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The Bridgeport Report: Week 7

Bridgeport improves to 12-6-0-0 after a pair of wins last week

by Alan Fuehring Alan Fuehring / Bridgeport Sound Tigers

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers won two of their three games last week and improved to 12-6-0-0 through 18 games this season. The Sound Tigers currently sit fourth in the Atlantic Division standings with 24 points, one behind the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers: 12-6-0-0, 24 points, 4th in Atlantic Division, 5th in Eastern Conference

On Wednesday, Steve Bernier scored twice, including a crazy empty-net goal in the final minute, as Bridgeport earned its second win against the Hartford Wolf Pack this season, 4-2, at the XL Center. Bernier's second tally came as he laid out to block a shot in the defensive zone, allowing Ryan Graves' blast from the point to deflect off his body and slide two-thirds of the way down the ice into the empty cage. Josh Holmstrom (first AHL goal) and Jon Landry also scored for the Sound Tigers, while Eamon McAdam made 30 saves in the pre-holiday victory.

Bridgeport continued its winning ways on Friday with the club's fourth straight victory, a 3-2 overtime triumph against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Webster Bank Arena. Connor Jones deflected home the overtime winner with 65 seconds left, while McAdam stopped 33 shots to remain perfect this season, earning his fourth straight win in as many starts (4-0-0-0). Bernier and Ross Johnston also registered goals, and Devon Toews produced two assists, as the Sound Tigers topped the best team in the Eastern Conference. Bridgeport is now 5-0-0-0 beyond regulation.

Twenty-four hours later, the Sound Tigers went neck-and-neck for the better part of 60 minutes in a rematch with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but came up short in a 1-0 setback at Mohegan Sun Arena. Penguins' netminder Tristan Jarry earned his first shutout of the season with 24 saves, while Jean-Sebastien Dea scored the game's only goal early in the third period. The loss dropped the Sound Tigers to 1-3-0-0 against the Penguins this season. It was the first time Bridgeport has suffered a 1-0 loss since March 16, 2013.

The Sound Tigers have not lost back-to-back games yet this season. The team crosses the quarter mark of the 2016-17 season tomorrow with its second meeting against the Albany Devils, beginning a four-game week that concludes Sunday against Lehigh Valley.

The Week Ahead
vs. Albany Devils (12-6-0-0) - Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.
Bridgeport at Springfield Thunderbirds (7-7-2-2) - Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:05 p.m.
Bridgeport vs. Binghamton Senators (5-11-1-1) - Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.
Bridgeport vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (12-5-1-0) - Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m.

News and Notes
Overtime Heroics:
The Sound Tigers remained perfect beyond regulation last weekend with a 3-2 overtime win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday. Bridgeport continues to lead the league with a perfect winning percentage (100-percent; 5-for-5) through at least five overtime games. Five of the Sound Tigers' last 10 contests have ended in overtime or a shootout, dating back to November 4th.

Still Kicking: Veteran forwards Bracken Kearns and Steve Bernier are both in their 12th professional seasons, but neither is showing signs of slowing down. The duo currently ranks first and second on the Sound Tigers in scoring, and Kearns is tied for 11th in league overall with 16 points (six goals, 10 assists). Bernier has six points (four goals, two assists) in his last five games and 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 13 games this season.  

McAdam Turning Heads:  First-year goaltender Eamon McAdam has been turning heads since he was reassigned from the Missouri Mavericks (ECHL) on November 16th. The Penn State product has won each of his first four starts in the AHL this season, posting a 1.96 goals-against-average, .934 save percentage and a career-best 33 saves on Friday. He collected his first profession win on November 19th against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, a team located in Allentown, PA, just 22 miles from McAdam's hometown of Perkasie, PA. He was selected by New York in the third round (#70 overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Quick Hits: Bridgeport is 8-3-0-0 this month including a 4-1-0-0 record at Webster Bank Arena… The Sound Tigers are second in the AHL with five shorthanded goals scored, one behind the Texas Stars… Bridgeport's penalty kill is sixth on the road with a conversion rate of 85.1-percent… Stephon Williams is one game shy of his 50th professional appearance… Michael Dal Colle is tied for third among league rookies with seven goals… Kyle Burroughs is third in the AHL overall with 55 penalty minutes

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