The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (0-3-0-0) host their in-state rival for the first time this season as the Hartford Wolf Pack (2-0-0-0) visit Webster Bank Arena for today's 1 p.m. matchup. It's the second of 12 meetings this season and the first of six in Bridgeport. Hartford earned a 5-2 win in their opening matchup on Feb. 7 at the XL Center, led by Tarmo Reunanen's two points (one goal, one assist). Four players scored their first pro goal that day including Samuel Bolduc and Cole Coskey for the Sound Tigers, as well as Morgan Barron and Will Cuylle for the Wolf Pack. Bridgeport went 1-5-2-0 against Hartford last season with its only victory coming on Dec. 27, 2019 at home.
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LAST TIME OUT
The Sound Tigers led after 40 minutes for the second time in as many games but couldn't hold on in a 5-3 loss to the Providence Bruins during their home opener on Saturday. Bobo Carpenter, Cole Bardreau and Kyle MacLean each found the back of the net, while Jakub Skarek (0-3-0) made 24 saves. Two of the Sound Tigers' goals came shorthanded, marking just the second time in franchise history that Bridgeport scored twice shorthanded in the same game.
WHEN AT WEBSTER
Today is the middle contest of a season-long, three-game homestand at Webster Bank Arena. It's also the second of just 12 home games all year. The Sound Tigers went 12-14-2-2 at home last season and 1-2-1-0 at home against Hartford.
Bridgeport has scored six times in their first three games and two of those goals came shorthanded on Saturday. Cole Bardreau and Kyle MacLean each found the back of the net 9:34 apart in the second period, marking just the second time in franchise history that Bridgeport has scored two shorthanded goals in the same game. The only other time that happened was Justin Mapletoft and Ben Guite on Feb. 14, 2004. The Sound Tigers had three shorthanded goals all of last season.
MacLEAN's MEMORABLE DAY
Rookie forward Kyle MacLean recorded his first professional goal and first pro fight on Saturday, both coming in the second period just 22 seconds apart. MacLean, an undrafted center out of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), teamed up with A.J. Greer for a 2-on-0 shorthanded breakaway at the 16:48 mark and brushed home Greer’s cross-ice pass to give Bridgeport a 3-2 lead. On the next shift, he dropped the gloves with Alex-Olivier Voyer and finished the contest one assist shy of the Gordie Howe hat trick. MacLean had 156 points (51g, 105a) in 278 games over parts of five seasons with the Oshawa Generals (OHL) prior to turning pro.
BOBO CONTINUES TO PRODUCE
Bobo Carpenter has picked up right where he left off last March with two goals in three games to begin 2020-21. The 24-year-old had two goals in his last three games of the 2019-20 campaign and now has four goals in his last six. He had just four goals in 28 games last season following an injury that kept him out until December.
KOIVULA, TIMASHOV ENTER LINEUP
The New York Islanders announced last Wednesday that Otto Koivula and Dmytro Timashov were loaned from the taxi squad to Bridgeport and both players made their AHL season debuts on Saturday. Both forwards finished the game with one shot-on-target, skating with Simon Holmstrom on the Sound Tigers’ top line. Koivula has not played a game in the NHL this season after making 12 appearances with the Islanders in 2019-20, while Timashov played one game, his Islanders debut, on Jan. 31st at Philadelphia.
Samuel Bolduc is the only Sound Tiger with points in back-to-back games this season (one goal, one assist in his last two outings)… A.J. Greer collected his first point with the club on Saturday (assist)… Simon Holmstrom is expected to play his 50th AHL game today… Mitch Vande Sompel celebrated his 24th birthday last Thursday... Brett Neumann turned 22 on Monday... Mason Jobst turns 27 today.