By Kyle Shohara – Anaheim Ducks
Sept. 9, 2017
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Led by a three-point performance from Jack Kopacka, the Ducks skated to a 4-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes at Solar4America Ice on Saturday night. This was the opener of the three-game prospect tournament for both clubs, which runs through Tuesday.
Kopacka finished the game with two goals and an assist, while Giovanni Fiore and Deven Sideroff also tacked on goals for Anaheim. Goaltender Kevin Boyle went the distance for Anaheim, allowing just one goal in the win.
Arizona’s lone goal came from Nick Merkley, who tied the score in the first period. Adin Hill was the lone netminder in goal for the Coyotes.
The Ducks opened the scoring 7:16 into the opening frame when Kopacka snuck behind the Coyotes defense and roofed a wrist shot over the glove of Hill. Kopacka, drafted in the fourth round (93rd overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, received a touch pass from Escondido native Austin Ortega as the two gained entry into the offensive zone.
Arizona evened the score with 26.6 seconds remaining in the first period when Merkley finished a 2-on-1 with Hayden Verbeek. The Coyotes were given the odd-man rush when Ducks defenseman Keaton Thompson collided with teammate Kalle Kossila along the near boards, allowing Verbeek clean entry into the zone. From there, he shuttled the puck across the slot to Merkley, who jammed home the pass before Boyle could slide across.
The Ducks broke open a relatively quiet middle frame with two goals in 55 seconds, which began with Fiore’s breakaway tally with 7:03 remaining in the period. Fiore, a free agent signee who posted 52 goals and 90 points in 61 games with Cape Breton of the QMJHL last season, received a saucer pass in full flight from Kossila just inside the blueline.
Kopacka increased the lead to 3-1 with his second goal of the night, a blistering snap shot that caromed off the right post and in.
Sideroff made it a 4-1 game with 7:03 remaining in the third period on a sneaky wrist shot that beat Hill under the glove. Kopacka drew the primary assist, giving him his third point of the game.
The Ducks will take on the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center tomorrow at 3 p.m., and the game will be streamed on AnaheimDucks.com.
ANA: Kopacka (1) – Ortega, Pettersson
ARI: Merkey (1) – Verbeek
ANA: Fiore (1) – Kossila
ANA: Kopacka (2) – unassisted
ANA: Sideroff (1) – Kopacka