Sound Tigers Host Bruins this Morning
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (34-27-5-3), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, host the Providence Bruins (41-23-3-2) at 10:30 a.m. for the annual Spring Fun 102 school-day game, presented by IBEW Local Union 488. The Sound Tigers enter today's contest eight points outside of a playoff spot with seven games left, trailing only the Charlotte Checkers who play in Lehigh Valley tonight. Bridgeport also has one game in hand on Charlotte with an elimination number of "six."
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LAST TIME OUT
The Sound Tigers scored twice on the power play, twice at even strength, and once shorthanded in a 5-1 win against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday. Kyle Schempp, Connor Jones, Mitch Vande Sompel, Ben Holmstrom and Steve Bernier all found the back of the cage, and Sebastian Aho tied a career high with three helpers, while Eamon McAdam (4-1-0) made 32 saves. Bridgeport has now scored at least five goals in three of its last four games.
TIGERS VS. BRUINS
Today's game features the 11th of 12 meetings between the Sound Tigers and Bruins this season, and the fifth of six matchups at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport is 5-4-0-1 against Providence thus far, but the Bruins have won each of the last four meetings after the Sound Tigers took five of the first six. The last two contests have ended in regulation, including Providence's 4-1 win at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 18, in which Bridgeport guided 45 shots at Zane McIntyre, but only John Stevens could beat him 16 seconds into the second period. Josh Ho-Sang leads Bridgeport in the season series with seven points (one goal, six assists) in eight games.
VIEW FROM PROVIDENCE
Jay Leach's team can clinch a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs with a regulation win this morning. The third-place Bruins have an 11-point lead over of the Sound Tigers in the Atlantic Division standings and are coming off a 3-1 victory against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday. Adam Payerl, Trent Frederic and Jordan Szwarz each scored for Providence, while Austin Czarnik notched his team-leading 62nd point with an assist - third in the AHL's scoring race. Between the pipes, Jordan Binnington made 34 saves and improved to second in the league with a 1.94 goals-against-average, and third with a .931 save percentage.
BAILEY'S BEST YEAR
Casey Bailey has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his last 13 games and with two helpers in Saturday's 5-1 victory at Hartford, the Penn State University product set a new career high with 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) this season. A team-best 20 of those points have come on the man advantage (8 goals, 12 assists) and the Sound Tigers have now scored at least one power-play goal in nine of their last 13 games. In addition, Bailey leads the club with 190 shots (seventh in the league) and is tied for first with four game-winning goals. He is expected to play his 200th AHL game this morning.
Long Island native Ryan Hitchcock signed an amateur tryout (ATO) with Bridgeport on March 8 and he's been on fire ever since. The rookie forward, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Friday, has eight points (two goals, six assists) in nine pro games and scored his first goal just over a week ago in Wilkes-Barre, Penn (Mar. 25). Three of his nine pro games have featured multi-point performances. Prior to turning pro, Hitchcock recorded a career-best 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 31 games as Yale University's captain earlier this season.
Travis St. Denis has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his last 14 games and continues to lead the Sound Tigers with 22 goals and 43 points this season... Josh Ho-Sang has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his last 12 outings... Ben Holmstrom moved into sole possession of 10th place on the Sound Tigers' all-time games played list (221) when he took the ice on Saturday in Hartford... All 221 of those have come in consecutive contests, which is the AHL's longest active streak... The Sound Tigers are 0-1-1-0 when starting before noon this season... Sebastian Aho has six points (all assists) in five games since being loaned by the New York Islanders on Mar. 22.
NHL: New York Islanders (32-37-10): Next vs. Philadelphia Flyers - Tonight, 7 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (35-26-4-4): Next at Reading Royals - Tomorrow, 7 p.m. ET
Don't Go It Alone: Whether it's a corporate outing, a fundraiser, or just friends getting together, a group outing with the Sound Tigers will guarantee an unforgettable experience filled with fast-paced action on the ice, great music, promotions and contests at an affordable price. The Sound Tigers have a variety of packages and promotional events to offer. Please call the team's front office at 203-345-2300 ext. 7 for more information on the benefits of bringing your group to a future game!
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American Hockey League Stories from April 3, 2018
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