GAME PREVIEW: TORONTO AT BRIDGEPORT
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers take on the Toronto Marlies in Game 1 of the North Division Semifinals in our relevant preview presented to you by It's Relevant TV.
Last Time Out
Bridgeport: The Sound Tigers took a 6-1 thumping from the Providence Bruins in their final regular season game of the year on Sunday. Connor Jones scored the first goal of the game but the Bruins scored six unanswered to take the victory.
Toronto: The Marlies won 4-2 over the Rochester Americans on Sunday to close the year with the league’s best record. Eric Faille had two goals and an assist while Garret Sparks made 45 saves for the win.
Storylines to Watch
Nice to Meet You: While they were in the same conference this year, this is the first meeting between the Sound Tigers and Marlies – ever. The last time the Sound Tigers faced a Maple Leafs affiliate was back during the 2002-03 season when they were the St. John’s Maple Leafs. The Sound Tigers swept the Maple Leafs back in the 2002 Calder Cup Playoffs, a year in which they went to the Calder Cup Finals.
You Can Always Tell a Milford Man: Connecticut native Mark Arcobello makes his first trip to Webster Bank Arena, headlining the Marlies stacked roster. Arcobello grew up in nearby Milford and played at both Fairfield Prep and Salisbury in high school before attending Yale for four years.
Players to Watch
Bridgeport: Sound Tigers Captain Ben Holmstrom will make his AHL playoff debut today, having missed with both the Phantoms and Checkers in his first five years. Holmstrom was one of Coach Brent Thompson’s most sought-after players last summer due to his leadership skills and playoff-like style of play.
Toronto: We don’t normally do this, but take your pick. 21(!) of the 27 players on the Marlies roster played at least one NHL game this year. This is a squad that has a plethora of skilled guys and plenty that will play in the NHL for the coming years.
Bridgeport: Bracken Kearns finished first for the Sound Tigers in goals (23), assists (30) and points (53).
Toronto: Defenseman T.J. Brennan led the Marlies in assists with 43 and points with 68. He also tied for first in the team with 25 goals, splitting the team lead with Mark Arcobello who had 25 in 20 fewer games than Brennan.
The Sound Tigers kick off the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs by hosting the Toronto Marlies in Game 1 of the North Division Semifinals at 7:00 p.m. at Webster Bank Arena. The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive rally towels and there will be a Party on the Patio for anyone at the game. You can get tickets to the game here or listen in at www.AHLLive.com.