Sound Tigers Face Marlies Today on NHL Network
TORONTO, Ont. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (35-19-5-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, face the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies (32-19-6-3) for the first time this season, looking to hop back into the win column in their 4 p.m. matchup at Coca-Cola Coliseum. On Friday, the Sound Tigers saw their season-high seven-game win streak and 10-game point streak come to an end in a 5-0 loss to the Rochester Americans. Amerks goalie Scott Wedgewood made 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the year, while Bridgeport allowed a season-high 39 shots against and Mitch Gillam made his AHL debut in relief of Jeremy Smith early in the second period. The Sound Tigers are now 5-4-1-1 against North Division opponents as they continue a five-game road trip today.
TV: NHL Network (US)
WATCH AHLTV: www.theahl.com/AHLTV
TIGERS VS. MARLIES
Today's game marks the first of two meetings between the Sound Tigers and Marlies this season, and the only matchup at Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto. Bridgeport split its season series with the Marlies 1-1-0-0 in 2017-18 and suffered a 6-1 loss in its only road game. The Sound Tigers also defeated Toronto at home, 1-0 in a shootout, during their last head-to-head meeting on Jan. 21, 2018.
VIEW FROM TORONTO
The Marlies have won three straight games and are 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 following Friday's 3-0 win against the Laval Rocket. Dmytro Timashov, Michael Carcone and Pierre Engvall all scored and Michael Hutchinson made 42 saves for his second shutout of the season, and Toronto's sixth as a team. Jeremy Bracco was held quiet against Laval, but continues to lead the Marlies in scoring with 59 points (third in the AHL overall) and assists (43, leads the league). Chris Mueller paces Toronto in goals (24) and is tied for 16th in the AHL's scoring race with 51 points. The third-place Marlies open a two-game homestand tonight.
REINFORCEMENTS FROM THE RAILERS
The Sound Tigers made a pair of transactions with their ECHL affiliate on Saturday, recalling defensemen Mike Cornell and Ryan MacKinnon from the Worcester Railers. Cornell played one game with Bridgeport earlier this season (Jan. 15 at Charlotte), while MacKinnon has spent the entire year in Worcester to this point. MacKinnon, a rookie out of the University of Prince Edward Island, had 24 points (5g, 19a) in 56 games with the Railers, while Cornell led all blue-liners with 26 points (4g, 22a) and 154 penalty minutes.
LORITO MAKING HIS MARK
Matt Lorito has 10 points (4g, 6a) and four multi-point outings in his first eight games with Bridgeport. The 28-year-old missed the first 51 games this season due to injury since signing a two-year deal with the New York Islanders in July, but has made an immediate impact. His two-goal performance last Sunday against Lehigh Valley was his first since Feb. 9, 2018 with the Grand Rapids Griffins and his first game-winner since Feb. 24, 2018.
BOURQUE KEEPS BURYING
Sound Tigers leading scorer Chris Bourque carried a team-best five-game point streak into Friday's action, but was held off the scoresheet for just the third time since Feb. 2. The veteran winger is up to 46 points (13g, 33a) in 58 games this season, as he attempts to lead his AHL club in scoring for the fourth time in the last five years. Bourque is the AHL's all-time active leading scorer (23rd all-time) with 738 career points (249g, 489a) - three points behind Rene Drolet for 22nd place.
Steve Bernier has scored in three of his last four games and is second in the AHL in shooting percentage (25.0%)... Bernier is one goal shy of a career high (21 last season) and has 57 total goals with Bridgeport, seventh on the team's all-time list... Sebastian Aho is tied for seventh among AHL defensemen in points (38) and tied for third among blue-liners in assists (32)... Otto Koivula is eighth among AHL rookies in points (40) and tied for fourth among rookies in goals (17)... Bridgeport is 16-7-2-0 following a loss this season and 11-1-1-0 when playing on a Sunday.
NHL: New York Islanders (39-22-7): Next: Monday vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m.)
ECHL: Worcester Railers (27-23-5-4): Next: Sunday vs. South Carolina Stingrays (4:05 p.m.)
Hockey and Hops 2: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena on Sunday, Mar. 17 for a 5 p.m. puck drop against the Springfield Thunderbirds. It's "Hockey and Hops 2," featuring another pre-game craft beer tasting event starting at 2:30 p.m. For just $25, get access to the beer tasting, plus a special Sound Tigers tasting glass, a ticket to the game, and a souvenir hockey stick bottle opener. Packages are only available or by calling the Sound Tigers group sales line in advance (203-345-2300 ext. 7).
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