QUITE A DEBUT FOR O'MARRA
Newly-signed first round pick off to incredible start
First game, first shot, first goal!
That's how Ryan O'Marra-- the Islanders' first pick in last summer's
NHL Entry Draft --began his professional career this past Friday. In
fact, the 18-year old did all the scoring, tallying twice on the
power play, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lost 4-2 on the road to
the AHL's defending Calder Cup Champions, the Philadelphia Phantoms.
O'Marra drove through traffic in slot to bang home the rebound of a
shot by defenseman Allan Rourke with 4:05 left in the first period
for his first goal, then took a pretty feed from Rob Collins and
slipped a backhander home early in the third period for his second.
"It was an unbelievable feeling, but I wish we would have gotten the
win," O'Marra told newyorkisladners.com after the game. "But my goals
were a credit to who I played with tonight. They made feel welcome
on the ice, and the bounces went my way."
"It was a pretty impressive debut," Sound Tigers head coach Dave
Baseggio said. "He's a first-round pick for a reason, but to come in
an play that well in his first game was really something to see. The
more I see of him, the more I like about him. We're really lucky to
O'Marra combined his nose for the net with what is quickly becoming a
Midas touch the next night in his first home game with the Sound
Tigers as he redirected a shot by Cole Jarrett for the first goal of
the game against the Providence Bruins. On Sunday, the 6'2'' 200-
pound center added "efficient" to the long list of superlatives that
describe his game when he scored right off a faceoff just three
seconds into a power play.
"You can't ask too much of an 18-year coming into the AHL," said
Baseggio, "even someone as highly-touted and obviously talent like
Ryan. But he has really been impressive and he's fit in well with the
rest of the team. He has contributed right away and it looks like
he'll be an inportant player for us as we make our push for the
O'Marra will get his first taste of the pressures of playoff hockey
at the professional level when he and the Sound Tigers travel to
Binghamton to visit the Senators this Friday at 7:05 p.m. After
earning two points in the standings this past weekend, due in large
part to O'Marra's play, the Sound Tigers hold a magic number of four
points gained by them or lost by Binghamton to clinch a playoff
berth. So, O'Marra will try to up his goal-scoring streak to four in
the very definition of a four-point game.