The Bridgeport Report - Week 3
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-2-1-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, collected one point last weekend in a relatively quiet stint that featured just a single game during a seven-day stretch. The Sound Tigers faced the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (3-2-1-0) in their home opener on Saturday, dropping a 3-2 shootout decision at Webster Bank Arena.
Bridgeport got on the board early with a power-play tally from Ryan Bourque, his second goal in the last four games, while Mason Jobst earned an assist for his first professional point. However, the Penguins bounced back with two goals in the span of just 57 seconds.
Nick Schilkey's first goal with the Sound Tigers evened the contest at 2-2 and eventually forced overtime, which proved to be somewhat controversial. Matt Lorito netted what would have been the winning goal in the opening two minutes, but his wraparound was called back due to goalie interference. Instead, the Penguins prevailed in a three-round shootout.
Bridgeport will look to bounce back this week with a very busy slate that includes four games in six days. It begins Tuesday when the Providence Bruins make the trip to Webster Bank Arena for the first time this season. After the early-week contest, the Sound Tigers will play three games in as many days against the Springfield Thunderbirds and Hartford Wolf Pack. Two of the three weekend games will be played at home (Friday and Sunday) with a Saturday night tilt taking place at the XL Center in Hartford. Each contest can be followed live via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show 15 minutes prior to each listed start time.
The week ahead:
Tuesday, Oct. 22 vs. Providence Bruins (7 p.m.): The Sound Tigers continue a three-game homestand with their first of 12 matchups against the Providence Bruins this season. Bridgeport went 7-4-1-0 against the Bruins in 2018-19, and 10 of those meetings were decided by two goals or less. Get your tickets now!
Friday, Oct. 25 vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (7 p.m.): The Sound Tigers will host Springfield for the first time this season to open their first 3-in-3 weekend series. Bridgeport began its 2019-20 season in Springfield with a 5-1 setback to the Thunderbirds, in which Matt Lorito scored the Sound Tigers' lone tally on the power play. Great seats are still available!
Saturday, Oct. 26 at Hartford Wolf Pack (7 p.m.): The early leader in the Atlantic Division, Hartford will host the Sound Tigers for the second time this season on Saturday night. The two teams first met at XL Center on Oct. 6 with Hartford coming away with a 4-3 victory in overtime.
Sunday, Oct. 27 vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (3 p.m.): Bridgeport wraps up its eventful weekend on Sunday afternoon with a matinee matchup against Hartford. It's Youth Sports Day, and the Sound Tigers are recognizing youth teams from across the region by offering a free ticket to any young athlete, plus the opportunity to take a picture at center-ice following the game. Adult tickets can be purchased at a discounted rate here.
News and Notes:
Home Sweet Home: The Sound Tigers stay within the friendly confines of Webster Bank Arena this evening and will play eight of their next 10 games at home. Last season, Bridgeport was one of the strongest teams on home ice, going 26-7-3-2 and collecting 57 points - tied for the most in the AHL. The Sound Tigers' 128 goals at home were also fifth most in the league.
Getting The First Call: The Sound Tigers will likely continue to play without forwards Oliver Wahlstrom and Cole Bardreau this week due to transactions with the New York Islanders. Wahlstrom, the 11th overall pick in 2018, earned his first NHL recall on Monday, Oct. 14 and made his debut that afternoon in New York's thrilling win against the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues. Meanwhile, Bardreau received his first NHL call-up on Saturday and made his debut in the Isles' overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets that night. He arrived at the game 90 minutes before puck drop after participating in morning skate with the Sound Tigers.
Sebastian's Strong Start: Two-time AHL All-Star Sebastian Aho has three points (1g, 2a) in his first five games this season, including a team-leading two points on the power play. He's also third on the club in shots (12). Along with forward Otto Koivula, Aho is Bridgeport's top returning scorer after a 46-point performance (9g, 37a) in 2018-19. That led all Sound Tigers defensemen and his 37 assists were fifth-most among AHL blue-liners.
Quick Hits: Cole Bardreau became the second Sound Tigers forward to earn his first NHL recall this season, making his debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night... The first was Oliver Wahlstrom... The Sound Tigers will certainly be focused on putting more shots on target this weekend, having been outshot in each of their first five games... Bridgeport is last in the AHL in shots for (24.60/game), which is a big reason the team is tied for 29th in goals scored (2.20/game) this season.
Goals: Matt Lorito (3)
Assists: Six players tied (2)
Points: Matt Lorito (4)
Plus/Minus: Ryan Bourque, Jeff Kubiak (+2)
Penalty Minutes: Nick Schilkey (19)
Power-Play Goals: Matt Lorito, Nick Schilkey (1)
Shots: Matt Lorito, Kieffer Bellows (14)
Wins: Christopher Gibson (1)
The New York Islanders (5-3-0) continued to flex their muscle last week and have now won four straight games dating back to Oct. 12. Former Sound Tigers defenseman Devon Toews scored an overtime goal to defeat the defending champion St. Louis Blues, 3-2, at home on Monday. On the road against the Winnipeg Jets, Semyon Varlamov stopped 32 of 33 shots as part of a 3-1 win with Matthew Barzal netting two goals. The Isles completed the week with another overtime win against Columbus with former Sound Tigers forward Brock Nelson completing a two-point night with a game-winning goal. New York returns to action on Thursday with a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Arizona Coyotes at NYCB Live.
The ECHL's Worcester Railers (2-1-0-0) split a two-game series against a duo of their top divisional rivals last weekend. On Friday, the Railers beat the Maine Mariners in a shootout at DCU Center. Tanner Pond, who was in training camp with the Sound Tigers, scored the first goal to begin a comeback which eventually sent the game past regulation. Twenty-four hours later, Worcester fell to the Adirondack Thunder in Glens Falls, NY. Pond struck again in the second period to give the Railers an early lead, but the Thunder scored three in a row late to get the victory.
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@example.com .
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