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What We Learned: Prospect Showcase vs. Coyotes

Colorado loses in overtime to Arizona

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche rookies dropped their second contest of the Prospect Showcase, but it wasn't for a lack of effort.

Colorado erased a three-goal deficit in the second period and had several good looks to win it late in the third frame and in overtime, but the Avs ended up falling 4-3.

Here are five things we learned about the Avalanche rookies after their second game of the Prospect Showcase.

Up-tempo and Physical

Like the game before, the Avalanche came out using their bodies and the Coyotes matched that effort throughout the night. There was plenty of rough stuff in between whistles, and the clubs traded places in the penalty box all night long.

After the contest, Colorado's AHL coach Eric Veilleux noted he wished it had been a regular-season game so he would know how many total hits were delivered.

Only the basic stats are being tracked during the rookie tournament.

Kvaca Has Skill

Colorado goalie Petr Kvaca made his debut in an NHL style game, and he didn't look out of place.

He admitted that he made a few mistakes early on when Arizona went on its 3-0 run, but his teammates said they didn't give him much help. The Coyotes scored their trio of goals off Avs giveaways or on odd-man rushes.

Kvaca settled down in the second and was the reason why Colorado had a chance to comeback and tie the contest at three-all.

The Czech goalie finished with 26 saves in his first game in North America.

Controlling Possession

Veilleux wanted his players to play faster from the first game to the second, and his team followed through.

The Avs played with much more pace and controlled the puck in the Coyotes zone for long periods of time in every period.

There was still the occasional poor decision, which led to Arizona's goals, but overall it was a solid outing for the young players learning a new NHL system.

Jost Finds Space

Avalanche forward Tyson Jost only picked up one assist on the night, but his presence was felt on the ice.

The opposing players seemed to notice Jost's skill set, and they didn't pressure him too much when he had the puck in risk of being turn around. That opened up some extra room around Jost, giving him time to move the puck effectively and lead the power play.

Forced Rally

Like on Saturday, the Avalanche had a strong start, dominating possession out of the gate but couldn't get on the scoreboard first.

Much like what the Sharks did, the Coyotes took full advantage of mistakes and turnovers, forcing the Avs to come back from a deficit.

Colorado was able to rally and tie the contest within a 10-minute span in the middle period, and Veilleux was proud of how his club stuck with it, believed in the system and was in a position to win in the end.

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