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The Bridgeport Report: Oct. 15, 2019

The Sound Tigers pick up a win against the Calder Cup champs, while Arnaud Durandeau scores first pro goal

by Alan Fuehring AlanFuehring / Bridgeport Sound Tigers

For more prospect coverage, read this week's Islanders Prospect Report and check out our In The System page.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-2-1), American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Islanders, split two games last weekend against the defending Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers in their only trip to North Carolina this season. Matt Lorito continued to garner points early in the year and Christopher Gibson showed his reliability in net, earning his first win of the season in his second appearance.

Charlotte raised its championship banner at Bojangles Coliseum prior to the front-end of the series on Friday, but that moment seemed to fire up the Sound Tigers who played their best game of the season and emerged with a 4-2 win. The Checkers got on the board early with a power-play tally from Morgan Geekie before Matt Lorito answered with his third goal in as many games. Lorito (1G, 1A), Kieffer Bellows (1G, 1A), Jeff Kubiak (1G, 1A) and Travis St. Denis (2A) all finished with multi-point performances and Sebastian Aho also netted his first goal of the season. Gibson ended the game with 42 saves on 44 shots.

Tweet from @TheSoundTigers: Tonight's final stats from Charlotte! #BRIvsCHA������: Christopher Gibson, 44 SH | 42 SVS������������: Jeff Kubiak, 1 G | 1 A | 2 SH

The scoring was harder to come by on Saturday as Charlotte earned a 4-1 win to gain two points on the weekend. Geekie continued to play well for the Checkers and scored once in each of the first two periods. On the flip side, Arnaud Durandeau scored in his professional debut for the Sound Tigers, but it would be their only celebration of the game as Checkers goalie Anton Forsberg was sharp from the beginning.   

The Sound Tigers return to Webster Bank Arena this Saturday for their home opener against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the first of six meetings between the two clubs. Saturday's game also features Breast Cancer Awareness Night with the first 2,500 fans receiving a pink rally towel courtesy of All Electric Construction and Communication. The Sound Tigers will wear pink jerseys during warmups that fans will have the opportunity to win through a silent auction during the game (arena atrium).

Fans can follow all of the live action online this season through the Sound Tigers Radio Network and AHLTV, beginning with the pre-game show 15 prior to each listed puck drop.

News and Notes:

Durandeau Debuts: Arnaud Durandeau, the New York Islanders' sixth-round pick in 2017, made his professional debut on Saturday and scored Bridgeport's lone goal in the third period. The 20-year-old Montreal native joins the Sound Tigers after four successful seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Halifax Mooseheads, where he recorded career highs in goals (38), assists (35) and points (73) in just 68 games last season.

An Incredible Club: Former Sound Tigers captain and long-time AHL veteran Colin McDonald hit 700 AHL appearances in Friday's game at Charlotte. He has 367 points (170g, 197a) in the AHL and nearly had another goal last weekend, ringing a first-period laser off the crossbar on Saturday. The Wethersfield, Conn. native has laced up his skates for five different AHL clubs (Sound Tigers, Springfield Falcons, Oklahoma City Barons, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Lehigh Valley Phantoms) and has played in 148 NHL games, mostly with the Islanders.

Tweet from @TheSoundTigers: BIG congrats to Oliver Wahlstrom on making his @NHL debut with the #Isles today! His first goal of the season was a beauty in our win at Hartford earlier this month! 😍

Joining the Big Boys: Rookie forward Oliver Wahlstrom earned his first NHL recall on Monday and made his debut with the New York Islanders in their thrilling win against the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues. Prior to reaching the NHL, Wahlstrom had three goals and three assists in just nine games during his young Sound Tigers career, which dates back to March.

Quick Hits: Matt Lorito opened the season with three goals in the first three games, the first player to do so for the Sound Tigers since Bracken Kearns in 2015-16….Colin McDonald is trying to crack into the top 50 in all-time AHL games played - he currently sits 50 appearances behind Noel Price and Jeff Hoggan….Christopher Gibson is third all-time for the Sound Tigers in wins (67), two behind Kevin Poulin.

The week ahead:

Saturday, Oct. 19 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (7 p.m.): The Sound Tigers return to home ice this weekend to play the first of six matchups against the Pittsburgh Penguins' affiliate. It's also Breast Cancer Awareness Night with the first 2,500 fans receiving a pink rally towel courtesy of All Electric Construction and Communication. The Sound Tigers will wear pink jerseys during warmups that fans will have the opportunity to win through a silent auction during the game. Tickets are on sale now!

Tweet from @TheSoundTigers: #OpeningNight is only 10 days away! The first 2,500 fans will receive a pink rally towel and all cancer survivors will receive a pink bandanna courtesy of All Electric Construction & Communication.

Team Leaders:
Matt Lorito (3)
Assists: Four tied (2)
Points: Matt Lorito (4)
Plus/Minus: Jeff Kubiak (+2)
Penalty Minutes: Nick Schilkey (19)
Power-Play Goals: Matt Lorito (1)
Shots: Sebastian Aho (12)
Wins: Christopher Gibson (1)

Affiliate Report:

The Worcester Railers (1-0-0) began their third season in the ECHL with a convincing 5-1 victory against the Adirondack Thunder on Saturday. Three players collected multi-point games and Islanders prospect Jakub Skarek stopped 24 of 25 shots he faced in his debut. The Railers are back in action this weekend with a home and away series against the Thunder and the Maine Mariners. 

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