Sound Tigers Eye Third Straight Home Win Tonight
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (19-28-5-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, go for their third straight win at home tonight in a 7 p.m. matchup against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (22-24-1-6) at Webster Bank Arena. The Sound Tigers will also look to secure points in five of their last six games after the club's 3-2 loss to the Providence Bruins on Monday, which snapped a four-game unbeaten in regulation streak. Otto Koivula and Colin McDonald each scored a second-period goal and Christopher Gibson (6-7-4) made 29 saves, but it wasn't enough in the President's Day setback at Dunkin' Donuts Center. Bridgeport is one game above .500 at home, where the team will play each of its next three games.
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TIGERS VS. PHANTOMS
Tonight's game is the fourth of six meetings between the Sound Tigers and Phantoms this season, and the third of three inside Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport is 1-1-1-0 in the series following Friday's 3-2 overtime loss in Allentown, Penn., but the Sound Tigers earned a 4-3 win against the Phantoms in their last tilt at home on Nov. 3. Otto Koivula scored twice that afternoon. Three of Bridgeport's next nine games will come against Lehigh Valley, including tonight.
VIEW FROM ALLENTOWN
The seventh-place Phantoms have lost two straight and are on a four-game winless in regulation slide after a 5-3 setback to the Hershey Bears on Sunday. Morgan Frost, Maxsim Sushko and Andy Andreoff each found the back of the net, while former Sound Tigers goalie J-F Berube made 15 saves on 19 shots in his second straight loss. Lehigh Valley enters the week seven points ahead of the Sound Tigers and 11 points out of a playoff spot with 23 games remaining. Greg Carey leads the team in goals (13), power-play goals (6) and points (25), and is fourth in the AHL with 161 shots. Meanwhile, Berube is tied for 11th in the AHL with a 2.53 goals-against-average.
BARDREAU BACK IN BRIDGEPORT
Former Phantom Cole Bardreau cleared waivers on Tuesday and was assigned to the Sound Tigers by New York. Bardreau has one goal and one assist in 10 games with the Islanders this season, and played in their game last Thursday at Nashville. In the AHL, Bardreau has three points (2g, 1a) in 29 contests with Bridgeport - both goals coming in his last six games. He played 226 games with Lehigh Valley over parts of five seasons prior to signing a one-year, two-way deal with the Islanders on July 1.
HOLMSTROM'S HOT HAND
Simon Holmstrom scored twice last Saturday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, his first multi-goal and multi-point game in the AHL. He now has four goals in his last five games and seven goals (10 points) in 37 contests this season. Holmstrom was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders.
KINGS OF THE CREASE
The tandem of Christopher Gibson and Jared Coreau has been heating up lately and giving everyone on the ice more confidence. Gibson has stopped 146 of the 157 shots he's faced in his last four outings (.930), including back-to-back appearances with 40+ saves. Meanwhile, Coreau has won three straight games and five of his last six starts. No Sound Tigers goalie has won four in a row this season. Coreau also continues to lead Bridgeport in wins (10).
Grant Hutton has five points in his last five games (1g, 4a), but saw a career-long four-game scoring streak come to an end on Monday... David Quenneville and the New York Islanders' second-round pick in 2021 were traded to New Jersey on Sunday for veteran defenseman Andy Greene... Bridgeport is 4-2-1-0 in February... Steve Bernier is expected to play his 900th professional game tonight... He has played 262 AHL games with the Sound Tigers, Albany Devils, Worcester Sharks and Cleveland Barons, and 637 NHL games with the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, and San Jose Sharks.
NHL: New York Islanders (33-19-6) - Next: Tonight at Colorado, 10 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (17-31-3-0) - Next: Tonight at Jacksonville, 7 p.m. ET
A LOOK AT WHAT'S AHEAD
The Sound Tigers are celebrating "Hockey Weekend in Connecticut" this Saturday and Sunday at Webster Bank Arena, featuring two of the most popular giveaways all year. The first 1,000 kids 12 and younger on Saturday will receive a free youth jersey courtesy of JRC Transportation. On Sunday, the first 2,500 fans of any age will take home a Steve Bernier bobblehead presented by Newtown Savings Bank. In addition, Saturday features the first ever doubleheader between the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) and the American Hockey League, when the Boston Pride battle the Connecticut Whale at 2 p.m. prior to the Sound Tigers' 7 p.m. game against the Hershey Bears. Click here for tickets and more information.
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