Penguins, Bruins On Tap in Three-Game Weekend
DATE TIME OPPONENT FOLLOW
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (35-27-5-3), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, tackle their eighth three-game series of the season this weekend with matchups against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (41-21-6-2) and Providence Bruins (41-24-3-2). The busy weekend kicks off Friday night with Bridgeport's final trip to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, where the Penguins will be waiting at 7:05 p.m. The Sound Tigers are still alive in their quest to make the playoffs, but their “tragic number” is down to just two with six games remaining. Last time out, Casey Bailey and Travis St. Denis each scored on the power play, and Kellen Jones netted his third tally of the season, in a 3-2 win against Providence on Tuesday morning. Josh Ho-Sang added two assists and Eamon McAdam (5-1-0) backstopped the effort with 23 saves to guide Bridgeport to its fourth victory in five games.
CONNOR JONES BOBBLEHEAD DAY
The Sound Tigers complete the weekend on Sunday with a 3 p.m. matchup against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the first 2,500 fans at Webster Bank Arena will take home a bobblehead of former Quinnipiac University forward and New York Islanders prospect Connor Jones, presented by AFC Urgent Care of Bridgeport, Fairfield and Shelton. Doors open at 2 p.m. for the sixth and final meeting between the Sound Tigers and Penguins this season. Reserve your seats now!
TIGERS VS. PENGUINS
Friday's game marks the fifth of six meetings between the Sound Tigers and Penguins this season, and the third of three matchups in Pennsylvania. Bridgeport leads the series 2-1-1-0 following a 6-3 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza just 12 days ago, in which Ryan Bourque and Travis St. Denis each scored twice en route to the Sound Tigers' first road win against the Penguins since Apr. 2, 2016. St. Denis and Penguins forward Ryan Haggerty lead all scorers in the series with three goals in four games, while 19 different Sound Tigers have recorded at least one point against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this year.
VIEW FROM WILKES-BARRE
Clark Donatelli's club can clinch a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs by collecting just one point this weekend. The second-place Penguins have won three of their last four games, including a 5-3 victory against the Hershey Bears on Tuesday, in which Daniel Sprong scored his team-leading 28th goal of the season and Tristan Jarry made 30 saves on 33 shots. Sprong also leads all AHL rookies in goals, ranks second among rookies in points (57), second among rookies in power-play goals (10) and fourth among first-year players in assists (28). Meanwhile, Brown University product Sam Lafferty scored his first pro goal on Tuesday after being named to the All-Ivy League Second Team earlier this season.
TIGERS VS. BRUINS
Saturday's 7 p.m. game at Webster Bank Arena features 12th and final meeting between the Sound Tigers and Bruins this season. Bridgeport is 6-4-0-1 against its most frequent opponent thus far, including Tuesday's 3-2 victory in the Park City. Josh Ho-Sang had two assists that morning and now leads Bridgeport in the season series with nine points (one goal, eight assists) in nine appearances. Click here for tickets!
VIEW FROM PROVIDENCE
Jay Leach's team has cut its magic number to four and can clinch a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs this weekend. The third-place Bruins have a nine-point lead over of the Sound Tigers in the Atlantic Division standings, but the club has lost three of its last four games and is just 5-5-0-0 over its last 10. Leading scorer Austin Czarnik is third in the AHL with 62 points (21 goals, 41 assists) in 59 games, but the 2018 AHL All-Star is beginning to slow down with just one assist over his last five outings. Meanwhile, the Bruins possess one of the best goaltending tandems in the AHL between Jordan Binnington and Zane McIntyre. Binnington is second in the league with a 1.94 goals-against-average and third with a .931 save percentage, while McIntyre is tied for first in shutouts (six) and tied for fourth in wins (23). The Bruins host the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday before traveling to Webster Bank Arena Saturday night.
The New York Islanders returned Christopher Gibson to Bridgeport on Tuesday and he is expected to start Friday's game. Gibson is tied for sixth in the AHL with a 2.31 goals-against-average and posted back-to-back shutouts prior to his call-up on Feb. 19 following an injury to Thomas Greiss. Gibson is 18-11-3 in 33 AHL appearances this season and boasts a career-high four shutouts, including a 22-save effort in a 4-0 win against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Feb. 18. With the Islanders, Gibson posted a 2-3-2 record in eight games, highlighted by a 50-save victory against the Calgary Flames on March 11. The fifth-year goaltender also made 36 saves in a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 20.
BAILEY'S BEST YEAR
Casey Bailey has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his last 14 games and with Bridgeport's first goal in Tuesday's 3-2 win against Providence, the Penn State University product extended his scoring total to a career-high 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) this season. A team-best 21 of those have come on the man advantage (nine goals, 12 assists) and the Sound Tigers have now scored at least one power-play goal in 10 of their last 14 games. In addition, Bailey leads the club with 196 shots (fifth in the league) and is tied for first with four game-winning goals. He played his 200th AHL game Tuesday morning.
Long Island native Ryan Hitchcock signed an amateur tryout (ATO) with Bridgeport on March 8 and he's been on fire ever since. The rookie forward, who celebrated his 22nd birthday last Friday, has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 10 pro games and scored his first pro goal in Wilkes-Barre on Mar. 25. Three of his 10 pro games have featured multi-point performances. Prior to turning pro, Hitchcock recorded a career-best 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 31 games as Yale University's captain earlier this season.
Travis St. Denis has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his last 12 games... Josh Ho-Sang has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last 12 outings… Ben Holmstrom will tie Scott Mayfield for ninth place on the Sound Tigers' all-time games played list (222) when he takes the ice tonight... All 222 of those have come consecutively, which is the AHL's longest active streak... The Sound Tigers have outscored opponents 9-1 at 4-on-4 play this season (excluding empty-netters)... Sebastian Aho has seven points (seven assists) in six games since being loaned by the New York Islanders on Mar. 22.
NHL: New York Islanders (34-37-10): Next at Detroit Red Wings - Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (36-26-4-4): Next at Manchester Monarchs- Saturday, 6 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.