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The Bridgeport Report: Week 14

The Sound Tigers went 1-1-1 in three games last week

by Alan Fuehring AlanFuehring / Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Bridgeport Sound Tigers: 19-15-1-1 (40 points); 5th in Atlantic Division; 8th in Eastern Conference

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers took a trio of points from their three games last weekend and moved to 19-15-1-1 (40 points) on the season. The club enters Week 14 ranked fifth in the Atlantic Division, seven points outside of a playoff spot.   

On Friday, the Sound Tigers battled back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point, but suffered a 3-2 loss in overtime to the Binghamton Senators at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Bracken Kearns and Steve Bernier each scored third-period goals, while Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves on 35 shots. It was the fourth straight one-goal game for the Sound Tigers, and their 19th one-goal contest overall this season. In addition, Bridgeport concluded its season-series against Binghamton with a 3-0-1-0 record. The win was the Senators' first over Bridgeport since Jan. 17, 2014.

Twenty-four hours later, Ryan Pulock extended his point streak to a career-high six games (four goals, two assists) with a power-play tally, but it wasn't enough in a 3-1 loss to the Utica Comets on Military Appreciation Night at Webster Bank Arena. Devon Toews also recorded his team-best 20th assist and Halak (1-1-2) made 26 saves between the pipes. Bridgeport's special teams play was the highlight of the evening, going 1-for-1 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

The Sound Tigers completed the weekend on Sunday afternoon with a 5-3 win over the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Tanner Fritz scored twice, Stephon Williams made 32 saves and Ben Holmstrom dropped the gloves, providing the spark Bridgeport needed to beat the Bruins for the second time this season. Twelve different players logged at least one point for the Sound Tigers.

Bridgeport returns to action this weekend with three more games over a three-day span, beginning Friday with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. Fans can follow all of the action via the team's live online broadcast at www.ahllive.com. The pre-game show kicks off at 6:45 p.m. 

The week ahead:

Bridgeport at Springfield Thunderbirds (15-15-5-2) - Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:05 p.m.

Bridgeport vs. Toronto Marlies (15-19-2-1) - Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.

Bridgeport vs. Rochester Americans (17-21-0-1) - Sunday, Jan. 22 at 3 p.m.*

News and Notes:

Out for the Kill: Bridgeport's penalty kill has allowed just one goal over the last five games, going 19-for-20 during that span. Included in that stretch is a 5-for-5 performance on Jan. 4 at Springfield and a 6-for-6 performance on Jan. 13 at Binghamton. Overall, the Sound Tigers penalty kill is 14th in the AHL at 82.3-percent, and 10th on home ice at 84.8-percent. 

Road Trippin': On Friday, the Sound Tigers will wrap up a stretch of seven road games in 22 days when they face the Springfield Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. Bridgeport is undefeated in regulation in four straight road games dating back to Jan. 4 (2-0-1-1), the club's longest such streak this season. The Sound Tigers are 10-7-1-1 on the road this season and will not play another game away from Webster Bank Arena until Feb. 10, following Friday's contest.

Home Sweet Home: Bridgeport will kick off a season-long seven-game home stand this Saturday when they welcome the Toronto Marlies to Webster Bank Arena for the first time ever during the regular season. The home stand will span 18 days (Jan. 21 - Feb. 7) and the Sound Tigers will face six different opponents during that stretch, including two matchups against the Rochester Americans. Bridgeport is 9-8-0-0 at home so far this season.   

Climbing the Ladder: Second-year goaltender Stephon Williams earned his fifth victory of the season on Sunday, which also moved him into sole possession of 10th place on the Sound Tigers' all-time wins list. Williams has won 20 games in a Sound Tigers uniform and is three wins behind Mike Morrison from 2007-08. In addition, he currently ranks ninth on the team's all-time games played list (goalies) with 48 career appearances, one behind teammate Christopher Gibson.

Quick Hits: All-Star defenseman Devon Toews is fourth among AHL rookies with 20 assists and tied for 10th among league blue-liners with 24 points… Brent Thompson is five wins away from tying current New York Islanders bench boss, Jack Capuano, for first on the Sound Tigers' all-time wins list for head coaches… Steve Bernier is fifth in the AHL in shooting percentage (26.0-percent)… The Sound Tigers lead the league with six shorthanded goals scored on the road. 

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