They'd have three shots to clinch the title this weekend, but they got it done Friday. (Technically, the Whale lost in the shootout Friday, so it was "done" either way.) The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have their first division title in a decade -- time to party like Panthers here -- and they'll face the Connecticut Whale in a first-round best-of-five series.
How the Northeast was won, by a team that was in last as 2011 came to an end? Michael Fornabaio's blog has that in a nutshell:
"Poulin made big saves all game long," Brent Thompson said. "The first, the second, and he was really good in the third."
But you could say that most nights since New Year’s, and they’ve won themselves a banner.
Go read that one for more -- including some hometeam videoboard operation. And here's the article proper with more from Thompson. More game details at the official site, and video highlights right here. The names of Islanders prospects are sprinkled throughout.
The Sound Tigers finish the string with a home-and-home against the Penguins of Wilkes-Excessive/Hyphenation, where it sounds like several regulars will rest, including Poulin. The Penguins' seed is locked up, so this weekend becomes academic -- and hopefully injury-free.
It's tempting to read too much into the farm team's success, but at minimum having the Kevin Poulins, Rhett Rakhshanis, John Perssons, Aaron Ness's etc. of the world playing a role in a title isn't a bad thing.
Bridgeport Playoff Schedule, Tickets
Here's your link for tickets in Bridgeport, or you can call 1-800-745-3000. As someone keeps desperately trying to FanPost to us, Long Islanders can take the Port Jeff Ferry over to Bridgeport and get dropped off by the [bank of some repute] Arena.
Game 1: Thursday, April 19, at Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 21, at Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, April 22, at Hartford, 5 p.m.
*Game 4: Wednesday, April 25, at Hartford, 7 p.m.
*Game 5: Saturday, April 28, at Bridgeport, 7 p.m.