Ducks Prospects Edged by Kings 3-2 in SoCal Hockey Futures Game in El Segundo
|It was a typical physical Ducks-Kings affair that saw eight fighting majors and 64 combined penalty minutes.
A late rally by the Ducks prospects fell just short as they were edged 3-2 in the second SoCal Hockey Futures Game in front of a packed house at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
The Ducks scored the only goal of the third period to pull within one, but LA held on late to sweep the two-game series.
It was a much different atmosphere from Saturday night's first stanza of the two-game series, a 6-1 Kings victory in front of more than 7,500 at Honda Center. The Toyota Sports Center (the practice facility for the Kings) seats around 500, but the fans remained just as enthusiastic in what was a physical affair from the start. (The first period saw two fights and 26 combined penalty minutes alone, and there were 20 penalties total on the night.)
"As far as hits go, we saw a lot of fights and that’s kind of what happens in these games," said Chris Wagner, who scored Anaheim's first goal. "I think we definitely matched their physicality and it kind of showed out there. We were able to get pucks in deep and bang their defense."
The Kings got on the board first, late in the opening period, as defenseman Alex Roach connected on the power play. LA took that 1-0 lead into the intermission, despite being outshot by the Ducks, 15-3.
The Kings got two more in the second, as Jordan Weal banked one off the back of Ducks starting netminder John Gibson. Almost five minutes later, Nick Shore snuck a shot through Gibson's pads from the right circle.
"I had a couple of mistakes," said Gibson, who did not play in the first game of the series, "but I’m going to learn from it and get better."
Anaheim came back with its first strike halfway through the second, as Wagner tipped through a Steven Whitney point shot.
"We started off really well again," said Wagner, who played in both games of the series. "We had a good first [period]. We got the puck in deep. They got a few bounces and then we fought back from a 3-0 lead, and you can’t ask for much more in terms of determination and effort. We can definitely learn from this."
The Ducks made it 3-2 late in the third, as Whitney redirected a Brent Andrews pass with just under four minutes remaining.
But the Kings held on down the stretch, notably when the Ducks sent goalie Igor Bobkov to the bench for an extra attacker with a minute and a half left.
"As a team, we always want to get a win," Whitney said. "It hurts to lose two in a row against the same team. We came back a lot stronger this time around, and we played well. They got a couple power play goals and we couldn’t get the job done."
The game marks the end of Ducks rookie camp, though many of these players will remain in Anaheim for regular Ducks training camp, which begins Wednesday. The first on-ice day is Thursday morning at Anaheim Ice and is open to the public.