Finally, Philadelphia Flyers hockey is back! Today, the rookies test their mettle against the New York Rangers in the first of two games this weekend.
Today, the Flyers travel to Tarrytown to face the Rangers before hosting Sunday’s game in Voorhees.
Following two days of rookie camp sessions, a handful of Philadelphia rookies hope to separate themselves from the pack, inching closer to an NHL opportunity. Tomorrow, the rookie camp concludes after a second rookie game against New York. Before game one, there are several names we should be paying attention to throughout the weekend:
Saturday’s feature will not include Cam York, Felix Sandstrom, Brian Zanetti, and Tanner Laczynski. Instead, Kirill Ustimenko will split time with Samuel Ersson. Wyatte Wylie and Jackson van de Leest will play today instead of York and Zanetti. Also, Jackson Cates and JR Avon will play today instead of Laczynski. The previously mentioned names who aren’t participating today will likely step onto the ice tomorrow.
It’s exciting to watch the Flyers’ prospects take on another franchise. During camp, they don’t get to test their might against real competition. There is a fine line between pushing your teammates and going one-hundred percent into battle against another franchise. Who stood out today against the Rangers?
Don’t let anyone tell you that “rookie games” are treated as scrimmages. Both sides would lead you to believe that this was a regular-season affair. It doesn’t matter when the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers play. These two franchises do not like one another.
Something we’ve grown accustomed to seeing was the cannon shot from Foerster. He launched one on a powerplay, scoring the first goal of this rookie game. A little later on a powerplay, Sandin converted an opportunity from Isaac Ratcliffe.
After Foerster scored his second of the period, we watched our first scrap of the weekend. Allison went toe-to-toe with Rempe, who’s 6’8″. We knew Allison was an electric player from last season, but he’s bringing the beef during rookie camp. The Flyers had the advantage in the scoring department already. Allison generously put the momentum in Philadelphia’s corner before Foerster doubled down.
Ustimenko held his ground between the pipes, keeping the Flyers ahead, 3-0.
Similarly, the New York Rangers scored three goals in the second. Unfortunately for them, it wouldn’t be enough when the second period finished. Linus Sandin undid the momentum carried out by Morgan Barron, Patrick Khodorenko, and Lauri Pajuniemi.
Kirill Ustimenko allowed two goals before he was through. Samuel Ersson entered to a rude awakening. The first show Ersson faced beat him to the back of the net. Suddenly, the Rangers were back in this game.
Barron and Khodorenko tallied two goals quickly. Between their goals, New York had one called off due to a high stick. It would come back to bite the Rangers, who could have finished the period tied 4-4. Though resilient, New York didn’t play with discipline through two periods. Their inability to close the door allowed the Philadelphia Flyers rookies to regain the lead.
Sandin, like Tyson Foerster, collected his second goal to give the Flyers the lead once more.
Ersson will complete the rest of the game. Heading into the third period with a 4-3 lead, he’s holding on for a Philadelphia victory.
During the final frame, the Philadelphia Flyers expanded their lead. Wyatte Wylie pushed the puck across the blue line for Ethan Samson. Samson ripped a shot, which seemed to be deflected by Nolan Ritchie. Deep into the third period, the Flyers led by two.
Egor Zamula once again was poised on the ice. He was busy along the blue line, organizing the defense. A lot of passing between him, Morgan Frost, and Linus Sandin in the offensive zone.
Unfortunately, Sandin and Tyson Foerster couldn’t complete a hat trick in the first rookie game. Morgan Frost did add an empty-net goal, however.
In their first game of two this weekend, Philadelphia won 6-3.
The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers will play their second rookie game on Sunday. Philadelphia will stream this game at 5pm. Stay in tune with the Flyers’ social media for a link to the stream!
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre