The Islanders do funny things. Some things that make me crazy. Some things that make me happy. But they are always doing different things. They are the parent club of the AHL’s reigning and defending NorthEast Division Champs, The Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Bridgeport is a nice little hamlet on the opposite side of the Long Island Sound (Get it… Sound Tigers?) from the old Coliseum. Webster Bank Arena has great sight-lines, an intimate feel and some nice restaurants within walking distance. It’s a great place to enjoy a game at a less sizable price than an NHL rink.
The Sound Tigers roster is dotted with NHL Ready prospects. They are backstopped by Kevin Poulin and have Potential NHL D in Matt Donovan and Aaron Ness patrolling the blueline.
Up front, the team boasts 5 legit prospects who could see time on the island as soon as this season: First round picks Nino Niederreiter (right) & Brock Nelson as well as mid round steal Johan Sundstrom. They’re joined by John Persson, and former Memorial Cup stand out Kirill Kabanov (left).
The opponent on Saturday, the Manchester Monarchs, the AHL Affiliate of your Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings, is headlined by two legit studs: Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli. The reason you are getting such a detailed primer on an AHL Regular Season tilt (with puckdrop at 7PM Sunday) is because there’s nothing regular about this night. It’s a first of its kind in professional hockey. From the Sound Tigers’ press release:
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have announced they will host “You Can Play” Night on Saturday, Feb. 23 against the Manchester Monarchs in support of the You Can Play Project.
The Sound Tigers’ You Can Play Night will be the first of its kind to be held in the American Hockey League. The You Can Play Project is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes without regard to sexual orientation.
The evening will kick off at 5:30 p.m. when fans will be able to participate in a pre-game discussion and Q & A session with Patrick Burke, co-founder of the “You Can Play” Project.
Fans can also contribute to the You Can Play Project by purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster using the promo code “YOUCAN”, where $5 of every ticket purchased will go to the You Can Play Project. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Sound Tigers are also partnering with local LGBT organizations throughout the area to participate in You Can Play Night. Organizations that are interested in participating in the Sound Tigers’ You Can Play Night are encouraged to call the Sound Tigers at (203) 334-GOAL.
This will be the first ever “You Can Play” night supporting LGBT athletes. This is an initiative we take very seriously here and always want to support whenever we can. The Burkes have been instrumental in providing support and guidance for LGBT athletes and reminding them “If you can play… You Can Play.”
I was naturally overjoyed when the baby Isles approached us with this idea and honored they would ask us to get involved. There will be a 5:30pm pregame panel discussion chaired by Patrick Burke on LGBT Athletes in sport and events throughout the evening supporting YCP and the community at large.
I’ve gone about recruiting a blog roll of champions to attend this event, so look for write ups from Jewels From the Crown, Stanley Cup of Chowder, Pension Plan Puppets, and of course @Puckbuddys. Read ours first obviously!
Take some change out of the couch cushions, buy a ticket from the link below and support a good cause. If you wanna chirp or troll, your blog luminaries will be in Section 106. Come say Hi. Tickets are available here. Use the code YOUCAN