Sound Tigers Set For Comets, Devils and Wolf Pack
DATE TIME OPPONENT FOLLOW
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (36-19-2-1) face their ninth “3-in-3” of the season this weekend with matchups against the Utica Comets (26-23-7-2), Albany Devils (32-25-1-1) and Hartford Wolf Pack (21-32-3-2). Bridgeport opens its weekend slate ranked fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, two points behind the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Providence Bruins, but also just two points ahead of the Hershey Bears. Last time out, Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and Josh Winquist chipped in three points (one goal, two assists) in a 5-3 win over Providence on Tuesday. Tanner Fritz (one goal, one assist), Ryan Pulock (two assists) and Devon Toews (two assists) added multiple points, while Jaroslav Halak turned back 41 shots for his team-leading 15th win this season.
TIGERS VS. COMETS
Tonight’s game marks the third of four meetings between the Sound Tigers and Comets this season, and the final matchup at the AUD. It’s also the second meeting in the last five days after Utica earned a 2-1 victory last Sunday at home. Joseph LaBate scored his only game-winning goal this season late in the second period, while rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko made 24 saves. Ryan Pulock logged the only goal for Bridgeport and now has both tallies against the Comets. Utica leads the series 2-0-0-0.
VIEW FROM UTICA
Travis Green’s club is on a five-game win streak and a seven-game point streak (6-0-1-0), improving to fourth place in the North Division standings. The Comets have outscored opponents 15-6 during their current win streak, including a 2-1 victory against Bridgeport in their last outing on Sunday. Overall, Alex Grenier leads Utica with 40 points and 24 assists in 53 games, while Darren Archibald paces the club with 18 goals. In addition, All-Star defenseman Jordan Subban is tied for second among AHL blue-liners with 14 goals. Utica completes a four-game homestand tonight before traveling to Allentown, Penn. tomorrow.
TIGERS VS. DEVILS
Saturday’s game will mark the fifth of six meetings between the Sound Tigers and Devils this season, and the third of three matchups at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport leads the series 3-1-0-0, including a pair of wins at home on Nov. 2 and Nov. 29. In addition, the Sound Tigers earned a 3-2 win at Times Union Center in their last tilt on Feb. 18. Josh Ho-Sang, now with the New York Islanders, recorded three points (one goal, two assists) that afternoon, while Carter Verhaehge and Jon Landry also found the back of the net.
VIEW FROM ALBANY
The Devils are just 5-5-0-0 over their last 10 games, but continue to hold second place in the North Division standings, four points behind the Syracuse Crunch. They were shutout by Albany, 3-0, in their last game on Saturday, the fourth time the Devils have been blanked this season. Rookie forward John Quenneville leads the team in points (40) and assists (29), while Ben Sexton paces Albany in goals (19). In addition, Quenneville is tied for fifth among AHL rookies in scoring and tied for third among rookies in assists. Between the pipes, Ken Appleby is 12th in the league with a 2.44 goals-against-average. The Devils are in Binghamton tonight before traveling to Bridgeport on Saturday.
TIGERS VS. WOLF PACK
Sunday’s game will mark the sixth of eight meetings between the Sound Tigers and Wolf Pack this season, and the third of four matchups at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport leads the series 4-1-0-0, including a 3-2 shootout win in their last outing on Jan. 27. Josh Winquist notched both goals in regulation for the Sound Tigers, while Andrew Rowe and Michael Dal Colle each scored in a four-round shootout. Hartford’s only win this season was a 5-2 decision in Bridgeport on Dec. 26. The Sound Tigers went 6-2-1-1 against the Wolf Pack in 2015-16.
VIEW FROM HARTFORD
Ken Gernander’s club has dropped back-to-back games and continues to sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. In their last outing on Sunday, Nicholas Jensen scored twice, including his team-leading 25th tally this season (third in the AHL), and Matt Carey added his 16th goal in a 6-3 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the XL Center. Goaltenders Brandon Halverson and Magnus Hellberg also combined to make 28 saves on 34 shots. Despite their rough season, the Wolf Pack got better at the NHL trade deadline when the New York Rangers acquired former Sound Tiger Taylor Beck from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Justin Fontaine. Beck is tied for fourth in the AHL with 51 points (13 goals, 38 assists) in 42 games this season – the majority of which came with the Bakersfield Condors.
Veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak is one game shy of his 500th pro appearance, which he is expected to hit tonight or tomorrow. The 31-year-old has played 388 NHL games and another 90 AHL contests (as well as time in the ECHL and in Germany). He boasts a 15-3-3 record in 21 games with the Sound Tigers this season along with a 2.07 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. He currently ranks second among AHL netminders in both goals-against-average and save percentage.
Six of the Sound Tigers last seven 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 8-6-2-1 in one-goal games on the road.
FRITZ FINDING HIS STRIDE
Following another two-point effort on Tuesday, Tanner Fritz has 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in his last 13 games, improving to second on the team in scoring with 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) this season. The Ohio State product is also second on the club in goals behind veteran Bracken Kearns (19).
Ryan Pulock is on a career-best eight-game point streak (two goals, nine assists), dating back to Feb. 19... The Sound Tigers magic number to clinch a playoff spot is “33”… Fourteen of Bridgeport’s last 18 games will take place in the Atlantic Division… Bracken Kearns is two points shy of 500 pro points... Ross Johnston played his 100th pro game on Tuesday.
NHL: New York Islanders (32-23-11) – Saturday at St. Louis, 8 p.m. ET
ECHL: Missouri Mavericks (27-23-2-5) – Tonight vs. Allen, 8:30 p.m. ET
POWER RANGERS NIGHT
The Sound Tigers will celebrate Power Rangers Night on Saturday night against Albany. Meet the Red Ranger and witness a live action performance during intermission at Webster Bank Arena. A special $25 Power Rangers Night package is still 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 are 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 email@example.com. Keep up with the latest Sound Tigers news on Facebook and on Twitter. For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com.