Release: 03/01/2013
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GAME 53 - MAR. 1, 2013

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (22-23-3-4 overall, 10-15-1-1 away) at
Connecticut Whale (25-23-5-2, 13-12-2-1 home)

Live play-by-play with Phil Giubileo

Live Twitter Updates via @TheSoundTigers

- Tensions will be high and playoff positioning will be at stake this weekend when the Sound Tigers renew their rivalry with the in-state rival Connecticut Whale tonight. The two teams will square off at the XL Center tonight at 7 PM, and the Sound Tigers will host the Adirondack Phantoms on Saturday before closing out the weekend at Webster Bank Arena against the Whale on Sunday afternoon at 3 PM.

THE MATCHUP - The Sound Tigers have had plenty of success against the Whale so far this season, posting a 5-2-0-0 record which includes a 3-1-0-0 mark at the XL Center. Included in those three wins are a 6-4 Opening Night victory led by a five-goal second period, a 3-0 shutout victory on Dec. 27, and a 5-4 overtime win on Feb. 1.

PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS - The Sound Tigers have a chance to make up some ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race this weekend with two games against the Whale. The Whale currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot with 57 points, while the Sound Tigers sit 13th in the Eastern Conference with 51 points. However, the Sound Tigers have played three fewer games than the Whale, meaning Bridgeport could gain considerable ground with wins this weekend.

                     SOUND TIGERS VS. WHALE - BY THE NUMBERS
HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD 5-2-0-0 2-4-1-0
HEAD TO HEAD - LAST FIVE YEARS 25-16-3-3 22-17-4-4
GOALS FOR 155 155
PAST 10 GAMES 3-4-1-2 5-3-1-1
LEADING SCORERS Nino Niederreiter (22-17-39)
Brock Nelson (14-19-33)
Kris Newbury (17-29-46)
Brandon Segal (15-14-29)
PK - 80.6% - 24th in AHL
PP - 16.2% - 16th in AHL
PK - 79.8% - 27th in AHL
GOALTENDING LEADERS Kenny Reiter (0-2-1, 3.04 GAA, .907 SV%)
Rick DiPietro (0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, .000 SV%)
Cam Talbot (19-22-1, 2.59 GAA, .917 SV%)
Jason Missiaen (6-4-1, 3.77 GAA, .886 SV%)

THE LEADERS - John Persson has led the way offensively for the Sound Tigers against the Whale with eight points (5g/3a) in seven games this season. Nino Niederreiter has also posted seven points (3g/4a) in six games against the Whale, and seven Sound Tigers scored at least twice against their in-state rivals this season. Kevin Poulin is a perfect 4-0-0 against the Whale this season, but is on recall with the New York Islanders, so the Sound Tigers will start either Rick DiPietro or Kenny Reiter between the pipes. Marek Hrivik has six points (1g/5a) in five games against the Sound Tigers, and goaltender Cam Talbot has started all but one game against the Sound Tigers this season.

POWERFUL POWER PLAY - The Sound Tigers have recorded at least one power play goal in all seven games against the Whale this season. In those secen games, the Sound Tigers have gone 9-for-35 on the man-advantage, an impressive 25.7% success rate. However, the Sound Tigers power play has struggled of late, and is 0-for-23 over the last six games.

LAST GAME - Riley Holzapfel’s tally in the bottom of the fourth round of the shootout proved to be a game-winner, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Brad Thiessen denied Brock Nelson’s shot to lead off the fifth round as the Penguins beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.

SOUND TIGERS SIGN HUXLEY, LOAN MACKAY - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have announced the following transactions; Forward Max MacKay has been loaned to the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL), and forward Adam Huxley has signed a professional tryout contract (PTO) with the Sound Tigers. MacKay, 22, is in the midst of his first professional season after signing an American Hockey League contract with the Sound Tigers this offseason. The 6’1, 190-pound forward has recorded three assists in eight games with the Sound Tigers during the 2012-13 campaign. Huxley, 29, joins the Sound Tigers after beginning the season with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers.  The ninth-year pro has appeared in 48 games with the Wranglers this season, totaling nine points (three goals, six assists) and 213 penalty minutes.

JACKSON AGREES TO AHL DEAL - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced that defenseman Dallas Jackson has agreed to terms on a one-year, American Hockey League contract for the remainder of the 2012-13 season. Jackson, 23, signed a professional tryout contract with the Sound Tigers on Dec. 29, 2012 after beginning the season with ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators where he posted 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 31 games. The 6’2, 200-pound defenseman has notched two assists in 11 games with the Sound Tigers this season.

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