Ben Holmstrom scored twice and 13 different players recorded a point last week as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3-5-0-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, split a pair of games against the Hartford Wolf Pack and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
On Friday, the Sound Tigers registered three goals in the third period and defeated the Wolf Pack for the second time in six games with a 5-1 final at the XL Center. Josh Ho-Sang (one goal, one assist) and Alan Quine (one goal) each contributed to the score sheet in their returns to Bridgeport, while Travis St. Denis (one goal), Connor Jones (one goal, one assist) and Holmstrom (one goal) also proved to be key factors. In addition, Michael Dal Colle notched a pair of assists and Christopher Gibson (1-3-0) earned his first win of the season with 23 saves. The Sound Tigers are now 2-0-0-0 against Hartford this season and have outscored their in-state rivals 11-4.
Twenty-four hours later, Steve Bernier capitalized on a breakaway just 1:19 into the first period and Holmstrom scored 52 seconds into the middle frame, but Bridgeport fell to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5-2 at Webster Bank Arena. Penguins' forward and Stamford, Conn. native Ryan Haggerty notched a pair of goals in his season debut, which led the visitors to their fifth consecutive win. Kristers Gudlevskis (2-2-0) made 20 saves.
The Sound Tigers will look to bounce back this weekend when the club opens its second three-game series of the season on Friday against the Providence Bruins at Dunkin' Donuts Center. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. before the team returns to Bridgeport on Saturday to host the Springfield Thunderbirds at 7 p.m. The weekend concludes on Sunday with a 3:05 p.m. rematch against the Bruins in Rhode Island. Tickets for Saturday's game at Webster Bank Arena are on sale now and fans can follow all of the action this weekend online through the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live.
The week ahead:
Friday, Nov. 3 at Providence Bruins (7:05 p.m.): The Sound Tigers will face their most frequent opponent for the first time this season, traveling to Providence, R.I. for the first of 12 matchups against the Bruins. Bridgeport went 6-6-0-0 against Providence last year.
Saturday, Nov. 4 vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (7 p.m.): The Sound Tigers will host Springfield for the first time this season and great seats are on sale now! In addition, receive $2 off your game ticket at the Webster Bank Arena Click It or Ticket Box Office by showing your AAA Membership Card. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the puck drops at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 5 at Providence Bruins (3:05 p.m.): The Sound Tigers and Bruins will meet for a second time this weekend with a matinee matchup on Sunday afternoon.
News and Notes:
Two-Way Talent: Defenseman Mitch Vande Sompel has displayed his exceptional offensive upside through the first eight games of his professional career. The New York Islanders' third-round pick in 2015 has four points in his last four games and is tied for third on the Sound Tigers in points (six), and tied for the team lead in assists (five). Vande Sompel is also tied for sixth among all AHL defenseman in points. He had 53 points (20 goals, 33 assists) in 67 games between the Oshawa Generals and London Knights (Ontario Hockey League) last season.
"Berning" It Down: Veteran winger Steve Bernier is off to a strong start and currently ranks second on the Sound Tigers with five goals in eight games. The 32-year-old is also tied for third on the team in scoring (six points) and is fourth in shots (19). Bernier has registered a point in six of eight games this season after earning 26 points (16 goals, 10 assists) in 33 games prior to injury last season.
Moving Up: Fifth-year forward Alan Quine saw his first game action of the season last weekend after the Islanders loaned him to Bridgeport for a conditioning assignment on Thursday. Quine, who missed all of training camp and is recovering from an upper-body injury, scored a power-play tally on Friday and moved into sole possession of seventh place on the Sound Tigers' all-time points list (137) and ninth all-time in goal-scoring (51). He is now one point behind Adam Tambellini (2005-09) and just two goals behind Rob Collins (2003-06).
Quick Hits: Ben Holmstrom's goal 52 seconds into the second period on Saturday was the team's quickest to begin a period this year… The Sound Tigers captain now has three goals in his last four games… Josh Ho-Sang's first period tally on Friday came on his first shift in the AHL this season… Tanner Fritz has five points (one goal, four assists) in his last four games… Scott Eansor is tied for the league-lead among rookie goal-scorers (seven) and is tied for second in the AHL overall… Christopher Gibson has played 53 games with the Sound Tigers and is just one appearance away from tying Steve Valiquette (2001-03) for eighth on the team's all-time list… Gibson is also seventh on the club's all-time wins list (26).
Goals: Scott Eansor (7)
Assists: Tanner Fritz, Mitch Vande Sompel (5)
Points: Scott Eansor, Tanner Fritz (7)
Plus/Minus: Kyle Burroughs (+8)
Penalty Minutes: Ross Johnston (28)
Power-play goals: Scott Eansor (2)
Shots: Casey Bailey (27)