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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.10.2012 / 5:58 PM

If it seems like Sound Tigers defenseman Travis Hamonic and goaltender Kevin Poulin are on the same page out on the ice, it’s because they share a unique history. The 22-year-olds met as junior prospects in 2009 at the Draft Combine in Toronto, where a common bond immediately made the two into friends.

“He was rooming with one of my buddies from Quebec at the combine and we just started talking,” Poulin said. “He was speaking French.”

It’s no surprise that Poulin, who hails from Montreal, QC, speaks fluent French. It may seem a bit more unusual, however, for someone from Western Canada like Hamonic to be fluent in both French and English. But as Hamonic explains, in the pocket of Southern Manitoba he calls home, it’s the standard.

“I’m from probably the best small town in the world,” Hamonic said. “It’s about an hour south of Winnipeg – a town called St. Malo. Probably a thousand people live there. It’s a French-farming-hockey-playing town. Those are probably the three terms to describe it. In Southern Manitoba there’s quite a bit of French heritage. It dates back a couple hundred years.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.09.2012 / 6:11 PM

Two years ago, Mike Halmo wasn’t on most NHL teams’ radars, going undrafted after a pair of pedestrian junior hockey campaigns. Today, the late-bloomer is carving out a home in the Islanders organization following a breakout junior season with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League that saw him post 40 goals, 45 assists and 162 penalty minutes in 66 games.

“I think it just took me awhile to understand the game a bit more,” Halmo said. “Each year I just kept getting more and more time to play and during my overage year I got the chance to play in every situation and really put points up.”

In his first two seasons with Owen Sound, the Waterloo, ON native totaled 16 goals and 21 assists in 122 games. Following his uneventful draft year, Halmo erupted for 128 points (60 goals, 68 assists) in 125 contests over his final two junior seasons.

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.08.2012 / 6:15 PM

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers defense could be one of the strongest in the American Hockey League this season. The team posted a plus-14 goal differential in 2011-12, good for fifth in the Eastern Conference, despite relying heavily on rookies like Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan and Aaron Ness.

Part of the glue that held the young defensive corps together was none other than Ty Wishart, who has played a season-and-a-half in the Islanders organization. The 2006 first-round draft pick is in the midst of his seventh professional Training Camp, and now, as one of the most experienced players on a young team at age 24, has taken charge as a leader on the Sound Tigers blue line.

“I just try to bring as much energy as I can to the dressing room and on the ice,” Wishart said. “I do lots of talking out there to help the young guys when they need it. I’ve been around longer than most of these guys so leading just comes with the territory.”

Wishart came to the Islanders organization through a trade from Tampa Bay on January 2, 2011, and split the second half of the 2011-12 season between New York and Bridgeport, playing 20 games in each location. Last season, he appeared in 71 games for the Sound Tigers, scoring 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) while also helping younger defensemen transition into their professional careers.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 10.07.2012 / 1:18 PM

Here's some highlights from Saturday's practice, open to season ticket holders. CLICK HERE for the full photo gallery.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.06.2012 / 6:35 PM

On Saturday, Oct. 6, Islanders season ticket holders were treated to an open Bridgeport Sound Tigers practice at Iceworks in Syosset. After the on-ice session, defenseman Travis Hamonic and forward Nino Niederreiter signed autographs and took pictures with fans in the pro shop.

Hamonic, 22, was all smiles following the meet-and-greet with the fans who filled the stands during practice to watch the Sound Tigers.

“It’s awesome,” Hamonic said. “It’s no secret that I enjoy spending time getting to know our fans. I enjoy interacting with the kids. Every time I see a young kid I remember what it felt like to be at that age, and how in awe, in shock, nervous and shy that I was when I’d meet a pro athlete. It’s really important as players that we go out of our way and try to interact with fans and be there for them.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 10.05.2012 / 9:06 PM

MANCHESTER, NH - Jordan Nolan and Andrei Loktionov lit the lamp for Manchester, and the Sound Tigers were unable to answer, losing 2-0 to the Monarchs at Sullivan Arena to conclude the preseason schedule. With the loss, Bridgeport drops to 1-1-0-0 in exhibition play, while the win gives Manchester a 1-0-0-0 preseason record.

