Sound Tigers notebook: One veteran in, one not
NEW EXPERIENCE: The Bridgeport Sound Tigers were expected to get a veteran forward on Monday. The one they got wasn’t the one who was expected.
The Sound Tigers’ parent club, the New York Islanders, announced they have signed Steve Bernier to a one-year contract. They placed Bernier, 31, on waivers to send him to Bridgeport.
Bernier was in town Monday but can’t practice with the AHL team until he clears waivers; that would happen Tuesday at noon if he goes unclaimed. He’s a 12th-year pro who has played 633 NHL games, including 24 for the Islanders last season.
The Islanders sent Eric Boulton to Bridgeport on Sunday, but he was not with the Sound Tigers.
“He’s sorting family issues. I don’t know when he’ll be here,” Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson said after practice at the Wonderland of Ice.
The Sound Tigers are waiting on a third NHL veteran forward, Stephen Gionta, who signed an AHL contract earlier this month. Gionta is still rehabilitating an injury suffered on a training-camp tryout with the Islanders, and Thompson said he doesn’t have a timetable on Gionta’s recovery.
FIRST ONE: Social media buzzed Friday night over the Sound Tigers’ third goal in Allentown, Pa. Two Islanders first-round picks connected on a crucial goal in the final seconds of the second period of what became a 5-2 Bridgeport win over Lehigh Valley.
Michael Dal Colle, who scored it, pointed further back.
“The play Fritzy made was really big on the backcheck,” Dal Colle said.
Tanner Fritz forced the turnover that sent Josh Ho-Sang up the right wing to saucer a pass over a Phantoms defenseman to Dal Colle, who swatted home the floating puck with 1.5 seconds left to make it 3-1 Bridgeport.
The goal was Dal Colle’s first as a pro, in his sixth regular-season game; he played three games at the end of last season after his junior season ended, then had an assist in three playoff games.
″(The adjustment) has been good. Last year definitely helped,” Dal Colle said. “There were a lot of lessons I took out of that. When you get chances, you’ve got to bear down and make the most of it.”