Over this last year, we’ve had the privilege to interview seven members of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as part of our Meet and Greet series. We have compiled the best answers and best moments of the Meet and Greet Series. We’d also like to send a big thank you to Ray and the entire Sound Tigers Booster Club for allowing us to get these interviews, as well as the Sound Tigers management for allowing us to talk to the players.
In this compilation, we will be showing the best answers from our interviews.
Question from Episode 1: Ryan [Bourque], we obviously know that your father is a Hockey Hall of Famer. What was it like growing up watching him play every night?
Ryan Bourque: It was cool; really cool. Very fortunate to have the opportunity that I did growing up for me and my brother. Not every day that you can kind of go into an NHL facility when you’re 8-10 years old. And being able to skate, and see how those guys practice and play and it’s a pretty cool experience.
Question from Episode 2: Scott [Eansor], obviously as we may know, you played last year in Seattle, and you guys won the WHL. And you played with a certain player that is up with the Islanders named Mathew Barzal. What was it like playing with him, and then going to training camp this year with him?
Scott Eansor: It was good; Matty and I are good friends. We played four years together and it’s great to see the success he’s having up there. And it was a great experience to win the WHL as well.
Question from Episode 3: John [Stevens], what was it like growing up, watching your father play in Philly, and ultimately become a coach? And would you want to play against his team, since he is the coach of the Kings?
John Stevens: Yeah, you know, it was obviously a pretty cool experience to grow up and be at the rink all of the time and talk to somebody who has been around the game a long time and knows so much. I think it was a pretty cool advantage that not many kids get. My brother and I loved every minute of it. And yeah, I would love to play against his team, that’s why we are all here. Obviously, we want to win here, want to get to the next level too, so that would be a pretty cool experience. I actually went into to see their game in Jersey the other night. Drove here on Tuesday; it was tough to see them because they played the Rangers and Islanders on Friday and Saturday since we were busy as well.
Question from Episode 4: The Sound Tigers were down 4-0 to start the game in the first 5 minutes of the game then came back to win 5-4. “Andre, [Benoit] so, what the heck happened after the first five minutes of today’s game? I mean really, we haven’t had a comeback like that in years.
Andre Benoit: I think it was the puppies [it was Pucks ‘n’ Paws day] we were too worried about the puppies. But overall it was a good character win. Yeah, but when you have a comeback like that builds character for sure.
Question from Episode 3: Now Parker, this is like your third go-around with the team, but now you are officially a member of the organization. Was the transition a lot easier this year, because you usually came in towards the end of the last two seasons?
Parker Wotherspoon: Yeah, I think there is a difference from the end-of-the-season form to the beginning-of-the-season form. When I came in the first two times, I had played a lot and came in confident. This year, obviously, it has been a little bit tougher in the off-season, but yeah, taking my steps towards getting in every night and helping the team win.
Question from Episode 4: Talking about character, what kind of character have you seen from the guys in the room, and the type of leadership that is on this team and what does it bring to you?
Andre Benoit: Yeah, we have great leadership, this is my first time coming into a team mid-season. This is really a good group of guys, with guys like Holmer [Ben Holmstrom], and Berny [Steve Bernier] and it really is fun to walk into a group like that.
Question from Episode 2: Now Casey, how do you feel being part of, what many consider to be a pioneering group of Penn State Hockey players, to play in D1 for them? Especially with guys like you and Eamon [McAdam]?
Casey Bailey: I feel very attached to that program, I follow them and I’m very close with Coach Gadowsky. Yeah, and it is a great program, and it feels great to start them up, especially with the recent success they have had.
Question from Episode 3: John, since you played up here in the hockey hotbed of the New England Prep Schools with Salisbury, Kent, Avon Old Farms, and Taft, what is it like to play in that conference with all of those highly regarded programs? And with guys coming out, like former Sound Tigers Jeff Hamilton and Sean Backman, out of Old Farms.
John Stevens: It was awesome, definitely a good league. Our team had like 13-14 D1 commitments, and a good league, with a lot of good teams so close together.
Q: Who’s the jokester in the room?
Seth Helgeson: I don’t know. It’s really early.
Casey Bailey: Helgy. [Helgeson]
Scott Eansor: Helgy. [Helgeson]
John Stevens: Might be Helgy [Seth Helgeson].
Parker Wotherspoon: Might have to agree.
Ryan Bourque: My roommates here in Bridgeport are Seth, and Ross [Johnston]. And on the road, it’s Connor Jones.
Seth Helgeson: On the road, I’m with Gio [Stephen Gionta].
Casey Bailey: On the road, we’re actually roommates together [Scott Eansor]. Here, I’m with my Girlfriend.
Scott Eansor: Yeah, at home I’m with MDC [Michael Dal Colle] and Sanger [Josh Ho-Sang] when he’s down here.
Parker Wotherspoon: At home, I’m with Vandy [Vande Sompel] and on the road, I’m with Schempp.
John Stevens: I’m with Burroughs and Gibson at home. On the road, I’m with Burroughs too. Can’t really get away from the guy!
Q: Music in the Locker Room and what you prefer?
Ryan Bourque: Pretty much everything.
Seth Helgeson: I prefer hip-hop
Casey Bailey: Country.
Scott Eansor: Country.
John Stevens: It’s usually Jonesy [Connor Jones] who controls it. He usually has a good feel for the room most of the time.
Parker Wotherspoon: Depends on the day, one day it would be Eric Church all day, the next it would be something else.
Q: Favorite Arena so far that you have played in?
Casey Bailey: TD Garden. Great atmosphere.
Scott Eansor: Canada vs the US in the World Juniors was pretty cool in Helsinki.
John Stevens: TD Garden for the Beanpot.
Andre Benoit: Bell Centre, just awesome to play in Montreal, same with Boston.
Question from Episode 4: Have you ever had a hole-in-one?
Andre Benoit: I have, pretty funny story, I was playing with my daughter, she was 5. My brother-in-law was like: “Hey, I don’t see your ball”, we ran down and sure enough it was in the hole.
Once Again, thank you everyone for allowing us to do these articles and giving us support throughout this season. We couldn’t have done it without you all!