Sound Tigers Look to Extend Win Streak This Weekend
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THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (21-15-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, look to extend their winning ways this weekend in a two-game series against the Springfield Thunderbirds (19-24-1-1) and Hershey Bears (17-19-3-4) before the All-Star Break. The Sound Tigers have won three games in a row for the fourth time this season, including a 3-1 victory against Springfield on Wednesday. John Stevens, Travis St. Denis and Josh Holmstrom each scored in a steady, 60-minute effort, and Kristers Gudlevskis made 19 saves to backstop his second straight win. In addition, Bridgeport continued to play terrific hockey at home and extended its unbeaten in regulation streak at Webster Bank Arena to nine games (7-0-1-1) – four shy of the franchise record.
Meet Spiderman, Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America on Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Sound Tigers host the Hershey Bears at Webster Bank Arena. Special ticket packages are available now through Friday afternoon that include access to the game, a superhero t-shirt and more, starting at just $25. Click here for tickets and more information on Marvel Night, or call the team's front office at 203-345-2300 ext. 7. Doors open at 6 p.m.
TIGERS VS. T-BIRDS
Friday's game marks the seventh of 10 meetings between the Sound Tigers and Thunderbirds this season, and the fourth of five matchups at MassMutual Center. Bridgeport is 3-3-0-0 against Springfield this year and the home team has won each of the first six contests, including Springfield's 5-2 victory in their last tilt in Massachusetts on Dec. 22. Former Sound Tiger Anthony Greco logged a season-high four points (two goals, two assists) that evening.
VIEW FROM SPRINGFIELD
The Thunderbirds went 2-11-1-0 in their first 14 games, but are 17-13-0-1 since Nov. 11 and have nearly climbed out of the Atlantic Division's basement. Geordie Kinnear's team won five straight games earlier this month, but Springfield has lost three in a row entering tonight's contest, including a 2-0 setback to the Providence Bruins on Sunday prior to Wednesday's loss in Bridgeport. Despite suffering the loss, goaltender Samuel Montembeault was impressive with a career-high 47 saves on 48 shots and climbed to fifth in the AHL in minutes played this season (1,662). Montembeault was recalled by the Florida Panthers on Wednesday morning and did not face the Sound Tigers.
TIGERS VS. BEARS
Saturday's game marks the third of six matchups between the Sound Tigers and Bears this season, and the second of three meetings at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport has played consistent hockey against Hershey this year and the club is 2-0-0-0 in the series, including a 3-1 win in Bridgeport on Dec. 27. Liam O'Brien struck first just 1:38 into the contest, but Scott Eansor, Michael Dal Colle and Tanner Fritz each responded for the Sound Tigers and Christopher Gibson made 21 saves on 22 shots.
VIEW FROM HERSHEY
Troy Mann's club enters the weekend on a six-game losing streak (0-3-2-1) and has dropped to seventh place in the Atlantic Division standings. Last time out, the Bears were blanked for the fourth time this season in a 4-0 setback to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday. Veteran scoring threat Chris Bourque was kept in check and had just one shot in the contest, but continues to lead the AHL with 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in 43 games and is fourth in the League in helpers. The Bears visit Providence on Friday before swinging by Webster Bank Arena on Saturday.
Kristers Gudlevskis has won back-to-back games for the first time this season and is expected to play in tonight's game – his third consecutive start. The fifth-year goaltender has stopped 44 of the last 45 shots he's faced, including a 25-save shutout of the Toronto Marlies last Sunday, in which he became just the 19th AHL netminder to play through 65 minutes, plus a shootout, with an entirely blank sheet. He is up to 16th in the League with a 2.58 goal-against-average.
HEY NOW, YOU'RE AN ALL-STAR
The American Hockey League announced Wednesday that defenseman Mitch Vande Sompel and goaltender Christopher Gibson have been added to the playing roster for its 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Casino Resort in Utica, N.Y. on Monday. They replace Tanner Fritz and Sebastian Aho, who were initially selected to the event but will be unavailable due to call-ups with the New York Islanders. Vande Sompel leads all Sound Tigers defensemen with 21 points (three goals, 18 assists) in 37 games and is third on the team in scoring overall. He's also tied for ninth among AHL rookies in assists and has gone 2-for-2 in shootout attempts, scoring the game-deciding goal each time. Meanwhile, Gibson is tied for sixth in the League with 15 wins and is 7-2-2 over his last 11 outings. He also ranks ninth in minutes played (1,461) and 12th in goals-against-average (2.51).
Down-to-the-wire finishes are becoming a theme for the Sound Tigers. Three of their last four games, and seven of the last nine, have been decided by just one tally and Bridgeport is now tied for second in the AHL with 23 one-goal outcomes this season (trailing Utica with 25). The Sound Tigers are 11-6-4-2 when games are decided by just one goal.
The Islanders loaned forwards Tanner Fritz, Michael Dal Colle and Ross Johnston to Bridgeport on Friday, but none of the three are expected to play against Springfield… Johnston scored his first NHL goal in Thursday's 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Center… The Sound Tigers have outshot their opponent 32 times in 42 games this season (76.2%), including four straight contests… Bridgeport is 15-11-4-2 when recording more shots than the opponent… The Sound Tigers' penalty kill is second in the AHL overall (87.4%) and fourth on the road (88.9%).
NHL: New York Islanders (25-20-5): Next vs. Florida Panthers – Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (15-19-3-2): Next vs. Quad City Mallards - Tonight, 7:05 p.m. ET
Guarantee Your Seats: Flex plans are on sale now for the 2017-18 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, 15-game or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy, which means any unused tickets can be traded for future games. Please contact Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via email@example.com with questions or to guarantee your seats.
Don't Go It Alone: Whether it's a corporate outing, a fundraiser, or just friends getting together, a group outing with the Sound Tigers will guarantee an unforgettable experience filled with fast-paced action on the ice, great music, promotions and contests at an affordable price. The Sound Tigers have a variety of packages and promotional events to offer. Please call the team's front office at 203-345-2300 ext. 7 for more information on the benefits of bringing your group to a future game!
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.