The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, travel to Connecticut's capital city this afternoon to play their first game in nine days. Bridgeport (3-7-0-0) will face the Hartford Wolf Pack (4-6-1-0) for the fourth time this season and the second of six matchups at the XL Center, beginning with a 1 p.m. opening faceoff.
LAST TIME OUT
On Thursday, Mar. 18th, the Sound Tigers beat the Wolf Pack, 4-3 in overtime, when Otto Koivula scored his first goal of the season just 29 seconds into the extra session at Webster Bank Arena. Simon Holmstrom, Cole Coskey and Samuel Bolduc also found the back of the net, while Ken Appleby (1-0-0) made 20 saves to win his Sound Tigers debut. It was their second straight win against Hartford and Bridgeport now leads the season series 2-1-0-0.
LISTEN: Radio Network Powered by Mixlr
VIEW FROM HARTFORD
Head coach Kris Knoblauch's team snapped an eight-game winless in regulation skid on Thursday with a 4-2 victory against the Providence Bruins on the road. New York Rangers draft pick Morgan Barron scored twice and now has five goals in his last six games, while James Sanchez (first pro goal) and Ty Ronning also scored in Hartford's first regulation win since Feb. 11th. Adam Huska (1-1-0) made 23 saves on 25 shots. The Wolf Pack are just 1-4-0-0 at the XL Center where they will play three of their next four games and each of Hartford's next three games will be against Bridgeport. The two teams will play seven times in the month of April.
OTTO IN OT
Otto Koivula’s first goal, point and multi-point performance of the season helped the Sound Tigers capture in the win in their first game past 60 minutes. It was Koivula’s sixth career game-winning goal and his second in overtime, assisted by Mitch Vande Sompel and Dmytro Timashov. Ten of Bridgeport’s 16 skaters registered at least one point in the 4-3 victory.
BOLDUC'S BIG START
Not only has Samuel Bolduc scored a goal in all three games against Hartford this season, but five of his team-leading seven points have come against the New York Rangers’ affiliate, including his drive from the deep slot 65 seconds into the third period on Mar. 18th that gave Bridgeport its first lead. Bolduc is tied for the team lead in goals (three) and assists (four), and is the outright leader in points (seven), plus-minus (+1) and shots (24). No defenseman has ever finished the season leading the Sound Tigers in scoring.
Seth Helgeson is expected to play his 224th game with the Sound Tigers today, moving past Scott Mayfield (2012-17) for 11th place on the team’s all-time list and closing within two games of Sean Bentivoglio (2007-10) for 10th. Today will also be his 492nd pro game, while fellow defenseman Parker Wotherspoon is likely to make his 197th pro appearance (all with Bridgeport).
GOLYSHEV LOANED FROM ISLANDERS
The Islanders announced on Friday, Mar. 19th that Anatolii Golyshev, their fourth-round draft pick in 2016, has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way deal for the 2020-21 season and was subsequently loaned to the Sound Tigers. He has not yet joined the team. Golyshev notched 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) in 53 games with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) earlier this season and ranked fifth on team in scoring. The Perm, Russia native had 208 points (103 goals, 105 assists) in 366 career games with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg over parts of eight seasons in the KHL.
Tanner Fritz collected one assist in Bridgeport's last game, tying him for fourth place on the team’s all-time list (89) with Steven Regier (2004-08)... Fritz is 11 assists behind Aaron Ness (2010-15) for third place and also three points behind Trent Hunter (2001-03) for eighth place on the team’s all-time scoring list... Dmytro Timashov notched two assists on Mar. 18th and now has three helpers in his last two games... Timashov has recorded two points in 23 different AHL regular-season games, but has never had a three-point effort... Jakub Skarek returned from the Islanders' Taxi Squad last Sunday and could be today's starting goaltender... Francis Marotte was loaned to the Allen Americans (ECHL) on Friday and made 27 saves in a 5-2 win last night against Rapid City.