Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back to Bridgeport in Albany 10/25/14 & 11/1/14

Thankfully, my favorite time of the year is finally here. Hockey season is back, which means that there are autographs to be had here in Albany. The Albany Devils played the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders AHL team, twice already. I figured I'll combine both of those into one entry, since it is mostly the same players. 

Saturday, Oct. 18 was opening night for the Albany Devils, and luckily for me, the Sound Tigers were the opponents. The Devils did the traditional pre-game introductions of every single player, then wore their traditional red road jerseys during the game. 

The game itself was a very entertaining one, and well worth the price of admission. However, from a Sound Tigers standpoint, the game ended terribly. Paul Thompson scored a short handed goal for the Devils with 44 seconds to play in the third period, giving them a crazy 3-2 opening night victory. In the second meeting in November, the Sound Tigers won handily by a 4-1 scoreline. 

After both times, I went outside to where the team bus was waiting for the Sound Tigers and waited in position for the team to come out. I wasn't able to take any photos when I was outside by the bus because it was dark and cold, but here is everything that I ended up getting after both games.  

One of the first people out was Kevin Poulin. He is clearly the third goalie in the Islanders organization, so if Chad Johnson or Jaroslav Halak ever get hurt, he will be on the Isles. After opening night, he signed a 4x6 photo and his page in the Islanders 2013-14 yearbook. After the second game, in which he earned the win in net, he signed a 4x6 photo from the Stadium Series.

One of the other guys who came out early was former first round draft pick Griffin Reinhart. It was debated all summer whether or not he would make the Islanders out of training camp. He did make the team and played in the Islanders first three games, all wins, but was sent down to Bridgeport after the third game. After the first time, he signed a 4x6 and his part in the yearbook. After the second game, he signed another 4x6 and didn't add his number. 

Another guy that looked like he was going to make the Islanders out of training camp was Anders Lee. Unfortunately for him, he didn't make the team out of camp and played the first week of the season for the Sound Tigers. After the first game, he signed a card that a friend had given me. I got him a bunch of times in Albany last year, and had nothing else for him to sign going into this season. A couple days after I got that card signed, Lee got called up and probably won't get sent down again if he plays well. 

Another first round draft pick, Ryan Pulock of the 2013 draft, signed a photo and his part in the yearbook after the first game. I didn't have anything for him after the second game. I took the photo myself at this summer's rookie scrimmage.

After the first game, Sound Tigers captain Aaron Ness signed his page in the Islanders yearbook. After the second, I didn't have anything for him, but he in a good mood despite the drizzle outside. I got him to sign an index card after that one. I keep a small bunch of them with me for that reason.

Last year, Kevin Czuczman (pronounced Church-man) played the last part of the season on the Islanders straight out of college. Now, he is getting his first taste of AHL action. He seems to be one of the defensemen that could see more time with the Islanders in the near future. He signed a picture after each game for me. The one of him in the black jersey is from after the first game. I'm just happy I don't have to try and write his last name all the time. 

Scott Mayfield and Johan Sundstrom each played a handful of games with the Islanders last season. They both signed photos for me. Sundstrom signed the photo on the right after the first game and Mayfield signed the photo on the left after the second game. Like pretty much everyone else, they were nice and happy to sign for anyone that asked.  

Colton Gillies and Harry Zolnierczyk have both played in the NHL before, just not for the Islanders. The Isles invited both of them to training camp, and now they are in Bridgeport playing for a job. After the first game, both of them signed a generic Islanders 4x6 photo that I printed out. Gillies' signature is on the top. I really feel sorry for the Sound Tigers people who have to spell Zolnierczyk and Czuczman every night. 

Here's the last thing for this entry. Former NHLer and Islanders assistant and current Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson signed his part of the Islanders yearbook in silver. 

That's it for this entry. I've gotten some autographs from people and other teams in the past few weeks, and I'll get to those as soon as I can. Thanks for reading and good luck graphing! 

No comments:

Post a Comment