Sound Tigers Host Bruins in 2020-21 Home FinaleMay 3, 2021
The Bridgeport Islanders, American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, welcome the Providence Bruins to Webster Bank Arena this afternoon for their final home game of the 2020-21 season. Puck drop is slated for 1 p.m. The Sound Tigers (7-13-2-0) are looking to extend their point streak to six games following a 2-1 shootout victory against the Bruins (14-6-2-1) in Marlborough, Mass. last Thursday. Felix Bibeau scored his first professional goal midway through the opening period, while Ken Appleby (4-2-0) made 29 saves for his third straight win. The Sound Tigers scored four times in an eight-round shootout to finish off their season-best third straight victory on the road.
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SERIES AT A GLANCE
Today's game is the 12th and final meeting between the Sound Tigers and Bruins this season. Bridgeport is 3-7-1-0 in the series, but has won each of the last two matchups, allowing just one goal in both victories. Prior to Thursday's shootout win, the Sound Tigers snapped a five-game skid in the series and registered their first home victory against the Bruins with a 4-1 result on Tuesday, Apr. 20th. Cole Bardreau has two goals and three assists (five points) to pace the Sound Tigers against Boston’s affiliate.
VIEW FROM PROVIDENCE
The first-place Bruins have lost four straight games (0-2-1-1) after starting the year as one of the top teams in the AHL. That has allowed the Hartford Wolf Pack to close within four points of the Atlantic Division's top spot with two games remaining. Providence has scored two goals or less in six of its last seven games including a 3-2 overtime loss in its last outing to Hartford on Saturday. Alex-Olivier Voyer and Sam Asselin (power play) each scored a goal, while Dan Vladar made 29 saves in his fourth straight start. Providence's offense has slipped to 19th in the AHL (3.00 goals/game), but its defense remains second behind Laval (2.30 goals against/game). The Bruins can clinch the Emile Francis Trophy as division champions with a win today.
EATING GOOD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Ken Appleby has started four of the Sound Tigers' last six games and earned his third straight victory on Thursday, the longest winning streak for a Bridgeport goalie this season. Overall, he is 4-2-0 with a 1.98 goals-against-average, .924 save percentage and one shutout in six appearances with the Sound Tigers. Appleby is 3-0-0 with a 1.30 goals-against-average, .953 save percentage and one shutout in his last three outings alone.
BARDREAU'S SCORING STREAK
Cole Bardreau earned the secondary assist on Felix Bibeau's opening goal on Thursday, pushing his point streak to a career-best six games (three goals, three assists), tied for the longest scoring streak on the team this season. Kyle MacLean also had points in six straight games from April 5th - April 24th. This is the longest scoring streak of Bardreau's pro career, topping his five-game point streak in March, 2017 while he played with Lehigh Valley. Bardreau leads the Sound Tigers in scoring with 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in 22 contests and has enjoyed his best offensive season since 2017-18, despite playing so few games. Bardreau has never led his team in scoring as a pro.
FIRST FOR FELIX
Felix Bibeau scored his first goal in his 10th professional game last Thursday, beating Dan Vladar at 10:01 of the first period thanks to Tom Kuhnhackl's centering pass from below the goal line. Bibeau has one goal, one assist and seven penalty minutes in 10 games with Bridgeport, and was one of four Sound Tigers to score in Thursday's eight-round shootout. Bibeau was drafted by the Islanders in the sixth round (#178 overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft.
LET'S GET IT STARTED
Bridgeport has scored first in five of its last six games. Blade Jenkins has opened the scoring twice during that span, while Jeff Kubiak, Arnaud Durandeau and Felix Bibeau have the other three. The Sound Tigers are 4-4-1-0 when scoring first this year, but 4-1-0-0 when leading after 20 minutes and Bridgeport has outscored its opponents 5-1 in first periods over its last six outings.