Bobo Carpenter scored for the second time in three games and Kyle MacLean celebrated his first professional goal on a shorthanded breakaway, but the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (0-3-0-0) came up short in their home opener last Saturday. It was the team’s only matchup of the week, ending in a 5-3 setback to the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena.
Carpenter lit the lamp with his team-leading second goal of the season just 2:38 into Saturday’s game and Cole Bardreau and MacLean each followed with a shorthanded tally in the second. Grant Hutton, Samuel Bolduc and A.J. Greer all contributed one assist, while Jakub Skarek (0-3-0) made 24 saves in his third straight appearance to open the year.
In the end, special teams and a crucial start to the third period for Providence were the difference makers as the Bruins topped Bridgeport for the second time in eight days. The visitors went 3-for-7 on the power play and Jakub Lauko led the way with three points (one goal, two assists).
The Sound Tigers return to action on Wednesday afternoon when they host the Hartford Wolf Pack for the first time this season. Puck drop is set for 1 p.m. and fans can follow all of the live action via AHLTV or the Sound Tigers Radio Network, beginning with the pre-game show at 12:45 p.m.
The Week Ahead
Wednesday, Feb. 17 vs. Hartford: The Sound Tigers face the New York Rangers’ top affiliate for the second of 12 matchups this season, and the first of six inside Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport went 1-2-1-0 against Hartford at home last season.
Friday, Feb. 19 vs. Providence: The Sound Tigers wrap up their season-long, three-game homestand on Friday afternoon with a 1 p.m. rematch against the Bruins. Providence has outscored Bridgeport 9-4 in their first two meetings and Bruins forward Jakub Lauko leads the way with five points in those games (one goal, four assists).
Shorthanded Show: The Sound Tigers have 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 Big 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 centerman 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.
Carpenter 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 the Lineup: The New York Islanders announced Wednesday that Otto Koivula and Dmytro Timashov were reassigned 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.
Quick Hits: 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 one game shy of his 50th AHL appearance… Mitch Vande Sompel celebrated his 24th birthday last Thursday... Brett Neumann turned 22 on Monday... Mason Jobst turns 27 on Wednesday.
Across The Sound
The New York Islanders (7-4-3) extended their point streak to seven games (4-0-3) with a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center last night. It was the first of four straight road games and included a little history, as the Isles didn’t allow a single shot on goal for the entirety of the third period. Former Sound Tigers Anders Lee and Brock Nelson each scored a goal, while Jean-Gabriel Pageau had the other tally and extended his goal streak to three games. The Islanders sit third in the MassMutual East Division (17 points in 14 games) as they prepare to rematch the Sabres tonight.