SAN JOSE -- The Coyotes lost, 5-3, to the San Jose Sharks in a Prospect Showcase game on Tuesday afternoon at Solar4America Ice.
With the loss, Arizona finished the four-team, round-robin tournament with a 1-2 record. The Coyotes were the youngest team in the event with an average player age of 19.7 years; 11 players who were on Arizona's 29-man roster are teenagers.
"I thought the competition was good," Coyotes General Manager John Chayka said. "There were a lot of older teams here, which is good for our group. We've got some young guys and they're going to have to play against older guys in the NHL anyway so they might as well get started now. And we had some older players who worked really hard and played with good structure. Our goal was to let these guys play and be intuitive and it was good."
Playing a matinee after a night game vs. an older team that didn't play on Monday proved challenging for Arizona.
"I think we came out a little slow," defenseman Cam Dineen said. "The coaches kind of said that would be the other team's objective, knowing we played last night and they had a day off. So, they definitely came out and kind of gave it to us in the beginning, but I think we bounced back at the right times and managed to score some goals."
Video: Dineen on Rookie Camp Finale
Arizona and San Jose combined to score five goals in the first period of the tournament finale for both teams.
Trailing 1-0, Tyler Steenbergen took a pass from Dylan Strome and beat Sharks goalie Dawson Weatherill with a shot from between the circles at 5:48. Later, down 2-1, Christian Fischer, stationed alone at the left post, swiped a nice pass from Jalen Smereck past Weatherill with 56.6 seconds left in the period.
San Jose recaptured the lead with just one second left in the opening frame when Joachim Blichfeld banged a rebound past Adin Hill. Cavan Fitzgerald then scored a power-play goal early in the second period and the Sharks never looked back.
"Unfortunately they scored with one second left in the first," Strome said. "That was kind of a back breaker. I thought we battled hard after that and we were the better team in the second and third. We dominated the third period ... I thought it was a pretty good effort."
Strome scored a goal with 1:27 left in the third period, as Arizona attacked with an empty net in their zone. Strome led all Coyotes with four shots on goal.
"These games are about getting your timing back ang getting your work ethic back," Strome said. "Obviously you play some summer scrimmages, but there's nothing really like true game action with refs and with stoppages. I thought I did OK. Obviously I'd like to get some wins, but at the same time I got my timing back and felt good and created some chances and was fortunate enough to get one there at the end ... Hopefully I can find a way to impress enough and then more at main camp."
Video: Strome on Rookie Camp Finale
Hill allowed four of San Jose's goals. Hunter Miska replaced him midway through the second period and allowed one goal.
Chayka liked the format of the tournament and is looking forward to the Coyotes competing in it again next year at Anaheim.
"I thought it was the perfect amount of games," Chayka said. "One less is not enough and one more and it's probably too long. The goal was to get our young guys some confidence and some momentum heading into main camp, and I thought some of our top guys were able to do that. Overall it was a very positive experience."