The Cape Cod Islanders faced their toughest test of the young season this past weekend. They had a 3 game weekend that saw them face off against the Lewiston Auburn Fighting Spirit on the road Friday night and back to back home games versus the vastly improved East Coast Minutemen and the rival New England Stars on Sunday. Friday and Saturday's games did not go the way the Islanders would have liked as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Spirit friday and a tough 2-1 loss to East Coast on Saturday.
Sunday's game looked as Cape Cod was in danger of dropping their third straight game as they found themselves down by two goals twice in the game to New England. Both times they were able to battle back and tie the score. Steve Mathews tied the game at four mid way through the third period and James Brosnan netted the game winner with less than three minutes to play off a nifty pass from Mitch Eldridge who had a goal earlier in the period to draw the home team within one at 4-3.
"This was a great team effort" said coach Jay Punsky "I was proud of the way the boys battled. We had players playing different positions and our leaders really stepped up their games."
Anton Zemba relieved starter Clayton Pierce after the Stars put home the fouth goal off a shot from the point. Zemba came in and played strong, shutting out the Stars over a period and a half of work.
Congratulations to Anton Zemba who was named NA3EHL Goaltender of the Month for September, Eric Szeker was runner up for Defenseman of the Month and Aaron Deady garnered honorable mention for Forward of the Month.
Vaughn NA3EHL Goaltender of the Month: Anton Zemba, Cape Cod Islanders
Although he played in just two games during the month, Cape Cod goalie Anton Zemba, 18, made the most of it as the native of Warick, RI, posted two wins and some great numbers to help the Islanders to a 4-1 record. Zemba (5’11/165) won both his starts, which both came on the road against the New England Stars and Northeast Generals. In the win over Northeast, Zemba made 32 saves and allowed just two goals and in the win against New England, he posted a 37-save shutout. He led the league in goals against average and save percenatge during the month. “Anton is a technically sound goaltender with great positioning and rebound control. He displays a quiet confidence in net that gets our bench fired up. Our boys know we have a chance to win every night with the goalies we have,” said Cape Cod head coach Jay Punsky.
The Cape Cod Islanders (4-1) got a measure of revenge yesterday when the beat the Maine Wild (1-5) 4-0 at the Falmouth Ice Center. For the second time in the last ten days these two teams faced off and for the second time the Islanders faced Brandon Daigle. Last Wednesday Cape Cod travelled to Maine only to be stymied by Daigle when they threw 53 shots at him only managing two goals en route to their first defeat of the season. Yesterday the Islanders once again put over fifty shots (59) on Daigle, this time they were able to captitalize on their opportunites and jumped out to a 3-0 led in the first period. Bourne's Mitch Eldridge got the scoring started when he one timed on a nifty cross zone pass from Mike Jessman. James Brosnan and Aaron Deady each tallied a goal in the opening frame, Dan Moore finished the scoring in the third period with a power play goal.
Islanders goaltender Clayton Pierce (2-0) earned his first shutout of the season when he turned aside all 18 Wild shots he faced. It was the second consecutive shutout put up by Cape Cod's netminders (Anton Zemba blanked the NE Stars 2-0 last Saturday).
"We had a solid team effort today" coach Punsky said "we had a few of our regulars out of the line up and had to adjust on the fly. It's true testament to a team when you can plug guys into different roles and situations and have success. We were able to roll our four lines today and Pierce was really solid in net, he deserved that shutout."
The Islanders now turn their attention to the Fighting Spirit (3-0) when they travel to Lewiston on Friday night. The Spirit, the defending Eastern Division champions, made it to the NA3EHL finals last year where they lost to the Jersey Shore Wildcats.
The Cape Cod Islanders take on the Maine Wild at the Falmouth Ice Arena at 5:30 pm. The Islanders will be looking for payback as the Wild handed them their only loss last week 3-2 in Biddeford. That game saw Cape Cod put 53 shots on net only for those shots to be turned aside by Wild netminder Brandon Daigle. No doubt the Islanders will face Daigle in a rematch of last week. "We played a pretty good game last week against these guys" coach Jay Punsky said "they did the little things better than us. They blocked shots, gave Daigle chances to see the puck and made the best of their opportunities."
Today's game is the biggest test for the Islanders so far this season. Maine certainly has the psycological edge heading into today with their victory ast week. The Isles will have to play a strong team game and be willing to do whatever it takes to get the two points.
Game time is 5:30 pm at the Falmouth Ice Arena. Tickets are $5 kids 10 and under are free.
Anton Zemba recorded a shutout against New England as Cape Cod picked up a 2-0 win.
Cape Cod was led by Dan Demarco, who racked up one goal. Demarco scored on the power play 2:29 into the second period to make the score 1-0 Cape Cod. Cape Cod had taken the advantage when New England's Kyle Weiss got sent off for holding. Mike Jessman provided the assist.
