Anaheim Ducks 2018 Vegas Rookie Face-off: Anaheim Ducks vs Los Angeles Kings

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 29: Prospect Sam Steel shoots the puck during the Anaheim Ducks' annual development camp at Anaheim ICE in Anaheim on Friday, June 29, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 29: Prospect Sam Steel shoots the puck during the Anaheim Ducks' annual development camp at Anaheim ICE in Anaheim on Friday, June 29, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register via Getty Images) /

Hockey is back! Although we are still a few weeks away from the regular season, the Anaheim Ducks prospects have been given the chance to show off their skills at the inaugural 2018 Vegas Rookie Faceoff.

The Anaheim Ducks prospects were invited to showcase their talents this year at the inaugural 2018 Vegas Rookie Faceoff taking place at the City National Arena. From September 8-11, the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and Vegas Golden Knights will take part in the event.

The Anaheim Ducks prospects kicked off the four-day contest with a bang. Their first face-off was against their cross-state rivals, the Los Angeles Kings. With San Diego Gulls coach, Dallas Eakins, at the helm, we were given an exciting glimpse at what the future holds for the Anaheim Ducks.

A Slow First Period

The first period of Game 1, however, started off slow. Both the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings struggled to get on the board. Although the Ducks controlled the play for most of the period, they couldn’t get the puck past LA Kings goaltender, Matthew Villalta.

Olle Eriksson Ek was a strong entity for the Ducks in the net. However, late in the first, with only 6.9 seconds left on the clock, the Kings lit up the scoreboard.

Starting off Strong in the Second

The Ducks went into the second period trailing the Kings, 0-1. However, the rookies used this period to display their skills. Although the sold-out crowd at City National Arena was filled to the brim with fans, most of them were there to support the Vegas Golden Knights. However, the “Ducklings” put on a show in the second, giving the crowd a look at the future of the NHL.

It wasn’t long before the Ducks tied up the game, 1-1. Isac Lundstrom, the Anaheim Ducks first pick from the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, put the Ducks on the board first. Lundestrom blasted a wrist shot from the right corner, beating Villalta.

Deven Sideroff, the Anaheim Ducks 3rd round selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, scored their second goal of the night. Sideroff sunk the puck into the net after a pass from linemate Giovanni Fiore found his stick, giving the Ducks a one-goal advantage over their opponents.

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The Ducks scored their third goal of the night on a power play. Defenseman, Joshua Mahura, rocketed the puck from the point, making it past the high traffic in front of the net. The Ducks now led the game 3-1.

Upsetting the Kings in the Third

The LA Kings came in hot off of a rush, opening the third period with their second goal of the night, beating Eriksson Ek five-hole. With the score now 3-2, the possibility that the Ducks could lose their lead was looking plausible. However, the shocking events that transpired in the third period left everyone in awe.

Isac Lundestrom scored his second goal of the night, putting the Kings behind by two goals again. Just a few minutes later, Maxime Comtois cashed in on a beautiful pass from Sam Steel. The Ducks second power-play goal of the night, from Comtois, gave Anaheim a 5-2 lead over LA.

The Anaheim Ducks pulled further away from the Kings with their sixth goal of the night. This goal came from one of the Anaheim Ducks newest prospects. Hunter Drew, the Ducks 178th selection in the 6th round of the 2018 Entry Draft, made a splash in his first official contest as a Duck. With six minutes left in the third period, the young defenseman took advantage of the opportunity set before him and netted his first goal of the showcase.

As if six goals wasn’t enough, the Anaheim Ducks upset the Kings with two more late in the third. Jack Kopacka scored their seventh goal of the night. He got lucky after an off-balance shot made it past Villalta’s glove. Their eighth, and final goal of the night, was scored by Simon Benoit. The puck, which deflected off a defenseman, made it into the net with just a few minutes left on the clock.

The Kings were able to get one more goal past Eriksson Ek, ending regulation with a score of 8-3.

With eight goals credited to the team, the Anaheim Ducks upset the LA Kings astronomically in the opening game of the Rookie Faceoff. Their strong defensive and offensive skills were evident and Olle Eriksson Ek proved that he is a strong asset for the Ducks in the net, saving 36 of 39 shots. However, credit must also go to the captain of the ship, Dallas Eakins. His phenomenal coaching skills and strong leadership abilities gave the prospects the upper hand over their opponents.

Anaheim Ducks Line Combinations (Game 1)








Eriksson Ek


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The future of the Ducks looks very bright. Hopefully, we will see a new wave of youth make its way onto the roster over the next few seasons.