The Bridgeport Report: Week 3
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-4-0-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, collected two points in two games last week as they split a pair of contests against the Providence Bruins and Hartford Wolf Pack. The Sound Tigers earned their first win of the year in the middle of a season-long, three-game homestand on Wednesday and now set their sights on back-to-back road games in Marlborough, Mass.
Rookie defenseman Samuel Bolduc recorded a career-high three points (one goal, one assist) and Jakub Skarek made 29 saves on Wednesday as the Sound Tigers earned a 5-3 win against the Wolf Pack (2-2-0-0) at Webster Bank Arena. Three of Bridgeport's goals came in the third period and four players aside from Bolduc had a multi-point game: Dmytro Timashov (one goal, one assist), Cole Bardreau (one goal, one assist), Tanner Fritz (two assists), Jeff Kubiak (two assists).
Forty-eight hours later, Skarek backstopped perhaps his best game in the AHL with a career-high 36 saves on 37 shots, but Bridgeport's offense was held quiet in a 1-0 loss to Providence (4-1-0-0) on Friday. The game remained scoreless for more than 54 minutes before Zach Senyshyn netted the only goal on the Bruins' 35th shot more than halfway through the third period. Bolduc recorded a team-high four shots-on-goal for Bridgeport, while Dan Vladar made 24 saves to deny the Sound Tigers their second straight win.
Bridgeport now enters an unusually quiet stretch with just one game in nearly a two-week span. The Sound Tigers rematch Providence this Thursday, Feb. 25th inside the New England Sports Center and don't play again until they face the Bruins for the third straight contest on Thursday, Mar. 4th. Puck drop is 1 p.m. for every game 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, Feb. 25 at Providence Bruins (1 p.m.): The Sound Tigers battle Boston's AHL affiliate for the fourth time this season and the second of six matchups at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass. Providence has won each of the first three meetings and defeated Bridgeport 4-1 in its only home matchup against the Sound Tigers on Feb. 5th. Bobo Carpenter leads the way for Bridgeport with two goals in throughout the season series.
Leading the Way: New York Islanders prospect Samuel Bolduc has five points (two goals, three assists) in his last four games and carried a three-game point streak into Friday's matchup against Providence. Bolduc earned a career-high three points on Wednesday and scored his second goal in as many games against Hartford with a perfectly placed wrist shot at 6:23 of the third period. A native of Laval, Que., Bolduc currently leads the Sound Tigers in points (five) and assists (three), and is tied for the team lead in goals (two) and shots (nine). His five points are also tied for fifth among all AHL defensemen.
Go-To Goalie: Jakub Skarek is the first goaltender in team history to start five straight games to begin a season. In fact, no Sound Tigers goalie had even started two straight games to begin a season since Anders Nilsson played three straight in 2013-14. Skarek is currently fifth among all AHL netminders in minutes played (296) and saves (137). He's a third-round draft pick of the New York Islanders (#72 overall) in 2018.
Climbing the Ladder: Tanner Fritz collected his first two points of the season last Wednesday with a pair of assists in the 5-3 win. The sixth-year forward now has 88 total assists and 131 total points in his Sound Tigers/AHL career - both of which rank inside the top 10 in team history. Fritz is tied with Mark Wotton (2006-11) for fifth place on the team's all-time assists list [one behind Steve Regier (2004-08)] and sits ninth on the all-time points list, five behind Trent Hunter (2001-03).
Quick Hits: Bridgeport is nine for its last nine on the penalty kill... Seth Helgeson scored his first goal of the season last Wednesday, which was just his second since October, 2018 (both have come in his last eight games)... Helgeson has played 218 games with the Sound Tigers, five behind Scott Mayfield for 11th place on the team's all-time list... Dmytro Timashov had one goal and one assist last Wednesday, his first two points with the Sound Tigers... Bridgeport's two shorthanded goals scored at home are second most in the AHL (Chicago has three).
Across the Sound: The New York Islanders (9-6-3) finished strong en route to a come-from-behind, 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night, improving to 5-0-1 at Nassau Coliseum this season. Former Sound Tigers Anders Lee and Matt Martin each scored, while Jean-Gabriel Pageau broke a 2-2 tie in the final five minutes of regulation. It was New York's third win in as many games against the Sabres this season and snapped a two-game slide after dropping back-to-back contests in Pittsburgh last week. Lee currently leads the team in goals with eight, while Mat Barzal paces the Islanders with 15 points (six goals, nine assists).
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