All three invited members of the PAL Junior Islanders Premier squad excelled in last night's New York Islanders Rookie Scrimmage.
Forward duo Tommaso Bucci and Chris Makowski were matched with the Japanese-native Yuri Terao tonight, and the line had seemingly instant chemistry. On their first shift, all three players had scoring opportunities and the line took two shots on goal. Eventually, that chemistry led to a goal after a rebound from University of Minnesota defenseman Jake Bischoff's shot came to Tommaso Bucci in the high slot, who didn't hesitate to fire it on net. The one-timer beat Eamon McAdam, a 3rd round draft pick of the New York Islanders currently playing for Penn State, on his blocker side. "No way that just happened, this is crazy!" is what Bucci told reporters he said to Makowski as they celebrated the goal. Makowski, though he didn't register a point in the scrimmage, got roars from the crowd after an absolutely beautiful goal during the "Team Breakaway" skills competion.
James Mazza played his game effectively as well for the Islanders. Though it was obvious that the shuffling of defense-pairings made it difficult for the defensemen to really get used to each other, Mazza never looked out of place and showed off his talents in both ends of the ice. Mazza, playing in his second Islanders Rookie Scrimmage, blocked shots and utilized his long reach and big body to take away the passing and shooting lanes from forwards. A shift early on in the game saw Mazza frustrating Islanders 1st round pick Michael Dal Colle (#5 overall) with tough physical play and a blocked shot. James also did a great job of reading plays in the offensive zone, never stepping up at the wrong time or getting caught out of position. His two-way game translated beautifully, and he's sure to be an absolute stud in the Premier League this season.
The Blue Team, where all three PAL skaters played, won the scrimmage 7-3. With two days of New York Islanders Rookie Camp to go, our guys are enjoying every last moment!
Photo Credit: Brandon Titus