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Okposo Caps Off Three-Goal Comeback

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

By Jason Lockhart
Kyle Okposo
It was only a matter of time before first round draft picks Kyle Okposo (2006) and Josh Bailey (2008) created some magic on the ice. Thursday afternoon at Islanders Iceworks, Okposo and Bailey led Team Morrow to a 5-3 come-from-behind victory.
Okposo and Bailey played set-up men on a late goal in the third period to cut Team Trottier's lead to 3-2. Bailey corralled the puck deep in the offensive zone before dropping it back to Okposo. The Minnesota-native then sent a perfect pass across to Bridgeport defenseman Andrew MacDonald for a one-timer past Kevin Poulin.
"Guys I have higher expectations for like Bailey and Okposo are right where they should be," said Bryan Trottier. "They're making the right impression, doing some thing well, but at the same time know they can do better because it's the middle of July and not in-season. Josh has made a good first impression. He had an open canvas at camp and has painted a solid picture for us."
Team Morrow found themselves down 3-0 early in the second period on goals by Finnish forward Jesse Joensuu, Niagara University alum Sean Bentivoglio, and off-season signing Rob Hennigar.
"That month I had in Bridgeport was really eye opening," said Joensuu. "My team in Finland was a professional team, but in Bridgeport, the team practices are more professional. It helped me to get in better shape for this camp."
Team Trottier looked poised to take home the three-game mini-series, but Team Morrow stormed back to tie the game at 3-3 at the end of regulation on goals by 2006 draft pick Doug Rogers, MacDonald, and Simon Lacroix.
In the shootout, Okposo opened the scoring for Team Morrow with a nifty deke that ended with him burying it on the forehand side. University of New Hampshire alum Trevor Smith put the game away with a wrist shot over the blocker side.
"It's a move I've used before," said Smith, who has been advising incoming New Hampshire freshman Blake Kessel, "but I wouldn't call it a signature move. I'm going to keep those a secret."
"The intensity level of each day has gotten higher," said Trottier. "The competitive level is getting there as guys start feeling better about the game and finding their hands. There have been crisper passes and sharper defensive plays."
The players will take part in the Shakey Cup scrimmage tomorrow morning at 10:15 am. Fans are encouraged to come stop by Islanders Iceworks to see the final day of Prospects Camp

Josh Bailey
Here are some notes and quotes from Day Four at the Prospects Camp.

* Yesterday the boys went to play paintball. Islanders TV was on the scene and right in the middle of the action. Fearless producer Matt Riccardi had his camera sniped by St. Cloud netminder Jase Weslosky.
"I just saw the thing pop out from behind one of the obstacles and I shot at it," said Weslosky. "It popped out again and hit right in the lens and I heard a splatter. I knew then that it wasn't a person. I think he walked off after that."

* Joel Rechlicz, a recent signing who played with Albany of the AHL last season, was one of the more seasoned paintballers yesterday and had high praise for teammate Doug Rogers.
"He had some skills out there," said Rechlicz. "As for me, my biggest accomplishment was picking off the referee about six times."

* Islanders 2008 fourth-round draft pick David Ullstrom will be jumping from the Swedish Junior league to the Allsvenskan league, which is just one step below the Swedish Elite League. Ullstrom mentioned that he would play some games in the Elite League if there were any injuries.
Ullstrom also explained that this was his first time in the United States.
"It's really nice here," said Ullstrom. "On the ice, the style of play is a little faster because of the small rinks, but it's not too hard to adjust. The one main difference I've noticed is the food. Everything here is really sweet, especially the muffins."

* Blake Comeau is at his fifth – and last – Islanders Prospects Camp.
"It's a weird feeling," said Comeau. "I'm only 22 and I feel like the old guy. It's good to be back and see the guys. I kind of know what to expect now. It makes things easier when you're not as nervous as you used to be.

* Comeau commented on the play of Sarnia Sting invite Vladimir Nikiforov. "Little Nikiforov has looked pretty good out there. He's a quick and shifty player. He's impressed me out there."
Nikiforov was born in Lithuania, but moved to Long Island when he was young. He now lives in Huntington.

