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Courtesy: Puck Stopper Photography

Sound Tigers Host Thunderbirds This Morning

Courtesy: SoundTigers.com
          Release: 04/04/2017
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DATE                      TIME            OPPONENT                               FOLLOW

Tuesday, Apr. 4       11 a.m.        @ Springfield Thunderbirds        Watch/Listen - Twitter


THE STORY COMING IN

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (42-24-3-1) have won three in a row, vaulting the team back into a playoff spot with just six games left in the regular season. Entering this morning’s contest against the Springfield Thunderbirds (29-30-9-2), Bridgeport is one point ahead of the Hershey Bears, with one game in hand as well. Last time out, the Sound Tigers beat the Bears in a head-to-head matchup in Chocolate Town on Sunday, headlined by Darren Nowick’s two-goal performance. Kane Lafranchise and Carter Verhaeghe also found the back of the net, while Eamon McAdam won his third straight game with 29 saves. McAdam is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against-average and .932 save percentage since last Wednesday. 

TIGERS VS. T-BIRDS

Today’s game marks the 11th of 12 meetings between the Sound Tigers and Thunderbirds this season, and the sixth of six matchups at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport leads the series 6-3-1-0, including a crucial 3-2 victory at the MassMutual Center last Wednesday. Bracken Kearns, Josh Winquist and Kellen Jones all scored for the Sound Tigers that evening. However, Springfield is 3-0-2 at Webster Bank Arena this season, recording at least one point each of the five previous meetings.   

VIEW FROM SPRINGFIELD

Geordie Kinnear’s club has won two straight games, but continues to rank sixth in the Atlantic Division standings, eliminated from playoff contention. Last time out, the Thunderbirds scored three times in the first period and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Providence Bruins at the MassMutual Center on Saturday. Tony Turgeon scored twice, his first two goals in the AHL, while All-Star defenseman Mackenzie Weegar added his 13th tally of the season one day before he was recalled from loan by the Florida Panthers. Springfield opens a three-game road trip today. 

JUST THAT EASY

New York Islanders prospects John Stevens and Jake Bischoff each made their pro debut last Friday, and both found the score sheet within their first two games. Bischoff, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year with the University of Minnesota, notched two points (one goal, one assist) in his debut in Lehigh Valley, while Stevens, Northeastern University’s captain this past season, logged an assist in Hershey on Saturday. Five players have now made their pro debut with the Sound Tigers this season, including Devon Toews, Travis St. Denis and Josh Ho-Sang.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Third-year defenseman Ryan Pulock has been extremely consistent since Feb. 19. The Islanders’ first round pick in 2013 racked up two more assists on Saturday in Hershey and has now recorded 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) in his last 26 games, improving to second on the team in scoring (42 points). Pulock also leads Bridgeport defensemen in points and is eighth among AHL blue-liners in scoring. 

UNDER THE RADAR

Speaking of consistent, defenseman Kane Lafranchise has quietly had one of the best seasons of his seven-year career. He has already notched AHL career highs in goals (5), assists (16) and points (21), and is tied for the team lead with a plus-18 rating. Lafranchise is a plus-six over his last six games. 

QUICK HITS

The Sound Tigers magic number to clinch a playoff spot is “10,” down 12 since last Tuesday... Devon Toews leads all AHL rookies with 37 assists... Bridgeport is 2-0-0-0 in morning games this season... The Sound Tigers have scored first in three straight games and are 30-5-1-0 when striking first in a game this season... Connor Jones became the second former Sound Tiger to make his NHL debut this season when he helped the Islanders to a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.

AFFILIATE REPORT

NHL: New York Islanders (37-29-12) - Tonight at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET

ECHL: Missouri Mavericks (32-29-3-5) – Tomorrow at Utah Grizzlies, 9 p.m. ET


DC Comics Day: Meet your favorite Justice League and DC Comics superheroes at the Sound Tigers’ regular-season home finale this Sunday, Apr. 9 against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Two special ticket packages are available that include access to the game, concession vouchers, a drawstring bag and more! CLICK HERE for tickets and more information. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the puck drops at 3 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 info@soundtigers.com. Keep up with the latest Sound Tigers news on Facebook and on Twitter. For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com.

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