The Canadiens' young guns closed out their 2016 Rookie Tournament experience at Budweiser Gardens in London, ON with a 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators' top prospects on Sunday afternoon.
After watching from the stands on Saturday night, defenseman Mikhail Sergachev wasted little time putting his full skill set on display during the opening frame.
The Canadiens' most recent first-round selection demonstrated the full extent of his strength when he dished out a solid hip check on Senators forward Ryan Graham at center ice, a hit that got everyone in the crowd buzzing.
Then, with just over five minutes remaining in the period, Sergachev capped a remarkable end-to-end rush with a perfect feed to Daniel Audette for the game's opening goal. The Russian rearguard split multiple Senators defenders on the play to set Audette up for the tally - his second in as many games.
Video: Audette complète la belle montée de Sergachev
Ottawa responded just 37 seconds, though, as right-winger Francis Perron managed to beat Canadiens starter Michael McNiven to tie things up 1-1 through 20 minutes of play.
With Sergachev in the penalty box early in the second period, centerman Nick Paul scored to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. But, just 17 seconds after Paul found the back of the net, Sergachev connected with Audette again to tie things up 2-2 at the 3:04 mark of the frame. Nikita Scherbak was credited with the secondary assist on the power play tally.
Sergachev found himself in the penalty box again when centerman Filip Chlapik put the Senators ahead 3-2 at the 6:26 mark of the period.
Perron's second goal of the game at 15:26 gave the Senators a 4-2 advantage, before Matthew Bradley scored for the Canadiens at 17:52 to cut Ottawa's lead to just a single goal. Jeremiah Addison collected the lone assist on the play.
Unfortunately, Sergachev was forced to leave the game at one point during the period and did not return to the game after taking a hit from Senators left-winger Vincent Dunn. The Canadiens announced that Sergachev had sustained an upper-body injury.
Video: Sergachev dishes out a big hit
Paul's second goal of the game just 1:39 into the third period put the Senators up 5-3. He was the beneficiary of a loose puck in front of McNiven, and managed to bury it to restore his squad's two-goal lead.
Gabriel Gagne pounced on another loose puck around McNiven's crease area to give the Senators a 6-3 lead at the 9:14 mark of the third period, which ultimately capped the scoring for the afternoon.
The Canadiens finished the 2016 Rookie Tournament with a record of 1-2-0. They boarded a bus bound for Montreal immediately after the game, and will resume rookie camp activities on Tuesday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard following a well-deserved Monday off.