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THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (22-33-5-2), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, open a five-game homestand tonight with their first matchup of the season against the North Division's Toronto Marlies (29-26-3-2), AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bridgeport will look for its second straight win following a thrilling, come-from-behind victory against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Sunday that ended with a 6-5 shootout final at the PPL Center. Terry Broadhurst (first goal with the Sound Tigers), Nic Pierog and Robert Carpenter each scored just 5:26 apart in the third period to erase a three-goal deficit and force overtime, where Oliver Wahlstrom and Broadhurst capitalized in a two-round shootout. Travis St. Denis and Sebastian Aho also scored in regulation, while St. Denis (1g, 2a) and Grant Hutton (3a) both had a game-high three points.
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TIGERS VS. MARLIES
Tonight's tilt is the first of two meetings between the Sound Tigers and Marlies this season, and the only game at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport went 1-0-1-0 against Toronto last year, including a 2-1 overtime loss at home on March 20, 2019. Each of the last three matchups and four of the last five have gone past regulation. Bridgeport earned a 3-2 shootout win at Toronto almost exactly one year ago on March 10, 2019.
VIEW FROM TORONTO
The Marlies are just 3-7-0-0 in their last 10 games and have slipped back to seventh place in the Atlantic Division standings, seven points outside of a playoff spot with 16 games left in the regular season. Last time out, defenseman Teemu Kivihalme scored the lone goal and netminder Joseph Woll made 27 saves on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch. Former Sound Tigers forward Matt Lorito also logged an assist and now has five points in seven games with the Marlies. He was traded by the New York Islanders for defenseman Jordan Schamltz at the NHL's trade deadline on Feb. 24 after posting 28 points (9g, 19a) in 57 games with the Sound Tigers this season. Tonight will mark Lorito's first game against Bridgeport since that trade.
BACK IN BRIDGEPORT
The Sound Tigers begin a five-game homestand this evening, which ties the club’s longest of the season. Bridgeport also played five straight games at home Nov. 2-10. The Sound Tigers are 11-14-2-2 at Webster Bank Arena this season and will look to end a five-game slide on Wednesday, dating back to Feb. 19.
Bridgeport has scored six goals in a game four different times this season, but two of those efforts came last weekend against Lehigh Valley. Three of the four have come in the last six games. Thirteen different players had a point in Friday’s 6-4 win in Allentown, including goaltender Christopher Gibson who logged his sixth career assist with the Sound Tigers – second on the team’s all-time list, one behind Rick DiPietro.
BROADHURST'S BIG WEEKEND
Veteran forward Terry Broadhurst was impressive in his debut weekend with the Sound Tigers after he was acquired from the Charlotte Checkers at the AHL’s trade deadline last week. Broadhurst had a point in two of the three games (one goal, one assist), including a third-period tally against Lehigh Valley on Friday that sparked the remarkable three-goal comeback. He ended that game with the shootout winner - his first attempt of the year. Broadhurst is in his eighth professional season and had seven assists in 29 games with the Checkers prior to the trade on Monday, March 2.
Nic Pierog (2g, 1a) and Oliver Wahlstrom (2g, 1a) each had a point in all three games last weekend and are on a team-best three-game scoring streak… Wahlstrom has six points (4g, 2a) in his last nine games… Kieffer Bellows has seven points (5g, 2a) in his last eight games… Sebastian Aho has eight points (1g, 7a) in his last 10 games… Sunday’s win was the Sound Tigers’ first when allowing five goals this season… The Sound Tigers went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill Sunday and snapped a seven-game stretch of allowing at least one power-play goal.
STICK IT TO CANCER THIS WEEKEND
Some things are much bigger than hockey. This weekend, the Sound Tigers will continue their efforts in the fight against adult and pediatric cancers, including the support of local organizations: The Danni Kemp Cancer Support Fund, Infinite Love For Kids Fighting Cancer, LIVFree, Ryan’s Rebels and Camp Rising Sun. The first 2,000 fans on Saturday will receive a thunder stick noisemaker presented by Yale New Haven Health and the first 1,000 fans on Sunday afternoon will take home a limited-edition t-shirt presented by Sound Tigers community sponsors. Enjoy both games with a weekend package that includes one (1) ticket to each contest and the guaranteed giveaway for just $30. Click here for more information!
NHL: New York Islanders (35-23-10) - Next: Tomorrow at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (21-36-4-0) - Next: Friday vs. Maine Mariners, 7:05 p.m. ET