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Sound Tigers Play Checkers this Weekend

October 11, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Bridgeport Sound Tigers News Release

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (0-1-1-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, fly south to North Carolina this weekend for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader against the defending Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers (1-1-0-0) at Bojangles Coliseum. The Sound Tigers will look to earn their first win of the young season after falling in two games on opening weekend to the Springfield Thunderbirds and Hartford Wolf Pack. Bridgeport responded from a third-period deficit to collect one point in a 4-3 overtime loss to Hartford on Sunday, one day after dropping a 5-1 decision in Springfield. Matt Lorito scored in both contests and is tied for the team lead offensively with Oliver Wahlstrom (1g, 1a).



* Friday's game is also available via Facebook Watch on the AHL's page


Tonight's game is the first of four meetings between the Sound Tigers and Checkers this season, and the first of two matchups in the Queen City (both this weekend). Bridgeport went 4-4-0-0 against Charlotte in 2018-19, but finished 1-3-0-0 at Bojangles Coliseum despite matching the Checkers' goal output (11-11).


Led by first-year head coach Ryan Warsofsky, the Checkers are looking to defend their 2019 Calder Cup title this season with a drastically new roster. Names like Aleksi Saarela, Nicolas Roy, Andrew Poturalski, Trevor Carrick and Patrick Brown are not back in 2019-20, but Julien Gauthier (team-leading two goals this season) and 2019 AHL Most Outstanding Goalie, Alex Nedeljkovic, are returning. Nedeljkovic led the AHL in wins (34) and GAA (2.26) last season - both franchise records - and helped the Checkers not only win the title, but also the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference championships. Like Bridgeport, the Checkers split a two-game series on the road last weekend against Hartford (5-3 L) and Springfield (4-2 W).


Despite some familiar faces returning to the team, the Sound Tigers' roster went through quite the overhaul during the offseason. Some of the new names on Bridgeport's opening-roster roster include: Nick Schilkey (defending Calder Cup champion with Charlotte), Simon Holmstrom (NY Islanders' 23rd overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft) and Jared Coreau (seventh-year goaltender previously with San Antonio, San Diego and Grand Rapids). In addition, NHL veteran defenseman Thomas Hickey cleared waivers and was assigned by the Islanders, while veteran forward Colin McDonald returns for his second tour in Bridgeport.


Swedish forward Simon Holmstrom made his North American debut with Bridgeport last Saturday and showed immense promise and potential on the left wing. The Islanders 23rd overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft did not register a point, but had four shots-on-goal and played solid minutes on a line with Tanner Fritz and rookie Mason Jobst. In addition, Holmstrom became the youngest Sound Tigers player ever by making his debut at 18 years, four months and 10 days old.


New York Islanders prospect Matt Lorito was the only Sound Tiger to score in both games last weekend and is currently tied for the team lead in points (2g). He has 18 points (7g, 11a) in 25 outings with Bridgeport dating back to last season, where he started his Sound Tigers career with points in five straight games (2g, 6a). Lorito's goal against Hartford last Sunday came on a penalty shot - Bridgeport's first successful penalty shot attempt since Bracken Kearns in March of 2016.


Jared Coreau made his Sound Tigers debut in the season opener last Saturday (30 saves)...Chris Gibson is third on the team's all-time wins list (66), three behind Kevin Poulin (2010-15)... Steve Bernier is tied for fifth on the club's all-time goals list (61), 10 behind Jeff Tambellini (2005-09)...Tanner Fritz is 10th on the all-time points list (129), one behind Justin Mapletoft (2001-05)... The Sound Tigers season-opening roster consisted of six former first-round picks, 10 AHL rookies, five veterans, 4,814 games of combined AHL experience and 1,442 games of NHL experience.


NHL: New York Islanders (1-2-0) - Next: Tonight at Carolina, 7 p.m. ET

ECHL: Worcester Railers (0-0-0-0) - Next: Season opener vs. ADK, Tomorrow, 7:05 p.m. ET

Sound Tigers season tickets and flex plans are on sale now for the 2019-20 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy. Lock in your seats today by contacting Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via [email protected] .

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