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Coyotes Lose to Ducks in Prospect Showcase Opener

Anaheim beat Arizona, 4-1, in rookie tournament game in San Jose

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

SAN JOSE -- Nick Merkley scored a goal and Adin Hill made 34 saves for the Coyotes in a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in a Prospect Showcase game on Saturday night at Solar4America Ice.

Trailing 1-0, Merkley scored at 19:33 of the first period off a crisp cross-slot pass by Hayden Verbeek to cap a two-on-one rush after two Ducks collided along the far boards. Connor Garland provided the secondary assist.

Forward Jack Kopacka scored two goals and assisted on a third to lead Anaheim. 

"We skated hard," said Mike Van Ryn, who is serving as head coach of the Coyotes rookies at this tournament. "I thought we did make some plays and I thought some of our young guys looked pretty good tonight ... I was impressed ... I didn't think it was a 4-1 game by any regards." 

Video: Van Ryn After 4-1 Loss to Ducks

Hill faced 38 shots, including 18 in the first period. Anaheim's second and fourth goals troubled him most.

"I think overall we kept up with their speed," Hill said. "I think it was just a few areas of lack of execution, myself included ... At the end of the day, if you're giving up two goals that you should have had it's not a performance that I write home about."

Video: Hill After 4-1 Loss to Ducks

Tied 1-1, Arizona dominated possession for the first half of the second period but couldn't score on Anaheim goalie Kevin Boyle, who stopped 30 of Arizona's 31 shots. The Ducks then seized control of the game by scoring twice on Hill within a 55-second span late in the second. Giovanni Fiore netted a pretty breakaway goal at 12:57, and Kopacka scored off the right post at 13:52. 

Defenseman Kyle Capobianco, who was one of three Coyotes chosen to wear an 'A' on his sweater, played well in the loss. He launched four shots on goal and was not on the ice for any of Anaheim's goals.

"We had a good start, we just couldn't piece together three periods," Capobianco said. "I think we lost a little bit of our legs and they capitalized on that. But overall I think it's a good learning experience and a good first game for us."

Video: Capobianco After 4-1 Loss to Ducks

First-round draft picks Dylan Strome and Clayton Keller played together on Arizona's top line. Strome, wearing an 'A' on his sweater, took two shots on goal. Keller tallied three shots on goal. Center Ryan MacInnis led Arizona with five shots.

The Coyotes will play two more games at the Prospect Showcase, a four-team, round-robin tournament. Next up is a game vs. Colorado on Monday at 7 p.m. Fans can watch that game live via stream at ArizonaCoyotes.com.

 

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