By Kerry Gwydir
The pace of training camp elevates on Friday as Steve Stirling's squad participates in the first of two intersquad scrimmages in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Tonight's contest starts at 7:30 pm (AST).
"It'll be a good test to see where many of our players are," said Stirling. "We don't have a lot of time to make decisions because camp is relatively short compared to the past. So, for many guys on the bubble, they have to show us immediately that they want to make this team particularly for many of our kids."
Many of the line combinations that have been used in camp, so far, will be used in this game, such as the Blake Comeau-Alexei Yashin-Miroslav Satan line. Rookie Chris Campoli, who has been developing a bond with Brad Lukowich, will pair with the two-time Stanley Cup champ on the blueline.
For other players, such as rookies Campoli, Bruno Gervais, Robert Nilsson, Sean Bergenheim, Jeremy Colliton, Dustin Kohn and Petteri Nokelainen, it's an important step in looking to crack the opening night roster.
"Mike [Milbury] told us right away that [the rookies] need to be prepared to show something early in camp," said Bergenheim. "I want to make this team and there's an opportunity to do it. [Tonight's] game is going to be big for many of us."
We've been told that the Yarmouth fans have something special in store for the players during the game. The nearly 2,000-person capacity of the Mariners Centre will be split into two groups of cheering sections one for the white team and the other for the blue squad. In terms of the exuberance the community has shown the team, it should make for an interesting evening.
The game will be sold out and a full re-cap of the game will be posted later tonight here on newyorkislanders.com.
ALEXEI ZHITNIK-BRENT SOPEL
JANNE NIINIMAA-RADEK MARTINEK
DUSTIN KOHN-TOMI PETTINEN
BLAKE COMEAU-ALEXEI YASHIN-MIROSLAV SATAN
MIKE YORK-OLEG KVASHA-MATTIAS WEINHANDL
TRAVIS BRIGLEY-WYATT SMITH-PETTERI NOKELAINEN
STEVE REGIER-ROB COLLINS-ERIC GODARD
BRAD LUKOWICH-CHRIS CAMPOLI
RYAN CALDWELL-ALLAN ROURKE
JOEL BOUCHARD-BRUNO GERVAIS
JASON BLAKE-RYAN O'MARRA-TRENT HUNTER
JUSTIN PAPINEAU-SHAWN BATES-SEAN BERGENHEIM
ROBERT NILSSON-JEREMY COLLITON-MARK PARRISH
MASI MARJAMAKI-KEVIN COLLEY-ARRON ASHAM
Photo Courtesy of Fred A. Hatfield, Yarmouth Vanguard