* The players were asked to fill out questionnaires. One question asked was "What would the name of your biography be?" Hockey ops intern Jason Remsbecker picked out the top five.
1. Tyrell Mason: "The Life You Would Like to Have Lived"
2. David Ullstrom: "Get on Your Seatbelt"
3. Jamie Fraser: "A Simple Kind of Man: The Jamie Fraser Story"
4. Brian Day: "A Day in the Life"
5. Jared Spurgeon: "Life of a Spurgeon"

* Jesse Joensuu had a standout performance with Assat in the Finnish SM-Liga, especially at the end of this season before joining Bridgeport.
"I met with Ryan Jankowski and Vellu Kautonen about 20 games into the season," said Joensuu. "They told me it didn't matter how many goals I got, but that I had shot to be signed this year. That motivated me to pick it up. I also received extra responsibility when one of our top forwards went down. When you start scoring more goals, you get more confident."

* Look forward to an upcoming Islanders commercial featuring Blake Comeau and Kyle Okposo. The two were shooting the commercial today following the scrimmage.
Additional reporting by John Hill and Jason Remsbecker

Team Trottier:

34 Jase Weslovsky (NYI 2006 Round 4)
60 Kevin Poulin (NYI 2008 Round 5)

4   Jyri Niemi (NYI 2008 Round 3)
28 Brad Nunn (Camp Invitee)
54 Shane Sims (NYI 2006 Round 5)
56 Dustin Kohn (NYI 2005 Round 2)
61 Tyrell Mason (NYI 2005 Round 6)
62 Jamie Fraser (Signed as Free Agent)
69 Jared Spurgeron (NYI Round 158)
12 David Ullstrom (NYI 2008 Round 4)
17 Joel Rooney (Camp Invitee)
36 Corey Trivino (NYI 2008 Round 2)
37 Joe Pereira (Camp Invitee)
45 Matt Martin (NYI 2008 Round 5)
53 Max Gratchev (NYI 2007 Round 4)
52 Tyler Haskins (DET 2004 Round 5)
57 Blake Comeau (NYI 2004 Round 2)
58 Jesse Joensuu (NYI 2006 Round 2)
59 Mike Haley (Signed as Free Agent)
63 Vladimir Nikiforov (Camp Invitee)
67 Sean Bentivoglio (2007 Free Agent)
68 Rob Hennigar (Signed as Free Agent)
81 Justin DiBenedetto (2008 NYI Round 6)

Team Morrow:

1   Peter Mannino (2008 Free Agent)
33 Andrew Engelage (Camp Invitee)

2   Brett Skinner (Signed as Free Agent)
6   Matt Donovan (NYI 2008 Round 4)
3   Travis Hamonic (NYI 2008 Round 2)
38 Jack Hillen (Signed as Free Agent)
47 Blake Kessel (NYI 2007 Round 6)
70 Simon Lacroix (NYI 2007 Round 7)
43 Andrew MacDonald (NYI 2006 Round 6)
71 Mark Katic (NYI 2007 Round 3)

21 Kyle Okposo (NYI 2006 Round 1)
26 Brian Gibbons (Camp Invitee)
27 Josh Bailey (NYI 2008 Round 1)
40 Joel Rechlicz (Signed as Free Agent)
42 Jason Pitton (NYI 2004 Round 8)
46 Brian Day (NYI 2006 Round 6)
48 Jason Gregoire (NYI 2007 Round 3)
49 Shea Guthrie (NYI 2005 Round 3)
50 Tomas Marcinko (NYI 2006 Round 4)
51 Anthony Perdicaro (Camp Invitee)
64 Doug Rogers (NYI 2006 Round 4)
65 Matt Christie (Camp Invitee)
77 Trevor Smith (Signed as Free Agent)

To find out more information about the 2008 Prospects Camp, check out the Islandermania thread by clicking here.

Check out Islanders TV all week for complete Prospects Camp coverage.

From Ivy to the Island
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