The Sound Tigers Report: Week 21
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (35-19-2-1) collected three points in a trio of road games last week, including an overtime win in their only trip to Canada during the regular season. The Sound Tigers have 73 points in 57 games and currently sit fourth in the fierce Atlantic Division playoff race, two points behind the third-place Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The top five teams are all separated by just eight points, while positions two through five are separated by four points. The top four teams in each division will qualify for the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Sound Tigers kicked off a three-game road trip through the North Division on Thursday with an 11 a.m. school-day contest in Toronto, their first ever regular-season meeting against the Toronto Marlies north of the border. It didn’t disappoint as Tanner Fritz scored twice, including the game-winning goal in overtime, leading the Sound Tigers to a 4-3 win at Ricoh Coliseum. Ryan Pulock and Travis St. Denis also beat Marlies goaltender Antoine Bibeau, which helped Bridgeport sweep its season series against Toronto (2-0-0-0). Between the pipes, Eamon McAdam (9-3-0) made an AHL career-high 34 saves on 37 shots.
On Saturday, the Sound Tigers went toe-to-toe with the Rochester Americans for more than 60 minutes, but suffered a 4-3 overtime loss in their final trip to The Blue Cross Arena this season. Josh Winquist, Ross Johnston and Michael Dal Colle each found the back of the net, while Taylor Fedun won it for the Amerks at 1:12 of the extra session. Bridgeport finished its season series with Rochester 3-0-1-0, collecting at least one point in all four meetings.
Bridgeport concluded the weekend on Sunday afternoon with another one-goal outcome, but fell to the Utica Comets, 2-1, at the AUD. Pulock extended his point streak to seven games when he lit the lamp in the second period, giving the third-year defenseman nine points (two goals, seven assists) during that stretch. Devon Toews and Winquist also logged a point with an assist. Between the pipes, Jaroslav Halak (14-3-3) made 26 saves on 28 shots.
The Sound Tigers face another busy week ahead with four games in the next seven days, beginning tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. Fans can follow all of the upcoming action via the team’s online broadcast at www.ahllive.com, beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes before the listed start time.
The week ahead:
*Bridgeport vs. Providence Bruins (34-15-5-4) – Tuesday, Mar. 7 at 7 p.m.
Bridgeport at Utica Comets (26-23-7-2) – Friday, Mar. 10 at 7 p.m.
**Bridgeport vs. Albany Devils (32-25-1-1) – Saturday, Mar. 11 at 7 p.m.
Bridgeport vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (21-32-3-2) – Sunday, Mar. 12 at 3 p.m.
News and Notes:
Approaching #500: Veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak is two games shy of his 500th professional appearance, which he is expected to hit this weekend. The 31-year-old has played 388 NHL games with the New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues, and another 89 AHL contests. He boasts a 14-3-3 record in 20 games with the Sound Tigers this season along with a 2.02 goals-against-average, .931 save percentage and two shutouts. Halak, a 2015 NHL All-Star and 2016 World Cup of Hockey runner up, won 12 straight games for the Sound Tigers earlier this season (Jan. 20, 2017 – Feb. 19, 2017), setting the club’s all-time record.
Close Quarters: Each of the Sound Tigers last six games have been decided by just one goal. In fact, Bridgeport leads the league with 35 games being decided by a single tally (Utica and Ontario have 33). The club is 23-9-2-1 in one-goal outcomes overall this season and 15-3-0-0 in one-goal games at home.
Fritz Finding His Stride: Following a two-goal effort on Thursday and a two-assist outing Saturday night, second-year forward Tanner Fritz has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his last 11 games, improving to second on the team’s active scoring list with 32 points (17 goals, 17 assists) this season. The Ohio State product is also second on the club in goals behind Bracken Kearns.
Quick Hits: The Sound Tigers magic number to clinch a playoff spot is “35”… The Hershey Bears are fifth in the Atlantic Division, outside of a playoff spot, but would lead the North Division by five points… Fifteen of Bridgeport’s last 19 games will take place against an Atlantic Division opponent… Bracken Kearns is two points shy of 500 professional points.
The New York Islanders (30-23-11) are 3-2-1 through six games of their season-long nine-game road trip, but suffered a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames in their last outing on Sunday. John Tavares and Jason Chimera both scored, while Thomas Greiss and former Sound Tiger Jean-Francois Berube combined to make 32 saves in net. Prior to Sunday’s game, the Islanders split back-to-back contests against the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks, including a 5-4 win in Dallas on Thursday. Former Sound Tiger Ryan Strome had three points (one goal, two assists) that night and Josh Ho-Sang made his NHL debut. The Islanders return to action tomorrow night with a 9 p.m. ET puck drop against Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. New York holds the second wild card position in the Eastern Conference by one point over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks (27-23-2-5) gathered two points in three games last weekend, but the club is coming off a 6-3 win against the Tulsa Oilers on Sunday. Rookie forward Dan Correale, who was in training camp with the Sound Tigers last fall, led the way with three points (one goal, two assists), while Stephon Williams made 20 saves on 23 shots. Dane Fox continues to lead Missouri’s offense in goals (25), assists (34) and points (59). The Mavericks continue a six-game homestand on Friday when they welcome the Allen Americans to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for an 8:30 p.m. ET matchup. Missouri is fifth in the Mountain Division, three points behind the Alaska Aces.
*Hockey Happy Hour: Tomorrow is another “Hockey Happy Hour” night featuring $1 hot dogs and $5 beers (for those 21 and older) at all first floor concession stands presented by Hummel Bros. Good seats are available by CLICKING HERE.
**Power Rangers Night: The Sound Tigers will celebrate Power Rangers Night this Saturday, March 11 at 7 p.m. Meet the Red Ranger and witness a live action performance during intermission at Webster Bank Arena. A special $25 Power Rangers Night package is available and includes a ticket to the game, a hot dog / chips / soda combo voucher and a classic Power Rangers themed Sound Tigers t-shirt. Call (203) 345-2300 Option 7 to order or ORDER ONLINE NOW. Packages are limited and the package is not available at the box office.
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.