The Sound Tigers Report: Week 18
BRIDGEPORT, Conn.- The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (30-16-1-1) won all four of their games last week by a one-goal margin, collecting eight points and moving back into fourth place in the Atlantic Division standings. Defenseman Ryan Pulock led the way with three goals, three assists and a plus-6 rating en route to CCM/AHL Player of the Week honors on Monday.
The Sound Tigers began their current four-game win streak on Tuesday, Feb. 10 when Pulock scored twice, including the overtime winner, in a 4-3 victory against the Springfield Thunderbirds at Webster Bank Arena. Jesse Graham and Ross Johnston also found the back of the net, with the latter dropping the gloves on two occasions as well. Colin Markison added two assists and Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves between the pipes.
Both Halak and Pulock headlined Friday's win at the Dunkin' Donuts Center as the Sound Tigers blanked the Providence Bruins for the second straight meeting, 1-0. Halak, a 2015 NHL All-Star, turned back all 42 shots he faced and Pulock scored the only goal in the final six minutes. Pulock's tally was his sixth in the last nine games and his fourth game-winner in the last seven contests.
Twenty-four hours later, the Sound Tigers topped the Bruins in the backend of their home-and-home series with a 5-4 shootout win on "Pink in the Rink" Breast Cancer Awareness Night at Webster Bank Arena. Michael Dal Colle scored in regulation and added the only tally of a four-round shootout, while Halak played 25:10 in relief of Stephon Williams and earned his ninth straight victory, tying a franchise record. Kyle Burroughs, Kane Lafranchise and Carter Verhaehge also scored, and Tanner Fritz recorded an AHL career high three points (three assists).
Bridgeport capped their second weekend sweep this season with a 5-4 win over the Hershey Bears on Sunday afternoon. Verhaehge scored twice and Halak set a franchise record with his 10th straight win, stopping 22 of the 26 shots he faced. On the flip side, the Sound Tigers launched a season-best 50 shots on target, just three off the franchise record for shots in regulation (53 shots against Hartford on Oct. 29, 2005).
Bridgeport begins another three-game series on Friday with the club's first trip to Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. this season. The series shifts to Albany, N.Y. on Saturday afternoon before wrapping up Sunday with another matinee contest against the Hershey Bears at home. The Sound Tigers are 6-3-0-0 against those three teams combined this season. Follow all of the live action via the team's online broadcast at www.ahllive.com, beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes before puck drop.
The week ahead:
Bridgeport at Rochester Americans (20-27-0-2) - Friday, Feb. 17 at 7:05 p.m.
Bridgeport at Albany Devils (28-21-1-1) - Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m.
*Bridgeport vs. Hershey Bears (25-14-8-3) - Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m.
News and Notes:
Broken Record: Jaroslav Halak's 10-game win streak is the longest in Sound Tigers' history, breaking Anders Nilsson's record of nine straight victories during the 2011-12 season. Halak is 10-0-0 since Jan. 20 with a 1.98 goals-against-average, .929 save percentage and two shutouts during that span. His 42-save shutout last Friday in Providence tied a career high for saves in an AHL appearance.
Props to Pulock: New York Islanders prospect Ryan Pulock was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week on Monday after recording three goals, three assists and a plus-6 rating in Bridgeport's four wins last week. The 22-year-old has now registered 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his last 14 games, and leads all Sound Tigers defensemen in goals (10) and points (22) this season. In addition, Pulock has the game-winning tally in three of Bridgeport's last five games.
Home Sweet Home: The Sound Tigers have won nine of their last 10 games at Webster Bank Arena dating back to Jan. 21 against the Toronto Marlies. They have outscored opponents 33-26 during that span. Overall, Bridgeport is 18-9-0-0 at home this season, the second-most home victories in the AHL. Eight of the club's 12 games in February will take place at Webster Bank Arena.
Road Trippin': The Sound Tigers return to the road this weekend with a pair of contests in New York; Rochester on Friday and Albany on Saturday. Bridgeport has won three straight games on the road and is also on a six-game point streak away from Webster Bank Arena. Although the Sound Tigers will play just four road games in February, 10 of their 15 contest during the month of March will take place away from Bridgeport.
Quick Hits : With nine points (three goals, six assists) in his last six games, Tanner Fritz has moved into a tie for second in the Sound Tigers' scoring race... Bracken Kearns recorded a goal and two assists last week and currently sits at 496 professional points... Devon Toews is tied for second among AHL rookies with 24 assists and tied for 11th among league defensemen with 28 points... The Sound Tigers are 21-4-0-0 when scoring first this season.
Despite a setback to the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, the New York Islanders (25-15-10) are just three points out of a wildcard spot heading into games against the New York Rangers (Thursday) and New Jersey Devils (Saturday, Sunday). Former Sound Tiger Anders Lee has taken over the team lead in goals (21), including two tallies last Sunday in a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche at Barclays Center. Meanwhile, another former Sound Tiger, Josh Bailey, continues to lead the club with 27 assists. The Islanders are 1-1-0 against the Rangers this season as their rivalry gets renewed on Thursday in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The ECHL's Missouri Mavericks (23-19-2-5) have won five straight games including back-to-back victories against the Tulsa Oilers last weekend. In their last outing on Saturday, Dane Fox scored the game-winning goal at 3:55 of overtime in a 4-3 decision, just 24 hours after Eamon McAdam made a career-high 53 saves in a 3-0 shutout. The New York Islanders reassigned McAdam to the Sound Tigers on Monday. Missouri goes for its sixth straight victory on Saturday with an 8:05 p.m. ET puck drop against the Quad City Mallards at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, MO.
*Kids Free Day : All kids 12 and younger get in free at this Sunday's game against the Hershey Bears with the purchase of an equal amount of adult seats at the Webster Bank Arena Click It Or Ticket Box Office. Click here to purchase tickets .
Frozen Night: Saturday, Feb. 25 will prove to be a magical night as popular Frozen characters visit Webster Bank Arena. Enjoy a meet-and-greet on the concourse and all fans are encouraged to come to the game dressed as his or her favorite character. In addition, a $25 Frozen package is available which includes one (1) game ticket, one (1) hot dog/soft drink combo voucher and your choice of a Tiara with a wand or crown. Call 203.345.2300 Option 7 to order or ORDER ONLINE NOW (use promo code LETITGO) . Limited packages are available for this special offer. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Ben Holmstrom Bobblehead Giveaway: The first 2,000 fans through the doors on Sunday, Mar. 26 will receive a free bobblehead of Sound Tigers' captain Ben Holmstrom, courtesy of Newtown Savings Bank. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the puck drops at 7 p.m.
For additional details or to reserve seats for any of the 2016-17 giveaway and theme nights, please call the Sound Tigers' front office at (203) 345-2300.
Executive suites and premium seat packages are also available by calling the team's front office at (203) 345-4841. If you are interested in group outings with your friends, family, co-workers, or clients an unforgettable experience at a discounted rate, call the group sales hotline at (203) 345-2300 Ext. 7.
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