On two-for-two swaps

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On for practice today were two newbies, Scooter Vaughan (wearing No. 7 on the helmet) and Matt Lowry (stepping right into Nick Larson’s No. 17, it appeared). A chance to get a look at some new guys while the injured recover, Scott Pellerin said. The obvious question is, why not Larson and Mike Dalhuisen? Part playing time, part role.

“Looking at the big picture of, with Dalhuisen, he came in, and I thought he played well his first games here,” Pellerin said. “He got the injury. He came back. We want him to kind of get back to playing his game, finding his game at that level again.” Stockton will be a good place to do that. “Rich (Kromm) is excited to get him. It was not an easy decision by any means.”

With Larson, “same thing. He came in, he earned a spot,” Pellerin said. “I liked how hard he worked, in our camp in Syosset, then going down to Stockton and being the No. 1-conditioned player. … We got him to a certain point. Where he was playing, he wasn’t kind of getting through to the next phase. We talked to him about going down and being more of a physical presence, winning puck battles, and also his play away from the puck.

“Take a step back to take a step forward.”

Pellerin said he had heard good things from ECHL folks about both Vaughan (who gets a good report from Stingrays beat writer Andrew Miller, too; his first game will be his AHL debut) and Lowry. Vaughan’s arrival gives Bridgeport a relative rarity in team history: three right-handed defensemen at the same time.

Speaking of right-handed defensemen, Radek Martinek goes on IR for the Islanders as Brian Strait returns, so no reinforcements from up top just yet. Arthur Staple reports that Anders Nilsson could be on his way back here as early as tonight if Evgeni Nabokov is ready to back up Kevin Poulin.

Programming note: Not only won’t I be in Albany, but I’ll be following Arkeel Newsome around one more time and mostly missing hockey. (In more than one sense of the word “miss.”) But drop by here, and hopefully I’ll have set you up with all the linkage you’ll need.

The arena announced today that Notre Dame-Fairfield has added a hockey game at Webster Bank Arena against Darien on Feb. 22. (Bridgeport is in Philly that day.) The Lancers had already been set to play Fairfield Prep on Jan. 9, a Thursday, and the Notre Dame girls will play Lauralton Hall earlier that day at 4:45 p.m. (There’s basketball, too, Jan. 27.)

Meanwhile, Mental Floss on the remains of St. Nicholas.

Michael Fornabaio

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