Sound Tigers Meet Marlies at 11 a.m.
DATE TIME OPPONENT FOLLOW
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (34-18-1-1) open a three-game road trip this morning at 11 a.m. with their final meeting against the Toronto Marlies (29-23-3-1) this season (live on NHL Network in the United States). The Sound Tigers are coming off a 2-1 victory over the Hershey Bears on Sunday, in which Josh Winquist scored the game-winning goal in the third period with a spectacular individual effort. The third-year forward dangled his way to the slot before finishing a forehand shot while falling to the ice, which became the No. 1 play on ESPN’s SportsCenter Sunday night. Bracken Kearns also found the back of the net following a two-game stint with the New York Islanders, while Jaroslav Halak (14-2-2) made 19 saves between the pipes. Today’s game is the first-ever regular-season meeting between Bridgeport and Toronto at Ricoh Coliseum.
Today’s game is the second and final meeting between the Sound Tigers and Marlies, and the only matchup at Ricoh Coliseum. Bridgeport leads the series 1-0-0-0 following a 4-3 win at Webster Bank Arena on Jan. 21. Ben Holmstrom, Ryan Pulock, Andrew Rowe and Bracken Kearns all scored that night, while Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves on 33 shots. Kearns’ tally was the game-winner at 4:18 of the third period. Prior to that meeting, the two clubs last met in the first round of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, with the Marlies taking the series in three games.
VIEW FROM TORONTO
The Marlies are 13-3-1-0 (27 points) since their setback to the Sound Tigers on Jan. 21. In fact, Toronto was sixth in the North Division, three games below .500 at that point, but now sits third in the division at 29-23-3-1 overall. In their last outing on Saturday, the Marlies could not hold onto a two-goal lead in the second period and suffered a 4-3 loss to Hershey at GIANT Center. Mason Marchment, Andreas Johnsson and Colin Smith all scored for Toronto, while Garrett Sparks and Antoine Bibeau both played between the pipes. Overall, Sparks sits third among AHL netminders in goals-against-average (2.81) and fifth in save percentage (.923). He’s also tied for second with four shutouts. Offensively, All-Star forward Kerby Rychel leads all Marlies’ active skaters with 39 points (24 goals, 15 assists) in 54 games. Toronto opens a three-game homestand today.
RISE AND SHINE
Today’s game is one of only three this season that will begin before noon. Bridgeport is 1-0-0-0 this season when playing at 11 a.m. following a 4-2 win over the Albany Devils at home on Nov. 2. The Sound Tigers allowed two goals in the first 2:51 that morning, but responded with four unanswered goals from Michael Dal Colle, Carter Verhaeghe, Bracken Kearns and Ross Johnston. Bridgeport will also face the Springfield Thunderbirds at 11 a.m. on Apr. 4 at Webster Bank Arena. Last season, the Sound Tigers went 1-1-0-0 in morning games including a 5-2 victory over the Providence Bruins on Mar. 29, 2016.
FRITZ FINDING HIS GROOVE
Second-year forward Tanner Fritz has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his last nine games, improving to third on the team’s scoring race with 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) this season. The Ohio State product is also third on the team in goals behind Bracken Kearns and Steve Bernier.
HO-SANG GETS THE CALL
First-year forward Josh Ho-Sang was recalled to the New York Islanders on Tuesday, marking his first call-up to the National Hockey League. Just over 24 hours later, Ho-Sang was named the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for February after he recorded 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) and a plus-9 rating in 12 appearances last month. A native of Thornhill, Ont., Ho-Sang led the Sound Tigers with 26 assists and ranked second on the team with 36 points in 48 games this season. In addition, he was tied for second among AHL rookies in assists and tied for sixth among league rookies in points. He is expected to make his NHL debut tonight in Dallas.
Today’s contest is a homecoming for three Sound Tigers’ skaters. Forwards Michael Dal Colle (Woodbridge, Ont.) and Carter Verhaeghe (Waterdown, Ont.), as well as defenseman Jesse Graham (Oshawa, Ont.), all grew up within an hour of Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.
The Sound Tigers are outscoring opponents 61-45 in the second period this season… Bridgeport is 11-3-1-0 against North Division opponents… Devon Toews is tied for 14th among AHL defensemen in scoring with 29 points (four goals, 25 assists)… Bracken Kearns is two points from his 500th professional tally… Ross Johnston is currently at 96 professional games played.
NHL: New York Islanders (29-22-10): Next at Dallas - Tonight, 8:30 p.m. ET
ECHL: Missouri Mavericks (26-21-2-5): Next vs. Allen - Tomorrow, 8:30 p.m. ET
Next Time Out: Following today’s contest, the Sound Tigers travel to Blue Cross Arena for a Saturday night showdown against the Rochester Americans at 7:05 p.m. Fans can follow all of the live action via www.ahllive.com, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.
For additional details or to reserve seats for any of the 2016-17 giveaway and theme nights, please call the Sound Tigers’ front office at (203) 345-2300.
Executive suites and premium seat packages are also available by calling the team’s front office at (203) 345-4841. If you are interested in group outings with your friends, family, co-workers, or clients an unforgettable experience at a discounted rate, call the group sales hotline at (203) 345-2300 Ext. 7.
About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Founded in 2001, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Club is the top minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders. Don't miss your chance to take part in the family fun entertainment happening every home game at Webster Bank Arena. For further information on ticket or sponsorship opportunities, call our office at (203) 345-2300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up with the latest Sound Tigers news on Facebook and on Twitter. For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com.