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Max Gratchev scores two en route to a 4-1 hard-fought victory over the University of New Brunswick

Wednesday, 09.24.2008 / 8:52 PM ET / News
By Jason Lockhart  - Website/Publications Coordinator
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Photo by Rich Stieglitz
The Islanders Rookies improved to 3-0 on the season, as they defeated a highly skilled University of New Brunswick team 4-1 at the Aitken Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Islanders scored three power play goals in the game, including two by Max Gratchev. Tomas Marcinko added a goal and an assist and Justin DiBenedetto recorded two assists. University of Denver product Peter Mannino allowed only one goal on 32 shots to earn the win

"I thought overall it was a good hockey game," said Bridgeport Sound Tigers Head Coach Jack Capuano. "Both teams played. We got some power play goals, and then they came out strong in the third period. For us it was about working on the systems that Scott Gordon and the staff want to get done at the camp, and I thought our young kids battled hard right to the end. Max works extremely hard and is very gritty. He didn't lose too many puck battles one-on-one and went to the net hard. He played a disciplined game systematically and did all of the little things.

Early in the game, the Islanders dominated in the shot category, 9-1, but New Brunswick came back to cut that to a 10-8 deficit at the end of the first period. The teams traded goals in the opening frame.

Islanders took a 1-0 lead on a tic-tac-toe power play goal at 9:05 of the first period. Gratchev was the beneficiary of some perfect passing by DiBenedetto and Marcinko. Gratchev tapped in a goal line pass from DiBenedetto with the Islanders up 9-1 in the shots department.

With 4:23 remaining in the first period, a loose puck trickled in front of the Islanders goal and right to New Brunswick's Hunter Tremblay, who made no mistake with it.

The Islanders regained the lead with another power play goal, while skating 4-on-3. Jared Spurgeon laid a pass back to the point to Andrew MacDonald, who ripped a one-timer past the New Brunswick netminder Travis Fullerton with 4:19 remaining in the second period.

The Islanders increased their lead to 3-1 on another goal by Gratchev, which was set-up by DiBenedetto. Marcinko scored unassisted into the empty net for the game's final goal. The final shot count was 39-32 in favor of the Islanders.

Thoughts from Pro Scout Rob Cowie  after the second period:

Photo by Rich Stieglitz
"Nikiforov showed energy for the second game in a row. Andy MacDonald played a much better game than his first one, as has Spurgeon, both showing what Scott wants to see from the organization in mobility and puck-moving defensemen.

"As a team we pressured the puck all over the ice, especially in the neutral zone, which was another focal point of this Training Camp. Their play reflected in the shot total. Hopefully, that will translate into less time in our own zone and more time in the offensive zone."

Slapshots: Former University of New Brunswick play Rob Hennigar was honored prior to tonight's game. Hennigar is the all-time leading scorer in Varsity Reds history…Tonight's captain was Tyler Haskins, while the alternate captains were Hennigar and Jordan Hart.


35 Peter Mannino
49 Kevin Poulin

7   Mark Katic – 15 Travis Hamonic
16 Simon Lacroix – 6  Jared Spurgeon
Andrew MacDonald – 37 Jordan Hart

29 Matt Martin– 14 Rob Hennigar– 39 Vladimir Nikiforov
26 Max Gratchev – 11 Justin DiBenedetto – 19 Tomas Marcinko
24 Joel Rechlicz – 20 Tyler Haskins – 17 Jason Pitton

Click here to watch IslandersTV Islelights from last night's 2-1 exhibition win over Boston

More from Moncton:

- Doug "The Disher" Weight
- Click here for Moncton Memos:  Day 5
- Sarnia Connection Stings Blue Eagles
- Click here for Moncton Memos: Day 3
- Click here for Moncton Memos: Day 2
- Click here for Moncton Memos: Day 1
- Players Arrive in Moncton
- Training Camp Primer, Part 1:  Defensemen and Goalies
- Training Camp Primer, Part 2:  Forwards

- Click here for Bridgeport Sound Tigers coverage

Click here to “Ask and Islander”


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