The Bridgeport Report: Week 1
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, opened their 2017-18 season on Saturday night with a 2-1 setback to the Binghamton Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The loss dropped Bridgeport to 0-1-0-0 after their season opener for the first time since 2014-15.
Scott Eansor headlined Saturday's contest for the Sound Tigers, scoring his first professional goal in his pro debut, which put the visitors within one midway through the third period. Mitch Vande Sompel also secured his first point in his pro debut with an assist on Eansor's goal.
Between the pipes, Christopher Gibson was steady from the start but allowed two goals on 24 shots and suffered his first loss since Mar. 11, 2016, which snapped a string of eight straight wins for the fifth-year netminder. Both tallies he allowed were in the opening frame, including a penalty shot from Nathan Bastian at the 15:46 mark. That goal ultimately stood as the game-winner.
Bridgeport continues its four-game road trip to open the regular season this weekend with a pair of games against the Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. Fans can follow all of the action online through the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHL Live, beginning Friday night with a 7 p.m. pre-game show leading up to a 7:15 p.m. puck drop in Charlotte.
The week ahead:
Friday, Oct. 13 at Charlotte Checkers (7:15 p.m.): Friday's matchup will be the first of eight meetings this season between the Sound Tigers and Charlotte Checkers, and the first of four matchups in North Carolina.
Saturday, Oct. 14 at Charlotte Checkers (6 p.m.)
News and Notes:
Night To Remember: Scott Eansor's third-period goal on Saturday wasn't enough to push the Sound Tigers past Binghamton, but it will certainly be an unforgettable moment for the 21-year-old center. Eansor celebrated his first professional goal and kept the puck from that tally, which was tipped on a Mitch Vande Sompel shot from the blue line. A native of Englewood, Colo., Eansor netted a career-high 18 goals in 40 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League last season, while serving as team co-captain with current Islanders forward Mathew Barzal.
Scouting Report: Fresh off their move back to the Eastern Conference over the offseason, the Charlotte Checkers are the early front runners in the Atlantic Division with a pair of road wins last weekend. On Friday, Charlotte scored twice in the final seven minutes to steal a 5-4 win in Hartford before defeating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday, 5-2. Warren Foegele collected four goals in his first two pro games over the weekend (tied for the league lead) and was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week earlier today. In addition, Phil Di Giuseppe also chipped in two goals last Saturday for the Checkers.
Quick Hits: Ross Johnson recorded his first fight of the season on Saturday after leading the club with 11 tilts in 2016-17… Along with Scott Eansor and Mitch Vande Sompel, Matt Gaudreau also made his pro debut on Saturday… Sebastian Aho made his AHL and North American debut on Saturday… The Sound Tigers will play each of their first four games on the road before returning to Webster Bank Arena for their home opener on Saturday, Oct. 21… Ryan Bourque is expected to play his 400th pro game this Friday.
Goals: Scott Eansor (1)
Assists: Mitch Vande Sompel, Kane Lafranchise (1)
Points: Scott Eansor, Mitch Vande Sompel, Kane Lafranchise (1)
Plus/Minus: Many Tied (+1)
Penalty Minutes: Ross Johnston (5)
Power-play goals: n/a
Shots: Casey Bailey (6)
The New York Islanders (1-1-1) have collected three points in three games to kick off their 2017-18 campaign, including a 6-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in their home opener on Saturday. Captain John Tavares and former Sound Tigers center Casey Cizikas each scored twice and added an assist, while Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey also found the net. Aside from Saturday's win, the Isles fell to Columbus on Friday and suffered a shootout loss to St. Louis on Monday. However, the club earned an important point by bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit with seven minutes to play to force overtime against the Blues. Andrew Ladd and former Sound Tiger Andres Lee both scored. The Islanders are back in action this Wednesday with a 10 p.m. ET puck drop in Anaheim.
The ECHL's Worcester Railers HC open their inaugural season this Saturday with a 7 p.m. faceoff against the Manchester Monarchs at the DCU Center. The Railers, which announced their new affiliation with the Sound Tigers and Islanders on April 28, 2017, are led by forwards Kellen Jones and Yanick Turcotte who were both loaned to Worcester from Bridgeport last week. Forwards Matt Lane and Jeff Kubiak, along with defenseman Mike Cornell, are also currently under contract with the Sound Tigers.
Hottest Tickets in Town: The Sound Tigers will boast one of their most extensive and exciting promotional lineups in team history this season. This year's calendar will feature the return of Star Wars Night (Dec. 2), meet-and-greets with the Justice League (Nov. 11) and Marvel (Jan. 27) superheroes, and all-new promotions like a camouflage baseball cap (Jan. 13) and a kid's lunch box giveaway (Feb. 11). The promotional lineup kicks off with Opening Night on Oct. 21, featuring a Sound Tigers backpack giveaway to the first 3,000 kids courtesy of All Electric Construction and Communication. Click here to tickets.
Guarantee Your Seats: Season tickets and flex plans are on sale now for the 2017-18 campaign, offering the greatest savings and ultimate flexibility of all ticket packages. Pick between a full-season, 20-game, 15-game or 10-game plan and you'll also be entitled to exclusive benefits, including the ticket holder exchange policy, which means any unused tickets can be traded for future games. Seating options are broken down into six different pricing sections, giving you the flexibility to fit Sound Tigers' hockey into any kind of budget. Please contact Brad Dworin at 203-345-4813 or via firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to guarantee your seats.
About the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Founded in 2001, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Club is the top minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders. Don't miss your chance to take part in the family fun entertainment happening every home game at Webster Bank Arena. For further information on ticket or sponsorship opportunities, call our office at (203) 345-2300 or e-mail email@example.com. Keep up with the latest Sound Tigers news on Facebook and on Twitter. For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com.