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Colorado Closes Vegas Rookie Faceoff With Win

Avalanche defeats the San Jose Sharks 6-3

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

LAS VEGAS--The Colorado Avalanche scored four times in the third period and defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-3 on Tuesday afternoon on the final day of the 2018 Vegas Rookie Faceoff at City National Arena.

Tim McGauley broke a 2-2 tie with 8:20 remaining in the last stanza by burying a wrist shot in the slot after R.T. Rice fed him the puck from the right wall. Brandon Saigeon then added two markers of his own in a matter of 2:12, with the first one ending up as the game-winner and the second coming shorthanded and into an empty net.

Saigeon led Colorado in scoring at event, recording five goals in three contests.

Avs 2018 first-round draft pick Martin Kaut added another empty-net score with 30 seconds left for his first tally of the rookie tournament. It came 56 seconds after the Sharks' Matt Fonteyne registered a power-play goal that briefly cut Colorado's lead to two.

The Avalanche wraps up the Vegas Rookie Faceoff with a 1-2-0 record after dropping games to the host Vegas Golden Knights and Anaheim Ducks on Saturday and Sunday, but it was more important for the team to experiment with players than the final scores.

"I thought it was really good," said Avs assistant general manager Craig Billington of the squad's performance over the four days. "I thought there was great effort, and we got a good look at them in different positions, different situations. So from an evaluation standpoint, I thought it was excellent."

Video: Assistant GM Craig Billington on rookie tournament

Nolan De Jong opened the game's scoring with a power-play goal 4:09 after the opening faceoff and the Avalanche led 2-1 heading into the first intermission following Vladislav Kamenev's tally at 11:46.

De Jong and Kamenev also added an assist each in the contest, along with Colorado's Ty Lewis (two), Alex Breton, Sergei Boikov, Cole Reinhardt, Robbie Holmes and Nick Henry.

"It's nice to get the win before the main camp," said Kamenev, who was the captain of the rookies at the tournament. "Guys feel more confident now after the win today. We played good today. Better than the last two games. That is probably why we won."

The Avalanche finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Sharks were successful on two of their eight chances with the man advantage. San Jose finished with a 36-28 edge in shots on goal.

Video: Avs Rookies vs. Sharks highlights

Goaltender Petr Kvaca got his second start in net for Colorado and stopped 33 shots in the win. He was the busiest in the middle period where he denied 13 of the 14 pucks that came his way.

"I have in my mind to win and teamwork, and I'm glad that we won the game," said Kvaca afterward.

The Avs rookies now get ready for the main NHL training camp with the veterans of the club. Colorado will hold four days of on-ice practice beginning Friday at Family Sports Center in Centennial.

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