Sound Tiger Backman's goals bring back 'that old feeling'
Updated 10:32 pm, Sunday, December 30, 2012
BRIDGEPORT -- He was one of Yale's leading scorers for four years, a guy the Bulldogs looked to when they needed a goal.
Sean Backman's role in professional hockey, including the past two seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, has more often been denying chances to that guy on other teams.
"It's something at first I wasn't comfortable with," said Greenwich's Backman, "being that guy in college, a power-play guy, a guy who scores goals."
Once he got accustomed to it, he has thrived. Still, a night like Saturday, his first two-goal game in three years as a pro?
"It kind of brought me back to that old feeling," Backman said. "Like I told you (Saturday) night, it's me going out there and working hard every night. Goals will come then."
Backman, 26, had sat out three games in a row with some players coming in for a look on tryouts, with some rearrangement of the line combinations. If not for a late suspension to Brett Gallant, he was probably sitting out Saturday, too, but he got the call from the coaching staff.
"I've got a lot of respect for Backs," Sound Tigers coach Scott Pellerin said. "He's the type of player who comes to work every day and works his tail off. He brings that energy, that speed, but he has some finish."
Understanding the transition from one level to another is an important step, Pellerin said.
"It's a different game. A lot of people have to find out their piece of the puzzle, what gives them the best opportunity to continue playing," Pellerin said. "You see guys who don't understand that, don't see that, and don't stay in the league very long."
Backman scored early Saturday on a high backhander and in the second period on a rebound. They were his second and third goals this season after he scored seven as a rookie in 2010-11 for the Texas Stars and another seven last year for Bridgeport.
"I had my fair share of chances last year," Backman said. "For whatever reason, they weren't going in.
"Hopefully those two goals will spark something."
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