Isles rally for second straight preseason win
Jobst delivers in overtime as New York remains undefeated
Mason Jobst signed with the New York Islanders five months ago just as they were gearing up for what turned out to be a spirited two-round run through the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The 25-year-old forward out of Ohio State, who was a Hobey Baker finalist as one of the best players in the nation last year, hopes to make a strong enough statement during this preseason to stick with the team entering the 2019-20 campaign.
He began doing so Tuesday night at NYCB Live in Uniondale, New York.
After the Brooklyn/Long Island-based franchise battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits in the third period, Jobst settled matters with his overtime game-winner, stuffing home a rebound to send the Isles to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Jobst scooped up a rebound off a shot by team captain Anders Lee that bounced off the pads of Philadelphia netminder Jean-Francois Berube and deftly snuck it into a near-empty net to end the contest with 53 seconds remaining in the extra frame.
Just being on the ice in the 3-on-3 overtime was a thrill for Jobst, who is still a longshot to make the roster, but is taking advantage of every opportunity afforded to him by reigning Jack Adams award winning head coach Barry Trotz as the Isles prepare to improve on their 103-point 2018-19 campaign.
“That was a pretty cool moment to be out on the ice in three-on-three gave me a little bit of confidence,” Jobst said of his game-winner. “I just went to the net hard and that was a pretty lucky bounce.”
Lucky or not, Jobst played well enough in his 13-plus minutes of ice time, including two minutes on the power play, to get the nod in OT.
He’ll likely be back at it Friday night when the Isles, who also beat the Flyers 3-1 in Philadelphia on Monday, return to the ice to take on the Red Wings in Detroit.
“It just gives you confidence and shows that they believe in me and my skill set,” Jobst said. “They are giving me that chance and opportunity. It’s the same with the power play. It’s good to far, just have to build off tonight.”
Derick Brassard, one of general manager Lou Lamoriello’s veteran offseason signings, and Jordan Eberle also scored for New York, which got a combined 24 saves from the goaltending tandem of Thomas Greiss and Jared Coreau.
Lee, who re-signed with the Isles this summer, was pleased with the team’s resilience following a sluggish start.
“It was a good response,” he noted. “We started pretty slow tonight, not where wanted to be, but once we figured it out and got back to our game, we turned the tide on things a bit.
“Sometimes preseason has little road bumps, but if you have a win, you fought through them. I thought some guys really showed a lot of confidence out there and played some really good hockey. Our young guys have some bright futures ahead of them and they are just getting their feet wet.”
Budding defenseman Noah Dobson, one of the Isles’ first-round picks in 2018, is also hoping to make the squad following a strong year in juniors.
The 19-year-old blueliner played alongside veteran Nick Leddy and logged 21:25 of ice time while picking up an assist on Eberle’s tying tally with just over a minute and a half left in regulation.
“[Leddy] was really vocal and helpful,” Dobson said. “I wasn’t as confident with the puck early on, but I thought as the game went on, I got more comfortable with it.
“It’s one of those things where once you get a couple of periods under your boot you get more comfortable. By the third period I felt like I was playing well and playing confident. That’s when I’m at my best with the puck.”
Isle Have Another: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov, whom the Isles signed to replace Robin Lehner after the Vezina finalist departed for Chicago in the offseason, made his Isles exhibition debut in Monday’s win at Philly. The veteran netminder stopped 10 of 11 shots while logging just over 30 minutes of ice time. “It was a lot of fun tonight,” Varlamov said of the unofficial start to his Islander career. “It’s nice to be back on the ice and playing a game. It’s been a long summer. I was just excited to play the game tonight…The first game you’re nervous because you haven’t played for a long time and you want to do good. It’s a new team and a new group of guys. But when the puck dropped all of the nerves went away and I just tried to stick to the game plan.” … The Isles have one home game remaining on their exhibition slate. They will host Detroit at NYCB Live on Sept. 23. The team’s first game at Barclays Center this year will be on Sunday, Oct. 6 vs. Winnipeg.
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