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Recap: Ducks Earn 4-1 Victory Over Kings in Rookie Tournament Opener

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

IRVINE, Calif. -- The fans packed the house, and the Ducks did not disappoint. In front of a standing room only crowd at FivePoint Arena, the Ducks erupted with four unanswered goals to earn a 4-1 victory over the LA Kings in the 2019 Anaheim Rookie Faceoff.

Leading the way for the Ducks were Max Jones, Max Comtois, Kiefer Sherwood and Sam Steel, each scoring a goal to turn a one-goal deficit into a 4-1 lead. Lukas Dostal went the distance in goal for the Ducks, allowing just one goal on 28 shots.

The overflow crowd didn't go unnoticed by the Ducks. "That was awesome," said defenseman Brendan Guhle. "Good atmosphere. It was loud in there, so that was great. Awesome all those fans were able to make it. We really appreciate it."

San Diego Gulls head coach Kevin Dineen, who is running the Ducks bench for the tournament, said the big turnout today wasn't surprising. "The support the Ducks have received is just fabulous," he said. "That was in full view [today]. It was great to see that kind of enthusiasm, and I think our players fed off that today."

After the Kings opened the scoring at the 10:55 mark of the first period on Arthur Kaliyev's goal, the Ducks came on in a flash.

It started with Jones, who muscled his way to the front of the net for a tap-in at the 13:52 mark of the first period. The six-foot-3, 220-pound left wing made his NHL debut last season with the Ducks, posting five points (2g/3a) in 30 games.

Then, the Ducks doubled their lead less than two minutes later when Comtois parked himself in the crease and tipped in Josh Mahura's shot from the right point. Like Jones, Comtois made his NHL debut last season, and became the second rookie in franchise history to record at least one point in each of his first three career games. The 20-year-old left wing also became the first Duck to score in his first two career NHL games from the start of a season (Oct. 3-6, 2018).

Sherwood made it 3-1 Ducks just 1:34 into the middle frame when he snuck past the Kings defense and buried a shot five-hole on Matthew Villalta.

The Ducks finished off the second period with a power-play goal from Steel, who unloaded a sailing wrist shot from the left faceoff dot that caromed off the right post and across the stripe.

Ducks left wing Jack Kopacka said tonight's game had the look and feel of a typical Ducks-Kings crosstown matchup. "Little bit of grit in there and a fight, which was nice, by Comer [Comtois]," he said. "It was nice to get out there and get going again. These are games that leave lasting impressions on the coaching staff throughout the year. They're very important, but you have to have fun with it."

Anaheim's three-game slate continues tomorrow against the San Jose Sharks at 5 p.m. PT at FivePoint Arena. The Ducks will finish off the tournament on Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights at 3 p.m. PT at FivePoint Arena. Tickets for both games are still available.

Video: Guhle talks win over LA Kings, sold out crowd

Video: Kopacka on win over LA, sold out crowd

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