By Rich Bocchini
(Feb. 28) RECORD - 31-19-7-2, 71 POINTS, FIRST PLACE, EAST DIVISION
Trent Hunter (22-25-47), Ray Giroux (12-32-44), Jason Krog (20-23-
43), Chris Armstrong (8-32-40)
Bridgeport enters this week's action leading Hartford in the East
Division by three points and is third overall in the Eastern
Conference. The team has won 10 of its last 11 games, outscoring the
PLAYOFF PICTURE After the regular season, teams will be seeded in
point order in each conference, with division winners earning the 1-2-
3 seeds. A round of best-of-3 qualifying series (played entirely at
the home of the higher seed) will pit 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9 in each
conference, with the winners advancing to the first round (conference
quarterfinals) of the Calder Cup Playoffs. The first round will pit 1
vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5. Currently, the Sound Tigers
would earn the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
Friday, March 1 at Cincinnati Mighty Ducks at 7:35 p.m. at Cincinnati
Saturday, March 2 at Cincinnati Mighty Ducks at 7:35 p.m. at
THE SERIES - second and third of four meetings.Bridgeport leads the
series 1-0, having defeated the Mighty Ducks 3-2 in Bridgeport on
October 20.Raffi Torres, Dave Roche, and Juraj Kolnik scored the
goals.series will close out in Bridgeport on March 13.
ABOUT THE DUCKS - The Mighty Ducks are the top farm club for the
Anaheim Mighty Ducks and are led in scoring by Jason Williams (23-27-
50).this will be the first time the Sound Tigers face former leading
Bridgeport scoring leader Dave Roche. The Islanders traded Roche in
January for Jim Cummins.the Ducks entered the week in the Western
Conference's eighth spot and just four points out of first place in
the Central Division.the home power play unit for the Ducks is a
respectable 20.7%, 7th in the AHL.Cincinnati will play four games in
five nights this week, hosting Milwaukee Wednesday night, Bridgeport
on Friday and Saturday, and finally traveling to Chicago for a Sunday
4:00 p.m. game.
Sunday, March 3 at Milwaukee Admirals 5:00 p.m. at Bradley Center
THE SERIES - second and final meeting.Bridgeport defeated Milwaukee 3-
2 on February 19. Ben Guite, David Morisset and Chris Armstrong
scored for Bridgeport.The win was the Sound Tigers 7th in a row.the
Admirals are one of two former IHL teams the Sound Tigers face this
ABOUT THE ADMIRALS - Milwaukee is the top farm club for the Nashville
Predators.the team is one of two "Admirals" in the AHL this season
(Norfolk is the other).they play each other twice this season and
could potentially meet in the playoffs.leading scorer Steve Dubinsky
(20-16-36) was recalled by Nashville Feb. 21.Milwaukee entered the
week last in the West Division.
RECENT SOUND TIGERS GAMES
Feb. 24, SPR 1 @ BPT 3: Trent Hunter, Jason Krog and Marko Tuomainen
each had a goal and an assist in Bridgeport's 10th win in 11 games.
Feb. 23, PRO 3 @ BPT 2: Matt Higgins scored both goals for the Sound
Tigers, who saw a nine-game winning streak snapped by Ivan Huml with
just 1:11 remaining in regulation.
Feb. 22, BPT 3 @ SPR 1: Trent Hunter had two goals to lift the Sound
Tigers to their ninth straight win. Steve Valiquette made 33 saves
including 21 over the first two periods.
Feb. 20, PHI 3 @ BPT 5: Jason Krog netted his 18th and 19th goals of
the year, including an empty-netter to clinch the win in the final
seconds. Krog assisted Jason Podollan's 12th goal that gave the Sound
Tigers a 4-2 lead early in the second period.
Feb. 19, MIL 2 @ BPT 3: Defenseman Chris Armstrong capped a three-
goal rally with a power play blast at 15:35 of the second for a 3-1
lead. Rick DiPietro stopped 28 shots, including 11 in the second
period and 12 in the third.
Feb. 16, BPT 3 @ LOW 2 (OT): Evgeny Korolev scored less than 80
seconds into overtime to lift the Bridgeport Sound Tigers over the
Lowell Lock Monsters, 3-2. Korolev netted his first game-winner of
the season, beating goaltender Tyler Moss at the 1:17 mark of the
Feb. 9, WBS 2 @ BPT 3: Trent Hunter scored twice and Jason Krog had
a goal and an assist to help the Bridgeport Sound Tigers beat the
Wilkes-Barre Penguins, 3-2. Hunter netted a power play with 4:15 left
in the second period and tied the score at 2-2 just 48 seconds into
UPCOMING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Practices at Arena at Harbor Yard are not open to the public. Times
are subject to change. Call the Sound Tigers to confirm practice
times at (203) 334-4625, ext 307. Media members, including team radio
broadcasters, are asked to conduct player interviews on practice days
or after game-day skate if possible. Team radio broadcasters will be
granted player interviews, at the discretion of the player and
coaching staff, up to 90 minutes before game time with 24-hour
advance notice to the Sound Tigers media relations department.
