|Mike Comrie and Radek Martinek |
It took only one scrimmage to see the potential the Islanders’ number one line has for the 2007-08 season. Mike Comrie scored a hat trick, while linemates Ruslan Fedotenko and Bill Guerin set up all three of his goals for a 4-3 Team Gillies win over Team Bossy, Saturday, on Day 2 of the Lobster Cup.
“We started off a little slow,” said Fedotenko, “but then we picked up our game. Scoring three goals was pretty good for our team. Both of my linemates are great players. They see the ice really well, read the play and get open. It was fun playing with them for the first time.”
Team Bossy jumped out to a 2-0 lead after dropping their first game to Team Trottier on Friday. Andy Sutton put Team Bossy up 1-0 off a blast from the point, while another new Islander, Jon Sim, made it 2-0 after getting a feed from Sean Bergenheim.
But the rest of the period was all Team Gillies. Comrie scored his first off a backhand wrap-a-round and Masi Marjamaki evened the score at two with an assist from defenseman Aaron Johnson.
Team Gillies received some key contributions from the defensive pair of Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais. The two roommates effectively created scoring chances for themselves and other players.
“I felt good out there,” said Campoli. “Bruno and I were feeding off each other really well. In the first period he jumped into the play a lot and then I started doing in the second. It was a good balance.”Rick DiPietro
made his first appearance in a scrimmage, coming up big a few times for Team Gillies. His best save came against Frans Nielsen
, who was stopped by DiPietro from point-blank range.
In the second period, the Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin line took control. Comrie gloved down a bouncing puck at the front of the net and jammed it home for a 3-2 Gillies lead. It became 4-2 when Guerin fed Comrie for a breakaway. The former Michigan Wolverine slipped a backhand shot through the legs of Joey MacDonald.
Meanwhile, Camp invitee Mike Morrison stood his ground in goal for Team Gillies in the second period, surrendering no goals in the 45 minutes of regulation.
The Gillies lead was cut to 4-3 in the shootout session when Gordie Dwyer scored for Team Bossy. After that, Morrison shut the door to secure the victory.
Team Gilles and Team Trottier are both 1-0, while Team Bossy has a record of 0-2.
MEMOS FROM MONCTON
* Notes and quotes from Ted Nolan:
The Islanders play their first exhibition game in North Bay, ON, which won the annual Hockey Night in Canada and Kraft Hockeyville competition. Canadian towns submit video entries explaining why they believe they’re the best hockey town in Canada.
The winning town earns money towards renovations to local rinks and an NHL preseason game. This year, the Islanders will take on the Atlanta Thrashers in North Bay on Monday.
“It’s good to go back up north where I’m from,” said Nolan. “It’s in the small towns up in Canada where you see some of the most passionate hockey fans. Here in Moncton, even our scrimmages are packed. It’s part of our culture up here in Canada. North Bay will be exciting for us and the fans.”
Today was the first time Nolan had a chance to see captain Bill Guerin in action, and he didn’t disappoint.
“I’m impressed with the leadership of Guerin,” said Nolan. “He doesn’t just float around Camp waiting for the start of the season. He said from day one he wanted to be the go-to guy, and he’s demonstrating that.”
Coach Nolan spoke today about two of the defensemen at camp, Andy Sutton and Bryan Berard.
“Sutton was ok yesterday, but much better today,” said Nolan. “Big guys take a little longer to get their engines wound up. All indications are he is going to get better and better. He has a little feistiness in him, and can move well for a big guy. Berard has a great opportunity here. Look at Park, who came into camp without a contract last year, and now he’s one of our core veterans. Berard has the chance to do be that guy this year.”
* If people are wondering why there hasn’t been any fighting at Camp yet, it’s because a “no fight” policy was implemented for two reasons by Ted Nolan.
“We’re not here to fight with each other,” said Nolan. “We’re all on the same team. Plus, you don’t want to have a 260 pound man crushing a 17 year old kid who is going back to juniors. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
* For you YouTube and MySpace fans out there, "The 2 Man Advantage" has made its way up to Moncton. The indie hockey video bloggers are an internet sensation known for their off-the cuff routines with each other and hockey players. If you check out Islanders TV and YouTube over the next couple of weeks you’ll see Scott Zimmerman and Dan Nemchek mixing it up with some of the biggest stars of the Islanders, including some legends.
"We’re all huge hockey fans and trying to make people fall in love with hockey again," said co-host Nemchek. "We’re excited to get the chance to come up to Moncton and work with the Islanders and open people up to them."
Last night the players were given a warm welcome to Moncton with their very own parade. After walking down Main Street, the players spent the next hour signing autographs for the thousands of fans who migrated to the center of town. One of the biggest hits of the parade was not surprisingly Bill Guerin, who was one of the last players to finish signing. However, the player to stay the longest signing was former Moncton Wildcats captain Chris Gaudet, who joins the Islanders as a camp invitee for his second year in a row.
“It’s fun to be able to talk to everyone here, they’re always nice,” said Gaudet. “They’re always supporting me, so it’s nice to give back to them. It’s fun to see the big smile on kids’ face when you sign their jerseys.
* For more scoops and insights from Training Camp check out these blogs from the Islanders PR department
* You can also find more coverage of Training Camp at www.soundtigers.com
* Below are the line combinations for the three teams of the Lobster Cup:
26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin
67 Sean Bentivoglio - 29 Ben Walter - 72 Jeremy Colliton
42 Jason Pitton - 65 Chris Gaudet - 48 Steve Regier
37 Kip Brennan - 60 Tomas Marcinko
- 8 Masi Marjamaki
14 Chris Campoli - 8 Bruno Gervais
2 Aaron Johnson - 44 Freddy Meyer
61 Martin Frechette - 70 Simon Lacroix
39 Rick DiPietro
33 Mike Morrison
15 Jeff Tambellini - 63 Josef Vasicek - 81 Miroslav Satan
57 Blake Comeau - 77 Trevor Smith - 28 Tim Jackman
40 Justin Bourne - 52 Tyler Haskins - 53 Maxim Gratchev
41 Robin Figren - 38 Marc Cavosie - 64 Olivier Labelle
32 Brendan Witt - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
56 Dustin Kohn - 43 Andrew MacDonald
71 Mark Katic
- 68 Jordan Hart
34 Wade Dubielewicz
60 Michael Mole
16 Jon Sim - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon - 10 Richard Park - 20 Sean Bergenheim
11 Andy Hilbert - 51 Frans Nielsen
- 27 Darryl Bootland
59 Derek Damon - 17 Shawn Bates - 54 Gordie Dwyer
25 Andy Sutton - 24 Radek Martinek
4 Bryan Berard - 49 Drew Fata
6 Matthew Spiller - 62 Jamie Fraser
35 Joey MacDonald
1 Maxime Ouellet