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THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3-7-2-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, navigate their third straight three-in-three series this weekend, facing the Providence Bruins (7-4-0-2) and Belleville Senators (4-6-1-0). The stretch includes a pair of home games tonight against Providence (7 p.m.) and Sunday afternoon against Belleville (3 p.m.), as well as a Veteran’s Day affair in Rhode Island on Monday (3:05 p.m.).
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*Broadcast begins 15 minutes prior to puck drop
LAST TIME OUT
The Sound Tigers are looking for their third straight win following a 1-0 shutout of the Springfield Thunderbirds on Wednesday afternoon, backstopped by Christopher Gibson's 21-save performance. It was Gibson's first blank sheet of the season, his eighth with Bridgeport, and the 10th of his pro career. On the offensive side, Nic Pierog's first AHL goal was the decisive tally, assisted by David Quenneville and Jeff Kubiak. It was the Sound Tigers' first 1-0 win since Dec. 16, 2018.
WEBSTER IS WHERE IT’S AT
The Sound Tigers will host Purple Heart Night this evening and Princess Day on Sunday. Any Purple Heart recipient can get a FREE ticket to tonight’s game and families may purchase discounted seats by contacting Sarah Rodrigues at 203-345-4823 prior to 4 p.m. This event is a key part in the Sound Tigers becoming an official Purple Heart team – the second in the AHL. On Sunday, meet popular fairy-tale princesses for pictures and autographs, and packages are on sale now that include tickets to the game and a movie pass to see Frozen II at any Bow Tie Cinemas location, in theaters Nov. 22.
TIGERS VS. BRUINS
Tonight's contest marks the second of 12 matchups between the Sound Tigers and Bruins this season, and the second of six at Webster Bank Arena. Providence took the first meeting, 4-0, led by multi-point efforts from Peter Cehlarik (1g, 1a) and Robert Lantosi (1g, 1a) on Oct. 22. Bridgeport went 7-4-1-0 against the P-Bruins in 2018-19 and 5-0-1-0 in those games at home. Ten of the 12 matchups last season were decided by two goals or less. Monday’s rematch will be the first of six meetings at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.
VIEW FROM PROVIDENCE
The Bruins have won two of their last three games and are tied for second place in the Atlantic Division. However, Providence dropped a 5-3 decision in its last outing one week ago, despite goals from Brendan Woods, Jakub Zboril, and Paul Carey's team-leading seventh of the year. Carey now has four goals in his last five games and points in six of his last seven. Meanwhile, Jack Studnicka and Robert Lantosi each had one assist on Saturday, tying them for sixth and ninth places, respectively, among all AHL rookies. The Bruins complete a four-game road trip tonight before opening a three-game homestand against Hartford tomorrow.
TIGERS VS. B-SENS
Sunday’s matinee matchup will mark the first of two meetings between the Sound Tigers and Senators this season, and the only time Ottawa’s affiliate visits Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport went 2-0-0-0 against Belleville last season, including a 2-1 win at home on Mar. 17. In fact, the Sound Tigers have never lost to the Belleville Senators (4-0-0-0) and were last beaten in regulation by Ottawa’s AHL affiliate on Jan. 17, 2014 (6-2).
VIEW FROM BELLEVILLE
Belleville enters the weekend in the basement of the North Division with nine points in its first 11 games. However, the Sens have earned points in three of their last four games and are led by one of the top offensive players in the AHL – second-year forward Drake Batherson. Batherson scored twice in Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Syracuse and is tied for ninth in the league with 13 points (5g, 8a) in 10 appearances. Meanwhile, teammate Josh Norris is tied for ninth among all AHL rookies with seven points (3g, 4a) and tied second among rookies in shots (34) and power-play points (four). Belleville is in Hartford tonight before traveling to the Park City for Sunday’s matinee against the Sound Tigers.
Having just one assist in his first 10 games with the Sound Tigers, rookie forward Simon Holmstrom made his presence felt on the score sheet last weekend with his first and second AHL goals in back-to-back games. The Islanders first-round draft pick (23rd overall) in June is in his first season in North America after coming over from Sweden. He nearly scored for the third straight game on Wednesday afternoon, but hit the post with a shot in the third period.
Christopher Gibson's shutout on Wednesday tied him with Kevin Poulin and Rick DiPietro for second place on the Sound Tigers' all-time list (eight). Wade Dubielewicz had 15. Gibson's performance also lowered his GAA to 2.17 in five appearances this season, putting him 17th in the AHL. Bridgeport has not allowed a goal since 2:53 of the third period last Sunday (Morgan Frost), extending its shutout streak to 77:07.
TIP OF THE CAP
Sound Tigers captain Kyle Burroughs is expected to play his 269th game with the team tonight, which would put him in sole possession of fifth place on Bridgeport's all-time list (passing Ben Holmstrom's 268 outings). Burroughs has played all 268 of his AHL games with the Sound Tigers since being drafted by the Islanders in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft. Aaron Ness will be the next one ahead of him with 280 career games played in a Sound Tigers jersey. Mark Wotton is the club's all-time leader with 368 career games played between 2006-11.
The New York Islanders extended Andrew Ladd's conditioning loan for two more games on Thursday... He has played in each of Bridgeport's last three games after suffering a lower-body injury with the Islanders on Mar. 24, 2019... The Sound Tigers are 5-for-27 on the power play at home (18.5%)... With Steve Bernier (fourth straight), Grant Hutton (fourth straight), Tanner Fritz (ninth straight) & Thomas Hickey (10th straight) all missing Wednesday's game, the Sound Tigers have now lost 70 man-games due to injury this season... They had 76 man-games lost due to injury all of last season.
NHL: New York Islanders (11-3-1) - Next: Today vs. Florida Panthers, 1 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (4-5-0-0) - Next: Tomorrow at Adirondack Thunder, 3 p.m. ET
Sound Tigers season tickets and flex plans are on sale now for the 2019-20 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy. Lock in your seats today by contacting Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813.
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]. Follow the action all season long via www.soundtigers.com or by “liking” the Sound Tigers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.