POSTCARDS FROM YARMOUTH - Day Three
(Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) Random notes, quotes and observations from Day Three of training camp:
Prior to the Blue-White Game, assistant general manager/head amateur scout Ryan Jankowski indicated that he and the other Islanders scouts were looking for guys "who elevate their games and who take their games to the next level and. We're looking for guys who standout. We're trying to separate the players, since we know that some players are a ways away from making the team, but we want to see how they compete at this level."
When asked what he told the players about to play in their first intra-squad game, Ted Nolan responded: "Go out there and compete. To make the playoffs you need to compete day in and day out."
Word from the training staff and the equipment staff is that the people in Yarmouth have been very accommodating. "The facilities are better this year compared to last year's camp," said assistant equipment manager Tom Kitz. "The staff here at Mariners Centre has been very helpful."
Bryan Trottier has been evaluating the Islanders players and had this to say following Sunday morning's practice: "It's early, but the pace and the energy have impressed me. I thought Kozlov from the veteran's side really stood out. Robert Nilsson, as a prospect, has been dancing on the ice well. But everyone in camp has shown at least a little dance or flash."
Team Arbour 3, Team Torrey 2
Viktor Kozlov and Jeff Tambellini were more than Team Arbour could handle as the two both registered a goal and an assist for a 3-2 Team Arbour victory in the first Islanders Blue-White game of the 2006 Training Camp.
Jason Pitton started things off on the scoresheet for Team Arbour by receiving a cross-ice feed from Steve Regier to give Arbour a 1-0 lead with 5:52 left in the first period.
Team Torrey, coached by assistant coach Dan Lacroix, evened the score with 1:58 left in the first period as Miroslav Satan slammed home a centering feed in the slot from Jason Blake.
Team Arbour, coached by Bridgeport assistant coach Jack Capuano, regained the lead when Viktor Kozlov recovered his own rebound, skated out of the corner and fired a hard snapshot top corner with 7:15 left in the second period to give Arbour a 2-1 lead.
Mike Dunham, who played the first half of the game for Team Torrey allowed one goal on 14 shots, while Mike Mole countered with 14 saves on 15 shots in exactly 30 minutes of playing time.
Luch Aquino, the Islanders' 2005 seventh round draft pick had a glorious chance in the first period after being rewarded a penalty while being hauled down on a breakaway. Aquino's wrist shot high to the glove side on the penalty shot was deflected aside by Mole to keep the game scoreless.
Besides contributing on the scoresheet offensively, Jason Blake also got into fisticuffs with camp invitee Joe Grimaldi after Blake took exception to a hit from Grimaldi. The resulting skirmish resulted in the camp's first fighting majors as both were sent off to sit the full five minutes.
Line combinations changed from period to period, but the combination of Kozlov and Tambellini was dominant. The Robert Nilsson-Steve Regier-Jeremy Colliton line for Team Arbour also had a number of scoring opportunities.
In the third, the Kozlov-Tambellini duo struck again just 2:21 into the period. Kozlov brought the puck in the zone on a two-on-one and fed a perfect pass to Tambellini who buried it home for a 3-1 Arbour lead.
Team Torrey tried to desperately come back, but the legs began to slow as the period progressed. Peter Ferraro got Torrey within one by one-timing a centering feed from Alexei Zhitnik in the final two minutes, but they could not get the equalizer.
Despite the victory by Team Arbour, an NHL-style shootout took place with Team Arbour earning the only score on Colliton's sixth round backhand goal.
Following the Blue-White game, Ted Nolan appeared optimistic about the players' performances. "I thought we were better today than yesterday. Towards the end of the game it looked like (Team Torrey) really wanted to tie up the game and not just get it over with. We still have a long ways to go, but I like what I saw today."
Nolan went on to discuss the Kozlov-Tambellini-Jamie Johnson line: "I thought that line was the difference in the game. I thought young Jamie Johnson fit in well with Kozlov and Tambellini. Kozlov is going to be a force if we get his speed going, but with his hands and size he was playing the way he is capable of playing and that is a good sign."
The Blake/Grimaldi fight turned a few heads and Nolan discussed with reporters that, "I usually have a no fight policy at camp, but a fight's a fight. Blake was a little mad that a freshman came in and hit him. Blake is a feisty guy and those are guys you can win with."
Of the four goalies who participated in the first Blue-White game, Nolan was most impressed with camp invitee Mike Mole, who played for San Diego of the ECHL. Mole stopped 14 of 15 shots.
French-Canadian Bruno Gervais was wearing a microphone for the newly launched Islanders TV. "When I put on the mic, they told me to have fun out there, but if I get mad, to get upset in English not French. I told them I usually get mad in English anyway. It was fun to have the mic on."
Jeff Tambellini may only have 25 games of NHL experience, but he has the poise of a veteran. When asked if he got nervous playing with Kozlov he responded: "I think the nervousness has died down getting a chance to play a few games last year. Kozlov is a big man with great hands. The shot he took today was perfect. It was fun to play with him."
Luch Aquino missed the only penalty shot of the game and had this to say about his attempt: "I was trying to go high to the glove side, but he just got a piece of it. I tried not to be too nervous, but you have to be when you're trying to make the team." Aquino split time between the Bridgeport (AHL), Brampton (OHL) and Trenton (ECHL) last season.
You can watch highlights from today's Blue-White Game on News 12 at 10pm.
Blue-White Game Rosters
Team Torrey (Blue)
1 Mike Dunham
35 Billy Thompson
8 Bruno Gervais
38 Allan Rourke
43 Ryan Caldwell
59 Kevin Mitchell
65 Nick Tuzzolino
77 Alexei Zhitnik
10 Richard Park
26 Peter Ferraro
29 Petteri Nokelainen
44 Chris Ferraro
46 Sergei Ogorodnikov
50 Tomas Marcinko
51 Frans Nielsen
55 Jason Blake
58 Masi Marjamaki
62 Chris Gaudet
69 Luch Aquino
81 Miroslav Satan
Team Arbour (White)
60 Mike Mole
35 Chris Madden
2 Rick Berry
24 Radek Martinek
47 Andrew MacDonald
56 Dustin Kohn
64 Joe Grimaldi
68 Bryan Rodney
15 Jeff Tambellini
21 Robert Nilsson
25 Viktor Kozlov
27 Jeremy Colliton
57 Blake Comeau
41 Robin Figren
42 Jason Pitton
48 Darcy Regier
53 Brandon Cullen
61 Jason Guerrierro
72 Jamie Johnson
79 Alexei Yashin
Reported by Jason Lockhart and Corey Witt