Sound Tigers Face Amerks TonightMar 8, 2019
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (35-18-5-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, have won a season-high seven straight games and will look to push that even further tonight as they continue a five-game road trip with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Rochester Americans (35-18-3-2) at Blue Cross Arena. Bridgeport also has points in 10 straight (9-0-1-0) following a 3-1 win against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at PPL Center last Sunday. Matt Lorito scored twice for the first time with Bridgeport, while Steve Bernier added his team-leading 20th goal of the season - one shy of a career. Tanner Fritz also had two assists and Jeremy Smith (17-9-3) made 24 saves between the pipes for his third straight victory.
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TIGERS VS. AMERKS
Tonight's game marks the fourth and final meeting between the Sound Tigers and Amerks this season, and the second of two matchups at Blue Cross Arena. Bridgeport is winless in the first three contests (0-1-1-1), including a 5-4 shootout loss in their last tilt on Jan 2. Tanner Fritz had two points that night (one goal, one assist) and Jeremy Smith made 25 saves in 65 minutes, while Kyle Criscuolo led the way for Rochester (one goal, one assist). Victor Olofsson had one assist and the only goal in three-round shootout, and now leads all players in the season series with five points (two goals, three assists). Olofsson scored the game-winning goal in both meetings in Bridgeport, Oct. 13-14.
VIEW FROM ROCHESTER
Chris Taylor's club has won six of its last eight games and enters tonight's tilt just two points behind Syracuse for first place in the North Division. However, the Amerks suffered a 4-1 loss to the Crunch in their last game on Sunday, despite Alex Nylander's 10th goal of the season and 23 saves from Scott Wedgewood. Rookie forward Victor Olofsson leads Rochester in points (48) and assists (27), and is tied for the team lead in goals (21) through 55 appearances. He is also tied for second in the AHL in game-winners (7). Meanwhile, Zach Redmond leads all AHL defensemen in goals (21), points (47) and shots (167), and leads the league with nine game-winning goals. On January 23, Redmond set the Amerks' 46-year-old franchise record for single-season goals by a defenseman. He was named to the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic, but could not play due to injury.
The Sound Tigers are on a three-game winning streak and four-game point streak away from Webster Bank Arena, both season highs. Bridgeport has outscored opponents 12-6 during its win streak and is two games above .500 on the road for the first time this season (15-13-3-1). The club hasn’t won four straight games away from home ice since Feb. 28, 2018 - Mar. 9, 2018.
LORITO MAKING HIS MARK
Matt Lorito has 10 points (four goals, six assists) and four multi-point outings in his first seven games with Bridgeport. The 28-year-old missed the first 51 games this season due to injury since signing a two-year deal with the New York Islanders in July, but has made an immediate impact. His two-goal performance on Sunday was his first since Feb. 9, 2018 with the Grand Rapids Griffins and his first game-winner since Feb. 24, 2018.
BOURQUE KEEPS BURYING
Sound Tigers leading scorer Chris Bourque carries a team-best five-game point streak into tonight's action (three goals, two assists) following a helper on Sunday. The veteran winger is up to 46 points (13 goals, 33 assists) in 58 games this season, as he attempts to lead his AHL club in scoring for the fourth time in the last five years. Bourque is the AHL’s all-time active leading scorer (23rd all-time) with 738 career points (249 goals, 489 assists) – three points behind Rene Drolet for 22nd place.
Steve Bernier has scored in three straight games for the first time since Oct. 13-20, 2018 and ranks second in the AHL in shooting percentage (25.6%)… Bernier is one goal shy of a career high (21 last season) and has 57 total goals with Bridgeport, seventh on the team’s all-time list… Sebastian Aho is tied for seventh among AHL defensemen in points (38) and tied for third among blue-liners in assists (32)… Otto Koivula is eighth among AHL rookies in points (40) and tied for fourth among rookies in goals (17)... The Sound Tigers have gone to overtime 21 times this season, which leads the Eastern Conference and is tied for third in the AHL overall... Bridgeport is 5-3-1-1 against North Division opponents this season.
NHL: New York Islanders (39-21-7): Next: Tomorrow vs. Philadelphia (7 p.m. ET)
ECHL: Worcester Railers (26-22-5-4): Next: Tonight vs. Adirondack (7:05 p.m. ET)
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 [email protected]