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Islanders Wannabes Salvage Weekend for Bridgeport

Bridgeport salvages a crazy weekend with a win against Albany, led by several of the top prospects who missed the cut for training camp.

Keep it up, keep it up.
Keep it up, keep it up.
Bruce Bennett

They were supposed to already be up in New York Islanders training camp. At least that's what fans are saying. But instead Matt Donovan and Nino Niederreiter and Aaron Ness were playing Bridgeport's third game in three days, combining for the game-winning OT goal.

It rescued what looked like a lost weekend, ended another winless skid, and gave more food for thought as the Sound Tigers and their parent New York Islanders prep for a week of practices before each plays their next league games Saturday, Jan. 19. (The Islanders host New Jersey; the Sound Tigers host Binghamton. Parent and farm will scrimmage in some form on Wednesday night.)

Ness finished with a goal and two assists, including on Donovan's winner, which went through a screen set by Niederreiter, who himself wasn't credited with a point on that play but had two goals in the game.

A glance at the Sound Tigers leaderboard has almost every other player at the top recalled for Islanders camp (Colin McDonald, Casey Cizikas, David Ullstrom, Jon Landry), with their alternates (Niederreiter, Brock Nelson, Johan Sundstrom, John Persson, Donovan) providing the kind of look that gets fans excited for the future.

Those left behind learned of their alternates' good news and call to camp after Saturday night's game, a 6-3 loss to Portland. "Tough decisions" and "awkward," said coach Scott Pellerin.

Rather than fall in a funk and extend the winless streak to six -- a skid that did not end until their brethren were recalled without them -- the prospects instead forged on just hours later in Atlantic City for the 5-4 win over the Devils.

Who knows how this week goes and what lies ahead. They've some injuries, one AWOL Slovakian and still more bodies than they'll need on the opening night roster. It's not difficult to imagine 10 2012-13 Sound Tigers getting time with the Isles over the next few months. For once, there is competition in the Islanders system again.

Weekend Sound Tigers Links/Video

Friday (5-0 comeback falls just short): Bruins 5, Sound Tigers 4

Saturday: Portland 6, Sound Tigers 3

Sunday: Sound Tigers 5, Devils 4

    Brett Gallant vs. Joel Rechlicz

    After some tool jobbed Ness well after the whistle: