TRAINING CAMP DAY 1

Witt and Reich just a few Islanders who have their roots in Saskatchewan

Sunday, 09.13.2009 / 4:42 PM ET / News
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TRAINING CAMP DAY 1
For most of the members of the Islanders 2009 Training Camp, the five-hour plane ride from Long Island to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan was one to “foreign land.”  However, for several players, it is a return trip home. 

Group 1
Rookies
Islanders’ assistant captain, Brendan Witt is a long-time veteran of the NHL but you can’t tell as he stepped onto the ice for the first time at camp this morning. 

“It’s great to be back in Saskatchewan.  I haven’t been back in a while but you can see that there has been a tremendous amount of growth here,” Witt said.  “My roots are only about an hour from here and it was nice to see some old child-hood friends in the stands who work here in the city of Saskatoon.” 

The Humboldt, SASK native was excited for the chance to come back to the area where he grew up and expects to have around a large number of fans attend the two exhibition games in Saskatoon.  That same comfort level that Witt is experiencing, playing so close to his hometown, is something that he is trying to rub off on the youth of the organization. 

“We’re really building towards an exciting season,” Witt said.  “A lot of young guys like Josh Bailey, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo got great opportunities last season to step into major roles and I think that they are only going to get better from those experiences.  I remember being the rookie in those situations learning from Dale Hunter in Washington but now I enjoy going out there and acting like a teacher whenever they have questions.” 

Jeremy Reich, another Saskatchewan native from Craik, has been in the Boston Bruins organization the past few seasons but unlike most new signings, Reich doesn’t have as many questions about head coach Scott Gordon’s systems since he played for Gordon in Providence two years ago.  He is excited for the new start and feels even more comfortable skating about an hour and a half from his home. 

“It’s been an easy transition for me because I was able to recall the systems that Coach Gordon implements so it gives me a good head start,” Reich said.  “He knows what I can bring to the table so it is going to help me in this quick turn-around as I get ready to play in the upcoming exhibition games.”

Unlike the Islanders, the Bruins host their Training Camp at the team’s home facilities in Boston so Reich is happy to have the support of 15 to 20 friends and family members cheering him on.  Reich has also been the answer when his new teammates have questions about the area, telling them so of the better restaurants in the city. 

“I’ve told them that it’s really flat here in Saskatchewan,” Reich said.  “A lot of the guys haven’t been here before but it’s an easy area to get used to.  It’s a great city.  I used to come back and live here in the summer time so we’re all looking forward to an exciting week.” 

Other Saskatchewan Connections:

Blake Comeau – Born and raised in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, which is three hours away from the Islanders Training Camp facility in Saskatoon.  Comeau played his minor hockey in Saskatoon and is planning a surprise visit to his midget coach who still lives in the area. 

Scott Munroe – Born in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, Munroe has played goalie in the Philadelphia Flyers organization the past four years after graduating from the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

Jyri Niemi – A member of the 2008 Islanders Entry Draft class, Niemi plays his junior hockey in Saskatoon for the Blades.  He was born in Hameenkyro, Finland but has played in North America for the past two seasons and has played in a preseason game for the Blades this year as well. 

Rise and Shine:  The players in the first group had an early morning as their on-ice session for Day 1 began at 7 a.m.  For most hockey players, to wake up at 6:15, be at the rink by 6:30 and on the ice by 7 would work fine, but not when you're in the NHL.  Group 1 was up bright and early and boarded a bus at 5:45 a.m. to the arena for stretching and on-ice preparation.  The second group's session did not begin until 9:45 a.m. 

Q&A with Morency: Over the past two seasons, Pascal Morency has skated for the Sound Tigers doing whatever it takes to help his team win.  Soundtigers.com sat down with Morency to talk about the first NHL Training Camp of his career, things he learned from Islanders' head coach Scott Gordon and his exciting news that he and his wife are due to have a baby in February.  To hear more, CLICK HERE.

LINEUPS:

Group 1

Forwards
Trevor Smith - Greg Moore - Jeremy Reich
Matt Moulson - Greg Mauldin - Jon Sim
Jeff Tambellini - Josh Bailey - Blake Comeau
Sean Bentivoglio - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman

Defensemen
Andy Sutton - Freddy Meyer
Jack Hillen - Andrew MacDonald
Dustin Kohn - Mark Flood

Goalies
Scott Munroe
Nathan Lawson

Group 2

Forwards
Sean Bergenheim - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
Micheal Haley - Tomas Marcinko - Richard Park
Doug Weight - John Tavares - Trent Hunter

Defensemen
Mark Streit - Bruno Gervais
Brendan Witt - Radek Martinek
Calvin de Haan - Jan Piskacek

Goalies
Dwayne Roloson
Martin Biron

Group 3

Forwards
Justin DiBenedetto - Bobby Hughes - Robin Figren
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Joel Rechlicz
Jesse Joensuu - Tony Romano - Pascal Morency
Tyler Haskins

Defensemen
Jyri Niemi - Mark Katic
Anton Klementyev - Brett Westgarth
Jan Piskacek - Calvin de Haan

Goalies
Mikko Koskinen
Kevin Poulin

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 74 34 40 2 74
K. Okposo 52 15 31 -7 46
R. Strome 73 15 30 19 45
B. Nelson 74 18 22 9 40
F. Nielsen 73 12 28 9 40
A. Lee 68 23 16 15 39
J. Bailey 62 15 22 8 37
J. Boychuk 64 7 25 12 32
N. Leddy 70 10 19 18 29
T. Hamonic 64 5 24 15 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 15 2 .914 2.38
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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