BRIDGEPORT -- Jack Combs has been through it before. He played 50 games for Worcester last year, scored 30 points, showed he can contribute at the AHL level.
He and two other new Bridgeport Sound Tigers forwards got their chance to chip in here this week, signing pro tryouts.
"It's a new opportunity here. I'll build off last year," Combs said. "I come in with the confidence of knowing I can do it. It's a good opportunity. I'm excited."
Combs and linemate Chad Costello arrived from Colorado (ECHL) and Scott Campbell came from Las Vegas (ECHL) this week, with Bridgeport forwards like Brock Nelson out injured and the team looking for some depth and insurance.
"We want to bring quality guys into the organization," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said. "Campbell and Costello and Combs are guys who fit that criteria who are also very good hockey players."
In Combs, from Worcester games against Manchester last year, then-Monarchs assistant Pellerin remembers a player who was strong on the puck and did his job around the net. Costello, from practice, looks like he can make plays, the coach said. And Pellerin had praise for Campbell on Wednesday after a physical, hard-working game.
"I want to come up and contribute any way possible," Campbell said. "It's a great opportunity. I want to come up and play my game. I don't want to deviate from what I do."
Costello, last year's ECHL MVP despite losing the last month to injury, has five assists in 19 AHL games the past two seasons.
At his size (5-foot-9, 175 pounds), he says he has to put up numbers at the AHL level.
"I had a pretty horrific knee injury last year. To be back at this level, it means a lot to me," Costello said. "(Sticking at this level) is what I've struggled with."
It helps having Combs, his close friend and linemate with Colorado (ECHL), along with him.
"I know how to push him, to get him to do his best, and he knows how to push me," Costello said.
Sometimes a player comes to a new team and might not want to speak up, but "we're not afraid to yell at each other."
HOPING TO HEAL: The Sound Tigers announced that Newtown residents with photo identification can receive free tickets at the Webster Bank Arena box office for their home games Saturday, Wednesday and Dec. 29.
"We hope to provide a welcome distraction for families and friends during this difficult time," Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan said in a statement. "We want to support the Newtown community and facilitate the healing process."
For more information, see www.soundtigers.com or call 203-334-4625.
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