Recap: Ducks Fall 5-3 to Colorado in Rookie Faceoff


Summary: Anaheim Ducks Suffer 5-3 Defeat to Colorado in Rookie Faceoff

Anaheim Ducks Suffer, Colorado in Rookie Faceoff, hockey scores, NHL games., NHL goal

Carey Terrance, Nathan Gaucher, and Nikita Nesterenko each found the net, but the Ducks couldn’t maintain their perfect record in the 2023 Rookie Faceoff tournament, falling 5-3 to the Colorado Avalanche at City National Arena.

This loss marks only the second time since 2016 that Anaheim has been defeated in regulation during the tournament, bringing their impressive record during that period to 13-2-3.

Gaucher and Nesterenko both contributed power-play goals for the Ducks, adding to their growing tally of three goals on the man advantage and one shorthanded goal over the course of two games.

Gage Alexander, guarding the net for Anaheim, faced 17 shots and was credited with the loss.

Despite the setback, the Ducks maintained strong defensive play by allowing just 22 shots on goal. Their tournament total of 49 shots against remains the lowest heading into Monday’s final game.

Bolstered by a deep pool of promising prospects, Anaheim made some lineup adjustments from Friday’s victory over Vegas. This included the inclusion of 2023 draft picks Konnor Smith, Rodwin Dionicio, and Vojtech Port on defense.

Terrance initiated the scoring for Anaheim in the first period, showcasing his determination by outmaneuvering two Colorado defenders to reach Ben King’s rebound. He skillfully backhanded the puck over Avalanche goaltender Ivan Zhigalov’s shoulder.

The second period was a flurry of action, with both teams trading blows. Colorado wasted no time, notching three goals in the first five minutes of the period courtesy of Ivan Ivan, Owen Allard, and Ryan Sandelin. Anaheim, however, didn’t back down, responding with two power-play goals of their own.

Gaucher ignited Anaheim’s scoring spree during a power-play opportunity. He positioned himself perfectly in the slot, swiftly guiding a loose puck past Zhigalov before the Avalanche netminder could settle into position.

Nesterenko added to Anaheim’s tally just minutes later, capitalizing on yet another scramble in front of the net. With a deft swat, he redirected a rebound opportunity from the right faceoff circle into the Colorado net, marking the Ducks’ third power-play goal of the tournament.

Nesterenko continued his strong start to the tournament, tallying points in both of Anaheim’s initial two games, showcasing his offensive prowess with a goal and an assist. Having been acquired from Minnesota during last season’s trade deadline, Nesterenko notched his maiden NHL goal as a Duck and participated in nine NHL games.

Colorado surged ahead once more a few shifts later, securing the decisive goal that would ultimately secure their victory. Defenseman Jeremy Hanzel skated down the right wing, outmaneuvering Alexander to find the back of the net.

Ivan then capitalized on an empty net with 1:22 left on the clock, securing Colorado’s triumph.

The Ducks will wrap up their 2023 Rookie Faceoff schedule on Monday afternoon (12:30 p.m.) as they face off against the Los Angeles Kings at City National Arena.


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