Ducks drop exhibition opener to Generals, 5-4

EUGENE — Despite holding a lead through the first two periods, a late push by the visiting Eugene Generals found the Ducks skating home with a 5-4 loss in their first of two exhibition games.

Jackson Howery drew first blood 9:14 into the first period, with an assist from Nick Jones and Trevor Shott. While on a two-man advantage, the Ducks caught a turnover behind the Generals’ net and Jones threw it to the slot to Howery, who capitalized on the tap-in. The Generals killed off their second penalty, leaving the score at 1-0 in favor of the home team.

Oregon scored again with under five minutes remaining. Nathan Lutz received a pass at the center line and drove into the Generals’ zone, finishing with a nifty move in front of the net that caught goaltender Jamie Frantz off-guard. Christopher Stankeivicz earned the assist at 16:38 to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead that would last into the first intermission.

Not long into the second period, the Generals cut the lead in half. At 3:24 while shorthanded, William Wallace and Alex Clark skated into the Ducks’ zone on a 2-on-1. Clark threw the puck through the slot to Wallace who found the back of the net past Oregon goaltender Ben Green to make it 2-1, Ducks.

At 14:17, the Ducks would once again make it a two-goal game. With the Generals hemmed in their own zone, Shott caught the puck on the left wall, skated to center and lobbed it on net where it sailed past Frantz. The power play tally earned Oregon a 3-1 advantage heading into the third period.

The tide turned toward the Generals midway through the final frame with three goals in just over two minutes. Clark started the deluge at 7:24 as he carried the puck through center and through it on net from the high slot where it slid beneath newly inserted goaltender Alejandro Martinez. Only six seconds later from the face-off, Jackson Baughman took the puck to the left point and lobbed it on net where it went past Martinez's left glove and tied the game at 3-3. Shortly after at 9:41, Blaine Krona collected a pass from behind the net. Martinez stopped the initial shot, but Jack Thornton picked up the rebound and backhanded it into the net.

The Ducks made a late effort that tied the game at 4-4 when Shott caught a pass from the end boards, but the goal at 11:11 was the last one Oregon would score. The Generals’ Dakota Henn netted the game-winner at 5:03 and the visitors came away with a 5-4 victory.

Four of the nine goals tonight were thanks to special teams. Eugene went 1-for-4 including one shorthanded tally and Oregon went 2-for-4 including one on the power play.

The Ducks and Generals face off again tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at The Rink Exchange. Tickets are available at the door.