SOUND TIGERS Ho-Sang ready to help Sound Tigers again
BRIDGEPORT — Back with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers after four weeks in the NHL, Josh Ho-Sang returns after what he said was a fun experience, with nine wins in 10 games, and an understanding of why he’s back.
“We did a lot of winning. I trust Lou” Lamoriello, the New York Islanders’ general manager, Ho-Sang said Thursday after practice at the Wonderland of Ice.
“I think he made a good decision. My last couple of games weren’t the best. I think Mikey’s been playing great this year.”
That’s Michael Dal Colle, his often-Bridgeport linemate this season. Dal Colle, called up after Ho-Sang, remained up in the NHL when the Islanders needed to clear room for the return of the injured Valtteri Filppula.
Sent down Tuesday, Ho-Sang prepared to go to Utica, N.Y., for Friday’s game against the Comets. The Sound Tigers return home Saturday for just their second home game since Dec. 16, the day after Ho-Sang played his first NHL game of the year.
Those last couple of NHL games, it wasn’t anything Ho-Sang got away from, he said, just a couple of off nights. And Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson had good things to say about what he saw in Ho-Sang’s 10 games up top, over which he had a goal and an assist.
“Down here, I hope he continues with his attention to detail on the defensive side of things, and he’ll have his opportunities on the power play to help our team score,” Thompson said. “He’s come down with a good attitude, and he’s worked hard. I’m excited to have him in the mix.”
Thompson credited Ho-Sang’s improvement away from the puck and in his defensive habits as the third-year forward’s biggest step forward this season.
Ho-Sang agreed, noting that he rated a plus-2 in his 10 NHL games.
“That’s positive,” Ho-Sang said with a smile. “Last year, I had more points, but I wasn’t as solid defensively.
“I played against some great players. I played against (Toronto’s Auston) Matthews, against (Buffalo’s Jeff) Skinner, (Jack) Eichel. I got to play against those lines for real, matched up against them all night. I think I held my own, which is the most important thing. A lot of people have questioned my defense, but I don’t think you can question it much after that.”
With defenseman Sebastian Aho still out after taking a hit in last week’s loss at Syracuse, Bridgeport called up Mike Cornell from Worcester (ECHL). Cornell has played 142 AHL games, 47 of them for the Sound Tigers.
Bridgeport also called for Worcester goalie Mitch Gillam, with Christopher Gibson sitting out Thursday’s practice with an undisclosed ailment.
Saturday is Bridgeport’s Military Appreciation Night, with free tickets available at the Webster Bank Arena box office for veterans or active military members with identification. See soundtigers.com for more details. The game will also be available free of charge on the AHL’s streaming site, theahl.com/ahltv.
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