|Jeff Tambellini |
Today was the rubber match to decide who would take home the “Lobster Cup” in the three-team tournament at Islanders training camp in Moncton. Team Trottier, which defeated Team Bossy on Friday 4-0, was going up against Team Gillies, who defeated Team Bossy yesterday 4-2.
Yesterday's first star, Mike Comrie, carried his outstanding play over into today's game. One minute into the first 45 minute session, Comrie streaked in over the blue-line, cut across the offensive zone and wristed a shot that found it's way through the legs of Michael Mole. The intensity was high and full of heavy hitting as Kip Brennan and Tim Jackman exchanged big hits. Team Trottier countered later in the period, when Josef Vasicek took a shot from the circles that Team Gillies starter, Mike Morrison stopped. The rebound was pounced on by Miroslav Satan who jammed the puck past Morrison to tie the score 1-1.
In the second session, Blake Comeau intercepted a pass and took off on a breakaway with Ruslan Fedotenko back-checking on Comeau's fore-hand side. Comeau shielded the puck and backhanded a shot over Team Gillies net-minder, Rick DiPietro
for the 2-1 Team Trottier lead. About five minutes later, Team Gillies answered when Sean Bentivoglio blocked a point shot and took off on a two-on-one with Jeremy Colliton
. Bentivoglio's initial shot was stopped by Team Trottier goalie for the second session, Wade Dubielewicz, but Colliton picked up the rebound and stuffed it in to even the score at 2-2.
Then play opened up as both teams picked up their third goals apiece within the same minute. Trevor Smith, of Team Trottier, threaded a pass through traffic to linemate Jeff Tambellini who snapped a shot over DiPietro's glove for the 3-2 lead. Team Gillies countered when Jason Pitton sent a cross ice pass to Steve Regier who buried a one timer under the cross bar to knot the score at 3-3. Vying for a spot on the Islanders roster this season, Tambellini picked up his second goal of the game from the same spot he scored his first. On a two-on-one with Satan, Tambellini looked to feed Satan but the passing lane was taken away by Team Gillies defenseman, Simon Lacroix. Tambellini turned his attention to shooting and fired a snap-shot over DiPietro's glove to give Team Trottier the one goal lead with 20 minutes remaining in the session. Dubielewicz would close the door the rest of the way, winning the game for Team Gillies 4-3.
In the shootout, Bill Guerin gave Team Gillies the 1-0 lead, shooting the puck through Dubielewicz's legs. Team Trottier countered when Comeau repeated the same move he made in the game, backhanding a shot over DiPietro's glove to tie the score at 1-1 in the shootout. After Chris Campoli's attempt to regain the lead for Team Gillies rung off the crossbar, Satan took the lead for Team Trottier at 2-1. The competition came down to its last shooter, Jeremy Colliton
for Team Gillies. In a move that is rarely seen in the shootout, Colliton wound up and fired a slap shot past Dubielewicz's glove but off the cross-bar leaving Team Trottier as the winners of the Lobster Cup, going 2-0 in both the games and shootouts. Three Stars of the Lobster Cup Series: 1. Mike Comrie
– 4 goals in 2 games: In a losing effort in the final game, Comrie still receives the first star of the series. His line with Bill Guerin and Ruslan Fedotenko was the dominating force behind Team Gillies' win yesterday and Comrie was again outstanding today. 2. Jeff Tambellini
– 3 goals and an assist in 2 games: Tambellini has proven that hard work in the minors and an intense off-season workout plan could pay off.3. Josef Vasicek
– 2 goals and an assist in 2 games: Vasicek looked dominant on a line with Tambellini and Satan. The big center will be a force on one of the Islanders top two lines this season.Honorable Mention: Blake Comeau
– 3 goals in 2 games: The young prospect is showing Islander coaches that he is right on the cusp and deserves some consideration for a roster spot this season.