We are proud to welcome our newest correspondent and contributor, Drew Casey, to the team here at Eyes On Isles.
Drew will be reporting on all things related to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders.
Scott Pellerin and his coaching staff have been dealing with lineup fluidity all season long, with the loss of Calvin de Haan and Matt Donovan to the big club currently and long stretches without superstar center Ryan Strome and defenseman Aaron Ness. Not to demean or lessen the loss of Anders Nilsson, who should be returning soon with Evgeni Nabokov almost ready to come off the injured reserve list.
You can give Drew a follow on Twitter right here to keep up to date on the current news regarding all things happening in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
AHL Update: Ryan Strome Back in Bridgeport
By: Drew Casey
The biggest news for the Sound Tigers this week was the return of center Ryan Strome to Bridgeport from the Islanders. Strome, who registered one goal and three assists in 15 games with the Isles was sorely missed by the Sound Tigers. During his NHL stint, Bridgeport struggled only winning five of 15 games.
Following Strome’s loan on Wednesday, the Sound Tigers announced other roster transactions. Forward Kirill Kabanov was loaned to MoDo of the Swedish Hockey League after netting three goals in 16 games. Additionally, forward Peter Boyd was released from his professional tryout contract after playing in just three games. Boyd registered one assist and has been returned to the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.
With this adjusted roster Bridgeport took to the ice three times in the last three days, hoping to turn things around.
On Friday night the team fell 6-2 on the road to the Binghamton Senators. Anders Lee opened the scoring with his 16th goal of the season in the first period, but Binghamton then rattled off three consecutive goals. Mike Halmo added a goal late in the second period to cut the deficit to one, but Binghamton again netted three consecutive goals to defeat the Sound Tigers.
On Saturday night Bridgeport lost a heartbreaker 5-3 to the Hershey Bears at GiantCenter. In his first game back from an injury, Riley Wetmore tied the game at one just before the first intermission. Pierre-Marc Bouchard gave the Sound Tigers the lead in the second period, but the Bears answered with two quick goals to take a 3-2 lead. Mike Keenan tied the game at three with ten seconds remaining in the period, but Hershey scored two late goals in the third period in front of a sell out crowd for the victory. Strome’s franchise record ten game AHL point streak also came to an end in Hershey.
The Sound Tigers fared much better on Sunday afternoon at home against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Halmo opened the scoring in the first period on a beautiful feed from Strome into the slot. The Wolf Pack tied the game before the end of the period, but then the Sound Tigers took over. John Persson and Mike Cornell added second period goals before both Bouchard and Chris Langkow scored on breakaways in the third period to lead Bridgeport to a 5-1 win.
In his first weekend back with the team Strome registered three assists, and the team was 1-2-0-0. Overall, Bridgeport is 15-22-1-4 and eight points out of a playoff spot. They will travel to Portland Friday night, face-off in Springfield Saturday night, and return home to battle Syracuse on Sunday evening.