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Defenseman Vaughan effective in forward role

Updated 12:46 am, Thursday, January 30, 2014
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BRIDGEPORT -- He showed up as a defenseman, played a little at forward, moved back to defense for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Scooter Vaughan has moved back to forward the past few weeks and has been effective on the wing. He looks as if he's found a comfortable spot with the Sound Tigers.

"It's not comfort," Vaughan said. "I've just kind of gotten adjusted to everything."

Vaughan, who'd played both forward and defense before in a young career that took him from California to the University of Michigan to the ECHL, hadn't played an AHL game when the Sound Tigers signed him to a pro tryout 21 games ago.

He was scratched from one of those 21, but the others have been split between forward and defense.

"He brings a lot of intensity down low in cycles, going to the net," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said. "We're going to work with him in regards to more forward habits. He's a competitor, and he works hard. He makes our team better."

He scored goals Saturday and Sunday as Bridgeport extended a winning streak to four games.

"I'm learning as much as I can," Vaughan said. "Players who've been in the NHL, like (Pierre-Marc Bouchard), like Stromer (Ryan Strome). I'm picking up little things from them."

He was on the fourth line Saturday, taking Justin Johnson's clear, blowing by a Springfield defenseman and scoring on the breakaway.

In the second period Sunday, he and Joey Diamond switched places; both players were then instrumental in goals, Diamond setting up one for Andrew Clark, Vaughan scoring on a rebound.

The swap put Vaughan with Chris Langkow, his roommate and his teammate in the ECHL with South Carolina, ready-made chemistry.

"(Vaughan's) speed, his versatility," Pellerin said, "he and Langkow together bring an element of speed we need."

An AHL pro tryout expires after 25 team games; that's Feb. 9 for Vaughan, who said he's heard no talk about what might follow.

MEANWHILE, IN SOUTH CAROLINA: New Canaan's Jack Downing, who had been with South Carolina on assignment from Providence, was released from his AHL contract to sign an ECHL deal with the Stingrays, the Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., reported. That makes him available to sign a pro tryout with any AHL team.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.connpost.com/fornabaio

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