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Wednesday, March 31, 2010
AHL: Couture, Stalock Named To 2009-10 AHL All-Rookie Team
The American Hockey League announced today the 2009-10 AHL All-Rookie Team, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 29 member cities. The team consists of one goaltender, two defensemen and three forwards.
Each All-Rookie Team member will receive a custom designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2009-10 AHL All-Rookie Team.
Alex Stalock, Goaltender (Worcester Sharks):
Alex Stalock has been a workhorse in net for Worcester this season, posting a 37-16-2 record while appearing in 56 of the Sharks’ 73 games to date. Stalock’s league-leading 37 victories are the most ever by an AHL rookie, and the South St. Paul, Minn., native also ranks among the AHL’s top five goaltenders in minutes played (3,266), saves (1,414) and shots faced (1,557). A fourth-round draft pick by San Jose in 2005, the 22-year-old Stalock turned pro after three years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and represented the Sharks at the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic.
John Carlson, Defense (Hershey Bears):
A first-round draft choice (27th overall) by the Washington Capitals in 2008, John Carlson has flourished in 2009-10 after making his pro debut with Hershey during the 2009 postseason. Carlson ranks fourth among AHL rookie defensemen with 39 points (4-35-39) in just 48 AHL games, and his plus-37 rating is good for a share of third place in the entire league. The 20-year-old native of Natick, Mass., has also appeared in 19 games for the Capitals this season, skated in the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic, and scored the overtime gold-medal-winning goal for Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Championships.
P.K. Subban, Defense (Hamilton Bulldogs):
Drafted in the second round by the Montreal Canadiens in 2007, P.K. Subban has provided a consistent two-way presence on a Hamilton defense that has allowed the fewest goals and the fewest shots in the AHL. Subban, 20, leads AHL rookie defensemen in both goals (18) and points (53) through 71 games, and his 11 power-play goals are tops among all league rookies. A Toronto native and a 2010 AHL All-Star Classic participant, Subban is tied for first in the AHL with a plus-43 rating and has chipped in two assists in his first two career NHL contests with Montreal.
Logan Couture, Forward (Worcester Sharks):
Logan Couture registered a point in 21 of his first 24 AHL games this season and has never looked back, totaling 20-33-53 in 42 contests to rank among the AHL’s rookie leaders in goals and points. Drafted ninth overall by San Jose in 2007, Couture leads all first-year pros with nine game-winning goals and has put together 15 multiple-point efforts for Worcester. The 21-year-old London, Ont., native played in the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic and has also earned eight separate NHL recalls this season, registering two goals and three assists in 19 games with the parent Sharks.
Lars Eller, Forward (Peoria Rivermen):
A native of Rodovre, Denmark, Lars Eller places fourth in the AHL rookie scoring race with 52 points (16-36-52) in 66 games this season, ranking him second in team scoring on Peoria. Eller, drafted 13th overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2007, is tied for second among AHL rookies with 21 power-play assists and put together a six-game point-scoring streak from Mar. 4-12. Eller, 20, represented the Rivermen at the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic and has appeared in five games with St. Louis thus far, scoring a goal in his NHL debut for the Blues on Nov. 5, 2009.
Tyler Ennis, Forward (Portland Pirates):
Tyler Ennis has been a fixture near the top of the AHL’s rookie scoring list all season, currently setting the pace in goals (23-tied), assists (42) and points (65) in 69 games for Portland. The 20-year-old Edmonton native and 2010 AHL All-Star Game MVP also leads AHL rookies with 30 power-play points (9-21-30) to help the Pirates to the league’s fourth-ranked unit. A first-round draft pick (26th overall) by Buffalo in 2008, Ennis has played three games for the Sabres and netted a goal in his NHL debut on Nov. 14, 2009.
Press release courtesy of the American Hockey League
Darryl Hunt: WorSharks Booster Club Announces Award Winners
The Worcester Sharks Booster Club announced their 2009-2010 player awards at their fourth annual awards banquet Tuesday night. The voting was completed in early March by booster club members. The big winner on the night was rookie goaltender Alex Stalock, who walked away with three awards.
The winners were...
Best Offensive Player: Logan Couture (accepted by WorSharks captain Ryan Vesce)
Best Defensive Player: Danny Groulx
Tough Guy Award: Brandon Mashinter
Seven Hills 7th Player: John McCarthy
Best Single Game Performance: Dennis McCauley (hat trick @Springfield on 2/3/10)
Fan Favorite: Alex Stalock
Rookie of the Year: Alex Stalock
Most Valuable Player: Alex Stalock
Booster Club President Rich Lundin also announced at the dinner that the club was donating $500 to "T.J.'s Goals for Charity". Every time T.J. Trevelyan scores a goal he donates $50 to Y.O.U., Inc. as part of the T.J.’s Goals for Charity initiative. The organization is designed to provide youth and families with opportunities to fulfill their potential and build a brighter future.