Cape Cod excelled on the penalty kill, not giving up a single goal in four chances. Cape Cod could not produce up to its normal offensive output. Cape Cod puts an average of 4.3 pucks into the net per game. Cape Cod forced New England goalie Robbie Campbell to work between the pipes, taking 31 shots.
Cape Cod also got a goal from Dan Moore as well. In addition, Cape Cod received assists from Maxim Dordet and Joe Brennan, who each chipped in one.
New England's offense operated below its season average. New England averages 3.5 goals per game. Cape Cod was unable to stop New England from sending pucks towards the net, and New England eventually piled up 37 shots on goal.
Zemba recorded 37 saves for Cape Cod. Cape Cod incurred 12 minutes in penalty time with six minors. Robbie Campbell made 29 saves for New England on 31 shots. New England incurred 14 minutes in penalty time with seven minors.
The Cape Cod Islanders traveled to the Maine Wild yesterday and found out the hard way that quantity over quality isn't always the best formula in a hockey game. The Islanders controlled the play from the puck drop and had multiple chances to put goals on the board in the first period but were blanked by Wild netminder Brandon Daigle. Aaron Deady had the best opportunity to put the visitors up early when Dylan Legarie found him alone on the backdoor. Deady's shot went across the open net, hit the opposite post and wound up in the corner. Reigning NA3EHL player of the week, Chuck Costello had a breakaway in the second period that he was unable to get a shot off. The Islanders moved the puck up and down the ice with ease but when it came time to attack the net the Wild defenders were there to block shots or to give their goalie a clear view for the save.
"We played well enough to win" coach Punsky said "but we didn't compete well enought to win. Give the Wild credit, they all bought into their system and played very strong in their own end. Daigle played a strong game, we threw a lot of shots at him and he gave his team the chance to win."
Altough the Islanders took the loss, there were a few bright spots from the game. The line of Frank Oakley, Chris O'Donnell and newcomer Maxime Dordet gave the Wild all they could handle. O'Donnell and Oakley tallied the goals for Cape Cod where Dordet used his speed and grit to create turnovers and help the line offensively and in the d zone. Dordet, who has only had three practices wtih the team, impressed his coach so much that he was used on the penalty kill along with his reguar shift.
The Islanders next game is Saturday at 3:30 pm in Tyngboro when they take on the New England Stars. The team's next home game is Saturday, September 26 at 5:30 when they take on the Maine Wild. Tickets for the game are $5 and kids 10 & under are free.
Aaron Deady had one goal and three assists to lead Cape Cod to a 5-2 victory over Northeast.
Deady beat Steven Murphy with a shot 17:14 into the second period on the power play to make the score 3-0 Cape Cod. Cape Cod had gotten the advantage when Northeast's Kevin Perry was sent off for roughing. Thomas Tobey picked up the assist. Deady dished an assist on Dylan Legarie's goal that made the score 1-0 Cape Cod at 15:18 into the first period. He then added assists on Legarie's goal at 3:15 into the second and on Dan Demarco's goal at 13:29 into the third.
Cape Cod forced Northeast's goalies to work hard to keep the puck out of the net, totaling 56 shots and forcing 51 saves. Murphy made 35 stops and Leo Lake made 16. Cape Cod's penalty kill was spotless, allowing no goals on four Northeast power plays.
Cape Cod also got a goal from Karl-Eric Demers as well. In addition, Cape Cod received assists from Eric Szeker, who had one and Chuck Costello and Mike Jessman, who each chipped in two.
Northeast kept Cape Cod's goalie busy throughout the game, and Clayton Pierce made 40 saves on 42 shots. Northeast struggled to stay out of the sin bin throughout the game as it finished the game with 16 penalty minutes for six opposing power plays.
Cape Cod incurred 12 minutes in penalty time with six minors.
The Cape Cod Islanders kicked off their 2015-16 season on the road last night in Canton against the Northeast Generals. The Generals were playing host in their first game in NA3EHL history. The crowd of nearly one hundred spectators saw the Islanders skate past their hosts by the score of 8-2.
The Islanders offense was lead by Falmouth native Mike Jessman (2 goals) and newcomer Chuck Costello (3 goals). The two combined for five of the team's eight goals, while Dan Moore, Karl Demers and Steve Mathews each tallied a goal. Anton Zemba got the start in net and made some key saves including stopping a penalty shot in the second period.
"We had a really good start to the season" Coach Punsky said "we have a lot of areas we need to improve in especially our d zone. Zemba had a great game, the save on the penalty shot was a huge turning point in the game. I was pleased with our offense and special teams but we really need to do a better job in our d zone."
