Strong homestand crucial for Sound Tigers
Before the Bridgeport Sound Tigers go away for three weeks, they have
three home games this week that could solidify their hold on a
playoff berth. Albany visits tonight; the River Rats are in last
place in the Atlantic Division but held off a tough Syracuse team in
a shootout Sunday. Saturday's opponent is Springfield, a team that
has scuffled along since Thanksgiving and is holding off Albany for
last place, but skated circles around the Sound Tigers a couple of
weeks ago. Then Sunday, the Sound Tigers welcome in Norfolk, the team
they're battling for third place in the East Division. "We've got 19
games left, and each and every one of them is important," coach Dave
Baseggio said. "We're not in the playoffs yet. Nothing's assured."
After this week, the Sound Tigers embark on a three-week, seven-game
road swing. It begins at Norfolk next weekend. It's early to be
thinking about such numbers for a third-place team, but the Sound
Tigers' magic number to guarantee a finish ahead of Lowell, their
closest non-playoff pursuer, is 28 points. To finish ahead of
Philadelphia, which is a few more points behind but has games in
hand, the number is 32 points. It's 30 against Binghamton. Meanwhile,
Jeff Hamilton has assembled the fifth-longest scoring streak for a
Bridgeport player and his second longest since December. He has six
goals and eight assists in a nine-game streak going into tonight.
Hamilton set the team record with a 13-game streak between December
and January, a run interrupted a couple of times by recalls to the
NHL. This streak was interrupted by a hip-flexor injury, but Hamilton
had two goals Friday and an assist Sunday to keep it alive.
Albany River Rats at Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHEN Tonight, 7:05
WHERE Arena at Harbor Yard
ON THE AIR No radio; Webcast at www.soundtigers.com
RECORDS Albany 20-34-3-2; Bridgeport 31-25-3-2
SEASON SERIES Bridgeport leads 1-0. LAST MEETING The Sound Tigers
won 3-2 Nov. 5 at Albany.
ABOUT THE RIVER RATS This is Albany's only visit to Bridgeport this
season. ... LW Aleksander Suglobov leads the team at 23-23-46. He has
11 power-play goals. ... Rookie RWs David Clarkson (13-21-34) and
Barry Tallackson (12-22-34) are next. Clarkson also has 233 PIM. ...
Veteran NHL RW Alexander Mogilny is 3-5-8 in 12 AHL games. Another
veteran, D Dan McGillis, is 5-12-17 in 24 games.
ABOUT THE SOUND TIGERS Bridgeport is 12-2-2 against Albany all-time
at home, though it lost the last meeting last year to the River
Rats. ... RW Jeff Hamilton has a nine-game scoring streak (6-8-14).
He holds the team record with a 13-game streak earlier this
season. ... The Sound Tigers went 6-2 at home in February. ... LW
Sean Bergenheim is 10-6-16 in the past 10 games.
UP NEXT Saturday vs. Springfield, 7:05 p.m.