Because Trevelyan missed 17 games due to a broken jaw Lundin said the WorSharks Boosters, as part of their charitable initiatives, would donate the money to "T.J.'s Goals for Charity" to make up for the potential goals missed.
Worcester Sharks Senior Vice President of Hockey and Business Administration Michael Mudd spoke to the gathering about plans for next season, including a 5th anniversary third jersey and other potential events. Mudd also touched on potential playoff schedules for the WorSharks, and while not being too specific indicated that he was pleased with the potential schedules that will be based on who Worcester's opponent is in round one.
San Jose's Thomas Greiss solid late, Devin Setoguchi scores game winning goal in 4-3 win over Colorado Avalanche
#1 THOMAS GREISS MAKES A SAVE IN A SHOWER OF ICE IN 2ND #27 MALHOTRA, #22 BOYLE, #8 PAVELSKI and #15 HEATLEY CELEBRATE SETO GOAL IN 1ST #17 TORREY MITCHELL SENDS A PASS THROUGH A CROWDED AV'S CREASE IN 1ST
More notes on the San Jose Sharks 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche will be posted soon. A small photo gallery from the game is available here.
The Worcester Sharks, behind a 26 save performance by Frank Doyle and two third period goals, defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2-1 Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, PA in front of 6,339 fans.
With each team playing their third game in 44 hours, which included a seven hour bus ride for Worcester from Norfolk to Wilkes-Barre where they arrived at 6 A.M., no one expected a wide open contest. But that’s exact what the opening 20 minutes was, with both WorSharks goaltender Frank Doyle and Penguins netminder Brad Thiessen making huge saves to keep the game scoreless.
Worcester would have the better of the early play, including a four minute power play when Penguins captain Wyatt Smith was called for holding and disagreed too vehemently with referee David Banfield, but they were unable to convert on their man advantage that began at the end of the first period and extended into the second stanza.
Wilkes-Barre would also have a chance with the man advantage, but Doyle turned away everything the Penguins threw at him. The Pens would finally break through at 16:01 of the second period when Joey Haddad scored his first AHL goal after deflecting Brain Strait wrist shot from the point past Doyle, who had come out of his net to cut down the angle on Strait’s shot.
Dan DaSilva would get the WorSharks even after a nice backhand feed from Danny Groulx. With Worcester pressing in the Penguins zone Dennis McCauley would dig a puck loose and push it over to Groulx in the right wing corner. With his back to the play Groulx threw a blind pass right to the stick of DaSilva in the slot. DaSilva had plenty of time and was able to freeze Thiessen in his crease, beating the netminder low to the glove side to knot the game 1-1 at 3:27 of the third.
T.J. Trevelyan had a golden opportunity to give Worcester the lead, but Thiessen was just able to get the right pad on Trevelyan’s five hole bid and hold on to it as Ryan Vesce had two stabs at the puck about nine minutes into the third period. Joe Vitale would have a chance for the Pens with eight minutes to go in the period when he was all alone in the slot, but a great save by Doyle kept the game even.
Neither team looked like they were playing for overtime, and both Doyle and Thiessen had to make big saves to keep the score even. But luckily for Worcester, the game wouldn’t need any extra time for them to get the win.
With 28 seconds remaining in the contest Vesce won a faceoff at the right dot in the Penguins zone after a clearing attempt ended up in the Wilkes-Barre bench. Worcester wasn’t able to get a good scoring chance as the Penguins defense attempted to clear the puck again, only this time around the left side. Groulx was able to keep the puck in the zone, and just as he dumped the puck back in was buried at the blueline. Vesce grabbed the dump in behind the goal line at the right post and wheeled the net untouched, firing a quick wrister that beat Thiessen for Worcester’s only lead of the game with 8.1 seconds remaining.
The Pens would use their timeout and pull Thiessen for an extra attacker, but they had no time to mount any offense as Worcester grabbed four of a possible six points on their weekend bus trip through the Mid-Atlantic states.
Worcester's scratches were Joe Callahan, Cory Quirk, Matt Irwin, Joe Loprieno, Tony Lucia, Cameron MacIntyre, James Marcou, and Nick Schaus. Alex Stalock was the backup netminder.
The three stars of the game were:
1. Doyle (26 saves)
2. Thiessen (39 saves)
3. Haddad (g)
Perhaps the folks in Wilkes-Barre failed to notice that the game winning goal was scored with under 10 seconds to go or that a player had two points in the contest.
The Sharkspage player of the game was Ryan Vesce.
Even Strength Lines
Power Play Lines
The Worcester Sharks used a 46 save performance from Alex Stalock and Tony Lucia's first professional goal to defeat the Norfolk Admirals 2-0 Saturday night at The Scope in Norfolk, Virginia in front of 3,736 fans.
Both teams would play a wide open first period, with Stalock and Norfolk goaltender Dustin Tokarski both making big saves to keep the game scoreless. Tokarski also got some help from the posts behind him as the WorSharks hit the iron behind him more than once. Tokarski probably could have used some help from his defense on Worcester's first goal.
