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Monday, March 30, 2009

Sound Tigers are NOT a Mickey Mouse organization

You may have seen or heard that the Islanders intend for the Sound Tigers to play their first two home playoff games on Long Island. (Bridgeport needs 1 point in their final seven games to clinch a spot.)

What you may not have heard is the reason why. Apparently, the Sound Tigers' home rink is booked for the first weekend of the playoffs. No, not by Mickey and Minnie ... but by Bert, Ernie, and Elmo. "Sesame Street Live "When Elmo Grows Up " will play 7 shows in Bridgeport, April 16-19th.

Here's where it gets interesting. While the Sound Tigers were in first place early in the week, they've dropped into a tie for second place with the Baby Penguins. If the Pens finish 2nd and the ST's third, then the Sound Tigers would open on the road. It's unclear whether that would affect where Bridgeport would play it's "home" games.

Of course, so my ST's have played on Long Island this season, they certainly would know their way around.

More from the Connecticut Post:
<<Sound Tigers fail at Lowell
By Michael Fornabaio
Updated: 03/29/2009 11:14:06 PM EDT

LOWELL, Mass. -- The Bridgeport Sound Tigers -- or is that Long
Island Sound Tigers? -- need at least two more days to clinch an AHL
playoff spot. At least their parent club says it knows where they'll
play their first two playoff games: Nassau Coliseum.

Lowell defeated the Sound Tigers 5-3 Sunday at Tsongas Arena.

Bridgeport's third consecutive bad first period led to its first three-game regulation-time losing streak of the season.

Bridgeport fell behind 3-0 and 5-1 before scoring two goals in the third period.

"The big thing for us is we've got to stay positive," veteran
defenseman Joe Callahan said. "The coaches know that. You're not going
to play an 80-game season and not hit little bumps in the road. It's
the same thing we're saying in the room: better now than in two weeks
in the playoffs."

It's a fair assumption that the team will make the playoffs. Its
magic number remains at one point after its loss and Philadelphia's 4-1
win over Grand Rapids.

The Sound Tigers also fell to third place by a tiebreaker in the
East after Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's 1-0 win over Hershey. They failed to
clinch a playoff spot for the second day in a row and have five games

"The first period -- we didn't get in until 5:30 in the morning,"
Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "The guys responded in the second
and third. They did a lot of good things."

Three goals by defensemen, from Andrew MacDonald, Chris Lee and Mark Wotton-- the latter two off assists from recent returnee Rob Hennigar and Tomas Marcinko -- were too late.

Marcinko replaced Jeremy Colliton in the lineup; the team dropped
Colliton off at home early Sunday on the way to Lowell from a 7-2 loss
in Hershey, Pa. Colliton took a high hit from Staffan Kronwall in
Saturday's first period; he's day-to-day with an "upper-body injury."

A third-place finish actually might allow a better chance at home
playoff dates in Bridgeport. The New York Islanders announced Saturday
night that Bridgeport's first two home playoff dates would be played on
Long Island.

That surprised Sound Tigers season ticketholders, who weren't told
in advance, and who had to pay for their playoff tickets Friday; it may
have surprised the Sound Tigers, who had no announcement of their own.

Arena at Harbor Yard executive director Lynn Carlotto, met late
Saturday after the NCAA hockey tournament game, said such a move was
news to her.

Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan did not return a call Sunday afternoon seeking comment.

"Dates aren't certain," said Kimber Auerbach, the Sound Tigers'
director of media relations. "It's been announced by the Islanders, but
we're concerned about our season right now."

The team may have more details today, and Auerbach said Sound Tigers
season ticketholders would be offered seats matching their locations at
Harbor Yard.

Bridgeport's arena has Sesame Street Live booked from Thursday,
April 16, through Sunday, April 19. There are concerts the following
Tuesday and Friday and a WWE show Monday, April 27. The AHL regular
season ends April 12.

3 stars
1. PASCAL RHEAUME, LOWELL -- Scored two of the Devils' three first-period goals.
2. JON DiSALVATORE, LOWELL -- Went to the net to score the back-breaking fourth goal.
3. ROD PELLEY, LOWELL -- A couple of assists.
UNSUNG HERO -- Rob Hennigar had two assists in the third period in his second game back from Utah (ECHL).
UP NEXT -- Tuesday at Albany, 7 p.m.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.

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