Monday, March 23, 2009

Sound Tigers Win on A Sunday in March

I finally broke down and just bought tickets to go to a game in Bridgeport. How could I pass up a bargain like $29 for a round trip ferry ride and a ticket to the Sound Tigers game? I really couldn't.

So, there we were, Wendy and I, watching hockey on NBC and drinking Pinot Grigio on the Ferry out of Port Jefferson across the sound to Bridgeport. Smooth sailing, for the most part. I even wore my Lighthouse hat and 7th Woman jersey. Yep, it was "fan" day for sure on the LI Sound. And there were quite a few of us.

It's a short walk from the ferry terminal to the Arena which is made more comfortable by the little herd of blue and orange jerseys making their way there.

Harbor Yard is a wonderful family venue. Not a bad seat in the house and the food is not just good, it's a good value. I've never seen a carving station on the concourse before. But there one was with both Roast Beef and Pastrami for only $7.50 that included a sandwhich on a soft foll with cheese, horseradish sauce, pickles and a bag of chips. I opted for the chicken and cheese quesedilla for $6.50. But there was Pizza and chicken and hot dogs, popcorn and churros (which is something that the Coliseum no longer carries. I will say there's something really strange about seeing a grown man eating a churro.

Our seats in row D of section 113 had an excellent view of Jack Capuano's bench. The names on the jerseys were very familiar. So many of them have been on the Islanders roster at one point in time during this season. Walter, Callahan Iggulden, Joensuu, Maninno, Colliton. The most notable Islander roster alumni was, of course, Jon Sim.

I'll say it was somewhat painful for me to see. So often I had watched Sim stand by the glass at the Coliseum while he was recovering last season. You could see how badly he wanted to be out on the ice with the team. Now he is with another team, an AHL team. But at least he is skating and making an impact. But he still doesn't look that happy. I can't blame him.

In this arena, you are so close to the action, that you can't help but get caught up in it. You're right on top of every play and every save. The small town feel carries over into their Booster Club which runs so many fund drives and contests during the games. They are a dedicated bunch that does a wonderful job. They really need to be commended and supported.

One of the crowd favorite between period activities is the $5 a bag Lucky Puck Chuck, where you toss numbered foam pucks at a target on the ice from the stands. Speaking of "foam", they were selling foam heart shaped signed photos of players also only $5 and every one's favorite "foam" friend, Sponge Bob was taking photos with the kids. Proceeds all going to charity.

I took considerable advantage of the cup holders at the seats by visiting Carl, the very friendly bar-tender on the main concourse repeatedly. After the first round, he knew what I wanted just by looking at me. I didn't mind repeatedly seeing Carl when the wine was only $5 a glass.
I had to laugh at the two blue-eyed, well dressed men at the bar intently watching the basketball game on the TV. There was just something wrong with that picture - and I told them so.
The Sound Tigers started out up by two, but of course, just like the Islanders, had to make it interesting by letting the Pirates catch up to them so their ultimate victory was 4 - 3. For some reason, the game seemed to take longer than an Islander game. Not for lack of energy or excitement on the ice. Maybe just because of the more relaxed atmosphere. I'm not sure. But Wendy and I both felt it.
Knowing we needed to get back across the Sound, we didn't wait around for Jeff Tambellini to sign autographs after the game. We took our Bobble-heads and fled back to the boat that was already docked and waiting around the block.
I had swiped a copy of the Sound Tigers Illustrated magazine that was at one of their tables. Personally, I loved this newsprint version that we had last season for the Islanders as well. I know our Islanders Illustrated has been replaced by the the glossy, bound magazine. But there's just something about this type of printing that makes it seem more "common" and readable. But that's just me.

As you can see, the Jiffy Jeff Bobble-Head was full size and kinda cute. I was actually glad I took one this time, which is something I never do at the Coliseum. Hey! I was there as a fan today, not as an "unbiased, professional writer." Okay, that's a joke between my spouse and I.
So, with a handful of games left on their regular schedule and Capuano's squad doing something Gordon's squad WON'T be doing - heading into playoffs - may I suggest that you ALL take a trip to Bridgeport.
Come for the hockey and enjoy the details of a great family day. I did notice plenty of men and their children on the ferry and in the stands. And at the prices they charge at Harbor Yard, you won't break the bank having a good time.
In today's economy of looking for a good deal, THIS is a GOOD DEAL on some really GOOD Hockey!

1 comment:

Bryan said...

The game actually seemed to fly by. We were in the car by 6:30, and that's after staying for the three stars and everything. But yeah, all-around awesome time. The number of familiar names definitely made the game more exciting.