Sound Tigers Host Hershey at 1 p.m.Jan 20, 2019
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Islanders (23-14-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, continue a five-game homestand this afternoon with a 1 p.m. matchup against the Hershey Bears (19-20-0-2) at Webster Bank Arena. Today's game is the rescheduled contest that was originally slated for yesterday at 3 p.m., but was changed due to inclement weather in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and across the Northeast.
LAST TIME OUT
The Sound Tigers are coming off of a 4-3 shootout win against the Providence Bruins on Saturday, which snapped a three-game slide but extended the team's winless in regulation streak to nine games (3-5-0-1). Ben Holmstrom scored twice early in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit, while Kieffer Bellows added his 10th tally of the season and Christopher Gibson (11-7-4) made 29 saves in 65 minutes of work. Tanner Fritz and former Bear Chris Bourque each found the back of the net in the four-round shootout.
TIGERS VS. BEARS
Today's game marks the second of six meetings between the Sound Tigers and Bears this season, and the first of three matchups at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport leads the series 1-0-0-0 following a 2-1 victory in Pennsylvania on Oct. 7, in which Chris Bourque scored his first goal as a Sound Tiger, against his former team. Steve Bernier also potted the game-winner early in the third period and Jeremy Smith made 20 saves on 21 shots for his first win with Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers and Bears face each other just twice before Feb. 23, but four times in 36 days after that.
VIEW FROM HERSHEY
Spencer Carbery's club has won four straight games and closed to within one game of .500 entering today's action. Last time out, Hershey earned a 5-3 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday, led by three points from Jayson Megna (two goals, one assist), Mike Sgarbossa (one goal, two assists) and former Sound Tiger, Aaron Ness (three assists). Between the pipes, Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves for his third straight win. Fourth-year forward Riley Barber paces Hershey with 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in 35 games, while Sgarbossa has a team-best 18 goals and rides a five-game point streak into today's outing.
Tanner Fritz scored twice in Charlotte on Wednesday and added an assist on Saturday, and now has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his last eight games. The 27-year-old forward is tied for fourth on the Sound Tigers in points (25), fourth in helpers (17) and third in multi-point games (eight), despite playing just 36 AHL games due to call-ups with the Islanders. Fritz has one assist in four NHL games this season. With a helper on Saturday, Fritz also moved into ninth place on Bridgeport's all-time assists list (78).
Today's contest will be the Sound Tigers' 17th Monday game in team history and their first since Dec. 26, 2016. Bridgeport suffered a 5-2 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack that night. Overall, the Sound Tigers are 9-7-0-0 when playing on a Monday and 6-6-0-0 in those games at home.
FREE HOCKEY FRENZY
Saturday's win against Providence marked the 15th time Bridgeport had gone to overtime this season - tied for the most times in the AHL with Iowa, Milwaukee and Rockford. It was also the club's ninth win beyond regulation - most in the league. The Sound Tigers have been no strangers to close games this season and the team continues to lead the AHL in one-goal outcomes with 27 (17-4-4-2).
Bridgeport has been outshot in 18 straight games, dating back to Dec. 5...Chris Bourque doesn't have a goal in his last 12 games - his longest such streak with the Sound Tigers... Mitch Vande Sompel is expected to play his 100th professional game today, while Parker Wotherspoon played his 100th pro contest Saturday... Kyle Burroughs played his 224th contest with Bridgeport on Wednesday, passing Scott Mayfield for 10th place on the team's all-time games played list... Christopher Gibson won his 57th game with the Sound Tigers on Saturday, passing Rick DiPietro for third place on the team's all-time wins list... Josh Ho-Sang celebrates his 23rd birthday tomorrow... Mike Sislo celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday... Seven of the team's last 13 goals (regulation and overtime) have been scored by defensemen.