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The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, proud AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 2-1 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack in a preseason tilt on the road Friday afternoon.
Hartford’s Nick Jones scored twice in the exhibition opener for both teams, which was played on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford at the Koeppel Community Sports Center. Sacred Heart University product Connor Doherty got the Sound Tigers’ lone goal, while rookie goaltenders Jakub Skarek and Linus Soderstrom split the work in net.
Bridgeport came out strong in the early going, culminating with Mike Cornell’s blast from the blue line that rang off the post nearly seven minutes into the first period. However, the Sound Tigers failed to capitalize and instead, Jones beat Skarek at 13:47 of the first period to make it 1-0.
Frustrations flared in the middle frame as neither team found the back of the net, but the period featured two separate fights, including a tilt between Justin Murray and Matt Beleskey just 81 seconds in. Ben Thomson and Mason Geertsen also squared off at 12:20 of the second. In net, Soderstrom replaced Skarek at the 11:01 mark and remained Bridgeport’s protector of the crease for the rest of the afternoon.
Jones extended Hartford’s lead to a pair just 26 seconds into the third period when he made his way alone to the slot and beat Soderstrom to make it 2-0. Beleskey found the open forward and placed a perfect pass for Jones’ second tally.
The Sound Tigers got one back at 6:06 of the third, courtesy of Doherty’s shorthanded goal. With Arnaud Durandeau in the box for tripping, Kyle Thomas sprung a 2-on-1 across Hartford’s line and straight at goaltender Tom McCollum. Thomas skated to the right circle and fed a cross-ice pass to Doherty, where he scored glove side to make it 2-1.
Beleskey and Cornell posted the game’s third fight at 12:31 of the third period, which helped keep a fire lit under Bridgeport’s bench. The Sound Tigers outshot Hartford 34-8 through the final two periods.
The Sound Tigers finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Skarek had six saves on seven shots and Soderstrom ended the afternoon with eight saves on nine chances.
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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.