Not only is the Islanders’ rookie team promising, their perseverance seems to be second-to-none. Wednesday night, the rookie squad took on the Philadelphia Flyers’ prospects at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Isles’ seemed to be down and out, losing 3-1 with about five minutes to go in the third period. Arnaud Durandeau (6th round 2017) made it 3-2 before Sebastian Aho (5th round 2017) tied the game with 1:32 to play. Mitchell Vande Sompel was the hero in the extra frame, scoring the game-winning goal.
Notable performances include Michael Dal Colle, who picked up two assists in the contests. The 2015 5th overall selection was one of the “older” players on the team and showed leadership. His linemates, John Stevens and Travis St. Denis also got on the scoresheet, recording a goal and an assist, respectively.
“Perseverance, hard work and determination,” Vande Sompel said were the keys to the win. “We were down 3-1 and you looked down the bench and no one was down or anything. Everyone was moving at high energy and we believed.” It’s a mindset the Islanders want to have from the get-go when players report for physicals on Thursday and begin camp on Friday. They play their first preseason game on Sunday.