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Bridgeport Sound Tigers Notes

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers won all four of their games last week and have now earned points in nine of their last 10 games (7-1-1-1) dating back to Dec. 9. Bridgeport beat the Connecticut Whale on back-to-back nights (Dec. 26-27) and the Manchester Monarchs two nights later, winning each game by a three goal margin. On New Year’s Eve, the Sound Tigers needed a shootout to best the Adirondack Phantoms on the road.

At 17-12-1-2 this season, the Sound Tigers have 37 points and sit in second place in the Northeast Division, two points behind the Springfield Falcons.

12/26 vs. Connecticut Whale: W 5-2 – RECAP | BOX SCORE
12/27 at Connecticut Whale: W 3-0 – RECAP | BOX SCORE
12/29 vs. Manchester Monarchs: W 4-1 – RECAP | BOX SCORE
12/31 at Adirondack Phantoms: W 4-3 (SO) – RECAP | BOX SCORE

The Sound Tigers hit the road this weekend for contests on Friday, Jan. 4 at Springfield and Saturday, Jan. 5 at the Portland Pirates. Bridgeport has faced each team just once this season, but will match up with Springfield seven times and Portland five times over the remaining 44 games.

1. Nino Niederreiter – 16
T2. Brock Nelson – 11
T2. John Persson – 11

1. Colin McDonald – 18
2. Nino Niederreiter – 15
3. Johan Sundstrom – 13

1. Nino Niederreiter – 31
2. Colin McDonald – 23
T3. Brock Nelson – 22
T3. Johan Sundstrom – 22

1. David Ullstrom - +10
2. Johan Sundstrom - +9
3. Matt Donovan - +8

Penalty Minutes:
1. Brett Gallant – 143
2. Nathan McIver – 135
3. Blair Riley - 70

Power Play Goals:
1. Nino Niederreiter – 6
2. Jon Landry – 5
3. Brock Nelson – 4

Shorthanded Goals:
T1. Casey Cizikas – 1
T1. Brandon DeFazio – 1
T1. Brock Nelson – 1

Shots on Goal:
1. Nino Niederreiter – 101
2. Colin McDonald – 86
3. Johan Sundstrom – 77

The Sound Tigers have gotten things going quickly of late, scoring in the opening two minutes of each of their four games last week. Four different players (Nino Niederreiter, Chad Costello, Sean Backman, Matt Watkins) netted the opening strikes. The Sound Tigers have outscored opponents 18-6 dating back to the third period of their Dec. 22 contest against Adirondack.

Goaltender Kevin Poulin made 36 saves for his first shutout of the season on Dec. 27 at Connecticut, and has stopped all 53 shots faced over his last two appearances. The Montreal, QC native has won four straight decisions dating back to Dec. 19, and finished the month of December 4-0-0-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .950 save percentage.

Rookie center Johan Sundstrom finished the 2012 calendar year on a tear, with two goals and seven assists in the last seven games. The Gothenburg, SWE native ranks second on the club with a plus-9 rating and is tied for third with 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists).

Left wing John Persson found the back of the net on Dec. 27 at Connecticut and Dec. 31 at Adirondack, and has points in seven of his last eight games (four goals, three assists). Three Sound Tigers rank among the AHL’s top-20 in rookie scoring (Brock Nelson – 22 pts, T-8th; Johan Sundstrom – 22 pts, T-8th; Persson – 18 pts, T-18th).

Left wing Nino Niederreiter scored twice in the opening 7:04 on Dec. 26 vs. Connecticut, and has points in three straight games (three goals, one assist). The Chur, CHE native is tied for fourth in the league with 16 goals, ranks ninth with 31 points and is tied for sixth with six power play goals. He leads the team in all three categories.

The Sound Tigers penalty kill went 5-for-5 on Dec. 31 at Adirondack, has killed 26 straight penalties and 31 of the last 32 penalties dating back to Dec. 15 at Norfolk. The Sound Tigers penalty kill ranks second in the AHL at home at 92.1% (58-for-63) and 10th overall at 84.7% (138-for-163).

The Sound Tigers power play unit has struck in four straight games and ranks fourth in the league at 20.8% (32-for-154). Bridgeport is tied for the league lead with one short-handed goal against.

Right wing David Ullstrom notched a career-high four points (one goal, three assists) on Dec. 26 vs. Connecticut. The third-year pro is tied for fourth on the squad with 12 assists and leads the team with a plus-10 rating in 21 games played.

Center Casey Cizikas posted two assists on Dec. 26 vs. Connecticut and has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his last eight games. The Toronto, ON native is tied for fourth on the team with nine goals and tied for fifth with 18 points.

The Sound Tigers rank third in the AHL with 775 penalty minutes. Left wing Brett Gallant (143 PIMs, 2nd in AHL) and defenseman Nathan McIver (135 PIMs, 4th in AHL) lead the team.
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