Team West leads the Tampa Bay Lightning Development Camp 3-on-3 tournament after the first day of action at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum, going undefeated in its three games on Friday.
Team West is comprised of Adam Erne, Stephen Baylis, Brian Hart, Mitchell Stephens and Daniel Walcott.
Led by Hart, who had nine points (5 goals, 4 assists), Team West defeated Team Quebec 5-0, Team Europe 4-0 and Team East 4-3 to go 3-0-0.
Stephens, the Lightning’s top pick (second round, 33rd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, chipped in one goal and tied for a day one tournament high with seven assists. Brayden Point of Team Coaches also had seven assists but did so in four games.
Erne, awarded the 2015 Guy Lafleur Trophy in May as the playoff MVP of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, contributed four goals and two assists to Team West’s cause and scored the prettiest goal of the day, receiving a pass on the edge of the crease with his back to goal and flipping the puck into the net with a behind-the-back shot.
Team West will open play Saturday against Team USA and will finish off round robin play versus Team Coaches.
Team USA and Team Coaches each went 2-0-2 Friday and are in good position to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
The top four teams after round robin play move on to a single-elimination playoff round.
Rosters for the other five teams are:
Team Coaches – Terrell Draude, Alex Iafallo, Brayden Point, Ben Thomas and Joel Vermin
Team USA – Anthony Cirelli, Cameron Darcy, Anthony DeAngelo, Cristiano DiGiacinto and Samuel Vigneault
Team East – Dylan Blujus, Henri Ikonen, James Mullin and Matthew Peca
Team Quebec – Bokondji Imama, Mathieu Joseph, Matt Spencer and Jonne Tammela
Team Europe – Jake Dotchin, Saku Salminen, Dennis Yan and Ryan Zuhlsdorf
Quinnipiac University product Matthew Peca of Team East tops the goal-scorers list after day one with eight goals in four games. Brian Hart and Team USA’s Anthony DeAngelo are tied for second with five apiece.
Peca took 14 shots, converting 57.1 percent of them into goals.
Peca, a seventh-round pick (201st overall) in the 2011 Draft, signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Lightning April 1.
Peca also paces all skaters with 12 points. Brayden Point trails close behind with 11 (4-7).
“It’s a competitive tournament. I think everyone wants to win it,” Point said. “There’s a trophy that goes to the winner, and everyone’s gunning for it.”
Development Camp invitee Jamie Murray leads all goaltenders with a .829 save percentage after surrendering 14 goals on 82 shots. The goalie with the best save percentage after the round robin portion of the tournament will go between the pipes for Saturday’s championship game, which is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Murray is battling Cale Morris (.778), Kristian Oldham (.709) and Adam Wilcox (.690) for top goalie honors.
Defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, Tampa Bay’s first-round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft, showed the fans in attendance why he won a major piece of hardware this season with his play Friday.
In May, DeAngelo was named the Ontario Hockey League’s Most Outstanding Defenceman of the Year after splitting the season between the Sarnia Sting and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. DeAngelo tallied 89 points between the two teams in the regular season, scoring 25 goals and adding 64 assists.
He contributed 16 assists in 13 playoff games for the Greyhounds.
On Friday, DeAngelo scored five goals and had three assists in four games to lead Team USA to a 2-0-2 record.
DeAngelo said he feels more comfortable in his second Development Camp with the Lightning.
“You know what to expect so you’re a little less nervous going out there, more talkative,” DeAngelo said. “When people are watching, you don’t really notice. You kind of just go out there and do your thing and be confident.”
DeAngelo suffered an upper-body injury during Sault Ste. Marie’s playoff run but says he’s back to 100 percent.
“I took some time off to let that heal, and at the start of June, I started training again,” DeAngelo said. “No problems now.