The Islanders and Generals face off today at the Falmouth Ice Arena at 4:30 pm. Admission is free for this season's home opener
The Cape Cod Islanders underwent sweeping changes this off season and it started with the man behind the bench. In late March a search was put out for the next head coach of the Islanders. Dan Hodge, who had coached and/or owned the team for past six seasons decided it was time to hand the reigns over to a new coach in order to inject some fresh blood into the organization. After a long and exhaustive search, Hodge decided to hire Jay Punsky to be the team's new head coach. "I spoke to Jay early on in the process and knew he was the right guy for the job." Hodge said "I interviewed a few other candidates but things always came back to Jay. I am proud that he is my coach and I know the future of the Islanders is bright under him."
Punsky's first order of business was to start recruiting basically a whole new team. Gone were veteran players like Chris Harris, Christian Holmes, Patrick Spaulding, Mack O'Shea and JS Dufort. "In junior hockey there is always lots of turnover." Punsky said "We basically had to go out and recruit a whole new team. It says a lot for a team, like ours, where you have so many guys come back year after year."
The Islanders have been able to fill a lot of the gaps left form last season with new players and the return of a few familiar faces. Returning for the 15-16 season are forwards James Brosnan and Barnstable native Frank Oakley. Perhaps the biggest off season resigning was defenseman Eric Szeker. Szeker was recently named captain of the Islanders for this season. "We are lucky to have a veteran like Eric on our blue line, his experience and poise is amazing to watch on a daily basis." Punsky continues "He is a leader both on and off the ice and we couldn't be happier to have him wearing the C this season."
Besides the returnees, coach Punsky did an incredible job recruitng and building his team. He has added offensive players like Falmouth's Mike Jessman, Karl Eric Demers, Steve <athews, Dan Demarco, Dan Moore and Chuck Costello. Dylan Legarie, Aaron Deady and newcomer Maxime Dordet add play making ability and a work ethic that will keep opponents on their toes. Chris O'Donnell, Brendan Sullivan and Mitch Eldridge will add speed and grit to any line they are with. On the blueline he has added Falmouth's Tom and Cam Tobey, Zack Goodman, Bourne's Jake Davis, Joe Brennan and Kevin Audette.
In goal, Anton Zemba, Jonathan Stone and Clayton Pierce combine to make up the best trio in Islanders history.
The Islanders are looking forward to the new season and the puck drops tomorrow night in Canton where they face off against the Northeast Generals at 8:10 pm. The two teams will square off in Falmouth on Sunday at 4:30 pm both games will be brosdcast on the Fasthockey network.
With the season rapidly approaching the Cape Cod Islanders are proud to announce the signing of Dan Demarco. The six foot one two hundred pound winger is sure to make opposing defensemen check over their shoulders when going back to retrieve pucks. Demarco is a big strong wing with a nasty side that can put points on the board. Last season he scored over 100 points for his U18 AA team in New Jersey. He plays the game with a chip on his shoulder and is what would be considered a consumate team player.
"We are so excited to have Dan on our roster this season" head coach Jay Punsky said "he adds a physical presence to our line up with his grit and willingness to get pucks out along the wall. He has proven that he can score at the midget level and we know he will be able to do it at the junior level."
Demarco wowed the Islanders at this summer's pre draft showcase. "We watched him play on a team with only ten guys and he and Zack Goodman lead their team to the finals. Dan Hodge and I were impressed with his leadership and willingness to do what it took to win."
Demarco hails from Suffern, New York and lists the Rangers as his favorite NHL team while PK Subban is his favorite player. He hopes to use this season as a spring board to college and college hockey next year. "I want to do whatever I can to help the team win every night. I like using my strength to my advantage, especially in corners and in front of the net."
It's that kind of attitude that the Islanders are looking for from every guy who pulls on the sweater this season and the Isles look for it to translate in wins.
The Islander will host the Northeast Generals at 6 pm on Sunday August 6 for a preseason scrimmage. Come out to the Falmouth Ice Arena to get your first look at new head coach Jay Punsky and his 2015-16 Islanders.
Cape Cod Islanders president, Dan Hodge is pleased to announce that defenseman Eric Szeker has resigned for the 2015-16 season. After playing the last two seasons for the Islanders, Szeker has decided to play out his last junior hockey season on the Cape. "Eric has been, hands down, our best defenseman and teammate over the past three seasons. He has lead the way on the blueline and provided us with a chance to win every time he pulled on our jersey." Hodge said "He is a team first guy and not a me first guy. When I sat down after last season and looked at the players who were elligible to return, Eric was the guy I really wanted back.""
Szeker stands six foot two inches and weighs 200 pounds and shoots left handed. He has been a solid presence on the Islanders blue line for the past two seasons, playing and thriving in every situation he was thrust in to. Coach Punsky said "Eric Szeker has a well rounded defensman's game and knows how to play the position really well. We are very fortunate to have Eric back, he is the kind player you can build a solid core around."