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News : Sports : Hockey Feb 10, 2009 - 3:58 AM

Sound Tigers make winning assist to score big against MS

By Sound Tigers

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Trevor Smith
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the top affiliate of the NHL’s New York Islanders, is teaming up with the National MS Society and the surrounding community to make an indelible mark against multiple sclerosis.

Established in 2001 the Sound Tigers, which play at the Bridgeport Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn., will host the first annual MS Skate-a-thon Saturday, March 7. The team, which is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference, invites skaters from throughout the region to recruit family and friends as sponsors and then join Sound Tigers on-ice March 7.

“We are dedicated to the fights against multiple sclerosis,” said Howard Saffan, franchise president. “Funds raised through this skate-a-thon will benefit the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter and those in our state living with the unpredictable effects of this disease.”

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease affecting the central nervous system. The cause is unknown and there currently is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some more sever cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

Funds raised through chapter events, such as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers MS Skate-a-thon, ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the Connecticut Chapter to residents diagnosed with MS.

“The Sound Tigers club is as dedicate and talented off-ice as on,” says Saffan. “This franchise is committed to our community and fans. Over the years, we’ve work with several non-profit and fundraising organizations. We team up with several worthy causes dear to our heart, including the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter.”

The Sound Tigers is led by head coach Jack Capuano and assistants Pat Bingham and Matt Bertani. Rick DiPietro and Trent Hunter, both of whom played for the Sound Tigers during their inaugural year, are just two of the many players who have advanced to play for the New York Islanders.

“Our players and fans have a unique opportunity to combine their passion for skating with a passion to help find a cure,” said Saffan. “Our MS Skate-a-thon promises to be a truly fun-filled event for everyone.”

The MS Skate-a-thon will be followed that evening with a home game against the Philadelphia Phantoms. For more information on the Sound Tigers MS Skate-a-thon and to secure sponsor sheets, please contact the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 203-334-4625. To learn more about multiple sclerosis and the many ways the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter helps, please visit www.ctfightsms.org.

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