Sound Tigers Host Wolf Pack Today at 1 p.m.Mar 18, 2021
The Bridgeport Islanders (2-7-0-0) host their in-state rival for the second time this season as the Hartford Wolf Pack (3-5-0-0) visit Webster Bank Arena for today's 1 p.m. matchup. It's the third of 12 meetings this season and the second of six in Bridgeport. Hartford earned a 5-2 win in their opening matchup on Feb. 7th at the XL Center, but the Sound Tigers bounced back to capture a 5-3 victory at home on Feb. 17th. Rookie defenseman Samuel Bolduc recorded a career-high three points (one goal, two assists) that afternoon, while Cole Bardreau and Dmytro Timashov each scored once and added an assist. Jeff Kubiak and Tanner Fritz also chipped in two assists each, and Jakub Skarek made 29 saves.
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LAST TIME OUT
The Sound Tigers suffered a 5-2 loss to the Providence Bruins on Monday afternoon in Marlborough, Mass. Cole Bardreau and Tom Kuhnhackl each found the back of the net in the final 96 seconds, but Providence scored five straight goals to begin the game and went 6-for-7 on the penalty kill. Bardreau had Bridgeport's only power-play goal at 19:43 of the third period and also assisted on Kuhnhackl's first tally of the season to earn his second multi-point game this year (only player with two or more). The Sound Tigers will try to snap a three-game slide this afternoon.
VIEW FROM HARTFORD
Hartford is winless in regulation in its last six games (1-5-0-0) after starting the season with two regulation victories. The Wolf Pack beat Providence in overtime on Monday, Mar. 8 before falling to the Bruins on the road last Friday. Morgan Barron notched his team-leading fifth goal of the year and Mason Geertsen added his first, but Jakub Lauko scored twice for the Bruins in the 5-2 final. Barron is second on the team in scoring behind Jonny Brodzinski (10 points in six games) and is also tied for first among all AHL rookies with three power-play goals. Hartford is led by head coach Kris Knoblauch, who was called up to serve as acting head coach of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden last night. The Rangers defeated Philadelphia, 9-0.
COLE COLLECTS HIS THIRD
Cole Bardreau scored his team-leading third goal of the season in the final minute of Monday’s game against Providence and also helped set up Tom Kuhnhackl’s tally just 79 seconds prior to get Bridgeport on the board. Bardreau, 27, is second on the team in scoring with five points (three goals, two assists) and has scored each of his three goals a different way: once shorthanded, once on the power play and once at even strength. He also has one of the team’s two game-winning goals this season.
STILL KILLING IT
Despite allowing one power-play goal on Monday, Bridgeport’s penalty kill has been one of the strongest in the AHL over the last six games, currently ranking 12th overall at 82.9-percent. The Sound Tigers’ penalty kill is 26 for its last 27 and is ninth in the AHL at home (84.2-percent). In addition, Bridgeport has scored three times shorthanded, tied for the most in the Eastern Conference.
NOTHING PAST 60
The Sound Tigers are one of just three teams in the AHL that have not gone past 60 minutes this season. In fact, just two of the team’s nine games have resulted in a one-goal differential. Belleville and Henderson are the only other two AHL teams that also haven’t seen overtime hockey in 2021.
LEADING THE WAY
Samuel Bolduc leads the Sound Tigers with six points (two goals, four assists) in nine games this season and has scored both of his goals against the Wolf Pack. Four of his six points have also come against Hartford, including his first as a pro on Feb. 7. Bolduc leads the Sound Tigers in points, assists (four) and shots (22) entering today's game.
Seth Helgeson is 10 games shy of his 500th pro appearance and has played 222 contests with Bridgeport, one behind Scott Mayfield for 11th place on the club's all-time list... Parker Wotherspoon is five games shy of his 200th pro appearance (all with the Sound Tigers)... Andrew Ladd made his season debut in last week's game against Providence, his first AHL appearance since Feb. 1, 2020 and his first game overall since Game 2 of the NHL's Eastern Conference Final (Islanders vs. Tampa Bay, Sept. 9)... Mike Cornell, Yanick Turcotte and Ken Appleby are the only three Sound Tigers that haven't played a game yet this season.