Sound Tigers Host Comets Tonight
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (9-13-3-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, return to Webster Bank Arena tonight for the first time this month, looking for their fourth straight win at home in a 7 p.m. matchup against the Utica Comets (13-8-1-2). Overall, the Sound Tigers are hoping to bounce back after a 5-2 loss in Syracuse on Saturday to end a three-game road trip. Nick Schilkey scored for the second straight game and Parker Wotherspoon added his second goal in the last three games, but Alex Volkov (1g, 3a) and Taylor Raddysh (2g, 1a) each had big nights for Syracuse. Jakub Skarek (2-4-0) made 27 saves in his seventh AHL appearance.
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TIGERS VS. COMETS
Tonight's tilt marks the second of four meetings between the Sound Tigers and Comets this season, and the first of two at Webster Bank Arena. It's also the second of three matchups in the span of seven days. Bridgeport leads the series 1-0-0-0 following a 5-4 shootout win in New York last Friday, in which Matt Lorito (1g, 1a), Mason Jobst (2a) and Sebastian Aho (2a) all had a multi-point performance. Last year, the Sound Tigers went 2-0-0-0 in the series, including a 5-4 overtime victory at home on Feb. 10. In fact, each of their last five meetings have gone past regulation dating back to Dec. 1, 2017.
VIEW FROM UTICA
Led by head coach Trent Cull, the Comets have dropped back-to-back games in a shootout and are tied for fourth place in the North Division. Utica suffered a 3-2 loss in Providence on Saturday night, despite Reid Boucher's league-leading 17th goal of the season and Justin Bailey's fourth in as many games. Bailey's goal-scoring streak is tied for the longest active stretch in the AHL, while Boucher is on a six-game point streak (4g, 5a) and has four goals in his last five outings. Between the pipes, Richard Bachman made 41 saves on 43 shots in 65 minutes of work against the Bruins - his first appearance of 2019-20. Utica finishes a brief two-game road trip tonight and will be helped by the additions of key players from the Vancouver Canucks: Nikolay Goldobin (8g, 12a) and Zack MacEwen (3g, 5a).
LORITO LIGHTING IT UP
Matt Lorito had a three-game goal streak come to an end on Saturday, but registered an assist on Parker Wotherspoon's second-period tally and enters the week on a team-best four-game point streak (3g, 1a). The fifth-year forward leads the Sound Tigers in goals (7) and is tied for the team lead in points (15) with Sebastian Aho. Lorito is also third on the club in shots (55) and power-play points (1g, 2a).
KUHNHACKL LOANED FOR CONDITIONING
New York Islanders forward Tom Kuhnhackl was loaned to the Sound Tigers for conditioning last Thursday, nearly six weeks after he sustained a lower-body injury in a game against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 25. He was placed on injured reserve Oct. 30. Kuhnhackl played one game with the Sound Tigers last season and recorded three points (1g, 2a), along with a plus-3 rating, on Nov. 3, 2018 against Springfield. He made six appearances with the Islanders earlier this season, but did not collect a point. Kuhnhackl, who collected an assist on Saturday in Syracuse, wears #41 with Bridgeport.
Colin McDonald has assists in three straight games and leads the Sound Tigers in plus/minus (+2)... Arnaud Durandeau continues to lead all AHL rookies in shooting percentage (3-for-15, 33.3%)... Bridgeport's power play is 1-for-38 over its last nine games... Bridgeport's 5-4 shootout win against Utica on Saturday was the first time the club has won when allowing four or more goals... Christopher Gibson is 10th in the AHL with a 2.40 goals-against-average... Sebastian Aho is tied for 13th among AHL defensemen with 15 points (2g, 13a)... Bridgeport is the only Eastern Conference team without a shorthanded goal this season.
NHL: New York Islanders (19-7-2) - Next: Tonight at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (6-14-1-0) - Next: Friday vs. Maine Mariners, 7:05 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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