Anaheim's prospect pool was on display this afternoon in the first of two Rookie Showcase games the club is playing in Westminster, Colorado. Today, the Ducks prospects took on the host club, the Colorado Avalanche, in a spirited contest that featured some of the top players in the farm system for both sides.
In the end, however, it was Colorado that came out on top, a 3-2 final in front of a packed house at the Ice Centre at the Promenade. Nicolas Kerdiles and Julius Nattinen scored for Anaheim, while Kevin Boyle stopped 24 of 27 shots in the loss. Nattinen led the Ducks with a goal and an assist, while defenseman Cody Corbett paced the Avs with two points (assists).
"We did a lot of things good, but you could tell we were a step behind," said defenseman Jaycob Megna, who wore the 'C' for the Ducks. "They played yesterday, and I think that showed. We dipped our toes in the water, but they were ready to go off the hop. They did a really good job closing lanes and blocking shots. We started slow, but I thought we played better as the game went on."
Kerdiles opened the scoring just 1:34 into the first period with assists from fellow second-rounders Nattinen and Nick Sorensen.
Despite the early lead, Sorensen said adjusting to the mile-high altitude wasn't easy. "We're up high here," he said. "It's hard for the legs and the heart. Like 'Megs' said, we came out better in the second and third period. We had our chances, but didn't capitalize today."
The lead would stand until the 13:13 mark of the period, when Avs defenseman Nicolas Meloche scored on a four-minute power play. Meloche, 19, was selected in the second round (40th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.
Also mixed in an entertaining first period was a spirited scrap between Ducks invite defenseman Darian Skeoch (6-4, 205) and Avs blueliner Mason Geersten (6-4, 215) at center ice.
Colorado would take a 2-1 lead early in the second period on a goal from 2015 seventh-round pick Gustav Olhaver.
With Sorensen in the penalty box for roughing, the Ducks would strike again. Nattinen, who earned three points in two rookie games last year, converted a nice 2-on-1 rush with 2016 seventh-round pick Tyler Soy on the penalty kill with 2:40 remaining in the second period.
Both clubs would take a 2-2 tie into the second intermission, with the shots 21-21 apiece.
Avs defenseman Chris Bigras gave Colorado a 3-2 lead early in the third period on a slap shot that beat Boyle up high. The goal was Bigras' second in as many games (Colorado defeated San Jose, 4-1, yesterday).
Despite pulling Boyle for an extra attacker in the final 1:30 of regulation, the Ducks were unable to find the equalizer, and dropped a 3-2 final against the Avs.
Anaheim will conclude the Rookie Showcase with a game tomorrow afternoon (1 p.m. PDT) against the Sharks at the Ice Centre at the Promenade.
|SCORING || || || || || || |
|Team ||Per. ||Goal ||Assist ||Assist ||Time ||PP/SH |
|ANA ||1 ||58 Kerdiles ||52 Nattinen ||59 Sorensen ||1:34 ||EV |
|COL ||1 ||59 Meloche ||42 Henley ||63 Beaudin ||13:13 ||PP |
|COL ||2 ||71 Olhaver ||41 Corbett || ||8:46 ||EV |
|ANA ||2 ||52 Nattinen ||85 Soy || ||17:20 ||SH |
|COL ||2 ||3 Bigras ||74 Karlsson || ||4:02 ||EV |
|PENALTIES || || || || || || |
|Team ||Per. ||Player ||Min. ||Offense ||Time || |
|ANA ||1 ||73 Welinski ||4:00 ||High-sticking ||11:42 || |
|ANA ||1 ||88 Skeoch ||5:00 ||Fighting ||15:52 || |
|COL ||1 ||2 Geersten ||5:00 ||Fighting ||15:52 || |
|ANA ||2 ||58 Kerdiles ||2:00 ||Holding ||2:56 || |
|COL ||2 ||46 Greer ||2:00 ||Slashing ||3:13 || |
|COL ||2 ||73 Barron ||2:00 ||Elbowing ||9:17 || |
|ANA ||2 ||59 Sorensen ||2:00 ||Roughing ||15:43 || |
|COL ||3 ||16 Zadorov ||5:00 ||Boarding ||9:13 || |
|COL ||3 ||16 Zadorov ||10:00 ||Game Misconduct ||9:13 || |
Nick Ritchie - Kalle Kossila - Kevin Roy
Nicolas Kerdiles 'A' - Julius Nattinen - Nick Sorensen
Max Jones - Sam Steel - Deven Sideroff
Tyler Soy - Tyler Morley - Alex Dostie
Jaycob Megna 'C' - Brandon Montour 'A'
Keaton Thompson - Josh Mahura
Andy Welinski - Darian Skeoch