November 8, 2016 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (6-4-0-0, 12 points) earned four points in three games last week, facing a trio of opponents for the first time this season. Bridgeport now sits fourth in the Atlantic Division and tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference with four weeks in the books.
The Sound Tigers kicked off the week with their annual "Cool Fun 101" school day game at 11 a.m. on Wednesday against the Albany Devils. The visitors came out strong with two goals in the first 2:51, but Bridgeport rallied with four unanswered goals en route to a 4-2 victory in front of 7,755 energetic fans at Webster Bank Arena. Ross Johnston was credited with the game-winning goal at 4:56 of the third period, while Christopher Gibson made 24 saves between the pipes.
On Friday, Adam Pelech scored the game-winning goal just 50 seconds into overtime as the Sound Tigers battled for a 5-4 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center. Devon Toews (one goal, one assist) and Bracken Kearns (two assists) each recorded multiple points, while Gibson stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced and improved to 6-0-0-0 this season. He is the first Sound Tigers goaltender to win each of his first six starts to begin a season. In addition, Gibson has won eight straight regular-season contests dating back to March 29th.
Twenty-four hours later, Toews scored his second goal in as many nights, but that's all the offense Bridgeport could muster up in a 7-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Webster Bank Arena. Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Jake Guentzel led the way for the visitors with a career-high four points (two goals, two assists), snapping Bridgeport's two-game winning streak.
The Week Ahead
Bridgeport at Syracuse Crunch (6-3-0-0) - Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.
Bridgeport at Hershey Bears (6-2-2-0) - Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
News and Notes
Hitting the Open Road: The Sound Tigers open a three-game road trip this weekend, including stops in Syracuse and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the first time this season. Bridgeport is 3-1-0 -0 on the road so far, outscoring opponents 17-12 in those games. In addition, the Sound Tigers are 4-for-17 (23.5%) on the power play on the road, good for eighth in the AHL.
Gibson Stays Perfect: Fourth-year netminder Christopher Gibson earned his league-leading sixth win of the season last Friday and is now 6-0-0-0 to begin the year. In fact, Gibson has won eight straight regular-season starts dating back to March 29th (8-0-0-0). The 23-year-old has also moved into a tie for eighth place on Bridgeport's all-time wins list with 25 career victories, even with Steve Valiquette (2001-03).
Toews Heats Up: First-year defenseman Devon Toews has scored in back-to-back games for the Sound Tigers, including his first professional tally last Friday in Hartford. The goal was scored on a shorthanded breakaway, set up nicely by a long lead pass through the neutral zone from Kellen Jones. Toews, 22, played three seasons at Quinnipiac University just 30 minutes north of Bridgeport in Hamden, CT. He recorded 67 points (12 goals, 55 assists) and a plus-37 rating in 108 collegiate games. No Sound Tigers' player has scored in three straight games yet this season. The team's defense has accounted for four goals this year.
Leading the Rookie Class: First-year forward Michael Dal Colle has scored in four of his last six games and has tallied five goals overall this season, placing him in a tie for first among AHL rookies. Dal Colle, a former fifth overall pick of the New York Islanders in 2014, notched his first professional goal on October 21st at Lehigh Valley, which stood as the game-winner. Dal Colle currently has two game-winners this season - also tied for the league lead among rookies.
Quick Hits: The Sound Tigers are 6-0-0-0 this season when Bracken Kearns has a point and 5-0-0-0 when scoring first in a game... Kearns played his 600th AHL game last Friday in Hartford... Loic Leduc is one game from his 100th pro appearance... Bridgeport is 20-for-22 on the penalty kill over its last four games (90.9%)... Scott Mayfield leads the Sound Tigers with 25 shots, which also ranks him fifth among AHL defensemen... The Sound Tigers are sixth in the AHL in shots against per game (27.40).
Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera and Nikolay Kulemin all scored their first goals of the season last night as the New York Islanders (5-6-0-2) snapped a three-game winless streak with a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Barclays Center. Defenseman Adam Pelech, who was recalled to the Islanders Monday morning and made his season debut with the Big Club, recorded a point with an assist on Ladd's goal in the third period. Captain John Tavares currently leads New York with five goals and 11 points, while former Sound Tiger Brock Nelson paces the team in assists with seven. The Islanders begin a two-game road trip to Florida on Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The ECHL's Missouri Mavericks (3-5-0-1) took three of four points in a pair of games against the Tulsa Oilers last weekend including a 10-3 rout in their last outing on Saturday. Forward Lukas Lofquist, who was in training camp with the Sound Tigers this pre-season, scored three times for his first professional hat trick, while Kyle Schempp recorded his first pro goal. The Mavericks were also helped by a stellar power play that finished the game 3-for-5. Missouri currently sits sixth in the ECHL's Mountain Division and returns to action this Friday at home against the Fort Wayne Komets.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers open a three-game road trip on Friday with their first trip to Syracuse, NY this season to face the Syracuse Crunch at 7 p.m. Fans can follow all of the action online via AHLlive.com .
Hockey and Hops: The Sound Tigers are combining hockey and hops on Saturday, November 25th when the team battles Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 7 p.m. Try the area's best craft beers before the game with a special ticket package that night only. Get access to the game, the pre-game beer tasting party and a souvenir Sound Tigers beer tasting glass for just $25.
For additional details or to reserve seats for any of the 2016-17 giveaway and theme nights, please call the Sound Tigers' front office at (203) 345-2300.
Executive suites and premium seat packages are also available by calling the team's front office at (203) 345-4841. If you are interested in group outings with your friends, family, co-workers, or clients an unforgettable experience at a discounted rate, call the group sales hotline at (203) 345-2300 Ext. 7.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . Keep up with the latest Sound Tigers news on Facebook and on Twitter . For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com .