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Courtesy: Puck Stopper Photography

Islanders Loan Bernier, Gionta To Bridgeport

Courtesy: SoundTigers.com
          Release: 10/03/2017
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The New York Islanders announced today forwards Steve Bernier (pictured) and Stephen Gionta have cleared waivers and been loaned to the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Bernier, 32, agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) deal on June 10 after playing 33 games with the Sound Tigers last season. He ranked third on the team in goal-scoring (16) and added 10 assists for 26 points. Bernier also earned a plus-13 rating, third-best among all Bridgeport players.

A native of Quebec City, Quebec, Bernier scored six points (one goal, five assists) in 24 games with the Islanders in 2015-16 and also appeared in six Stanley Cup Playoff contests as the Isles advanced to the second round.

In 633 career NHL games with the Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks, Bernier has registered 230 points (105 goals, 125 assists). In addition, he has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 74 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, including 24 appearances in 2011-12 when he helped the Devils win the Eastern Conference Championship.

At the AHL level, Bernier has appeared in 118 career games with the Sound Tigers, Albany Devils, Worcester Sharks and Cleveland Barons, totaling 87 points (43 goals, 44 assists).

The 6'3, 220-pound winger was originally selected by San Jose in the first round (16th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft.

Gionta, 33, played 26 games with the Islanders last season and notched six points (one goal, five assists) and a plus-9 rating. He also spent seven games with the Sound Tigers and collected three points (one goal, two assists) and a plus-5 rating.  

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Gionta spent each of his first 10 professional seasons with the New Jersey Devils organization. In 2015-16, he scored 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) and played all 82 regular season games with the club. He also finished fourth on the Devils in penalty minutes with 43.

Since making his NHL debut in 2010, Gionta has posted 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) and 95 penalty minutes in 296 regular season games with the Islanders and Devils. Gionta added seven points (three goals, four assists) in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games during his lone post-season appearance in 2011-12, helping the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Prior to his NHL career, Gionta spent five seasons in the AHL with the Lowell Devils and Albany River Rats, collecting 146 points (63 goals, 83 assists) in 374 games. While in Albany, Gionta set a club record with 371 games played, ranked fourth all time in goals and third in assists and points.

Prior to turning pro, Gionta played four seasons at Boston College, where he recorded 90 points (33 goals, 57 assists) in 151 games. He helped the Eagles advance to two NCAA Frozen Four Tournaments, including an appearance in the 2006 National Championship game. In addition, Gionta led the Eagles to three straight regular-season Hockey East Championships (2003, 2004, 2005), adding the playoff conference championship during his junior season (2005).

Season Opener: The Sound Tigers begin their 17th season in the American Hockey League on Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against the Binghamton Devils at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. Fans can follow all of the live action via AHL Live or the Sound Tigers Radio Network, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m.

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 SeatsSeason 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 brad.dworin@harboryardse.com 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 that occurs during home games at Webster Bank Arena. For further information on ticket or sponsorship opportunities, call our office at (203) 345-2300 or e-mail info@soundtigers.com. For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com.

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