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Sound Tigers Begin Their 17th Season Tonight

Courtesy: SoundTigers.com
          Release: 10/07/2017
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DATE                     TIME              OPPONENT                      LISTEN/WATCH

Saturday, Oct. 7     7:05 p.m.       at Binghamton Devils        Radio - AHL Live - Twitter


The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, open their 17th season in the American Hockey League tonight with their first of two matchups against the newly-relocated Binghamton Devils, which moved from Albany, N.Y. over the offseason. The Sound Tigers are looking to bounce back after falling short of a playoff spot last season by just two points. Bridgeport finished with the fifth best record in the Eastern Conference, which would have won the North Division, but was ultimately a victim of a rugged Atlantic that saw four teams finish with a better record. 


Tonight's game is the only matchup between the Sound Tigers and Devils at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena during the 2017-18 regular season. Last year, Bridgeport went 1-0-1-0 in Binghamton, N.Y. and also posted a 4-2-0-0 record against the Albany Devils (same franchise). The two teams will meet on one other occasion this season: Dec. 30 at Webster Bank Arena.


The Binghamton Devils celebrate a new era tonight with their inaugural game after the team's relocation from Albany, N.Y. over the offseason. It was announced on Jan. 31, 2017 that the New Jersey Devils would relocate their AHL affiliate to Binghamton after the Ottawa Senators moved their farm club to Belleville, Ontario following 15 years in the city. Led by head coach Rick Kowalsky, who enters his eighth season with the club, the Devils finished third in the North Division last season with a record of 39-32-2-3 (83 points), but were knocked out in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs by Toronto. The team was led in scoring by returning forward John Quenneville, a first-round draft choice by New Jersey in 2014, who also ranked ninth among AHL rookies in scoring with 46 points (14g, 32a) in 2016-17.


The Sound Tigers released their season-opening roster on Thursday, which featured 26 total players comprised of 15 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders. The roster contains 18 players on an NHL contract with the New York Islanders, including two former first round picks (Michael Dal Colle, 2014 and Steve Bernier, 2003). In addition, Bridgeport's season-opening roster also features seven rookies and five veterans. Ten players have NHL experience, combining for 1,012 total games.


Bridgeport will begin its 2017-18 campaign with four straight road games, matching the team's longest trip of the season. Following tonight's contest, the Sound Tigers will travel to North Carolina for a pair of games against the Charlotte Checkers next Friday and Saturday before heading to Allentown, Pennsylvania on Friday, Oct. 20. The Sound Tigers went 19-15-3-1 away from Webster Bank Arena last season. 


Veteran center Bracken Kearns is expected to make his Devils debut tonight after spending each of the last two seasons with Bridgeport. He led the team in goals and points both years. On the flip side, fourth-year winger Casey Bailey and fifth-year defenseman Seth Helgeson will likely make their Sound Tigers debuts tonight. Bailey spent parts of the last two seasons in Binghamton, where he co-led the Senators in goals (21) last year, while Helgeson has played all 217 of his AHL games with the Albany Devils.


Christopher Gibson has won eight straight decisions dating back to Mar. 29, 2016... Sebastian Aho is expected to make his Sound Tigers and North American debut tonight... Ryan Bourque has played 398 professional games... Brent Thompson begins his fifth season as Sound Tigers head coach tonight… Ben Holmstrom was named team captain for the third straight season on Friday, while Steve Bernier and Seth Helgeson were each tabbed as alternates.


NHL: New York Islanders (0-1-0): Next vs. Buffalo - Tonight, 7 p.m. ET

ECHL: Worcester Railers (0-0-0-0): Next vs. Manchester - Oct. 14, 7:05 p.m. ET

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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