The Bridgeport Report: Week 9
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3-11-1-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, faced both the Hartford Wolf Pack (7-6-1-0) and Providence Bruins (13-3-1-0) on the road this week, but couldn't improve their record in a pair of Atlantic Division setbacks.
On Monday, Kyle MacLean's second professional goal came 12 seconds into the third period and knotted the score at 1-1, which lasted into the final minutes of regulation, but Bridgeport suffered a 2-1 loss to Providence at the New England Sports Center. Ken Appleby (1-1-0) made 23 saves in his second start with the Sound Tigers.
Another rookie, 21-year-old Bode Wilde, found the back of the net on Wednesday for his first pro goal in a 7-2 setback to Hartford at the XL Center. Wilde's first tally came on a wrister from the deep slot at 12:11 of the third period, while Tanner Fritz also collected his second goal of the season. Tim Gettinger had a hat trick and four points (three goals, one assist) to lead the Wolf Pack.
Bridgeport continues the second half of its 2020-21 season next week with three more games against Hartford. The first two will occur at Webster Bank Arena on Tuesday and Thursday. The Wolf Pack will host another rematch next Saturday at 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
Tuesday, Apr. 13 vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (1 p.m.): The Sound Tigers look to snap a five-game dry spell (0-4-1-0) and a nine-game winless in regulation streak when they face Hartford for their second straight contest. It's also the second of four in a row against the Wolf Pack. Bridgeport is 2-4-0-0 against Hartford this season and 2-1-0-0 in those games at Webster Bank Arena.
Thursday, Apr. 15 vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (1 p.m.): Bridgeport and Hartford meet for the eighth time this season next Thursday, which will also be their fifth of six matchups at Webster Bank Arena. The Sound Tigers are 2-1-0-0 in Thursday afternoon games this year.
Saturday, Apr. 17 at Hartford Wolf Pack (1 p.m.): The Sound Tigers return to Connecticut's capital city next 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.
Wilde One: Bode Wilde scored his first professional goal on Wednesday in Hartford, an unassisted even-strength tally at 12:11 of the third period. It was his third point (one goal, two assists) in 13 games this season and his fifth point (one goal, four assists) in 33 pro appearances, all with Bridgeport. He had 81 points (23 goals, 58 assists) in 73 career OHL games with the Saginaw Spirit over the last two seasons. Wilde was selected by the New York Islanders in the second round (#41 overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Fritz Finds the Net: Tanner Fritz registered his second goal of the season on Wednesday and his first since Feb. 25th. It was also his 45th career AHL goal since his debut in 2016 (all with Bridgeport), second-most among active Sound Tigers behind Cole Bardreau (49). Fritz has 134 points (45 goals, 89 assists) in 192 AHL games and is currently tied for 15th place on the team's all-time goals list.
Leading the Way: Rookie defenseman Samuel Bolduc assisted on the opening goal Wednesday, his team-leading ninth point (four goals, five assists) in 15 games this season. Seven of those points have come against the New York Rangers' affiliate and he also has scored in four of the six games against Hartford. He leads all Sound Tigers defensemen in goals (four), assists (five) and points (nine), and leads all Bridgeport players in shots (35).
Dealing with the Devils: The New York Islanders traded forwards Mason Jobst and A.J. Greer to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday in exchange for forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. The Islanders also included a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft in the deal. Jobst had 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 51 games with the Sound Tigers since his debut in 2019, while Greer recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in 10 games with Bridgeport. Palmieri and Zajac both made their debuts with the Islanders in Thursday's 3-2 shootout win against Philadelphia.
Goals: Cole Bardreau (4)
Assists: Samuel Bolduc, Mitch Vande Sompel, Jeff Kubiak (5)
Points: Samuel Bolduc (9)
Plus/Minus: Tom Kuhnhackl (+1)
Penalty Minutes: Seth Helgeson (32)
Shots: Samuel Bolduc (35)
Games Played: Six Tied (15)
Across the Sound: The New York Islanders (26-10-4, 56 pts) won their fourth consecutive game on Thursday and their second straight in a shootout against the Philadelphia Flyers. Jordan Eberle and former Sound Tiger Brock Nelson each scored in the first period, and Nelson earned the shootout-winning goal in the fifth round to put the Islanders in sole possession of first place in East Division. Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves and was perfect in the shootout. Nelson leads New York with 15 goals this season and has three goals in his last four games. The Islanders return to action at 7 p.m. tonight to open a two-game series against the New York Rangers at Nassau Coliseum.
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