Sound Tigers Clash with Checkers This Weekend
DATE TIME OPPONENT LISTEN/WATCH
THE STORY COMING IN
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (0-1-0-0), proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, continue their four-game road trip to open the 2017-18 season this weekend with a pair of games against their newest Atlantic Division rival, the Charlotte Checkers (2-0-0-0). The Sound Tigers are looking to bounce back after a 2-1 loss to the Binghamton Devils in their season opener last Saturday, in which Scott Eansor scored in his professional debut for the team's only goal. Mitch Vande Sompel also tallied a point in his pro debut with an assist on the third-period tally. Between the pipes, Christopher Gibson stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced, but suffered his first loss since Mar. 11, 2016. It snapped an eight-game winning streak for the fifth-year netminder.
TIGERS VS. CHECKERS
Tonight's game is the first of eight meetings between the Sound Tigers and Checkers this season, and the first of four matchups at Bojangles Coliseum. In addition, it's only the fifth all-time meeting between the two clubs, who last met in 2010-11 following Charlotte's move from the ECHL to the AHL. Bridgeport is 0-2-0-2 all-time against Charlotte.
VIEW FROM CHARLOTTE
Fresh off their move back to the AHL's 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 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, 5-2. Rookie forward Warren Foegele collected four goals in his first two pro games (tied for the league lead) and was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week last Tuesday. Phil Di Giuseppe also chipped in two goals last weekend. The Checkers are led by head coach Mike Vellucci, who enters his first season as the team's bench boss.
Seventh-year forward Ryan Bourque will cross a milestone this evening as he's expected to play his 400th professional game. The Topsfield, Mass. native was selected by the New York Rangers in the third round (#80) of the 2009 NHL Draft and spent each of his first five seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack, serving as team captain in 2015-16. In addition, Bourque spent all of last season with the Hershey Bears before signing an AHL contract with the Sound Tigers last month. Bourque is the son of Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Scott Eansor's first professional goal last Saturday wasn't enough to push Bridgeport past Binghamton, but it will certainly be an unforgettable moment for the 21-year-old center. 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.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
Veteran forward Ben Holmstrom was named team captain for the third consecutive season last Friday, while Steve Bernier and Seth Helgeson were each tabbed as alternates. Holmstrom, 30, has now worn a letter in seven of his eight pro seasons, including one year serving as an alternate captain with the Checkers in 2014-15. Holmstrom was also captain of the Adirondack Phantoms from 2011-14 and a three-year captain at UMass-Lowell prior to turning pro.
Ross Johnson recorded his first fight of the season last Saturday after leading the club with 11 tilts in 2016-17... Sebastian Aho made his AHL and North American debut last weekend.
NHL: New York Islanders (1-2-1): Next at San Jose - Tomorrow, 10:30 p.m. ET
ECHL: Worcester Railers (0-0-0-0): Next vs. Manchester - Tomorrow, 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 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 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 email@example.com. For more team information, log on to soundtigers.com.