LAS VEGAS--The Colorado Avalanche fell 5-2 to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday in the teams' second contest of the 2018 Vegas Rookie Faceoff at City National Arena.
"We're hockey players, and we hate to lose," said Colorado defenseman Nicolas Meloche. "It's part of the game, but I think every day we're getting better and that's the goal of rookie camp."
The Avs' Matthew Boucher and Brandon Saigeon each scored for the second straight outing, while Cole Reinhardt added an assist. Goaltender Justus Annunen got his first start in net for the Avalanche at the tournament and finished with 32 saves.
After a scoreless first period, five goals were buried in the middle frame by the two clubs. Three of the markers came in the opening 5:14, as Saigeon and Boucher tallied in a matter of 74 seconds after Max Comtois scored first for the Ducks at 2:24.
Colorado held a 2-1 advantage for most of the period, but Jack Kopacka tied the contest at 13:21 and Kiefer Sherwood gave Anaheim a 3-2 advantage with less than two minutes left before the second intermission.
Video: Josh Dickinson after Rookie Faceoff game vs. Ducks
The Avalanche generated some quality scoring chances in the third period, but the team wasn't able to cut away at the deficit. Julius Nattinen extended the Ducks' lead to two at 9:43 of the final stanza and teammate Isac Lundestrom scored into an empty net with 1:08 left to play.
"I thought we saw some good puck movement," said Avs assistant general manager Craig Billington when recapping the contest. "We hit some posts there late in the game. I thought the guys were trying to generate some offense. Just continue to see where guys fit and where they play in certain situations."
Video: Postgame reaction from Craig Billington
Colorado finished 1-for-3 on the man advantage while Anaheim wasn't able to capitalize on its lone chance with the extra skater.
"We have a bunch of good players. I think it is just a matter of time before it starts clicking," said the Avs' Josh Dickinson regarding the team's power play.
The Ducks finished with a 37-29 edge in shots on goal.
The Avalanche wraps up the prospect showcase on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks at 12:30 p.m. MT. The game will be streamed live online at ColordoAvalanche.com.