In-State Rivalry Heats Up Today in Bridgeport
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THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (23-20-5-3), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, host their bitter in-state rival, the Hartford Wolf Pack (25-22-4-3), for the final time this season with a 3 p.m. puck drop at Webster Bank Arena this afternoon. The Sound Tigers are hoping to snap a five-game slide (0-3-1-1) and a three-game losing streak at home (0-3-0-0), including a 5-0 loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Tuesday. In their last outing on Friday, the Sound Tigers were blanked for the second straight game in a 1-0 shootout loss to the Providence Bruins in Rhode Island. Christopher Gibson made 30 saves in 65 minutes for his career-best third shutout of the season, but Zane McIntyre completed the double shutout, making 29 stops for his league-leading fifth of the year. The Sound Tigers have not scored since Michael Dal Colle's second-period tally (16:52 mark) against the Syracuse Crunch last Sunday.
Bring out the family and meet popular fairy-tale princesses during this afternoon's contest at Webster Bank Arena. Each princess will be available for pictures and autographs on the concourse, and fans are encouraged take advantage of great seats or click here for more info.
TIGERS VS. PACK
Today's game features the ninth of 10 meetings between the Sound Tigers and Wolf Pack this season, and the fifth of five matchups at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport is 5-1-1-1 against Hartford thus far, but the Wolf Pack have won each of the last two meetings beyond regulation, including a 5-4 overtime win on Feb. 7 at XL Center. Hartford scored three goals in the opening period and led 4-0 after 40 minutes, but the Sound Tigers stormed back with their first four-goal frame of the season to force overtime and collect one point. However, Ryan Sproul capped a two-goal performance with the game-winner in OT. Bridgeport is 2-1-0-1 in the season series at home.
VIEW FROM HARTFORD
Keith McCambridge's club has won seven of its last 10 games and can leap over Bridgeport for fifth place in the Atlantic Division standings with a victory this afternoon. Last night, the Wolf Pack rallied from a 2-0 deficit after 40 minutes on the road to earn a 3-2 shootout win against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the PPL Center. Lias Andersson and Adam Tambellini each scored in the third period, while Tambellini collected the only goal in a three-round shootout. Between the pipes, Chris Nell (6-5-0) made 23 saves en route to his first AHL win since Dec. 9. Hartford concludes a six-game road trip today in Bridgeport.
Veteran forward Stephen Gionta played his 400th AHL game on Friday and currently sits four contests shy of his 700th pro appearance. The 34-year-old has earned 152 points (65g, 87a) in his AHL career with the Sound Tigers, Albany River Rats, Lowell Devils and Albany Devils since his debut on April 13, 2006. Prior to signing with the New York Islanders, he spent 10 seasons in the New Jersey Devils organization and helped the club to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2012. Gionta has 296 games of NHL experience under his belt with the Islanders and Devils. His older brother, Brian Gionta, currently serves as captain with Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
ST. DENIS HITS CENTURY MARK
Second-year forward Travis St. Denis is expected to play his 100th professional game this afternoon. The Quinnipiac University product has 44 points (21 goals, 23 assists) in 99 pro outings and currently leads all active scorers on the Sound Tigers with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 49 games this season. He is also tied for third on the club in goals and enters today's contest with four points (one goal, three assists) in his last six games.
Two-time Calder Cup champion and former NHL defenseman Andre Benoit joined the Sound Tigers on Tuesday (loaned by the Columbus Blue Jackets) and made his Bridgeport debut on Friday night, recording five shots on goal… The Sound Tigers have outshot their opponents 224-156 during the month of February (seven games), but are 1-4-1-1 over that stretch... The Sound Tigers are just 1-3-1-0 when recording 40 or more shots, including Tuesday's loss to Lehigh Valley.
NHL: New York Islanders (29-25-6): Next vs. Minnesota Wild - Monday, 1 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (22-21-4-3): Next at Adirondack Thunder - Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET
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.