The Bridgeport Report - Week 2
BRIDGEPORT, Conn . - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-2-1-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, returned to Webster Bank Arena last weekend and faced the Rochester Americans in their first two home games of the season. Islanders prospect Travis St. Denis continued his hot hand against the Amerks, scoring a goal in both contests, as the Sound Tigers collected one point on the weekend.
The Sound Tigers celebrated their 2018-19 home opener on Saturday afternoon and received goals from three different scorers, including a Connor Jones tally just 1:40 into the game, but ultimately fell to Rochester, 4-3. St. Denis and Steve Bernier also beat Amerks netminder Scott Wedgewood, while Victor Olofsson's first of back-to-back game-winning goals was the difference. Olofsson, who was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week on Monday (three goals and four assists in three games), flipped a backhand shot past Christopher Gibson (0-2-0) in the final minute of regulation. Gibson finished the afternoon with 24 saves on 28 shots.
A little more than 24 hours later, the Sound Tigers grabbed a point in Sunday's matinee with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Americans. Mike Sislo scored a power-play goal early in the second period, his first of the season and first as a Sound Tiger, while St. Denis also found the back of the cage to give Bridgeport a 2-1 lead after two. However, Rochester bounced back and Olofsson posted two points, including the overtime winner that he forced behind Jeremy Smith (1-0-1) at 1:46 of overtime. Smith ended the day with 29 saves on 32 chances.
The Sound Tigers return to action this weekend with their first "three-in-three" of the season - all games against division rivals. Bridgeport will face the Providence Bruins (1-4-0-0) in a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday, before welcoming the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2-1-0-0) to the Park City on Sunday. Friday's game against Providence is also at home and tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster and the Webster Bank Arena Click It Or Ticket Box Office. Fans can follow all of the action online via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV.
The week ahead:
Friday, Oct. 19 vs. Providence Bruins (7 p.m.): The Sound Tigers will battle their most frequent opponent, the Providence Bruins, in the first of 12 meetings this Friday night at Webster Bank Arena. Fans 21 and older are encouraged to take part in "Frosty Friday," featuring $5 12 oz. Budweiser products through the end of the first intermission. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the beer special is available right away! Click here for tickets or call the Sound Tigers front office at 203-345-2300 ext. 7 for more information.
Saturday, Oct. 20 at Providence Bruins (7:05 p.m.): The Sound Tigers and Bruins will rematch Saturday night following a short trek down I-95 to the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence. It will mark the first of six matchups in Rhode Island this season, where the Sound Tigers went 3-2-0-1 in 2017-18.
Sunday, Oct. 21 vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3 p.m.): The Sound Tigers conclude their busy weekend on Sunday with the second of six matchups against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Bridgeport suffered a 6-3 loss to Lehigh Valley in the season opener on Oct. 6 and will seek revenge against the reigning Atlantic Division champs. Doors open at 2 p.m. and fans can save big with the all-new "Sunday 4-Pack," which includes four (4) tickets to the game, four (4) hot dogs, four (4) bags of chips, four (4) soft drinks and two (2) lunch tins* all for just $80. Sunday 4-Packs can be purchased HERE within up to 24 hours from puck drop.
News and Notes:
Adding to the Ambush: The Sound Tigers added a familiar face in Tanner Fritz to their lineup last week when the fourth-year forward was loaned by the New York Islanders on Thursday. Fritz made the Isles 23-man roster out of training camp for the first time in his career and recorded one assist in two NHL games to start the season. In his return to Bridgeport, he skated on a line with Kieffer Bellows and Steve Bernier and logged one assist in his AHL season debut on Saturday. The Ohio State product led the Sound Tigers last season with 28 assists in just 35 games and added 10 goals for 38 points (1.09 points-per-game). Fritz also collected seven points (three goals, four assists) in 34 games with the Islanders, including his NHL debut on Jan. 2 against Boston.
