Sound Tigers Finish Road Trip North of the Border
DATE/TIME OPPONENT FOLLOW
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (9-5-2-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, travel north of the border this weekend for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader against the Laval Rocket (7-8-1-0) and Belleville Senators (7-8-0-0). First up, the Sound Tigers will try to extend their season-long six-game point streak (5-0-1-0) on Friday with a 7:30 p.m. matchup against Laval at Place Bell.
Last time out, the Sound Tigers saw their five-game win streak come to an end in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Wednesday. Tanner Fritz scored twice on the power play and goaltender Christopher Gibson notched two assists to go along with 19 saves, but it wasn't enough in the first of three road games this week. Jeff Kubiak added his second goal of the season with a nifty wrist shot from the left circle and Devon Toews also contributed with two assists.
TIGERS VS. ROCKET
Friday's game features the first of two meetings between the Sound Tigers and Rocket this season, and the only matchup in Laval, Quebec. Bridgeport went 1-1-0-0 against Laval in 2017-18, with the visiting team winning both contests. The Sound Tigers earned a 4-2 victory at Place Bell on Mar. 2, 2018, helped by Ben Holmstrom (one goal, one assist), Michael Dal Colle (two assists) and former Sound Tiger Andre Benoit (two assists).
VIEW FROM LAVAL
The Rocket have won four of their last five games, vaulting to fourth place in the North Division standings through their first 16 games. Last time out, Laval scored a season-high six goals in a 6-2 win against the Toronto Marlies on Tuesday, led by multi-point efforts from Lukas Vejdemo (two goals) and Michael Chaput (one goal, one assist). Chaput is one of three skaters with a team-leading five goals this season, tied with Jake Evans and captain Byron Froese. Alex Belzile leads the club in points (12) and assists (11), while Charlie Lindgren has won six of the team's seven games between the pipes. He is tied for 11th in the AHL with a 2.42 goals-against-average.
TIGERS VS. SENATORS
Saturday's 7 p.m. contest features the first of two meetings between the Sound Tigers and Senators this season, and the only matchup at CAA Arena. Bridgeport swept a two-game series in 2017-18, including a 4-2 win on Mar. 3, 2018. Parker Wotherspoon led the way that night with a career-best two goals.
VIEW FROM BELLEVILLE
The Senators are one game below .500 entering this weekend's action and rank fifth in the North Division standings. Belleville is coming off a 5-4 shootout win against the Utica Comets on Wednesday, in which four different players scored in regulation and former Hartford forward Adam Tambellini won it in a three-round shootout. Drake Batherson leads Belleville with an impressive 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 14 games, but the rookie forward was recalled by Ottawa on Tuesday and is not currently available for the B-Sens. Batherson also leads all AHL rookies in scoring and is tied for second in the League overall. The Senators host Toronto on Friday before welcoming Bridgeport to CAA Arena on Saturday.
Devon Toews notched his third multi-point performance in the last five games on Wednesday with a pair of assists against Hartford. Toews now leads the team with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in as many contests and has three goals and seven assists (10 points) over his last seven games. The Islanders fourth-round pick in 2014 is fourth among AHL defensemen in scoring and tied for 10th in the AHL overall.
The Sound Tigers will carry a number of notable streaks into their weekend series in Canada. Steve Bernier is on a six-game point streak and an AHL career-best five-game assist streak, while Kieffer Bellows has scored in four of his last five outings and is currently on a career-best five-game point streak. Bernier hasn't logged points in seven straight games since a career-best eight-game streak from Dec. 22, 2005 – Jan. 8, 2006. In addition, Otto Koivula is on a five-game point streak ahead of tonight's matchup.
Josh Ho-Sang had a trio of assists last week and now leads the Sound Tigers with 14 helpers this season. Even better, Ho-Sang leads all AHL forwards in assists and is second in the League overall (one behind Rochester's Lawrence Pilut). Ho-Sang has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his last seven games and is second on the club in scoring (one point behind Devon Toews).
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Three-time Calder Cup Champion Chris Bourque became just the 24th player to eclipse 700 points in AHL history when he collected the secondary assist on Devon Toews' first-period goal against Providence last Saturday. Bourque has played 735 AHL games and is currently three points shy of 23rd place on the all-time list held by Alex Giroux (2001-12). He is also one goal away from tying Bob Solinger (241 goals, 1945-60) for 48th place on the all-time goal-scoring list and 14 helpers shy of tying Zellio Toppazzini (476, 1948-64) for 14th all-time in assists. Bourque has nine points (four goals, five assists) and a team-high 46 shots in 14 appearances with Bridgeport this season.
Brent Thompson is two wins shy of his 200th AHL/Sound Tigers victory as head coach… Kyle Burroughs is two games away from his 200th AHL/Sound Tigers appearance… Bridgeport is 9-1-2-0 this season when leading at any point in a game… The Sound Tigers have outscored opponents 42-29 at home this season and are currently on a seven-game point streak at Webster Bank Arena (6-0-1-0)... Jeremy Colliton, the Sound Tigers' all-time leader in assists (126) & points (203), was named head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, Nov. 6... Bridgeport's leading goal-scorer, Michael Dal Colle, was recalled by the Islanders on Thursday along with Stephen Gionta.
NHL: New York Islanders (10-6-2): Next vs. Dallas, Sunday (1 p.m. ET)
ECHL: Worcester Railers (5-8-1-0): Next vs. Orlando, Tomorrow (7:05 p.m. ET)
Packed Promotional Lineup: The Sound Tigers will boast one of their most extensive and wide-ranging promotional schedules ever for the 2018-19 season. The fan-friendly calendar includes the return of popular themes like Hockey and Hops (Nov. 23 and Mar. 17), Military Appreciation (Jan. 12), Star Wars Night (Jan. 19) and Princess Night (Mar. 30). Regional hockey fans will be elated for the addition of Hockey Weekend in Connecticut (Feb. 23-24), while other new headliners include Holiday Gift Weekend (Dec. 15-16) and a revamped Teddy Bear Toss (Nov. 23). View the full 2018-19 promotional schedule.
For additional details or to reserve a group outing for any giveaway or theme night, please call the Sound Tigers' front office 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.