Two Key Rivalries Cap Pre-Holiday Slate
DATE TIME OPPONENT FOLLOW
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (13-11-2-1), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, head north and partake in a couple of key rivalry games this weekend before the team splits for its brief holiday break. The Sound Tigers will visit the MassMutual Center for the third time in as many weekends on Friday, gearing up a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Springfield Thunderbirds (12-18-1-0), before shifting to the XL Center on Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest against the Hartford Wolf Pack (12-12-3-3). Bridgeport has fallen in each of its last two trips to Springfield, but the club collected three points in three games last weekend overall, including an overtime win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday. The Sound Tigers are coming off of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Sunday, but Bridgeport outshot its opponent 39-18 that day (17-2 in the third period) and Michael Dal Colle and Casey Bailey each scored to help Bridgeport earn one point. The Sound Tigers have not won in regulation since Nov. 24 against Hartford.
TIGERS VS. T-BIRDS
Friday's contest marks the fifth of 10 meetings between the Sound Tigers and T-Birds this season, and the third of five games in Massachusetts. The home team has won each of the first four meetings and the series is currently knotted at 2-2-0-0, with Bridgeport taking both games in November and Springfield having won each contest in December thus far. In their last head-to-head battle one week ago, Parker Wotherspoon scored his first two professional goals (one shorthanded) and Tanner Fritz logged two assists, but Juho Lammikko led the T-Birds to victory with three points (one goal, two assists) and Ryan Horvat recorded a plus-four rating. Fritz leads all skaters in the season series with six points (two goals, four assists) in four games.
VIEW FROM SPRINGFIELD
The Thunderbirds have won three straight home games for the second time this season, but continue to occupy the basement of the Eastern Conference. Last time out, Springfield earned a 2-1 shootout win against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, in which Bobby Farnham netted his fourth goal of the year and Francois Beauchemin scored the only tally of a three-round shootout to lift the Thunderbirds to their second straight win overall. Alexandre Grenier also notched an assist and now leads the team with 18 helpers and 25 points in 31 games. Grenier is also tied for 17th in the AHL's scoring race. The T-Birds continue a five-game homestand on Friday.
TIGERS VS. WOLF PACK
Saturday's game will mark the sixth of 10 meetings between the Sound Tigers and Wolf Pack this season, and the third of five matchups at the XL Center. Bridgeport leads the series 4-1-0-0 and collected a 7-3 win at Webster Bank Arena in their last meeting on Nov. 24, in which Seth Helgeson, Josh Holmstrom, Scott Eansor and Casey Bailey all scored once and added an assist. The Sound Tigers are also 2-0-0-0 in Hartford this season and earned a 2-1 overtime victory in their last trip to the state's capital on Nov. 15. Devon Toews notched both goals, including the overtime winner, that night.
VIEW FROM HARTFORD
Keith McCambridge's club enters the weekend on a season-long eight-game point streak (5-0-1-2) and has climbed to sixth place in the Atlantic Division standings. The Wolf Pack earned a 5-4 overtime win against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in their last outing on Sunday, in which Anthony DeAngelo scored the game-winner 100 seconds into the extra frame and added an assist in regulation. Between the pipes, Marek Mazanec made 30 saves in his fourth appearance for Hartford and leading scorer Peter Holland also recorded one assist. The former Laval forward now paces the Wolf Pack with 17 helpers and 27 points this season. The Wolf Pack host the Providence Bruins on Friday before welcoming Bridgeport to the XL Center on Saturday.
Josh Ho-Sang extended his AHL point streak to five games (tied for the longest of his pro career) after logging an assist in each of his two appearances with the Sound Tigers last weekend. The second-year forward has eight points (two goals, six assists) in eight games with Bridgeport this season, including five assists in his last four contests, split up between a recall to the New York Islanders. Ho-Sang was loaned back to Bridgeport by the Islanders last Friday. In addition, Casey Bailey is on a season-best four-game point streak (three goals, two assists) and Tanner Fritz is on a three-game streak (four assists).
KEEPING IT CLOSE
Each of the Sound Tigers' three games last weekend resulted in a one-goal differential and Bridgeport is now tied for first in the AHL with 15 one-goal outcomes this season. Of course, going beyond regulation guarantees a one-goal decision and six of the team's last 10 games have ended in overtime or a shootout. The Sound Tigers are 7-5-2-1 in one-goal outcomes this season.
Tanner Fritz is on a seven-game point streak on the road (four goals, 10 assists) - tied for the longest in the AHL this season... Fritz is seventh in the AHL's scoring race with 29 points (eight goals, 21 assists) and also ranks fifth in the League in helpers… Sebastian Aho's eight goals are second among AHL defensemen and his four game-winning tallies are tied for first among League rookies… Devon Toews leads AHL blue-liners with 86 shots… Aho and Toews are tied for fourth among defensemen with 19 points… Christopher Gibson (34) is one win shy of tying Anders Nilsson (35) for sixth place on the Sound Tigers' all-time list for victories by a goaltender... The Sound Tigers lead the Eastern Conference with 32.93 shots per game and rank second in the AHL overall in shots against (26.59).
NHL: New York Islanders (19-13-4): Next vs. Winnipeg Jets - Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (11-9-2-2): Next vs. Adirondack Thunder - Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET
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About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
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