Sound Tigers Head North of the Border This Weekend
DATE TIME OPPONENT FOLLOW
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (26-22-5-3), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, make their inaugural visit to Laval, Que. and Belleville, Ont. this weekend as the club continues a four-game road trip. The Sound Tigers will cross the border to face the Laval Rocket (21-26-6-2) and Belleville Senators (21-33-1-3) in a pair of North Division matchups, beginning Friday with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop at Place Bell. Bridgeport has won back-to-back games for the first time since late January after defeating the Rochester Americans in overtime, 2-1, on Wednesday night in Upstate New York. Travis St. Denis recorded the game-winner at 1:23 of the extra frame and Michael Dal Colle also contributed with his seventh goal of the season, which helped Bridgeport snap a six-game slide on the road (0-4-1-1). In addition, Kristers Gudlevskis made 25 saves and has now stopped 64 of 65 shots over his last two starts (98.5%) - both wins.
TIGERS VS. ROCKET
Friday's game marks the second and final meeting between the Sound Tigers and Rocket this season, and the only matchup in Laval, Que. Bridgeport suffered a 6-3 loss to Laval in its home opener on Oct. 21 (inaugural meeting), in which Scott Eansor scored twice, but the Rocket answered with two goals from Tom Parisi and a three-point effort from both Daniel Carr (one goal, two assists) and Byron Froese (one goal, one assist). The Sound Tigers are also 0-1-0-0 in Canada this season after falling to Toronto, 6-1, on Jan. 6 at Ricoh Coliseum.
VIEW FROM LAVAL
Following a five-day hiatus, the Rocket return to action on Friday looking to extend a two-game win streak, including a 4-3 victory against the Belleville Senators in their last outing on Saturday. Daniel Audette collected two points (one goal, one assist) and Markus Eisenschmid scored the game-winner at 6:58 of the third period, while Zachary Fucale made 27 saves on 30 shots. Despite the victory, fifth-place Laval is still 19 points outside of a playoff spot with 21 games left in the regular season. All-Star forward Chris Terry leads the club with 22 goals and 45 points in 41 games this season, which is also tied for ninth in the AHL's scoring race. Matt Taormina paces Laval with 36 assists.
TIGERS VS. B-SENS
Saturday's 7 p.m. game will feature the second of two meetings between the Sound Tigers and Senators this season, and the inaugural contest at Yardmen Arena. Bridgeport took the first matchup on Feb. 3 with a 3-1 victory at Webster Bank Arena, led by captain Ben Holmstrom's first two-goal performance since Mar. 26, 2011. Connor Jones also beat Senators goaltender Danny Taylor that evening. The Sound Tigers went 3-0-1-0 against the Ottawa Senators' AHL affiliate last season (the Binghamton Senators) before the team was relocated north of the border last summer.
VIEW FROM BELLEVILLE
The Senators are just 2-8-0-0 over their last 10 contests and enter the weekend on a five-game losing streak. In their last outing on Tuesday, Filip Chlapik scored the B-Sens' only tally and Danny Taylor made 21 saves in a 4-1 setback to the Binghamton Devils at home. Belleville continues to sit in the cellar of the Eastern Conference with 46 points in 58 games. The team's two leading scorers, Jim O'Brien and Max McCormick, are on call-up with the Ottawa Senators as Bellville opens a three-game weekend series on Friday in Utica, N.Y.
Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis is expected to make his third consecutive start on Friday, which would also be his 200th professional appearance. The New York Islanders prospect made a season-high 39 saves in Sunday's 1-0 win against Charlotte and is 91-62-26 in 199 pro games with the Sound Tigers, Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), Florida Everblades (ECHL) and Riga Dynamo (KHL). Gudlevskis was acquired by the Islanders on July 1, 2017 in exchange for forward Carter Verhaeghe.
THE LONELIEST NUMBER
Bridgeport's narrow victory over Charlotte on Sunday was the team's fifth 1-0 game this season (3-2) and its fourth since Jan. 21. The Sound Tigers played three 1-0 games last season and only 10 over the last 10 seasons combined. Bridgeport now ranks fifth in the AHL in goals against per game (2.63) and continues to pace the League in shots against per game (26.13). The Sound Tigers are 16-1-0-1 when allowing one or fewer goals this season and 13-9-5-3 in one-goal decisions.
Casey Bailey is two games shy of his 200th professional contest… Steve Bernier is two games away from his 800th as a pro… Bridgeport's power play is 0-for-26 over the last seven games, but its penalty kill is 19-for-21 during that span… The Sound Tigers' penalty kill is third in the AHL (86.0%)... Bridgeport's four-game road trip is tied for its longest of the season... Twelve of the club's final 20 games will take place on the road... The Sound Tigers have scored the first goal in five straight games and are 5-5-1-1 against North Division opponents.
NHL: New York Islanders (29-28-7): Next vs. Montreal Canadiens - Friday, 7 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (25-22-4-3): Next vs. Wheeling Nailers - Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET
ComiConn Night: Your favorite comic book characters and superheroes will take over Webster Bank Arena on Saturday, Mar. 10 when the Sound Tigers host “ComiConn Night” against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at 7:30 p.m. In addition, a portion of ticket sales and concessions proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish Connecticut to help grant future wishes for kids in the state. Click here for more information or to purchase a special ComiConn Night package.
Pucks ‘N Paws: Bring your dog to Webster Bank Arena on Sunday, Mar. 11 at 3 p.m. for the popular Pucks ‘N Paws Day, presented by VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Centers. The Sound Tigers will face the Springfield Thunderbirds and all fans are encouraged to bring their dogs to the game. In addition, there will be several animal welfare organizations on hand to showcase pets that are available for adoption. Click here for a special ticket offer.
Served by Sound Tigers: Meet Sound Tigers goaltender Eamon McAdam and defenseman Mike Cornell at Eli's Tavern in Milford (21 Daniel Street) on Tuesday, Mar. 6. Each player will be serving dinners from 6-8 p.m. as well as signing autographs and taking pictures during that time.
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.