Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Former Viper Alumni Tambellini Ties Series With Overtime Winner:
Tambellini attended the New York Rangers Prospect Development Camp in July was one of twenty players reassigned from the Rangers Training Camp in September. The Rangers reassigned Tambellini to the Hitmen on September 24th 2014.
Tambellini left the University of North Dakota last season for the Western Hockey League joining the Calgary Hitmen in early January after being acquired in a trade with the Portland Winterhawks. Tambellini played a season and a half in Vernon (2011-13) before being traded to Surrey on January 10th 2013 along with future considerations (Michael Roberts) for Mason Blacklock & future considerations (Jordan Klimek and Demico Hannoun). In 91 regular season games with the Vipers Tambellini collected (49-goals-46-assists-95-points). Tambellini was drafted 64th overall in the 3rd Round by the New York Rangers at the 2013 NHL Draft.
Adam Tambellini's Player Profile:
This is posted on the Hitmen website:
Series shifts to Cranbrook 1-1 after Tambo's OT-winner
Mar 29, 2015
By Andrew Schopp - Hitmenhockey.com (@Azschopp)
Granted top-six minutes, Calgary Hitmen import Pavel Karnaukhov seized the opportunity.
Bumped up to the top line with 20-year-olds Connor Rankin and Adam Tambellini, the Belarusian import netted a pair of markers before feeding the latter in overtime to lift his squad to a narrow 3-2 overtime victory over the Kootenay Ice on Sunday at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
With 3:24 remaining in the extra-frame Karnaukhov dished the puck over to Tambellini, who delivered the game-winning blow from the hash marks to turn the Round 1 WHL Playoff series into a best-of-five as it shifts to Cranbrook for Games 3 and 4 knotted up at ones.
“It seemed to be a decent move,” Hitmen coach Mark French said modestly of Karnaukohv’s mid-game promotion. “I felt that he was kind of going and that we needed a bit of shakeup with our lines.”
French said he didn’t see the first overtime marker of the 2015 WHL Playoffs and Tambellini didn’t remember much either after seeing the game-winning tally hit the twine past Ice backstop Wyatt Hoflin.
“I remember just grabbing it, getting it off and seeing it go in the net,” Tambellini explained. “Then I blacked out and got mauled by my teammates.”
The opening period had a hearty offensive pace to it.
As the visiting side compiled a narrow 9-7 shot lead in the frame, Hitmen goaltender Brendan Burke and Hoflin each clamped down to render the period scoreless with a series of strong stops.
A defensive stalemate ensued throughout half of the second period until the Hitmen first power play of the afternoon saw the team’s two imports burst out onto the score sheet.
Midway through the frame, Radel Fazleev fired a shot from the point, which deflected wide off Hoflin’s pad to allow Karnaukhov to scoop up the juicy rebound.
The team’s leader in power play goals during the regular season, French said that Karnaukhov’s effectiveness with the extra-man comes from his willingness to get down and dirty in the high traffic areas of the ice.
“He’s got the willingness to go into that battle area,” French said. “He has enough skill that when he goes there, he can finish those chances. He’s a competitive guy who likes those areas and he doesn’t shy away from them and as a result he’s able to get those opportunities.”
About eight minutes later, the Ice converted on a power play of their own.
After being held in check in Game 1 and the first half of Game 2, Ice offensive stalwart Sam Reinhart finally did some damage by deflecting a Rinat Valiev point shot past a screened Burke.
With 23.9 seconds left on the second period clock, Ice forward Jaedon Descheneau snuck in his second goal of the playoffs to hand the Ice their first lead heading into the third, where the Hitmen reigns between the pipes were handed to Mack Shields in an attempt by French to shake things up.
Burke’s afternoon ended with 16 saves on 18 shots.
“I didn’t like our second period and I tried to get a momentum change, that’s all it was about,” French said of the goaltending swap. “It wasn’t an indication of Brendan’s play at all, I was just trying to change something.”
The relief netminder saw little action in the third’s early going as most of the offensive production in the frame was concentrated in the Ice zone, where Hoflin continually found himself in front of everything the Hitmen threw at him.
Hoflin couldn’t do it all, however, and midway through the third, Russia met neighboring Belarus yet again on the power play.
Forcing overtime, Fazleev sought out Karnaukhov who netted his second of the afternoon from just above the goal-line to tie things up.
The rest is history.
After firing puck after puck on Hoflin in the extra-frame to bring their shot tally for the afternoon up to 33, Helgesen said he had no doubt in his mind the Hitmen would come out on top.
“We all knew it was going to come,” he said. “We were getting lots of chances and Tambo had a great shot and was able to win it for us.”
The best-of-seven series now shifts to Cranbrook for Game 3 on Tuesday and Game 4 on Wednesday at Western Financial Place.
QUICK HITS: Not dressed for the Hitmen on Sunday were Jake Bean, Beck Malenstyn, Terrell Draude, Kyle Dumba and Aaron Hyman … Following Game 2, Radel Fazleev leads the Hitmen in playoff scoring with four points. Luke Philp tops the Ice with three points; two goals and an assist … Dating back to the 2014-2015 regular season, Fazleev is on a career-high seven game point streak … The series between the Ice and Hitmen marks the fifth time the two teams have met in the WHL Playoffs. The Hitmen and Ice tangoed in the 1999, 2000, 2007 and 2014 post-seasons … Attendance at Sunday’s game was 8,560.