Sound Tigers Change Names To Honor Sandy Hook Elementary

Players' jerseys had the names of each of the 20 victims of last Friday's shooting

Saturday, 12.22.2012 / 11:35 PM ET / News
By Travis Betts
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Sound Tigers Change Names To Honor Sandy Hook Elementary
Players\' jerseys had the names of each of the 20 victims of last Friday\'s shooting
As the community around Newtown, CT continues to grieve and heal following last week’s Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers are doing what they can to honor the victims.

Beginning with Saturday’s game against the Adirondack Phantoms, the players swapped the name plates on the backs of their black alternate jerseys for ones bearing names of the 20 children whose lives were lost a week earlier.

For Sound Tigers captain and Wethersfield, CT, native Colin McDonald, the events of last Friday hit close to home.

“It’s an unspeakable tragedy,” McDonald, who represented seven-year-old Grace McDonnell, said. “You never think this would happen to us, but sure enough it did. I think everyone’s having a tough time with it. Especially with it being so close to the holidays, it’s just very, very tough. There’s so much that the team, my family and I want to do, but what can you do?”

Newtown residents were invited to attend Saturday’s game free of charge, as well as the upcoming games on Dec. 26 and Dec. 29. One of the fans that took advantage was a father of two Sandy Hook Elementary alumni. Both his fifth-grade son and seventh-grade daughter attended the K-4 school.

“Unfortunately we knew a lot of the staff and a lot of the children there,” the dad, who chose to omit his name out of respect for the victims, said. “My son and daughter both had these kids’ older siblings in their classes. You get to know the parents from class activities, youth baseball teams and soccer teams. It’s devastating. We were very close with one of the families and we went to the funeral and wake and visited them at their house right after it happened, because they didn’t want to be alone.”

The Sound Tigers pre-game ceremony included a video of Sound Tigers players Matt Watkins, Ty Wishart, Jon Landry and McDonald, with the central theme, “We remember.” The video was followed by a moment of silence for the 20 children and six faculty members lost in the shooting. In-ice logos behind each goal read, “S.H.E.S. 12.14.12,” while the names of the six adult victims were rotated on the center-hung scoreboard throughout the game.

“Obviously the whole evening was very emotional,” Sound Tigers Head Coach Scott Pellerin said. “It was a way of us doing a little something to support the families and the city of Newtown. It was tough. The players did a great job representing the community and playing hard for them.”

Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan represented six-year-old Caroline Previdi on Saturday (Photo credit: Getty Images/Christopher Pasatieri)

Defenseman Matt Donovan said that everything hit home when the players walked into the dressing room before the game and saw the new names on the backs of their jerseys.

“I think everyone had some strong emotions at that moment,” Donovan, who represented six-year-old Caroline Previdi, said. “We all realized what it meant to wear their names. It’s one of those things that we wanted to do because they are a part of our community and we want to help those families get through this rough time.”

On Jan. 20, members or representatives of each victim's family will be invited to take home their jerseys following a game against the Springfield Falcons.

Donovan thought ahead to what that moment might feel like for each player.

“Emotional,” Donovan said. “Everything they’ve gone through, seeing them is going to be very special for us. We’ll never forget these kids.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 6 2 4 3 6
J. Bailey 6 2 3 2 5
N. Leddy 6 0 5 1 5
R. Strome 6 2 1 1 3
K. Okposo 6 2 1 1 3
C. Clutterbuck 6 2 1 2 3
B. Nelson 5 2 0 1 2
N. Kulemin 6 1 1 0 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
J. Boychuk 6 0 2 1 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 3 1 .926 2.34
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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