Sound Tigers begin their history with a shutout victory
By MICHAEL FORNABAIO
Saturday, October 06, 2001 -
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Rick DiPietro, Goalie of the Future, got his first
pro shutout. A veteran defense played like it. And an offense that
will rely on some role players got two points from perhaps its
With a little poise and a little patience, the Bridgeport Sound
Tigers debuted in the American Hockey League with a 3-0 win over the
Rochester Americans Friday night at the Blue Cross Arena at Rochester
DiPietro made 29 saves, with his defense making some tough ones
easier. And Nick Smith, almost an afterthought to the agreement that
brought Bridgeport David Morisset and Eric Godard from Florida, had
Injuries limited Smith to just three points and 23 games last year.
He got more than halfway back to that point total Friday.
"It was kind of a slow process," Smith said. "I came in here and got
a lot of ice time, but it's only one game. I don't want to get too
Smith got a secondary assist on the first goal in franchise history,
clearing a puck out of his own zone. He added a pretty behind-the-
back assist on the Sound Tigers' second goal.
"He was pretty valuable (Friday night). I had to double-shift him at
center," coach Steve Stirling said. "I thought Smitty played a good
game, and I thought (Ben) Guite, in his first game in the AHL ever,
played a good game."
Morisset scored the first goal on a nice move of his own alone in
front of the net, settling a pass from Jason Podollan and going to
his backhand to get Mika Noronen moving. Smith had led Podollan with
a chip out of the zone; Podollan settled the bouncing puck and waited
to draw the defense.
"I heard Podsie calling me, yelling at me to chip it out," Smith
said. "That's what I did."
Trent Hunter scored twice in the last 8:41, making it 2-0 on a pass
from Smith in front of the net on a down-low 2-on-1. Hunter, who led
the team with three goals in the preseason, added an unassisted empty-
"It was a pretty good win, coming into Rochester, against a veteran,
skilled team like that," Stirling said. "It says a lot of our guys."
DiPietro looked awkward at times early, especially on a six-minute
penalty kill the Sound Tigers faced after Ray Schultz was called for
a minor for roughing and a double-minor for attempted spearing.
The 20-year-old goalie fumbled a couple of pucks and fell down once
behind the net, an area that had been covered for pregame ceremonies.
"The ice wasn't very good tonight," DiPietro said. "The puck was
bouncing. There were a little jitters."
The Sound Tigers held the Americans to just four shots on the six-
minute power play.
"No question, it was a huge lift to kill six minutes as a team like
that," Stirling said. "I think we realized, they're good, but they're
not that good."
Saturday, October 06, 2001 - Boos -- 7:42 p.m., before player
introductions. During player introductions, both Amerks and Sound
Tigers got applause.
Faceoff -- 8:01 p.m., Mapletoft defeated Chris Taylor.
Shot: Trent Hunter from the right-wing boards, 1:20 first.
Save -- DiPietro, :58 first, off a deflection. Christian Matte's shot
from the left-wing boards at 5:35 was the first clean Rochester shot.
Goal -- David Morisset from Jason Podollan and Nick Smith, 5:58
Penalty -- Ray Schultz, roughing and a double-minor for attempted
spearing, 6:06 first.
Power play -- 3:13 first, after Taylor Pyatt interfered with
Mapletoft. No goal, no shots.
Penalty kill -- 6:06 first, the roughing segment of Schultz's triple-
minor. No goal, two shots.
Empty-net goal: Trent Hunter, unassisted, 19:21 third.