The New York Islanders prospects had one last chance to strut their stuff for coaches and fans, as Team Blue and Team White played a rematch Saturday at Twin Rinks.
Alan Quine scored a natural hat trick in the third period, part of a four-goal game, to lead Team Blue to a 7-4 comeback win over Team White.
“We changed our game plan in the third, kept it simple,” Quine said. “We were getting turnovers and capitalizing. We started going north-south more than east-west.”
Trailing 4-3 at the start of the third period, Team Blue scored twice in 20 seconds to take a 5-4 lead. Charles Bertrand deflected Aiden Salerno’s point shot to tie the score, while Quine put Blue up shortly after. Quine, who had 61 points (23 goals, 38 assists) for Bridgeport last season, then completed the trick, redirecting a Bertrand feed past Kevin Lankinen. He added an empty netter for his fourth goal.
The scrimmage was a high-scoring affair, but while the prospect’s skill was on display, so was their competitiveness. They may be friends off the ice – and posed cordially for a group picture after the game – but on the ice, they played with real-game intensity, undoubtedly trying to impress the Islanders coaching staff.
“It is July, but guys were out there trying to make an impression,” Quine said. “Guys have to do what they are best at.”
The scrimmage, which was open to fans free of charge, started with a bang, as Team White scored in the opening 11 seconds. A dump-in skipped over the stick of goaltender Anthony Pupplo to Joshua Ho-Sang, who fed Anthony Beauvillier in front before Pupplo could re-set in his crease.
Beauviller scored two goals Saturday, repeating his standout performance from Wednesday’s contest at Barclays Center. Looking back on the week, Beauvillier said his first experiences as an Islander were positive and memorable.
“It’s way better than I even thought it would be, the organization,” Beauvillier said. “So I’m very proud to be an Islander right now. I know what to expect now and I’ll be ready for camp. It was a nice week.”
Beauvillier, the 28th pick in June’s draft, said he plans to improve all aspects of his game, but his main goal for the rest of the summer is to gain weight and build muscle. At training camp, he’ll be skating in the corners against full-grown D-men like Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk.
Mathew Barzal, the 15th overall pick this year, echoed Beauvillier’s sentiment, saying that he got a lot out of the week, from the gym sessions, to the on-ice instruction and the two scrimmages.
“Whether it was working in the gym, or working on faceoffs with Quine and Marty [Reasoner], I learned a few things from there,” Barzal said. “In the game too, the speed is different. You can’t make a soft pass because it will get picked off. Everything has to be hard. Just the pace and how these players play. I definitely picked up from.”
The scrimmage concluded the on-ice portion of mini camp. The prospects have one more workout and two excursions to get to know Long Island and New York before dispersing to their respective clubs to work on what they’ve learned this week.
Training camp starts in mid-September.