<<Islanders rookies handle Huskies in exhibition play
Darren Zary, Saskatchewan News Network; Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, September 16, 2009
An exhibition contest -- part of the New York Islanders' training camp this week in Saskatoon -- saw a collection of rusty blades converge on the Art Hauser Centre.
While Steven DaSilva put on a goal-scoring clinic through 40 minutes for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the Islanders rookies replied with a deadly power play on their way to a 5-3 victory here Tuesday night before a crowd of 2,402 fans.
"We came out a little shaky," said U of S forward Brad Erickson, his team's honourary captain. "We didn't know what to expect, but it ended up OK."
Three straight power-play goals by the Isles proved to the difference. And more.
"Their speed and support for the puck was far better than us," said U of S head coach Dave Adolph. "There were lots of situations where we got exposed ... The tempo was far better than the past two weeks of practice."
Many of the Huskies, like the Islanders rookies, were seeing their first action of the pre-season. Saskatchewan battled hard for two periods and kept within striking distance of New York, which finally pulled away in the third.
Slovak Tomas Marcinko had one goal and two assists for the Isles, who outshot the Dogs 39-26.
"It was a really good game," said Marcinko. "It had a fast pace. Guys played well. Those guys from the university have a really good team. It was really hard to play against them. We're glad that we won."
New York opened the scoring when Tony Romano finished off a two-on-one break with linemate Pascal Morency after U of S rookie D-man Brett Ward got caught up ice in the neutral zone. Romano had three whacks at the puck before getting it past U of S netminder Jeff Harvey at 4:03 of the first period.
The Dogs answered at 15:22 of the period on a dandy one-timer by Canadian Interuniversity Sport MVP DaSilva, whose blast picked the top right-hand corner after a feed from Chad Greenan during a two-man advantage. DaSilva's goal came four minutes after Islander enforcer Joel Rechlicz -- who had 68 penalty minutes in just 17 NHL games last season -- lost it on DaSilva in the corner.
Rechlicz received an interference penalty, a five-minute cross-checking major and a game misconduct when the ice chips settled.
At the end of the first period, more fireworks erupted. Myles Zimmer of the Huskies fought Mark Katic before young U of S rookie Cody Hobbs took on Islanders winger Michael Haley.
"The first period, we didn't know what to expect and it took us some time to get involved, get to the way we wanted to play," said DaSilva. "There was some stuff in the first period we tried to move on from. The second and third were more of an actual hockey game."
Just 23 seconds into the second frame, the Isles jumped ahead 2-1 on a shorthanded marker by Tyler Haskins, who beat Harvey up high during a partial breakaway.
DaSilva once again answered for Saskatchewan, pouncing on a turnover by a New York defender before streaking in from the right side and rifling a shot high to the stick side.
With D-man Jesse Zetariuk sitting in the penalty box, the Isles capitalized with a late power-play goal to go up 3-2. A weak shot from New York blue-liner Anton Klementyev fluttered by Harvey after slightly changing direction off a sliding Huskie player.
In the third, Matt Martin and Marcinko added power-play goals before Brennan Bosch answered for Saskatchewan, also with a man-advantage.
As expected, John Tavares was not in the Isles' lineup. However, fellow NHL draft first-rounder Calvin de Haan was.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick