AHL Preview: Bridgeport Sound Tigers Vs. Hershey Bears

By Matthew Speck
Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

The Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) travel up north tonight to faceoff against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders). Tonight’s match-up marks the third of four regular season meetings between the two Eastern Conference clubs, with both teams splitting the first two games in 2012. The Bears hold an all-time 31-23-8 record over the Sound Tigers.

The teams recently clashed on November 30th at Giant Center, Hershey’s home rink, with the Bears earning a 5-2 victory over the Sound Tigers. Braden Holtby was sharp in goal for Hershey and Jon DiSalvatore added a goal and two assists to earn him first star honors. Defensemen Tomas Kundratek and Patrick McNeill along with forwards Zach Hamill and Jeff Taffe also registered goals for the Bears.

The Sound Tigers recently fell to the Portland Pirates on Saturday night by a 2-1 score, as Portland goalie Mark Visentin registered 39 saves on 40 Bridgeport shots on goal. Forward Blair Riley tallied the lone Sound Tigers goal late in the first period.

Hershey dropped a home contest to the Worcester Sharks by a 2-1 score on Sunday night, unable to come back following a two goal deficit through two periods. Jeff Taffe registered Hershey’s only goal of the night early in the third period. Braden Holtby played well in his final start at Giant Center before Washington Capitals’ training camp, and quite possibly his last start of his career with Hershey.

With the lockout resolved, Hershey called up goalie Philipp Gruabuer and defenseman Brett Flemming.

Expect a lower scoring game, but a close one, in a contest Washington’s AHL affiliate desperately needs to win.

You can follow Matthew on twitter @m_speck and email him at mspeck21@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.

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