By Michael Walters
In the Anaheim Ducks first pre-season opener, they battled to a 4-4 regulation tie against the Colorado Avalanche. The Ducks then lost during the 3-on-3 overtime. There were several bright spots for the Ducks.
Jiri Sekac wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. He took a pass from Max Friberg and scored just 28 seconds into the game. The lead didn’t last long as Conner Bleackley scored about two minutes later. The Ducks were awarded a power play halfway through the period, but failed to score. Colorado was awarded two power plays and couldn’t score either. The score was tied 1-1, shots favored Colorado 7 to 4.
In this period it was Colorado who would score first on a goal by Mikko Rantanen just over six minutes into the period. Julius Nattinen would then score to tied the game around the 12:42 mark. Nattinen has been impressive so far playing well in the Future Games in San Jose. In this period the Ducks were awarded one power play and Colorado had two power plays. Neither team scored with the extra man. Game was tied 2-2, shots favored Anaheim 13 to 11 in this period.
The third period turned into a scoring fest. Sekac would score just 1:44 into the period with an assist from Mike Santorelli. A few minutes later Chris Wagner would score and the Ducks had a 4-2 lead. Colorado would respond a short-handed goal by Jack Skille at the 6:06 mark. Rickard Rakell got called for holding and Colorado tied the game on a power play goal by Nick Holden. Teams were tied 4-4 at the end of regulation, teams were also tied with shots at 11 in the period.
The new overtime period didn’t last long as Alex Tanguay scored just 1:18 into the extra session giving Colorado the win 5-4. In the 11 pre-season overtimes so far only one has gone to a shootout. Seven of the overtime games have been decided in the first 2:05 or less. It’s early in the new era of 3-on-3 overtimes, but it looks like less games will be going to the shootout.
1. Jiri Sekac: He finished the night with two goals on two shots. He had a +2 +/- rating and looked very good on the ice. Bruce Boudreau has stated that Sekac looks ” bigger, stronger, quicker, and more determined” coming into camp this year.
3. Max Friberg: He assisted on Sekac’s first goal of the game and had three shots in the game. In the last two discussions I have had with him, I am more impressed with his work ethic and determination in his game. He is another upcoming player to keep your eyes on.
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