Arnaud Durandeau scored a goal in his professional debut on Saturday, but it wasn't enough as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-2-1-0), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, suffered a 4-1 loss to the Charlotte Checkers (2-2-0-0) at Bojangles Coliseum.
Durandeau's third-period tally came on his only shot of the contest and gave the Sound Tigers some late life, while Jared Coreau (0-2-0) made 19 saves on 22 shots in his second appearance with Bridgeport. Morgan Geekie lit the lamp twice for Charlotte and was awarded the game's first star.
The Sound Tigers kept it close after the opening 20 minutes and nearly struck first when Colin McDonald rang a shot off the post during an early breakaway. However, it stayed out and Geekie followed up less than two minutes later with his second goal of the season. The Checkers forward received a stretch pass through center and skated above the right circle where he wound up and wired home a slap shot from distance. The goal at 11:58 gave Charlotte the first goal in four straight games to begin the season.
Geekie added his second tally of the game late in the middle period to make it 2-0. Brian Gibbons drove down the left wing and approached the bottom of the circle before directing a pass just below the left hash marks. Geekie stepped into a pin-point wrist shot and deposited it into the top right corner of the cage, above Coreau's reaching glove at 17:58. Gibbons extended the Checkers' advantage to a trio early in the third period with his first goal of the season, and the only power-play strike all night. With Jeff Kubiak in the box for slashing, Jake Bean hammered a one-time shot from the point that Gibbons deflected in at the 3:35 mark.
Bridgeport got one back at 10:40 of the third period when Durandeau powered a shot past Anton Forsberg to break up his shutout bid. Kubiak created the chance with hard work below the goal line, stealing the puck away and centering it to the doorstep for Durandeau's one-timer. Simon Holmstrom earned the secondary assist for his first point with the Sound Tigers, and first in North America.
The Sound Tigers outshot Charlotte 10-2 in the third period, but only scored once and Eetu Luostarinen sealed the Checkers' win with an empty-net goal at 18:54.
Bridgeport finished the game 0-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. Forsberg (2-0-0) stayed undefeated for the Checkers with 28 saves on 29 shots.
Next Time Out: The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena for their 2019-20 home opener next Saturday at 7 p.m., facing the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. It's Breast Cancer Awareness Night and a rally towel giveaway to the first 2,500 fans, courtesy of All Electric Construction and Communication. Fans can also 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]com.
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.