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Tavares Credits The Fans

by Michelle Gearrity / New York Islanders

John Tavares has made it to the final four of EA Sports NHL13 Cover Vote. Fans of the New York Islanders came through for Tavares and provided him with the sharp edge needed to beat out Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk in the quarterfinals.

“Getting support from my teammates and a few of my friends across the league was huge,” Tavares said. “I think I might owe them a dinner or two next time we play."

Teammates Matt Moulson, Matt Martin and Michael Grabner joined in the efforts to support Tavares by interacting and tweeting with fans, encouraging them to vote for Tavares.

Martin and Grabner started their own campaign tactic for Tavares by creating the twitter trend #VoteJohnOnTheJohn, where fellow teammates and fans send in pictures of themselves voting for John in the midst of a bathroom break.

Campaign images released earlier in the week showed fellow NHL stars Steven Stamkos, Jeff Skinner, P.K. Subban and Patrick Sharp also declaring their support for Tavares.

The latest image was an imitation of the recent viral video created by the Harvard University baseball team. Their parody of the hit song “Call Me Maybe” inspired the image that has Tavares, Stamkos, Skinner, Subban and Sharp dancing in the #JT91 Tour Bus with a Vote JT Maybe slogan.

Starting with 60 players, the EA Sports competition has now been narrowed down to four NHL stars. After two preliminary rounds the contest featured a 16-player bracket, which laid out one-on-one player match-ups. Tavares reached the quarterfinals after taking out Jordan Eberle of the Edmonton Oilers.

Tavares now faces Nashville Predators goalie, Pekka Rinne, in the semi-finals round, which began Thursday and ends Monday, May 28, at 11:59 p.m. Should Tavares advance, he would meet the winner of the other semi-final bracket duo made up of rivals Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"All of the credit really goes to Islanders fans,” Tavares said. “I'm appreciative and excited to be in the final four and equally excited for the chance to showcase our passionate fan-base."

Let’s score one for Tavares by voting as often as possible to ensure he advances to the final round and becomes the future face of NHL13. Voting is free and unlimited at nhl.com/covervote. The winner of the championship match-up will be announced at the 2012 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 20.

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