The Bridgeport Report: Week 10
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3-12-1-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, are in the midst of a four-game series against the Hartford Wolf Pack (9-6-1-0) as their 2020-21 season continues to wind down.
The Sound Tigers are third in the Atlantic Division, 12 points behind the second-place Wolf Pack, with eight games remaining in the abbreviated season. Rookie defenseman Samuel Bolduc leads the club in scoring with nine points (four goals, five assists) in 16 games, while Cole Bardreau has a team-leading six goals and Jeff Kubiak paces Bridgeport in assists (six).
Last time out, the Sound Tigers collected four goals at home for the first time since Mar. 18th, but it wasn't enough in a 5-4 loss to Hartford on Tuesday. Patrick Khodorenko scored twice including the game-winner with less than five minutes remaining for the Wolf Pack, while Bode Wilde and Tanner Fritz each had a goal for the second straight game. Arnaud Durandeau scored once and added an assist for his first multi-point game in the AHL since Dec. 18, 2019.
Ten of Bridgeport's skaters earned at least one point in the setback.
The Sound Tigers face Hartford in the third of four straight meetings on Thursday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena. The Wolf Pack will host another rematch this Saturday inside the XL Center. All start times are 1 p.m. this season and fans can follow all of the live action via AHLTV or the Sound Tigers Radio Network, beginning with the pre-game show at 12:45 p.m.
The Week Ahead
Thursday, Apr. 15 vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (1 p.m.): The Sound Tigers will look to end a six-game winless streak (0-5-1-0) and 10-game winless in regulation skid (1-8-1-0) when they face the Wolf Pack for the eighth time this season. The Sound Tigers are 2-4-0-0 against Hartford this season and 2-2-0-0 in those games at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport is 2-1-0-0 in Thursday afternoon games.
Saturday, Apr. 17 at Hartford Wolf Pack (1 p.m.): The Sound Tigers return to Connecticut's capital city this weekend for their fourth of six tilts at the XL Center. Bridgeport is seeking its first win in Hartford since Feb. 5, 2019 (3-2 shootout) and its first in regulation since Oct. 27, 2018.
Getting Wilde: Bode Wilde scored his first professional goal on Apr. 7th in Hartford and followed up with his second pro tally on Tuesday. He's one of three Sound Tigers to score in back-to-back games this season (Bardreau, Fritz). Wilde, a 21-year-old rookie from Montreal, got Bridgeport on the board Tuesday with a long wrist shot from the right wing that was deflected in front and found the top left corner at 2:54 of the second period. It was his fourth point (two goals, two assists) in 14 games this season and his sixth point (two goals, four assists) in 34 pro appearances, all with Bridgeport. Wilde was selected by the New York Islanders in the second round (#41 overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
The Fritz Factor: In addition to Wilde, Tanner Fritz also scored for the second straight game on Tuesday with a heavy wrist shot from the right circle that snuck inside the blocker of goaltender Tyler Wall at 9:42 of the middle frame. It was his 46th career AHL goal since his debut in 2016 (all with Bridgeport), second-most among active Sound Tigers behind Cole Bardreau (49). He's currently tied for third on the team in goals (three), tied for fourth in points (six) and tied for fifth in points-per-game (0.40).
El Durandeau: Arnaud Durandeau jammed home his second goal of the season and added an assist on Tuesday, collecting his second career multi-point game and first since Dec. 18, 2019 against Syracuse. The 22-year-old winger has three points (two goals, one assist) in seven games this season and currently ranks fourth on the Sound Tigers in points-per-game (0.43). He has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 28 AHL contests with Bridgeport over the last two seasons. Durandeau was selected by the New York Islanders in the sixth round (#165 overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Quick Hits: Bridgeport's four goals on Tuesday snapped a string of five straight games with two goals or less... It was the fifth time in the last eight games that the Sound Tigers have allowed five goals or more... Tuesday's game was the first time this season that every goal was scored at 5-on-5 strength (when there were a minimum of two goals)... Mike Cornell made his season debut on Tuesday, playing right wing with Bobo Carpenter and Erik Brown... Yanick Turcotte was loaned to the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) and Brett Neumann was loaned to the Allen Americans (ECHL) on Tuesday.
Goals: Cole Bardreau (6)
Assists: Jeff Kubiak (6)
Points: Samuel Bolduc (9)
Plus/Minus: Tom Kuhnhackl (+1)
Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (32)
Shots: Samuel Bolduc (36)
Games Played: Six Tied (16)
Across the Sound: The New York Islanders (27-11-4, 58 pts) are in the midst of a three-day layoff following a 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Nassau Coliseum. Former Sound Tiger Ryan Pulock scored the game-winner, his first goal of the season, at 1:13 of OT to lift the Isles to their fifth win in six games. Kyle Palmieri and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each scored in regulation and Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves to improve to 8-0-0 at home. The Islanders are second in the East Division, two points behind the Washington Capitals, with 14 games left in the regular season. They also have one game in hand on Washington. New York begins a three-game road trip on Thursday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Boston Bruins.
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