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The Bridgeport Report: Week 5

Two shootout wins last week boost the Sound Tigers to 8-4-0-0 this season

by Alan Fuehring AlanFuehring / Bridgeport Sound Tigers

From Casey Cizikas to Brock Nelson, many current Islanders got their start with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the next crop of Islanders are currently plying their trade in Connecticut. Stay on top of all things Bridgeport with the The Bridgeport Report - put together by Sound Tigers play-by-play voice Alan Fuehring. 

Bridgeport Sound Tigers: 8-4-0-0, 16 points, 3rd in Atlantic Division, 5th in Eastern Conference

Two similar results last weekend helped the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (8-4-0-0) earn four points in a pair of road games against the Syracuse Crunch and Hershey Bears. The Sound Tigers are now 5-1-0-0 away from Webster Bank Arena this season and have jumped to third place in the Atlantic Division standings.

On Friday, the Jones' twins became the first pair of brothers to each score in the same AHL game since January 14, 2005, guiding the Sound Tigers to a 3-2 shootout win over Syracuse at Oncenter War Memorial Arena. The Crunch made things interesting late with two goals in the final four minutes of regulation, but Bracken Kearns and Carter Verhaeghe both scored in a four-round shootout to seal the victory.

Twenty-four hours later, Bridgeport earned another shootout win with a 4-3 decision over the Hershey Bears at the GIANT Center. Andrew Rowe notched the only goal in three-round shootout, while Verhaeghe, Scott Mayfield (recalled by the New York Islanders on Monday) and Steve Bernier all scored in regulation. Between the pipes, Stephon Williams (2-4-0-0) made a career-high 35 saves to record his second win in as many nights. In addition, Bridgeport went 9-for-9 on the penalty kill and improved to 3-0-0-0 in games that finish beyond regulation this season.

The Sound Tigers will go for their first three-game win streak of the season on Friday when they open a three-game weekend series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The Week Ahead
Bridgeport at W-B/Scranton Penguins (10-2-1-0) - Fri, Nov. 18 at 7:05 p.m.

Bridgeport vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (8-3-1-0) - Sat, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

Bridgeport vs. Binghamton Senators (3-7-0-1) - Sun, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m.

News and Notes
Road Warriors:
The Sound Tigers have won four straight games away from Webster Bank Arena and improved their road record to 5-1-0-0, the team's best to start a season in more than 10 years. Bridgeport has outscored opponents 24-17 on the road this season.

Commanding the Crease: Second-year goaltender Stephon Williams earned his first two wins of the season last weekend, making 59 saves on 64 shots in regulation and allowing just one goal on seven combined shootout attempts. In his last outing on Saturday, the 23-year-old faced a career-high 38 shots against Hershey and made a career-best 35 saves. Williams was initially selected by the New York Islanders in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Down But Not Out:  The Sound Tigers' penalty kill has consistently been one of the best in the AHL to start the season. Bridgeport's PK combined to go 13-for-14 last weekend, including a season-best 9-for-9 on Saturday, and is now fourth-best in the league at 88.4-percent. The Sound Tigers are also tied for second in the AHL with three shorthanded goals scored. The Charlotte Checkers lead the league with four.

Quick Hits: The Sound Tigers are 7-0-0-0 this season when Bracken Kearns has a point and 6-0-0-0 when scoring first in a game… Pat Cullity is one game from his 400th professional appearance… Michael Dal Colle is tied for the league lead among rookies with two game-winning goals… Kyle Burroughs is fifth among AHL defensemen with 34 penalty minutes... This weekend will mark Bridgeport's second "three-in-three" of the season

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