Blue-Paint Bully: Tenth-year goalie Jeremy Smith has helped the Sound Tigers earn at least one point in each of his first two starts with the team. He backstopped a 2-1 win against Hershey in his Bridgeport debut on Oct. 7 and followed that up with Sunday's overtime result. In fact, Smith is now on a seven-game unbeaten in regulation streak (6-0-1) during the regular season, dating back to Mar. 31 with the Charlotte Checkers (where he spent all of last year). He signed an AHL deal with the Sound Tigers on July 9.
Right Where He Left Off: Third-year forward Travis St. Denis led the Sound Tigers in goals (23) and points (44) last season, which earned the Quinnipiac University product a two-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract with the Islanders in May. He's certainly used that as extra motivation is off to a hot start in 2018-19, scoring in each of the last two games and receiving heavy minutes within the first two lines.
Quick Hits: Chris Casto made his Sound Tigers debut on Sunday... Steve Bernier and Islanders prospect Devon Toews are both on three-game point streaks entering this weekend's action... Bernier has two goals and one assist in his last three, while Toews has gone three straight games with an assist... Chris Bourque missed last Sunday's contest against Rochester with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day... The Sound Tigers power play is 5-for-18 to begin the season, good for ninth place in the League.
Goals: Steve Bernier, Travis St. Denis (2)
Assists: Michael Dal Colle (4)
Points: Michael Dal Colle (5)
Plus/Minus: Steve Bernier, Tanner Fritz (+1)
Penalty Minutes: Connor Jones, Travis St. Denis (6)
Power-play goals: Several Tied (1)
Shots: Mike Sislo, Sebastian Aho (8)
The New York Islanders (2-2-0) head west and continue an early-season four-game road trip this week in California. The Isles will face the Anaheim Ducks at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday looking to bounce back following a 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators in their last outing. Andrew Ladd and former Sound Tiger Brock Nelson each scored last Saturday at Bridgestone Arena, but Filip Forsberg potted two goals to pace the Preds. Reigning Calder Trophy winner Mat Barzal leads the Islanders with five points (one goal, four assists) through four games this season and former Sound Tiger Josh Bailey is second with four points (one goal, three assists). After Wednesday's contest in Anaheim, New York will face the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the San Jose Sharks this Saturday.
The Worcester Railers (1-1-0-0) split a two-game series against the Reading Royals last weekend as the Sound Tigers' ECHL affiliate opened its second season of play. Former Sound Tiger Josh Holmstrom scored in both games on the road, including the overtime winner in a 2-1 victory last Saturday night, and also in a 6-4 setback on Sunday. In addition, Islanders' 2016 draft pick and former Sound Tiger David Quenneville notched his first professional goal in Sunday's loss. The Railers return to action this Saturday with their 2018-18 home opener at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. against the Maine Mariners.
Packed Promotional Lineup: The Sound Tigers will boast one of their most extensive and wide-ranging promotional schedules ever for the 2018-19 season. The fan-friendly calendar includes the return of popular themes like Hockey and Hops (Nov. 23 and Mar. 17), Military Appreciation (Jan. 12), Star Wars Night (Jan. 19) and Princess Night (Mar. 30). Regional hockey fans will be elated for the addition of Hockey Weekend in Connecticut (Feb. 23-24), while other new headliners include Holiday Gift Weekend (Dec. 15-16) and a revamped Teddy Bear Toss (Nov. 23). View the full 2018-19 promotional schedule.
For additional details or to reserve a group outing for any giveaway or theme night, please call the Sound Tigers' front office at (203) 345-2300 ext 7.
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American Hockey League Stories from October 16, 2018
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- Griffins Battle Stars and Wolves at Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Weekly: Penguins and Peters Return from Cleveland Unbeaten - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Rampage Announce Schedule Change - San Antonio Rampage
- Admirals Announce Schedule Change - Milwaukee Admirals
- The Bridgeport Report - Week 2 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers
- Thorburn Assigned to Rampage - San Antonio Rampage
- Ottawa Reassigns Jaros and Paul to Belleville - Belleville Senators
- Tucson Salvages a Point in Shootout Loss to San Jose - Tucson Roadrunners
- Barracuda Best Roadrunners 3-2 in Shootout - San Jose Barracuda
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