Midweek Hockey: Bridgeport Visits the Phantom Phranchise

Cizikas: Still out. - Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

With a chance to move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers visit their last-place division mates in Adirondack.

The moniker remains, but the location changes (and the colors too). Tonight the Bridgeport Sound Tigers visit the Adirondack Phantoms (who, if they were in So Cal, would no doubt go by the Adirondack Phantoms of Glenn Falls).

The Phantoms began, funnily enough, as the Philadelphia Phantoms, playing out of the PhFlyers' old Spectrum home. With the closing of that facility, they relocated to upstate Glen Falls, New York, where they took on the Adirondack name -- embracing a region, a mountain range, or a general escapist state of mind.

Alas, Adirondack is but a temporary home. A new arena in Allentown, Pennsylvania, beckons, where in 2014-15 they will again adopt a region and go by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. (For the uninitiated, this region north of Philadelphia straddles the state border with New Jersey, much like the fanbase of Philly teams too.)

We'll be done with this pseudo-regionalism lesson shortly, but I do want to note the Allentown arena fight produced my favorite quote (when taken out of context): "We support Allentown being revitalized to the way it was in the '80s."

Kate Murray's kindred spirit?

Commissioner, I command you, rebuild that roller rink!

So Hockey, Then

Anyway, the Sound Tigers are 10-4, just two points behind Syracuse and Springfield for tops in the Eastern Conference. Tonight's opponent, the Phantoms by Many Other Names, are 6-8 and have given up nearly twice as many goals as Bridgeport.

The Phantoms feature Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier among their locked out NHLers, and both are predictably carrying the Phantom offense. That said, the Phantoms have been inconsistent and have recalled Jason Akeson -- their points leader in 2011-12 -- from the ECHL to try to goose their offense.

They also have one-time Sound Tiger Scott Munroe as one of their goalies, and if he sticks around long enough he could have the honor of being a Philadelphia, an Adirondack and a Lehigh Valley Phantom.

More on the Phantoms, coached by ex-Kings (and Capitals, and Flyers) coach Terry Murray, at the Saratogian.

Michael Fornabaio has a bit in the Soundin' Off blog, including the ever-narrowing inference and fear about what's keeping Casey Cizikas out.

Check a free radio stream here.

P.S. FYI to our readers around the world, U.S. Thanksgiving is Thursday, which means many will be gorging on food and such over the next two days. That usually means unpredictable activity around these parts -- sometimes less, sometimes more, as people flee their family dinner tables. Keep the updates coming.

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