The orange team controlled play for much of the night and topped the blue team 6-0 in Thursday’s intrasquad prospect camp scrimmage in front of a packed house at Islanders Iceworks. Michael Pereira, Andrew Calof and Mike Halmo scored for the orange team in regulation for a 3-0 lead, while goaltenders Ken Reiter and Kevin Boyle combined for a shutout. John Persson, Halmo and Islanders first-round pick Griffin Reinhart added markers for orange in the post-game shootout, making the contest a 6-0 final.
Rather than playing three 20-minute periods, the teams battled through two 25-minute halves. The other rule oddity in effect revolved around penalties, which resulted in a penalty shot instead of a man-advantage.
Tonight gave fans their first chance to see the 2012 Islanders draft class, including Reinhart, the club’s fourth overall selection.
“You’ve got to be a lot bigger and stronger here, and it’s a much faster pace,” Reinhart said of competing against the other NHL prospects. “Everybody’s a good player out there and that shows how hard you’ve got to work.”
Pereira, an invite to camp, opened the scoring for the orange team when John Persson sprung him on a breakaway through the neutral zone. Pereira deked goaltender Alex Vazzano to the ice and finished on his backhand at the 6:38 mark of the first half.
The orange team had another opportunity just before halftime when, following an offensive zone faceoff, the puck found right wing Mitchell Theoret’s stick in the right circle. Theoret fired high, but Vazzano was quick with the glove and kept the score 1-0.
Orange team netminder Ken Reiter reflected after the game about keeping the blue side off the scoreboard in the first half.
“Most of the pressure was kept in their zone during the first half,” Reiter said. “So I didn’t really have my work cut out for me, but I stopped a few out there and I was pretty comfortable in that. I just wanted to go out there and play confident and be aggressive and I think I did that. Our team played really well and the defense was great.”
Four minutes into the second half, blue team forward Johnny McGuire drew a penalty in the neutral zone, setting up the first and only penalty shot of the night.
Center Ryan Strome took the penalty shot for the blue team, but after a couple dekes, could not beat orange team goaltender Kevin Boyle between the legs as the UMass-Amherst netminder preserved Orange’s lead.
The orange team took a 2-0 lead at 7:37 of the second frame following a turnover in Blue’s zone. Doyle Somerby and Adam Berkle set up Calof, whose wrist shot deflected off traffic and behind blue team goalie Mitch Gillam.
With two minutes remaining, Gillam was pulled in favor of an extra skater. The blue team had a number of resulting chances, but could not find the back of the net. Nino Niederreiter recovered a loose puck for the orange team in the neutral zone, skated into the offensive zone and fed Mike Halmo for an easy tap-in, making the score 3-0.
Following regulation, the teams took part in a five-round shootout where Gillam and Boyle, the second-half goalies, stayed in to face all five shots.
Through two rounds, the goaltenders were perfect. Gillam stopped Casey Cizikas and Niederreiter, while Boyle turned aside Strome and Kirill Kabanov.
“Shootouts have always been my expertise since I was young,” Boyle said. “I actually love shootouts. I think they’re a lot of fun.”
The orange squad opened up the margin after that, as Persson, Halmo and Reinhart each scored, and Boyle stayed perfect at the other end. Reinhart scored on a wrist shot from the high slot.
“In the shootout, I wasn’t really expecting my name to be called,” Reinhart said. “I’m not really used to that. I didn’t want to mess up on a deke, so I just shot it.”
The Islanders week-long Prospect Camp wraps up Friday, so the players will have one more workout with coaches before heading to their respective homes for the summer.