Sound Tiger notebook
Needing three straight wins to escape from a 3-1 deficit in the
Calder Cup Finals, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers also need to turn
their offensive woes around.
Heading into Monday's Game 5 at Rosemont, Ill., the Chicago Wolves
have held the Sound Tigers to two or fewer goals in three straight
That happened to Bridgeport six times this year, all in the regular
season. The good news for the Sound Tigers is such a string never
reached four games.
"For us, we've got no tomorrow now," defenseman Chris Armstrong
said. "We had a solid effort (in Game 4 Friday) night. That team over
there, they've got veteran leadership and a goalie that's playing
with a lot of confidence. We need to find a way to put pucks behind
Asked what Bridgeport had to do to score, Armstrong wryly smiled and
said if the Sound Tigers knew that, they'd have had a chance to fix
"I wish I had the answer," Armstrong said.
Both teams took Saturday off and will practice today at separate
sites in Chicago's western suburbs.
HURT OR NOT
A Chicago area newspaper reported Friday that Bridgeport goalie Rick
DiPietro was playing with a groin injury, but the netminder responded
with a straightforward "No" when asked Friday night if he was hurt or
DiPietro had a groin injury last year in the Islanders' 2000 training
camp and then began the 2000-01 season with the Wolves.
JUST MAD ABOUT SAFRONOV
Defenseman Kirill Safronov was one of only a handful of Springfield
Falcons with a positive plus/minus rating at the trading deadline in
March, but the Phoenix Coyotes traded him anyway to the Atlanta
That's been a boon to the Wolves, Atlanta's affiliate, for whom
Safronov has been excellent. Friday night, he had a first-period
assist. In the third period, he tied up Trent Hunter to keep the
Bridgeport winger from a chance at a nearly open net. Later, after
Pasi Nurminen didn't get all of a Jason Krog shot in tight, Safronov
cleared the puck almost off the goal line.
"I saw him play a lot a year ago, because I was out on the road a
lot, and I liked what I saw," Bridgeport coach Steve Stirling
said. "I saw him a handful of times in Springfield (this year), and I
thought he was better last year than this year.
"Maybe the change of scenery did him good, because he's every bit the
player I saw a year ago, and I liked that player."
MORE FUN WITH ANDERSON
Chicago coach John Anderson's wild wit resurfaced in encouraging
Chicagoland residents to come to Allstate Arena Monday night.
"Bring everybody," Anderson, the former New Haven Nighthawk and
Hartford Whaler, was quoted in the Daily Herald. "Bring your dog if
you want because we're going to win."
FLY WITH ME
As if Allstate Arena, which was packed with 9,115 loud fans Friday
night, isn't loud enough, it's also directly in line with one of
O'Hare International Airport's runways. The landing jets are clearly
audible during practices, when the building is otherwise nearly quiet.