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Vatrano’s Hat Track Helps Ducks Down Avs
By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks finished up their road trip in Colorado against the Avalanche. Kevin Shattenkirk was out with a lower body injury. John Gibson was in net against Pavel Francouz.
The Avs struck first in this contest. Mikko Rantanen got to a rebound for an easy tap in goal to make it an early 1-0 lead for Colorado.
The Ducks would then answer back later in the period. Frank Vatrano would take a shot and then get to the rebound to tie things up. He beat Francouz glove side over the shoulder. The teams would be tied at one after the first period.
The Avs took the lead back early in the second period. Nathan MacKinnon broke in on the Anaheim net and then found Samuel Girard on the opposite of the net of an easy score. The Ducks lost track of Girard who came down from the blue line and found an open spot near the net.
Colorado would then add to their lead on the power play. Gibson was called for delay of game for knocking the net out of position. Rantanen scored his second of the game on the man advantage to make it a 3-1 score.
Vatrano would then answer and get his second do the game. He got the puck behind the net and tried a wrap-around attempt that failed. He stayed with the play and followed up the shot shooting the puck underneath Francouz and into the back of the net. The Ducks trailed by one heading into the third.
Anaheim took over the game in the final frame. The Ducks would score two goals within 24 seconds to turn the tables on the Avs. First, Adam Henrique would score at the halfway point of the third period to tie things up. Troy Terry had the puck at the side of the net and found Henrique in front of the crease for the tap in goal.
Mason McTavish would then score using the defender as a screen. He took a shot at the top of the face-off circle and it found it’s way past Francouz. Within in a matter of seconds the Ducks had their first lead of the night.
Colorado pulled their goalie and made a strong push at the end to tie things up, but Vatrano would score an empty net goal to preserve the victory for Anaheim 5-3.
The Ducks got down by two towards the end of the second period with a questionable call against Gibson, which lead to a Colorado power play goal. He had pushed the net out of position and the refs decided to give him a delay go game penalty as a result. To add insult to injury, the Avs scored with the man advantage to take a 3-1 lead.
Anaheim could have folded, but instead they bounced back. Vatrano scored his second on the night about two minutes later and the Ducks found themselves just behind by one going to the third period. In the final frame, Adam Henrique and Mason McTavish would score within 24 seconds and suddenly it was the Avs who were down by one.
Despite a slow start in the first period and being out shot 31 to 18 through two periods, the Ducks were able to hang around and rally for the win. This was a solid character win for the Ducks as they came back despite a questionable call coming back to hurt them on the score board. Vatrano had himself a night earning two hard working goals en route to his first hat trick as a Duck, which helped keep the Ducks in this one early on.
The Ducks finished the road trip going 3-2-1.
Frank Vatrano earned his third career hat trick.
The Ducks return home to host the Coyotes on Saturday at 7:30 PM PT.
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January 27th, 2023