Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Team Leaders Leading Teams

Once again a quick update on a Wednesday night as we examine both the Islanders and their farm affiliate Bridgeport.

First a check on the youngsters, who were playing a road game at the Norfolk Scope. No, it's not an arena named for a minty-fresh mouthwash, but it is probably the coolest-looking building in the American Hockey League. Here's a picture, if you're interested.

Kyle Okposo continued his top line productivity on Wednesday night in Norfolk, as he assisted on not one, but two Jeff Tambellini goals. Despite Tamby's short trip to Ottawa for no apparent reason, it seems that the two Bridgeport stars are still in sync and comfortable playing together. For Tambellini, the goals were his team-leading 23rd and 24th of the year. Okposo, meanwhile, has 6 assists in just four Bridgeport contests. Ben Walter chipped in with a power play tally as the Sound Tigers won on the road by a score of 3-2.

While that was taking place, Islanders goal leader and team captain Bill Guerin was recording two goals of his own (one empty netter) in a 3-1 win versus New Jersey. All-star goalie Rick DiPietro made 37 saves to once again best opposing netminder (and fellow all-star) Martin Brodeur at the Prudential Center. The Islanders, to this point in the season, have had the Devils' number, winning all five games between the teams. Kudos also to Mike Sillinger (who scored his 11th goal of the year) and the penalty killers, who allowed nothing during five shorthanded spells.

The Islanders and Sound Tigers will each next play teams from Philadelphia. On Friday night Bridgeport will take on the AHL Phantoms, while the following night the Isles will skate with the Flyers at Nassau Coliseum.

Until then, keep grindin'.

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