Sound Tigers Battle Bruins Tonight at 7 p.m.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-2-1-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, continue a three-game homestand this evening with their first of 12 matchups against the Providence Bruins (4-2-0-1). The 7 p.m. contest at Webster Bank Arena is the team's second home game of the season, following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night. Nick Schilkey (PPG) and Ryan Bourque each scored in Bridgeport's home opener, but the Penguins prevailed in a three-round shootout, ended by Stamford native Ryan Haggarty. The Sound Tigers look to get back to .500 tonight as they continue a stretch of nine straight games against Atlantic Division opponents to start the year.
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* Broadcast begins at 6:45 p.m. ET
TIGERS VS. BRUINS
Tonight's game is the first of 12 meetings between the Sound Tigers and P-Bruins this season, and the first of six matchups at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport went 7-4-1-0 against Providence last year and 5-0-1-0 in those games at home. Ten of the 12 meetings last season were decided by two goals or less.
VIEW FROM PROVIDENCE
The Bruins have nine points in their first seven games and are currently tied with Hershey for second place in the Atlantic Division. On Saturday, Providence crushed Belleville, 7-4, during a three-game road trip north of the border. Every P-Bruins' forward recorded at least one point and 16 of the 18 skaters also had a point. The Bruins are led by Anders Bjork with eight points (3g, 5a) in seven games, which is also tied for fourth in the AHL overall. Jack Studnicka is tied for fifth among all AHL rookies with four points (1g, 3a).
HOME SWEET HOME
The Sound Tigers stay within the friendly confines of Webster Bank Arena this evening and will play eight of their next 10 games at home. Last season, Bridgeport was one of the strongest teams on home ice, going 26-7-3-2 and collecting 57 points - tied for the most in the AHL. The Sound Tigers' 128 goals at home were also fifth most in the league.
STARTS WITH SHOTS
The Sound Tigers will certainly be focused on putting more shots on target tonight, having been outshot in each of their first five games. Bridgeport is last in the AHL in shots for (24.60/game), which is a big reason the team is tied for 29th in goals scored (2.20/game) this season.
SEBASTIAN'S STRONG START
Two-time AHL All-Star Sebastian Aho has three points (1g, 2a) in his first five games this seaon, including a team-leading two points on the power play. He's also third on the club in shots (12). Along with forward Otto Koivula, Aho is Bridgeport's top returning scorer after a 46-point performance (9g, 37a) in 2018-19. That led all Sound Tigers defensemen and his 37 assists were fifth-most among AHL blue-liners.
GETTING THAT FIRST CALL
The Sound Tigers will continue to play without forwards Oliver Wahlstrom and Cole Bardreau tonight due to transactions with the New York Islanders. Wahlstrom, the 11th overall pick in 2018, earned his first NHL recall on Monday, Oct. 14 and made his debut that afternoon in New York's thrilling win against the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues. Meanwhile, Bardreau received his first NHL call-up on Saturday and made his debut in the Isles' overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets that night. He arrived at the game 90 minutes before puck drop after participating in morning skate with the Sound Tigers.
Colin McDonald played his 700th AHL game on Friday, Oct. 11 in Charlotte... He is trying to crack into the top 50 in all-time AHL games played, currently sitting 49 appearances behind Noel Price and Jeff Hoggan... Chris Gibson is third on the team's all-time wins list (67), two behind Kevin Poulin (2010-15)... Steve Bernier is tied for fifth on the club's all-time goals list (61), 10 behind Jeff Tambellini (2005-09)...Tanner Fritz is 10th on the all-time points list (129), one behind Justin Mapletoft (2001-05)... Matt Lorito scored a goal in each of the Sound Tigers' first three games this season and had the only shootout tally on Saturday.
NHL: New York Islanders (5-3-0) - Next: Thursday vs. Arizona Coyotes, 7 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (2-1-0-0) - Next: Friday at Adirondack Thunder, 7 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 or via [email protected]
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