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Coyotes preseason ends with a 7-1 statement victory

© Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

In a game full of goals and penalties, the Arizona Coyotes wrapped-up their preseason with a 7-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Tucson Convention Center Arena on Oct. 7.

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Surprisingly, Coyotes forward Zach Sanford was on the top line with center Barrett Hayton and winger Nick Schmaltz with star Clayton Keller not in the lineup.

Additionally, Arizona winger Dylan Guenther didn’t suit up either.

Filling into Guenther’s spot, ‘Yotes newcomer Alex Kerfoot moved up to the third line while left-winger Michael Carcone featured on the fourth after not playing in Anaheim on Oct. 5.

As for the Ducks, they suffered a major blow in preparation for today’s game.

Their top rookie, Leo Carlsson, had to be carried off the ice during Anaheim’s practice yesterday as he suffered an apparent lower-body injury.

However, they got a boost to the blue-line as Ducks defenseman Jamie Drysdale finally signed a contract.

Being a free agent throughout the summer, Drysdale agreed to a three-year contract with the Californian club this past Thursday.

With some crucial players in and out of the lineup, both teams were out to end their preseasons on a high-note.

First Period

Both teams took 16 total penalties in the game on Oct. 5 in Anaheim and it rolled over to Tucson.

After ‘Yotes defenseman Josh Brown took a interference penalty, rookie Logan Cooley was sent to the penalty box for holding 12:53 in.

On the man-advantage and with multiple chances, Ducks kept up the pressure before Drysdale fired a shot that hit the post.

The Coyotes would kill both penalties thanks to crucial saves by their goaltender, Karel Vejmelka.

At 1:02 left in the first period, ‘Yotes newcomer Jason Zucker gave the puck to defenseman Matt Dumba.

Quickly, Dumba skated between the face-off circles and shot it off the goal post and in as Arizona took a 1-0 lead.

When the period concluded, the ‘Yotes had three penalty while the Ducks had two.

Second Period

Following up on the late goal at the end of the first 20 minutes, the Coyotes offense continued to buzz.

Another new ‘Yote, defenseman Sean Durzi sent a wrist-shot towards the net with Hayton in-front of Anaheim goaltender Alex Stalock.

As Stalock was trying to look around Hayton, the puck founds its way into the goal and Durzi scored to make it 2-0 Coyotes 50 seconds into the period.

A little over three minutes later, the fourth line came through.

After a pass from Carcone, Arizona left-wing Liam O’Brien fired a wrist-shot towards the net that was saved by Stalock.

Then, the puck dropped right in-front for O’Brien who tapped the rebound into the goal as he increase Arizona’s lead to 3-0 at 3:54 into the period.

Carcone would get his second point of the period as he fooled Stalock 12:00 into the second frame.

As Carcone skated behind the net, he faked going one way and passed it on the other side before McBain stepped in front before shooting it past as Stalock who was left puzzled.

Not stopping there, a rare occurrence happened again.

Last game, Cooley received a penalty shot opportunity after being hooked from behind by a Duck and scored.

Today, same thing happened.

The Coyotes young phenom made a similar move to his first attempt on Oct. 5 as he skated towards Stalock, shot it under the crossbar and it went in to boost Arizona’s advantage to 5-0 with 3:21 left in the second period.

Like the first period, infractions continued to happen as both teams had three penalties each in the second.

Third Period

Being up five, the offensive onslaught continued.

After coming back to the valley in the offseason, Coyotes center Nick Bjugstad scored his first of the preseason 6:41 into the third period as he tons of space to shoot and fired it past the blocker of Stalock and Arizona went up 6-0.

Soon after, Kerfoot took a high-sticking penalty and Anaheim went to the power-play.

After being down six, the Ducks finally scored as defenseman Pavel Mintyukov potted in a goal 9:43 into the period.

As the period was wrapping up, Zucker found Coyotes left-winger Lawson Crouse between the circles and Crouse made it 7-1 with 3:49 left in the game.

Post Game Notes

The Coyotes won the preseason series 2-1 as this was the finale for both squads before the regular season begins.

In the win, there were seven different goal-scorers for Arizona, showing that the team has depth all over the roster.

Just like the game in Anaheim two days ago, the penalty boxes were full as there were 15 infractions today between both squads.

With two more points, Cooley finished as the Coyotes preseason point leader with four goals and two assists for 6 points in four games.

Vejmelka made 29 saves on 30 shots while Stalock gave up seven goals on 29 shots.

With the victory, Arizona ends the preseason with a 4-5 record.

Now, the Coyotes begin their regular season on the road against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 13 at 4 p.m.

Coyotes preseason will finally be in Arizona

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Alec Cipollini is a journalist covering the Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Rising for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his new X account @AlecCipollini

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