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The Sound Tigers Report: Week 23

Bridgeport continues to fight for an AHL playoff spot

by Alan Fuehring AlanFuehring / Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Bridgeport Sound Tigers: 38-23-2-1, 79 points, 5th in Atlantic Division, 5th in Eastern Conference

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (38-23-2-1) collected two points in three games last weekend, including their first win against the Utica Comets this season on Saturday. However, the Sound Tigers also suffered setbacks to the Providence Bruins and Hershey Bears, and dropped to fifth place in the Atlantic Division standings. Bridgeport is two points behind fourth-place Providence for the final playoff spot entering Week 23

On Friday, the Sound Tigers launched 31 shots at second-year goaltender Zane McIntyre, but the Providence star stopped each one in a 3-0 decision at Dunkin' Donuts Center. It was the third time Bridgeport has been shut out this season.

Saturday was a different story as the Sound Tigers bounced back with a 4-1 win over Utica at Webster Bank Arena, helped by multi-point efforts from five different skaters. Tanner Fritz, Andrew Rowe and  Carter Verhaeghe each scored once and added an assist, while Josh Winquist and Bracken Kearns registered two assists. Fritz was credited with the game-winning tally midway through the first period and Eamon McAdam (10-3-0) made 23 saves between the pipes.

Bridgeport capped the weekend on Sunday with a 3-1 loss to Hershey at Webster Bank Arena. Ross Johnston struck first with his seventh goal of the season nearly midway through the second, but the Sound Tigers couldn't hold off the Bears, who netted each of the last three goals.

The Sound Tigers return to action tomorrow night when the club opens a six-game road trip against the Albany Devils at 7 p.m. at Times Union Center. It marks Bridgeport's final trip to Albany, N.Y. as the Devils' AHL franchise will relocate to Binghamton, N.Y. next season. Fans can follow all of the upcoming action via , beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes before each listed start time.

The Week Ahead:
Bridgeport at Albany Devils (34-26-2-2) - Wednesday, Mar. 22 at 7 p.m.

Bridgeport at Hartford Wolf Pack (21-36-4-2) - Saturday, Mar. 25 at 7 p.m.

Bridgeport at Lehigh Valley Phantoms (40-19-4-0) - Sunday, Mar. 26 at 5:05 p.m.

News and Notes:
On the Road Again:
The Sound Tigers embark on a season-long, six-game road trip this week that runs through five different cities. Bridgeport is 15-11-2-1 on the road this season, but has fallen in four straight games away from Webster Bank Arena. Nine of the Sound Tigers' last 12 games will take place on the road.   

Cruising the Atlantic: Eleven of the Sound Tigers' last 12 games will take place against Atlantic Division opponents (11 of 11 after Wednesday). Bridgeport still has three games remaining against the Springfield Thunderbirds as well as two games left against the Hartford Wolf Pack, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Providence Bruins. The Sound Tigers will face the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins one more time each. Bridgeport is 25-17-0-1 against division opponents this season.  

Apples to Apples: New York Islanders prospect Devon Toews collected an assist on Bridgeport's only goal on Sunday and now paces the team with 35 helpers this season. In fact, Toews leads all league rookies in assists and is tied for sixth among AHL defensemen in scoring (39 points). The Quinnipiac University product has 11 points in his last 11 games (all assists).

Quick Hits: The Sound Tigers' franchise is one win shy of 600 all-time victories… The team's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is "27"… Jaroslav Halak is fourth among AHL goaltenders with a 2.19 goal-against-average… Tanner Fritz is 13th among league rookies with 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists)… Ryan Pulock is 11th among AHL defensemen with 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists)

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