COYOTES ROOKIES DROP GAME 2 IN OT
San Jose, CA - The Coyotes opened up the second day of the 2005 Rookie Tournament with a matinee match-up against the Los Angeles Kings. Phoenix started the game where they left off the night before, playing aggressive in both zones and getting some great goaltending. Unfortunately in the end, penalties would sink the Coyotes in a 3-2 overtime loss.
"We came out strong and continued to play very strong like we did against San Jose last night," Coyotes right wing Randall Gelech explained. "We were strong in the first (period), but we tailed off and got away from things that we had success with."
"We played real hard, but we made some mistakes," added Phoenix defenseman Keith Ballard. "You can't give a skilled team like LA that many chances. They do what good teams do, they capitalized on our mistakes and made us pay for them."
The Coyotes were the first to go on the attack when Keith Ballard put Phoenix up 1-0 on a short-handed, unassisted goal at 4:12 of the first period. Ballard created his own scoring chance when he intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, off the Kings rush. He gained control of the puck almost instantly, raced in on King's netminder Barry Brust from the right point and beat him in close with a wrist shot, stick side high.
Brendan Bernakevich would answer for the Kings, tying the game at 1-1 at the 16:55 of the first period. Connor James would hit Bernakevich with a pass as he came crashing in from the left wing, while he also had a beat on Ballard. Bernakevich got in close on Phoenix goalie Dov Grumet-Morris and beat him stick-side, elbow high with a wrist shot.
The Kings would start the second period with a goal from Ned Lukacevic at 1:54. Lukacevic got behind the Coyotes defense off the rush and sent an odd-angle shot that hit the knob of Grumet-Morris' stick. The puck would trickle off the stick, into the crease and over the goal line.
Shortly after that, Coyotes right wing Kevin Cormier tried to rally the Coyotes when he and Kings defenseman Tyler Hanchuck dropped the gloves at center ice at 2:05 in the second.
The Coyotes responded when Randall Gelech redirected a shot past Brust for a power play goal to tie the game 2-2, at 3:48 in the second period. Olivier Latendresse set the play up, quarterbacking the power play from the near half boards. Latendresse fed defenseman Joe Callahan who was parked at the blueline. Callahan moved into the high-slot and blasted a shot. Gelech, who was fighting for positioning down low, picked up the shot and redirected it past Brust.
"They (Kings) scored and I had to mix something up," Coyotes tough Kevin Cormier explained about rallying the troops. "A couple minutes later, we scored. I take a lot of pride in that. I love to help boost the team and I was happy they responded."
Both teams battled through a penalty ridden third period, trading power play situations but regulation ended all tied at 2-2.
"I thought we had a good situation going for us on that late 5-on-3," Ballard explained about one big opportunity to pull ahead. "We couldn't get much going. That is kind of what happens in hockey. You try to make the most of your opportunities and limit the opposition."
The Coyotes started overtime a man down, when Randall Gelech was called for holding at 0:34 into the period.
The Kings immediately went on the attack, playing the extra frame with a 4-on-3 advantage. Los Angeles would the end the contest when Greg Hogeboom slammed home a rebound off a Dany Roussin shot at 1:57 in overtime.
"We're going to regroup during our off day tomorrow," Conacher stated about the team's outlook heading into Saturday's game against Anaheim. "We going to talk about our structure and get ready for Anaheim. They are a real good team and we're going to have to be very structurally sound against them. Trust me, we're going to throw everything we got at them."
Scoring: 4:12 - PHX -Ballard, SH (unassisted), 16:55 - LA - Bernakevich (James, McHugh)
Penalties: 0:34 - LA - Hogeboom (2 min., tripping), 3:33 - PHX -Hecimovic (2 min., unsportsmanlike conduct-diving), 10:38 - PHX - Kompon (2 min., tripping), 11:10 - PHX - Jones (2 min., cross checking), 11:21 - LA - Kopitar (2 min., elbowing), 13:56 - PHX - Ashton (2 min., holding), 19:31 - LA - McHugh (2 min., cross checking)
Scoring: 1:54 - LA - Lukacevic (Kopitar, Werner), 3:48 - PHX - Gelech, PP (Callahan, Latendresse)
Penalties: 1:56 - LA - Hanchuck (5 min., fighting), 1:56 - Cormier (5 min., fighting), 3:12 - LA - James (2 min., hooking), 4:19 - LA - Lukacevic (2 min., hooking), 6:53 - PHX - Bathe (2 min., roughing), 10:21 - LA - Neilson (2 min., tripping), 14:07 - PHX - Ballard (2 min., delay of game), 16:41 - PHX - Koreis (2min., hooking)
Penalties: 2:40 - PHX - Ballard (2 min., elbowing), 6:48 - LA - Lukacevic (2 min., slashing), 7:31 - PHX - Ballard (2 min., roughing), 8:00 - PHX - Stephenson (2 min., tripping), 12:45 - PHX - Jones (2 min., holding), 13:42 - PHX - Callahan (2 min., slashing), 17:12 - LA - Neilson (2 min., interference), 17:58 - LA - Hanchuck (2 min., tripping)
Scoring: 1:57 - LA- Hogeboom, PP (Roussin, Werner)
Penalties: 0:34 - PHX - Gelech (2 min., holding)
PHX - Grumet-Morris: 34 for 37; LA- Brust: 9 for 11, Taylor: 9 for 9
Not only is goalie Dov Grumet-Morris trying to earn a contract with the Coyotes, but he's got a lot of government assistance in his corner. Former Vice President Al Gore was in attendance to cheer on Grumet-Morris. Grumet-Morris and Vice President Gore's son (Albert), became friends during their time at Harvard. Even though, the Coyotes fell, Gore still came down to locker room and passed on some words of encouragement to Dov and the rest of the team.
Up next for the Coyotes
The team will face the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Saturday, September 10th, to close out round robin play. The game is scheduled to start at 4:30pm, PST.