The first period ended in a scoreless tie, despite several opportunities on the man advantage for each team. Three times during the opening frame, a Manchester power play ended when one of its players went to the penalty box, creating a 4-on-4 situation.

The Monarchs best opportunity of the opening frame came at even strength when Andrei Loktionov made a cross-ice pass to Brandon Kozun in the circle to Kevin Poulin’s right. Kozun fired a one-timer but Poulin was equal to the task, dropping down low to make one of his 39 saves and end the threat.

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POSTED ON Friday, 10.05.2012 / 10:44 AM


Friday, Oct. 5: Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Manchester Monarchs
6 p.m., Sullivan Arena, Manchester, NH
(Streaming live on NewYorkIslanders.com)


Tonight’s matchup
The defending Northeast Division Champion Bridgeport Sound Tigers (41-26-3-6, 91 points in 2011-12) conclude their preseason schedule Friday on the road against the Manchester Monarchs. The puck drops at 6 p.m., and fans can watch the live stream on NewYorkIslanders.com.

Last season, the Monarchs finished second in the Atlantic Division with a 39-32-2-3 record (83 points), losing in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals.

Last game: Sound Tigers 3, Bruins 1
The Sound Tigers defeated the Providence Bruins 3-1 Thursday at the New England Sports Center behind goals from Johan Sundstrom, Mike Halmo and Nino Niederreiter. Goaltender Anders Nilsson stopped 34-of-35 shots. The Sound Tigers went 1-for-8 on the man advantage while killing all four Bruin power plays.

FULL RECAP

Expect tonight’s lineup to change as Head Coach Scott Pellerin continues to evaluate his roster. This was the lineup Thursday:

FORWARD LINES
Niederreiter – Nelson – Kabanov
Halmo – Sundstrom – Backman
DeFazio – Watkins – Riley
Gallant – Clark – MacKay

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Ness – Landry
de Haan – Wishart
McIver – Cantin

GOALTENDERS

Nilsson
Reiter

Scratches: Casey Cizikas, Travis Hamonic, Colin McDonald, Aaron Ness, John Persson, David Ullstrom, Ken Reiter

What they’re saying:
Matt Donovan led Sound Tigers defensemen with 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 2011-12 (Photo: New York Islanders)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers Head Coach Scott Pellerin has had less than a week to get to know his new team. He has a handful of practices next week to evaluate his team prior to the season opener on Oct. 12, but will be taking an extra hard look at his players during the preseason games.

“I’m just looking for consistency,” Pellerin said. “I think as a coach that’s all you can ask for. We’ve gone through all our systems, everything that we need to do. The guys’ attention to detail and work ethic and conditioning is there. I just want to see them play. I want them to have fun and play to their max. I want them to play the best hockey that they can play because I’m going to have some real tough decisions.”

Pellerin added that even though this week’s contests won’t go down in the standings, he wants his team to get off on the right foot.

“We want to win,” Pellerin said. “We want to set a standard and it started the first day of Training Camp. We’ve been pushing that standard every day.”

Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan knows what the players will be trying to accomplish come 7:05 Thursday.

“We’re just trying to get back into game form,” Donovan said. “None of us have played a game since last season. I think it’s just about getting ready as a team and getting in the flow of things as a team and learning about guys and seeing which guys can play where. I think everyone’s going to play a lot and show the coaches what they have.”

Donovan said that even though the players have been getting acquainted with one another during the first few practices, nothing compares to building chemistry with teammates during real games.

“They’ll probably switch it up in the exhibition games and put us with different guys so we can learn about everyone else on the team,” Donovan said. “I think in the end that will make us a better, closer team and we can learn about each other.”

Watch Friday’s live stream

Fans can watch Friday’s game at Manchester live on NewYorkIslanders.com starting at 5:45 p.m.
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POSTED ON Friday, 10.05.2012 / 9:47 AM

Here's the highlights of the Sound Tigers 3-1 win over the Providence Bruins.



