The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-2-1-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, went toe-to-toe with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (3-2-1-0) in their home opener on Saturday, but suffered a 3-2 shootout loss at Webster Bank Arena.
Nick Schilkey scored his first goal with the Sound Tigers on a power-play rebound late in the first period, while Ryan Bourque also found the back of the net to help Bridgeport capture one point. Christopher Gibson (1-0-2) remained unbeaten in regulation this season, making 25 saves in front of 5,742 energetic fans.
The Sound Tigers opened the scoring just 4:03 into the first period when Bourque redirected Ryan MacKinnon’s lengthy shot from the blue line for his second goal of the year. Mason Jobst circled with the puck and found MacKinnon at the left point, where the defensemen leaned to his right foot and fired a wrist shot that Bourque deflected past Casey DeSmith. It was the second time that Bridgeport has scored first this season and the first professional point for Jobst.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered nearly four minutes later when Andrew Agozzino beat Gibson from the slot to tie the game 1-1. Jake Lucchini centered a pass for Kevin Czuczman, but the former Sound Tiger lost it in his skates and fell over. That created a screen against Gibson and Agozzino threaded home his first goal of the season at 8:20.
Fifty-seven seconds later, Sam Miletic put the Penguins on top with his first goal of the season – and the first of back-to-back power-play tallies in the contest. With Travis St. Denis in the box for high-sticking, Agozzino and Stefan Noesen created chaos at the doorstep until Miletic muscled home the go-ahead goal at the 9:17 mark.
Schilkey’s first goal with Bridgeport locked the score back up and ultimately forced overtime. It followed a trio of roughing penalties, which put the Sound Tigers on the power play, and the third-year forward cashed in with a diving effort on a rebound. Sebastian Aho blasted a shot off the post, but it deflected back to the doorstep where Schilkey dove to force it in.
Aho hit the crossbar again in the second period but couldn’t give Bridgeport the lead. Likewise, the Penguins had many scoring chances and outshot the Sound Tigers 17-10 in the final two frames, but didn’t score.
In overtime, Matt Lorito thought he had ended the game when he found the back of the cage less than two minutes in, but it was ruled back due to goaltender interference. Kieffer Bellows had just driven the net and made slight contact with DeSmith.
Instead, Noesen, Joseph Cramarossa and Ryan Haggarty all scored in a three-round shootout for the visitors, while Lorito had Bridgeport’s lone tally.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Bridgeport 28-25.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to action on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena. Fans can follow all of the live action via the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!
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 protected].
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 protected]. Follow the action all season long via www.soundtigers.com or by “liking” the Sound Tigers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.