Tampa Bay Lightning development camp invitee Alex Iafallo said he felt his team for the camp-ending 3-on-3 tournament was considered the underdog after going 1-1-2 through round robin play and just slipping into the final semifinal spot.
But in single-elimination play, Team Killorn, consisting of Iafallo, Jonne Tammela, Anthony Cirelli, Ross Colton and Johnathan MacLeod, hit its stride.
Team Killorn scored a 5-3 upset win over top-seeded Team Johnson to advance to the final, and in the championship, Iafallo’s two goals sent Team Killorn to a 4-2 win over Team Callahan to capture the tournament title.
Iafallo and Tammela each finished with four goals and four assists through seven games to pace Team Killorn.
“I had a blast this week," Iafallo said. “I learned a lot in pretty much every aspect of the game, on and off the ice. It was my second camp this year, so I knew a lot of the guys coming in and that was a pretty big help.”
Iafallo opened scoring for Team Killorn in the first half of the final against Team Callahan, but Boko Imama answered with one of his eight tournament goals to level the score 1-1 at halftime.
Immediately following the break, Tammela sniped a shot top shelf to put Team Killorn back in front, and Iafallo scored seconds later for the eventual game-winner.
“I though Iafallo looked good,” Lightning director of player development Stacy Roest said. “He has good hands, good hockey sense. He’s been to a couple of these now, and he scored some nice goals out there. It’s nice to see his skill and hockey sense working like that.”
Colton, who was second in the USHL for points (66) and goals (35) during the 2015-16 season, added an insurance goal for Team Killorn.
“The games went well, and we won the tournament,” Tammela said. “What more could be better?”
Tammela was particularly impressive for Team Killorn, showcasing his playmaking ability, hockey intellect and deft shooting during the two-day tournament. The 19-year-old Finnish forward said a two-week-long stint in Syracuse with the Lightning’s AHL affiliate at the end of the 2015-16 season gave him confidence heading into this offseason.
“I noticed my game fits very well there, and I get a lot of scoring chances,” Tammela said. “I think I played well there too. Everything just went right. I feel I’ve been playing that North American game my whole life. It felt so easy and natural to me.”
Imama led the tournament for goals with eight and was tied with Team Callahan teammate Mathieu Joseph for the scoring lead with 10 points apiece. In the semifinals, Team Callahan trailed Team Palat 2-0, but Joseph scored twice, sandwiched around a goal from Imama, to rally and reach the final.
Joseph finished with six goals, second-most in the tournament.
Team Johnson, which didn’t lose during round robin play, going 3-0-2, was led by Cam Darcy (2 goals, 7 assists) and Adam Erne (4 goals, 4 assists).
Brayden Point paced Team Palat with three goals and five assists.
Lightning 2016 first round draft pick Brett Howden had a team-high four goals for Team Stamkos, which didn’t make it out of the group stage. Also eliminated after round robin play was Team Hedman, which was led by camp invitee Anthony Repaci (goal, 2 assists).
Kristian Oldham, a 2015 sixth round pick, had the best save percentage (.823) among the four goalies, stopping 93 of 113 shots.