivier Labelle just 52 seconds apart to give Nathan Lawson a two-goal cushion. That proved to be enough, as Jonathan Cheechoo’s tally with just over 5:30 remaining would be the only goal Worcester would score and the Sound Tigers came away with a solid 2-1 road win against the Sharks. Lawson made 32 saves and earned first star honors in his first game in net since being returned by the Islanders.

Poulin making a save in the Sound Tigers 3-2 win on New Year's Eve.
SOUND TIGERS 3, WORCESTER 2… The Sound Tigers hosted the Worcester Sharks in the second half of a home-and-home series on New Year’s Eve. Jeremy Colliton gave the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead with a power play goal midway through the first period. That lead lasted 1:04 into the second period, where Jonathan Cheechoo’s breakaway goal evened the score at one. The two teams remained tied until the six-minute mark of the third period when the Sound Tigers got their second power play goal of the game on Mark Wotton’s slap shot that deflected off of Andrew Desjardins’ stick and bounced past Alex Stalock. Worcester bounced right back with Cory Quirk’s second goal of the year just 29 seconds later. However the Sound Tigers would ultimately prevail as Rhett Rakhshani found Dustin Friesen in the slot, and the Beauval, Sask. native fired a one-timer home for his first goal of the year. Kevin Poulin stopped 31 shots to earn his 10th win of the season, and the Sound Tigers came away 3-2 win.

PROVIDENCE 2, SOUND TIGERS 1… The Sound Tigers sought their fourth straight win in their first game of the 2011 calendar year on Jan. 2 against Providence. The Bruins jumped out to an early lead on Yury Alexandrov’s fifth goal of the season just 3:56 into the game. Micheal Haley would bring his team back midway through the second period with a power play goal which knotted the score 1-1. The score remained tied until the 6:49 mark of the third when a former Sound Tigers would finish off his former team. Jordan Caron made a centering feed to former Sound Tiger Jeremy Reich, whose backhander beat Mikko Koskinen and was the eventual game-winner in a 2-1 Providence win.

Kevin Poulin
ISLANDERS RECALL KEVIN POULIN The New York Islanders announced today that goaltender Kevin Poulin has been recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Poulin’s first career recall comes on an emergency basis, as goaltender Rick DiPietro suffered a strained adductor muscle in a 5-2 Islanders win over the Calgary Flames on Monday, Jan. 3. Poulin, 20, leads all Sound Tigers goalies in wins (10), goals against average (2.13), save percentage (.931) and shutouts (2) this season. The Montreal, QC, native is playing in his first professional season, after completing a four-year junior career with the Victoriaville Tigers of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The New York Islanders drafted Poulin in the fifth round, 126th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The 6’2”, 211-pound netminder posted career bests in games played (54), shutouts (7), GAA (2.63), save percentage (.916) and wins (35) in his fourth and final season with Victoriaville. Poulin also broke the Victoriaville record for most career wins by a goaltender with 81. The Sound Tigers also announced that they have released forward Chris Blight from his professional tryout contract (PTO).

The New York Islanders have acquired defenseman Ty Wishart from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for goaltender Dwayne Roloson. Wishart will report to the Islanders American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Wishart, 22, was the San Jose Sharks’ first round draft choice, 16th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Currently in his third professional season, the 6’4”, 222-pound defenseman from Belleville, ON, has 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in 31 games with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL. The Islanders’ newest defenseman has played in five career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay, and recorded one assist with an even rating. In 173 career AHL games with Norfolk and the Worcester Sharks, Wishart has 14 goals and 43 assists for 57 points. Before turning pro, Wishart played four years of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League with the Prince George Cougars and the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Michael Haley
PLAYER OF THE WEEK – MICHEAL HALEY Forward Micheal Haley earns Sound Tigers Player of the Week honors for the second time this year. The Guelph, Ont. native recorded two goals and an assist this week and is now just one goal behind Robin Figren and Rhett Rakhshani for the team lead in goals with 10. Haley’s first goal of the week tied their game against Albany early in the third period which they eventually won 4-3 in a shootout. Haley also scored the lone goal via the power play in 2-1 loss against Providence on Sunday.
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