WINNING STREAK SNAPPED AT NINE
The Sound Tigers winning streak was snapped at nine games Saturday,
Feb. 23 in a 3-2 loss vs. Providence. The streak eclipsed an AHL
season mark of eight consecutive wins set by themselves (Nov. 3-23)
and Lowell (Oct. 5-28). The 3-1 win Friday, Feb. 22 at Springfield
tied Lowell's season high five-game road winning streak. The Sound
Tigers also set the high water mark for consecutive home wins with
eight (Nov. 3-Dec. 14).
TRANSACTION WATCH/ INJURIES
David Morisset is out seven-to-10 days with a foot injury suffered
Feb. 20 vs. Philadelphia.Defenseman Branislav Mezei was recalled by
New York on Feb. 21.Defenseman Graham Belak was recalled from ECHL
Trenton Feb. 22 and returned to Trenton Feb. 24.Defenseman Scott
Ricci was acquired Feb. 21.Defenseman Daniel Tetrault was released
from his three-game PTO on February 10 and returned to Austin of the
Central Hockey League.
Trent Hunter was plus-6 over his last three games, pushing his total
to a team high plus-17.Ray Giroux is plus-15 and has been even or
plus for six consecutive games.Justin Mapletoft is plus-14, while Ben
Guite and Dave Morisset are plus-13. Mapletoft is third among rookie
plus/minus leaders, while Morisset is fifth.
DIPIETRO KEEPING BUSY
Rick DiPietro enters the week tied for 2nd in the AHL with 20 wins.
He has played the second-most minutes among AHL goaltenders (2522),
while his 43 appearances are the most in the league.
SOUND TIGERS IN THE COMMUNITY
Amberjack's of South Norwalk hosted a Sound Tigers Celebrity
Bartender's night Feb. 26. The team served drinks at the eatery and
collected tips to be donated to the Center for Hope in Darien. The
team is also involved in a number of community events, including
player and mascot appearances such as "Jump Rope for Heart" and
a "Celebrity Readers" program. Team Mascot Storm will be making an
appearance at Daniels Farm School Bingo March 1 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
For a full community relations schedule or to schedule a community
event, contact Kate Girotti at (203) 334-4625, ext. 308.
'REST OF THE SEASON' TICKETS ON SALE
'Rest of the Season' ticket packs are available through the Sound
Tigers front office. The ticket packs guarantee the same great seat
for the remaining 10 home games. They also provide first right of
refusal for playoff ticket purchases and for renewal options next
season. Call (203) 334-4625 for more information.
A LOOK DOWN THE STRETCH
The Sound Tigers have 21 games remaining. Feb 24th's game vs.
Springfield was the last East Division match up until March 20 at
Providence. Including that game, nine of Bridgeport's last 12 games
are against East Division foes, including three games vs. both
Hartford and Albany.
TUOMAINEN BREAKS SCORELESS SKID
Marko Tuomainen scored a goal for the first time in 18 games Feb. 24
vs. Springfield. It wasn't for a lack of trying that Tuomainen had
been kept off the ledger. He recorded at least a shot in 15 of the18
games and had three or more shots in eight of those contests.
GIROUX AND ARMSTRONG AMONG AHL'S TOP SCORING D
AHL All Star Ray Giroux (12-32-44) entered this weekend's games
fourth among the AHL's top scoring defensemen, while teammate and
power play partner Chris Armstrong came in tied for fifth (8-32-40).
D-MEN LEAD THE OVERTIME CHARGE
Evgeny Korolev scored the Sound Tigers first-ever road-overtime goal
Feb. 16 at Lowell just 1:17 into the extra frame. Chris Armstrong
earned the primary assist, and now has a hand in both of Bridgeport's
overtime goals this season. He scored the game-winner vs. Albany back
on November 23 just 15 seconds into overtime at the Arena at Harbor
Entered this week's action 2nd in the AHL at 21.1%, not far behind
league leading St. John's (22.6%) .the home power play entered the
weekend leading the AHL at 25.2%.on the road, the man-advantage is
11th in the AHL at 17.1%.has operated at 20% or better during every
10-game stretch this season except for games 1-10. Notables - had at
least a goal in eight consecutive games (Feb. 1-19).went 3-for-9 Feb.
8 at Worcester.went 3-for-5 Jan. 26 vs. Worcester.went 3-for-3 Jan. 9
vs. Worcester.went 3-for-6 vs. Rochester Jan. 4, ending an 0-for-18
slump in three games.went 0-for-9 Dec. 28 at Manchester. went 2-for-6
Nov. 24 at Portland (Dave Roche had both goals). went 1-for-7 Oct. 27
at Albany, snapping a 0-for-22 road-power play drought (Raffi
Entered this week's action 17th in the AHL at 82.0%. Notables - went
28-for-31 in seven games (Feb. 3-20).held Worcester's 2nd best power
play scoreless on four chances Jan. 27.allowed three goals on five
chances Dec. 28 at Manchester.killed off 9-of-10 chances at Hartford
Dec. 22.allowed four goals on 18 chances in three games (Dec. 14-
22).allowed just three power play goals in 11 games (46
opportunities) from Nov. 9-Dec.8. SHG leaders -- Evgeny Korolev and
Juraj Kolnik, Ben Guite and David Morisset.
RECENT ISLANDERS/SOUND TIGERS TRANSACTIONS
Returned to Trenton: (2/24/02): Graham Belak
Acquired: (2/22/02): D Scott Ricci
Recalled from Trenton: (2/22/02): D Graham Belak
Recalled from Bridgeport: (2/21/02): D Branislav Mezei