The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (6-5-1-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, scored 15 goals in three games last weekend and earned statement wins against the Springfield Thunderbirds (7-1-0-2) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (6-4-0-1) at Webster Bank Arena.
Josh Ho-Sang had eight points, including a career-high four assists on Sunday afternoon, as the Sound Tigers tied a franchise record with eight goals scored against the Penguins. In addition, Michael Dal Colle (three goals, two assists), Devon Toews (two goals, two assists) and several others had notable performances last weekend.
Despite winning two of their three games last week, the Sound Tigers also suffered one loss in a 3-2 setback to Springfield on Friday. Bridgeport didn't go away quietly, launching a season-high 42 shots and scoring twice in its first trip to MassMutual Center this season. Toews and Steve Bernier both beat Sam Montembeault in an otherwise marvelous night for the Thunderbirds goaltender, while Jacob MacDonald (two assists) and Patrick Bajkov (two assists) paced Springfield's offense. Ho-Sang and Travis St. Denis each recorded a pair of helpers for Bridgeport and four of the five combined goals came on the man advantage.
The Sound Tigers bounced back 24 hours later with a 5-2 win against the Thunderbirds to complete their home-and-home series. Tom Kuhnhackl, who was loaned by the Islanders on Thursday, scored twice and added an assist in his first AHL game since 2016 to steer Bridgeport to victory at Webster Bank Arena, handing the T-Birds their first regulation loss this season. Dal Colle (one goal, one assist), Ho-Sang (one goal, one assist), and Mike Sislo (one goal, one assist) also found the back of the net, while Jeremy Smith (2-2-1) made 24 saves on 26 shots. Meanwhile, Kuhnhackl's three-point performance was his third in the AHL and his first since Nov. 4, 2015.
Bridgeport completed its busy weekend on Sunday with an 8-5 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the Park City, tying two franchise records in the process. It was just the second time the club had ever scored eight goals in a single outing and the first since Feb. 11, 2012. In addition, Ho-Sang notched a career-high four assists and became the first Bridgeport player to do so since Tony Romano on Mar. 27, 2012.
Aside from Ho-Sang's spectacular afternoon, Dal Colle and Kieffer Bellows each scored twice and 13 different players collected at least one point for the Sound Tigers, while Zach Aston-Reese posted a hat trick for the Penguins. It was Bridgeport's fourth straight win on home ice and the club's fifth straight home game with at least one point (4-0-1-0).
Bridgeport continues a five-game homestand this week with a trio of contests at Webster Bank Arena. The Sound Tigers will step outside of the Atlantic Division on Wednesday for a 10:30 a.m. puck drop against New Jersey's affiliate, the Binghamton Devils, before hosting the Providence Bruins on Saturday (7 p.m.) and the Charlotte Checkers this Sunday (3 p.m.). Fans can follow all of the action online via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes before each listed start time.
News and Notes:
Dal Colle's Delight: Michael Dal Colle has become a key threat every time he steps onto the ice. The Islanders' fifth-overall pick in 2014 leads the Sound Tigers with six goals and 13 points in 10 games, despite missing two contests in October due to injury. In addition, Dal Colle paces Bridgeport with five multi-point games (half of his appearances) and is tied for ninth in the AHL in both goals and points. He has five goals and three assists (eight points) in his last six games. The third-year forward finished last season with just seven goals and four multi-point games.
Ho-Sang's Heroics: Josh Ho-Sang had one goal and seven assists in three games last weekend, climbing to second on the Sound Tigers with 12 points in 12 games this season. Even better, Ho-Sang now ranks second among all AHL players in assists (11). He became just the eighth player in Bridgeport history to record four assists in a single game and the first since 2012.
Home Is Where The Points Are: The Sound Tigers have earned points in five of their first six home games (4-1-1-0) and enter this week's action on a four-game win streak at Webster Bank Arena. Bridgeport has outscored opponents 26-20 at home this season and is 3-0-0-0 when outshooting other teams in the Park City.
Quick Hits: Chris Bourque scored one of Bridgeport's eight goals on Sunday and now has 695 points in 731 AHL games... He is five points away from becoming the 24th player in AHL history to record 700 career points and is also just one goal shy of tying Michel Harvey (1959-71) for 50th all-time in League goal-scoring… Brent Thompson is five wins away from his 200th as Bridgeport's head coach… The Sound Tigers have scored a power-play goal in each of their last three games, going 5-for-17 during that span (29.4%)… Bridgeport is tied with Hartford for the most one-goal decisions in the Eastern Conference (seven: 4-2-1-0)... The Sound Tigers are 6-1-1-0 when leading at any point in a contest.
The week ahead:
Wednesday, Nov. 7 vs. Binghamton Devils (10:30 a.m.): The Sound Tigers will battle Binghamton in their annual Cool Fun 101 school-day game presented by IBEW Local 488 and the Connecticut Department of Transportation. It will mark Bridgeport's first of four morning games this season and its first of two matchups against the Devils. Despite large school groups in attendance, select seats are still available via Ticketmaster or by visiting the Webster Bank Arena Click It Or Ticket Box Office.
Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. Providence Bruins (7 p.m.): The Sound Tigers will face Providence for the fourth time this season on "Wizards and Warlocks Night" at Webster Bank Arena. Harry Potter fans will be elated with the Sound Tigers newest promotion, which includes a free "House of Storm" scarf to the first 1,000 fans in attendance. Your favorite characters will be roaming the concourse and fans are encouraged to try the Sorting Hat, Mix Potions during the contest. Get a ticket to the game and a Bowtie Cinemas movie pass to see the new movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, for just $25 by CLICKING HERE.
Sunday, Nov. 11 vs. Charlotte Checkers (3 p.m.): The Sound Tigers conclude the weekend on Veteran's Day with their first of the eight matchups against the first-place Charlotte Checkers. All veterans and active duty personnel will receive a free ticket by visiting the Webster Bank Arena Click It Or Ticket Box Office and showing a valid military ID. In addition, receive a free set of Sound Tigers trading cards, which include notable New York Islanders draft picks and other top prospects sponsored by IBEW Local 488. Fifty-cent chicken wings and $5 16 oz. beers (drafts and cans) are available at the Masons Bar, located on the upper concourse level. Reserve your seats now!
Goals: Steve Bernier, Michael Dal Colle (6)
Assists: Josh Ho-Sang (11)
Points: Michael Dal Colle (13)
Plus/Minus: Connor Jones, Parker Wotherspoon (+4)
Penalty Minutes: Kyle Burroughs (32)
Power-play goals: Steve Bernier (4)
Shots: Chris Bourque (31)