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Sound Tigers Face Bruins, Phantoms this Weekend

October 19, 2018 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Bridgeport Islanders News Release

BRIDGEPORT, Conn . - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-2-1-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, partake in their first "3-in-3" of the season this weekend when they face two Atlantic Division rivals - the Providence Bruins (1-4-0-0) and Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2-1-0-0). The series begins with a home-and-home against Providence tonight and tomorrow before the Sound Tigers welcome Lehigh Valley to the Park City on Sunday.

The Sound Tigers will look for their first home win of the season at 7 p.m. this evening following back-to-back losses against the Rochester Americans last weekend. Bridgeport is coming off of a 3-2 overtime setback to the Amerks last Sunday, in which Mike Sislo (1) and Travis St. Denis (2) each scored. It was Sislo's first goal with the Sound Tigers, while St. Denis has now scored in two straight contests. Between the pipes, Jeremy Smith (1-0-1) made 29 saves on 32 shots in his home debut.


Tonight's game marks the first of 12 meetings between the Sound Tigers and Bruins this season, and the first of six matchups at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport went 6-5-0-1 against the P-Bruins last year, including a dramatic 3-2 victory in the Park City on Apr. 3, in which St. Denis netted a third-period game-winning goal on the power play. However, Providence won the last tilt on Apr. 7. The Bruins will be Bridgeport's most common opponent for the second straight season.


Jay Leach's club has notched just two points in five games this season, with the Bruins only win coming in overtime at Hartford last Friday. Providence has been outscored 20-14 so far, but the team added dynamic forward Jan Kovar on Thursday. The Islanders signed Kovar to an NHL deal in July, but he was released following a loan to Bridgeport and then signed a PTO with Providence this week. Longtime Western Conference scorer Mark McNeill leads the Bruins with five points (two goals, three assists) in five games.


Sunday's 3 p.m. contest will mark the second of six meetings between the Sound Tigers and Phantoms this season, and the first of three at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport is 0-1-0-0 against Lehigh Valley so far after dropping their season opener in Allentown, Penn., 6-3. Kieffer Bellows scored the Sound Tigers' opening goal in his professional debut, while Michael Dal Colle and Mitch Vande Sompel also netted a pair of third-period tallies just 17 seconds apart. On the flip side, Greg Carey and Nic Aube-Kubel each scored twice for Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms have won eight of the last nine matchups dating back to the beginning of last season.


The Phantoms have been off since last Saturday, but begin their own "3-in-3" this weekend with a home-and-home series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins before traveling to Bridgeport on Sunday. Lehigh Valley suffered a 7-0 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds last Friday, but bounced back on Saturday and earned a 5-4 shootout win in Springfield's sold-out home opener. Greg Carey and T.J. Brennan paved the way with two points each (one goal, one assist), while Philadelphia Flyers prospect Anthony Stolarz made 27 saves on 31 shots. Carey enters the weekend with a team-best five points (three goals, two assists) in three games.


The Sound Tigers added a familiar face in Tanner Fritz to their lineup when the fourth-year forward was loaned by the New York Islanders on Oct. 11. Fritz made the Isles 23-man roster out of training camp for the first time in his career and recorded one assist in two NHL games to start the season. In his return to Bridgeport, he skated on a line with Kieffer Bellows and Steve Bernier and logged one assist in his AHL season debut last Saturday. The Ohio State product led the Sound Tigers last season with 28 assists in just 35 games and added 10 goals for 38 points (1.09 points-per-game).


Tenth-year goalie Jeremy Smith has helped the Sound Tigers earn at least one point in each of his first two starts with the team. He backstopped a 2-1 win against Hershey in his Bridgeport debut on Oct. 7 and followed that up with last Sunday's 3-2 overtime loss. In fact, Smith is now on a seven-game unbeaten in regulation streak (6-0-1) during the regular season, dating back to Mar. 31 with the Charlotte Checkers. He signed an AHL deal with the Sound Tigers on July 9.


Third-year forward Travis St. Denis led the Sound Tigers in goals (23) and points (44) last season, which earned him a two-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract with the New York Islanders in May. He's used that as extra motivation and is off to a hot start in 2018-19, scoring in each of the last two games and receiving heavy minutes within the first two lines.


The Sound Tigers defeated Providence in each of their first two meetings last season, led by four goals from Sebastian Aho, including his hat trick on Nov. 5, 2017 - the first time a Sound Tigers defenseman has ever recorded a hat trick... Former Bruin Chris Casto made his Sound Tigers debut last Sunday... Steve Bernier and Devon Toews are both on three-game point streaks... Bernier has two goals and one assist in his last three, while Toews has gone three straight games with an assist... The Sound Tigers power play is 5-for-18 to begin the season, good for ninth place in the League.


NHL: New York Islanders (3-3-0): Last: 7-2 W at LA - Next at SJ, Saturday at 10pm ET

ECHL: Worcester Railers (1-1-0-0): Last: 6-4 L at REA - Next vs. ME, Saturday at 7:05pm ET

Packed Promotional Lineup: The Sound Tigers will boast one of their most extensive and wide-ranging promotional schedules ever for the 2018-19 season. The fan-friendly calendar includes the return of popular themes like Hockey and Hops (Nov. 23 and Mar. 17), Military Appreciation (Jan. 12), Star Wars Night (Jan. 19) and Princess Night (Mar. 30). Regional hockey fans will be elated for the addition of Hockey Weekend in Connecticut (Feb. 23-24), while other new headliners include Holiday Gift Weekend (Dec. 15-16) and a revamped Teddy Bear Toss (Nov. 23). View the full 2018-19 promotional schedule.

For additional details or to reserve a group outing for any giveaway or theme night, please call the Sound Tigers' front office at (203) 345-2300 ext 7.

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