Sound Tigers make big impact at camp

Thursday, 07.11.2013 / 11:48 PM ET / News
By Jamie Palatini
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Sound Tigers make big impact at camp

The annual Orange vs. Blue Scrimmage at the end of Islanders Mini Camp always puts the organization’s top prospects on display for their loyal fan base. Fans just a quick ferry ride across the Long Island Sound have reason to be excited too, because many of these players have worn or will don the Bridgeport Sound Tigers sweater.

Six of the eight goals in the scrimmage came from players who skated with the Sound Tigers last season. The Blue Team led 6-2 following the scrimmage comprised of two 25-minute periods, and held on for a 7-6 victory over the Orange Team following the skills competition which included a shootout, hardest shot competition and team breakaway relay.

Jason Clark and Riley Wetmore each scored twice for the Blue Team, while Islanders 2011 fifth overall pick Ryan Strome posted a goal and two assists and Long Island native Joey Diamond added a goal and an assist for the Blue Team.

Strome made his pro debut in Bridgeport last season following the conclusion of his junior career with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League. The Missisauga, ON native scored two goals and five assists in 10 games with the Sound Tigers last season, but hopes tonight’s performance was just another stepping stone towards making the Islanders come October.

“It’s exciting to be back here, and to continue to learn – you can never learn too much,” Strome said. “I felt like I learned a lot last season in Bridgeport, and I hope I can keep building towards next season.”

Diamond joined the Sound Tigers late last season after finishing has collegiate career at the University of Maine, and notched seven points in 10 games with Bridgeport while skating alongside Strome for much of that time.

“I think we had chemistry in Bridgeport last season, and obviously we continued that tonight in the scrimmage,” Diamond said. “It’s always fun to play with a talented player like Stromer, and it was great to play in front of the Islanders fans.”

Diamond, who signed an entry-level contract with the Islanders late last season, returned to Mini Camp after attending the mid-July summit three years ago as a camp invite.

“I was here after my freshman year in college and it was a great experience for me, growing up an Islanders fan,” Diamond said. “This time was a little more special now that I’m a member of the organization, and I knew what to expect.”

Sound Tigers fans saw Clark register two assists in eight games last season. The Islanders third round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft split time between Bridgeport and Gwinnett (ECHL) last season, but was encouraged by a strong finish to his first pro campaign.

“It’s been awhile, but we talked about putting pucks on the net and keeping it simple,” Clark said. “The first shot bounced in, and I was fortunate enough to convert on a penalty shot which felt really good. I think the meeting coming out of the season was positive because I felt like I did good things when I came back to Bridgeport. I learned a lot going down to the ECHL, and it gave me a boost and more motivation going into this offseason.”

Seventeen players in Thursday night’s Orange vs. Blue Scrimmage played for the Sound Tigers last season. Defenseman Mike Dalhuisen inked an AHL contract with Bridgeport following his career at Quinnipiac University, and won the Hardest Shot Competition with a slap shot registered at 97 mph. Brock Nelson scored in the shootout competition, and Kenny Reiter stopped all 20 shots he faced in 25 minutes of work for the Blue Team. The contributions from players who skated at Webster Bank Arena is something that fans in both Bridgeport and Long Island can should be excited about.

“There’s a ton of young talent here at this camp and a lot of guys that have played in Bridgeport,” Strome said. “We’re all looking to make it here to the Islanders one day and there’s some great competition, so it’s a real exciting time.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
M. Neuvirth 1 3 1 .881 2.94

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