Sound Tigers coach Thompson proud as son Tage becomes ‘part of history’
BRIDGEPORT — Blood was more important than birthplace for Brent Thompson on Thursday night. His older son, Tage, was playing for the World Junior Championship, and Tage’s team was facing Brent’s native land.
“I’m Canadian,” Brent Thompson said Friday after he’d put his Bridgeport Sound Tigers through a hard practice at the Wonderland of Ice. “But I was cheering for the USA last night.”
“Traitor,” jabbed his assistant coaches from around the room.
They were together Thursday night to watch on television as Tage Thompson and the United States won the title in Montreal, finally besting Canada in a shootout a little before 11:30 p.m. The Americans won the title for the fourth time, all since 2004, and the third time in a final against Canada.
Tage Thompson will bring a gold medal back to UConn, where he’s a sophomore.
“A gold medal for him, I’m really, really happy for him,” Brent Thompson said. “I’m happy he was part of that team, a part of history.”
Tage Thompson, a first-round draft choice of St. Louis last summer, assisted on one of two goals for New York Islanders draft pick Kieffer Bellows. New Canaan’s Patrick Harper, a Nashville draft pick who plays for Boston University, was also a member of the team.
Brent Thompson said he hadn’t talked to his son yet, just through text messages.
“He was with his teammates,” Brent Thompson said. “I told him how excited I was, how proud, and to enjoy the moment. Very, very few people get to experience that, at that level, a gold medal. It’s well-deserved for that entire group.”
While Tage Thompson rejoins the Huskies, who will play Maine at Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena on Thursday, his father’s team prepared for Saturday’s game at Hartford.
Forward Josh Winquist appeared set to play his first game in over a month, and Tanner Fritz could get back in after missing Wednesday’s game injured. Defenseman Ryan Pulock, out this week with an upper-body injury, isn’t expected to play Saturday but did skate Friday. The Sound Tigers don’t have a game for five days after Saturday.
Hartford, which hosted Lehigh Valley on Friday night, received rookie Pavel Buchnevich from the parent New York Rangers. Buchnevich had eight points in his first 10 NHL games before a back injury sidelined him for almost two months.
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