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Sound Tigers Battle Checkers in Mid-Week Doubleheader

January 17, 2018 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Bridgeport Sound Tigers News Release

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (18-13-4-2), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, make their final trip to North Carolina this season to battle the Charlotte Checkers (21-16-0-1) in back-to-back games this week, beginning tonight with a 7 p.m. puck drop at Bojangles Coliseum. The Sound Tigers collected five of six possible points last week, including a 2-1 shootout victory against the Providence Bruins last Saturday. Travis St. Denis and Mitch Vande Sompel each scored in a three-round shootout and Connor Jones netted his fourth tally of the season in regulation, which helped Bridgeport complete a two-game sweep of the Bruins. Between the pipes, Christopher Gibson earned his 14th win of the year with 27 saves on 28 shots. The Sound Tigers currently have points in eight of their last nine contests (5-1-2-1) and 10 of their last 12.

TIGERS VS. CHECKERS: Tonight's game marks the fourth of eight meetings between the Sound Tigers and Checkers this season, and the third of four matchups at Bojangles Coliseum. Bridgeport leads the series 2-1-0-0 following a two-game split in North Carolina on Oct. 13-14 and a 5-2 victory at Webster Bank Arena on Nov. 18. Travis St. Denis scored twice that night and Connor Jones, Devon Toews and Casey Bailey also found the back of the net. However, the Checkers won the last meeting in North Carolina with a 3-2 victory on Oct. 14, in which Nick Schilkey notched the game-winning tally with his first pro goal at 7:37 of the third.

VIEW FROM CHARLOTTE: The Checkers have lost four games in a row for the first time this season, dropping the club to fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Charlotte is also just 3-7-0-0 in its last 10 outings and suffered a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Marlies on Saturday at home. Andrew Poturalski scored his 12th tally of the season that night and goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 20 saves. Leading goal scorer Valentin Zykov was held off the board for the fourth straight game, but the third-year forward is tied for first in the AHL with 19 goals and 11 power-play goals. The Checkers continue a six-game homestand tonight.

THE KILLERS: Bridgeport's penalty kill has become one of the strongest and most consistent in the AHL this season and following a 4-for-4 performance against Providence on Saturday, it currently ranks second in the League at 87.9%. The Sound Tigers have only allowed 20 goals on 165 chances and are 18 for their last 18 over the last four games. In addition, Bridgeport's penalty kill is third in the AHL on the road at 89.9%.

FREE HOCKEY: The Sound Tigers have gone past regulation in four of their last six games and are tied for eighth in the AHL with 11 overtime contests this season. Bridgeport is 3-4 when games end in overtime and 2-2 when a shootout is needed.

NAIL BITERS: Each of Bridgeport's three games last week were decided by just one tally and the team is now tied for third in the AHL with 20 one-goal outcomes this season. The Sound Tigers are 9-5-4-2 when games are decided by just one goal and five of their last six contests have been one-goal decisions.

QUICK HITS: Michael Dal Colle became the third former Sound Tiger to make his NHL debut with the Islanders this season when he played against the New York Rangers last Saturday... Christopher Gibson is 6-1-2 over his last nine appearances... Gibson is 14th in the AHL with a 2.55 goals-against-average... Bridgeport has scored the first goal in 24 games this year, tied for second in the AHL (13-6-4-1)... Ross Johnston leads the AHL with 113 penalty minutes... Casey Baliey is fifth in the League with 119 shots... The Sound Tigers have collected points in four of their last five road games.

AFFILIATE REPORT: NHL: New York Islanders (23-18-4): Next vs. New Jersey Devils - Tonight, 7 p.m. ET. ECHL: Worcester Railers (15-16-3-2): Next vs. Jacksonville Icemen - Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET.

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