The Sound Tigers head to Manchester to take on the Monarchs at 6 p.m. tonight. The game will be streamed live on NewYorkIslanders.com.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.04.2012 / 4:51 PM


Thursday, Oct. 4: Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Providence Bruins
7:05 p.m., New England Sports Center, Marlborough, MA



Friday, Oct. 5: Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Manchester Monarchs
6 p.m., Sullivan Arena, Manchester, NH
(Streaming live on NewYorkIslanders.com)


Matchup:

Matt Donovan led Sound Tigers defensemen in 2011-12 with 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) (Photo credit: New York Islanders)

The defending Northeast Division Champion Bridgeport Sound Tigers (41-26-3-6, 91 points in 2011-12) begin their preseason schedule Thursday on the road against the Providence Bruins, and play again the next night at the Manchester Monarchs. The Bruins finished the 2011-12 campaign fourth in the Atlantic Division with a 35-34-3-4 record (77 points), while the Monarchs went 39-32-2-3 (83 points), and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals.

What they’re saying:

Bridgeport Sound Tigers Head Coach Scott Pellerin has had less than a week to get to know his new team. He has a handful of practices next week to evaluate his team prior to the season opener on Oct. 12, but will be taking an extra hard look at his players during the preseason games.

“I’m just looking for consistency,” Pellerin said. “I think as a coach that’s all you can ask for. We’ve gone through all our systems, everything that we need to do. The guys’ attention to detail and work ethic and conditioning is there. I just want to see them play. I want them to have fun and play to their max. I want them to play the best hockey that they can play because I’m going to have some real tough decisions.”

Pellerin added that even though this week’s contests won’t go down in the standings, he wants his team to get off on the right foot.

“We want to win,” Pellerin said. “We want to set a standard and it started the first day of Training Camp. We’ve been pushing that standard every day.”

Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan knows what the players will be trying to accomplish come 7:05 Thursday.

“We’re just trying to get back into game form,” Donovan said. “None of us have played a game since last season. I think it’s just about getting ready as a team and getting in the flow of things as a team and learning about guys and seeing which guys can play where. I think everyone’s going to play a lot and show the coaches what they have.”

Donovan said that even though the players have been getting acquainted with one another during the first few practices, nothing compares to building chemistry with teammates during real games.

“They’ll probably switch it up in the exhibition games and put us with different guys so we can learn about everyone else on the team,” Donovan said. “I think in the end that will make us a better, closer team and we can learn about each other.”

Watch Friday’s live stream

Fans can watch Friday’s game at Manchester live on NewYorkIslanders.com starting at 6 p.m.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.04.2012 / 12:41 PM

Video of the Sound Tigers team-building exercise with the U.S. Marines at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst:


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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 6 5 1 0 20 20 10
2 NYI 5 4 1 0 20 15 8
3 OTT 5 4 1 0 14 10 8
4 WSH 5 3 0 2 18 11 8
5 TBL 5 3 1 1 17 10 7
6 DET 5 3 1 1 11 8 7
7 PIT 4 3 1 0 16 10 6
8 CBJ 5 3 2 0 15 12 6
9 NJD 5 3 2 0 17 16 6
10 NYR 6 3 3 0 17 20 6
11 BOS 7 3 4 0 15 17 6
12 TOR 6 2 3 1 15 19 5
13 PHI 5 1 2 2 17 21 4
14 FLA 5 1 2 2 5 11 4
15 CAR 4 0 2 2 10 15 2
16 BUF 6 1 5 0 8 22 2

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 5 2 7 0 9
B. Nelson 5 4 4 3 8
K. Okposo 5 2 5 -1 7
J. Boychuk 5 2 4 4 6
R. Strome 5 0 5 3 5
N. Leddy 5 2 1 3 3
M. Grabovski 4 2 1 3 3
F. Nielsen 5 0 3 2 3
J. Bailey 5 2 0 3 2
N. Kulemin 5 0 2 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 1 0 .913 2.70
C. Johnson 1 0 0 .875 3.00

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