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SOUND TIGERS Sound Tigers’ Dal Colle, Gionta get NHL call

November 15, 2018

One of the brightest stories of the first quarter of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ season earned a call to the NHL on Thursday.

The New York Islanders announced that they have recalled left winger Michael Dal Colle, who has 14 points in 14 games for Bridgeport, along with veteran centerman Stephen Gionta.

Dal Colle, the fifth pick in the 2014 NHL draft, has been playing the best hockey of his three-year pro career. He said offseason workouts added muscle, and coach Brent Thompson credited Dal Colle’s intensity and maturity.

The Islanders placed three forwards on injured reserve before Thursday’s home game against the New York Rangers. They said centerman Casey Cizikas will miss two to three weeks, while left winger Andrew Ladd is out indefinitely. Left winger Matt Martin is day-to-day.

General manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the morning skate that Gionta fills a similar role to Cizikas’. The Islanders signed the veteran in late October after he’d been practicing with them as a tryout, then sent him to Bridgeport on Oct. 18.

Gionta played three games for the Sound Tigers, including Wednesday morning in Hartford.

The rest of the Sound Tigers are in Canada. They play at Laval, Quebec, on Friday, then at Belleville, Ontario, on Saturday.

Dal Colle’s call-up and Steve Bernier’s suspension leaves the Sound Tigers on Friday without two-fifths of a potent power-play unit that also included Josh Ho-Sang, Travis St. Denis and, most recently, Sebastian Aho. Chris Bourque was moved from the other unit to fill Bernier’s net-front spot on Wednesday morning at Hartford.

Bernier is eligible to return Saturday, but for Friday, the Sound Tigers have just 12 forwards, the usual allotment for a game, if Scott Eansor is ready to go. Eansor has missed the past 11 games with a hip-flexor injury but has been practicing for the past week.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.ctnews.com/fornabaio

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