hockey operations

Thompson Brent Thompson
Head Coach

Brent Thompson returns for his sixth season as head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2018-19, marking his eighth year in the New York Islanders organization. Thompson was originally hired to coach the Sound Tigers on June 28, 2011 and led the team to a division title in the 2011-12 season before being named an assistant coach of the Islanders for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 season. On May 2, 2014, the Islanders announced Thompson would return to his role as head coach of the Sound Tigers. He became the team's all-time winningest head coach on Jan. 28, 2017, passing Jack Capuano with his 134th victory.

Prior to his time with the Islanders organization, Thompson was the head coach of the Alaska Aces of the ECHL from 2009-2011, winning the Kelly Cup Championship in the 2010-11 campaign. During his two seasons as head coach in Alaska, Thompson amassed an 83-50-11 record and won the John Brophy Award as ECHL Coach of the Year in his second season after leading the team to a 47-22-0-3 record. Thompson also served as a player/coach with the CHL's Colorado Eagles in 2003-04 and was an assistant with the AHL's Peoria Rivermen from 2005-09.

Before he joined the coaching ranks, Thompson enjoyed a 14-year playing career, which included 121 NHL games and over 900 professional contests. The Calgary, AB native was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round (39th overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

Eric Boguniecki
Assistant Coach

Eric Boguniecki was named assistant coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on July 12, 2011 and enters his eighth season in that capacity, including his sixth year under head coach Brent Thompson. Boguniecki and Thompson previously teamed up in Bridgeport during the 2011-12 season, when the Sound Tigers posted a 41-26-3-6 regular season record to win the Northeast Division for the second division title in team history. 

Prior to joining the Sound Tigers, the West Haven, CT native enjoyed a 13 year professional career, including stops in the National Hockey League with the Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders. During the 2002-03 season with the Blues, he posted NHL career highs in goals (22), assists (27) and points (49).

An eighth-round pick (193rd overall) of the Blues in the 1993 NHL Draft, Boguniecki won the Les Cunningham Award as the American Hockey League's Most Valuable Player in 2001-02 with the Worcester IceCats. Boguniecki ended his playing career as a player/coach with the Alaska Aces of the ECHL, alongside Brent Thompson. 

Before going pro, Boguniecki played four seasons at the University of New Hampshire from 1993-97.

Matt Carkner
Assistant Coach

Matt Carkner is in his third season as an assistant coach after spending the previous 15 years as a defenseman in the AHL and NHL, including four seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and New York Islanders. He was named assistant coach on July 7, 2016.

A native of Winchester, ON, Carkner played more than 800 games during his professional career, including NHL contests between the Islanders, San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators. He amassed 40 goals, 139 assists, 179 points and 2,312 penalty minutes as a pro, including a career-high 335 penalty minutes in his first year with the Cleveland Barons in 2001-02. During his lengthy AHL career, he posted 152 points (36g, 116a) and 1,756 penalty minutes in 587 games and finished his career with 14 points (4g, 10a) in 60 games as a Sound Tiger.

A second-round pick (58th overall) of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1999 NHL Draft, Carkner was never shy to help his teammates on the ice, or the community off of it. He was named the Sound Tigers recipient of the 2015-16 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions to the Bridgeport community - the sixth time he earned the award. In addition, Carkner won the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2006-07.

 Vazzano John Vazzano
Video Coach

Vazzano enters his fourth season with the Sound Tigers after joining the team prior to the 2015-16 season as a video coach.

Prior to Bridgeport, Vazzano played four seasons as a goaltender at the University of Vermont. John's brother, Alex, played with him for two seasons before transferring to Sacred Heart University from 2012-15. He is a native of Trumbull, CT.