After a feed from defensive partner Mike Moore, Derek Joslin fired a blast on net through traffic that Tokarski made a nice save on. No one on the Admirals defense could get to Frazer McLaren in time to clear him out from the front of the net, and McLaren was able to bang the loose puck back on net and under Tokarski for the 1-0 lead at 18:37.
Worcester would get an insurance goal at 7:07 of the second on another defensive miscue. The WorSharks broke into the Admirals zone and Lucia gathered a loose puck at the right point, fighting off defenseman Jeremy Dehner in the process. With no better option available, Lucia fired the puck toward the net. Tokarski had a bead on the easy flip in, but defenseman Matt Lashoff tried to glove the puck out of the air and had it bounce off his body and just inside the near post for the 2-0 lead.
From that point on Stalock put on a goaltending clinic, and he needed to as Worcester was outshot by their widest margin of the season, 46-25. In the closing seconds of the game with Tokarski pulled for an extra attacker Stalock came within an inch of becoming just the 11th AHL goaltender to score a goal when he hit the post after lofting the puck toward the yawning net at the opposite end of the ice.
Prior to the star of the game the Worcester shuttle made a stop in Norfolk and picked up Jason Demers. Demers is expected to stay in San Jose for their stretch run into the playoffs. Earlier this week Matt Jones, who is not on Worcester's Clear Day roster, was sent to Kalamazoo (ECHL).
Worcester's healthy scratches were Joe Callahan, Cory Quirk, Matt Irwin, Cameron MacIntyre, James Marcou, Dennis McCauley, Nick Petrecki, and Nick Schaus. Joe Callahan is expected to start skating soon, and Tyson Sexsmith it out for the season.
With his goal Saturday night Tony Lucia became the fourth Worcester Shark to score a goal in his professional debut, joining Jamie McGinn, Joe Pavelski, Nate Raduns on the list.
The shutout was Stalock's third of the season, and he is the only WorSharks goaltender with more than one regular season shutout. His three is tied with Thomas Greiss for all-time shutouts by a Worcester Sharks goalie, with two of Greiss' coming during last season's playoff run. In fact, all three of Greiss' Worcester shutouts came within a span of 28 days.
The three stars of the game were
1. Stalock (46 save shutout)
2. McLaren (gwg)
3. Lucia (g)
Stalock was also the AHL's 2nd star of the night.
The Sharkspage player of the game was Mike Moore.
Even Strength Lines
Sharks clinch playoff berth and regain top position in West with 3-0 shutout over Dallas
#20 EVGENI NABOKOV STOPPED 27 SHOTS FOR HIS 50TH CAREER SHUTOUT IN HIS 3RD GAME BACK, #44 VLASIC SKATED NEARLY 20 MINUTES ON 25 SHIFTS DALLAS GOALTENDER #35 MARTY TURCO SPRAWLS ON HIS BACK TO MAKE SAVE IN 2ND #59 BRAD STAUBITZ LANDS A RIGHT VS #13 KRIS BARCH IN 1ST
San Jose overcame a wobbly third period to end a 6-game losing streak against Minnesota. Thursday night against Dallas in the first home game in 11 days, the Sharks picked up steam each period en route to a 3-0 shutout win and a 2-game winning streak. Evgeni Nabokov stopped all 27 shots he faced to earn his 50th career shutout. Dan Boyle and Rob Blake scored second period power play goals to effectively put the game out of reach, and rookie Logan Couture notched his second goal of season in the third period.
San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan talked about playing a tighter checking, more defense oriented game after the win. "We are closer (to getting out of the woods). Coming into the game tonight we were waiting to see how we would play, how we would respond. If we thought we needed to change our game from Minnesota," McLellan said. "Obviously they learned something. They used that same recipe again tonight. Now it is how long we can hold on to that recipe, continue playing this way, because it is the right way to play."
Dallas hemmed the Sharks deep in their own zone twice early in the first period, and the fans inside HP Pavilion were restless. A Krys Barch vs. Brad Staubitz collision along the half boards, and subsequent fight, released a little pressure but turnovers were an issue. For the second straight game, Todd McLellan used new forward combinations to spread Marleau-Thornton-Heatley across the lineup. Heatley skated with Setoguchi and Couture, Torrey Mitchell skated with Joe Thornton and Ryane Clowe, Brad Staubitz lined up with Jamie McGinn and Jed Ortmeyer (with occasional shifts by Marleau), and Joe Pavelski skated with Manny Malhotra and Patrick Marleau. The move effectively took the players mind's off of embarassing defeats on the road at Dallas and Edmonton, and forced them to refocus on playing with new linemates. It is a smart move short term, but with time ticking down until the playoffs the roster upheaval is coming at the last possible moment.
The Sharks were looking for payback after an 8-2 loss at the American Airlines Center a week earlier set the stage for the longest losing streak of the season. A parade of 6 minor penalties in the final two periods, not including Steve Ott's triple minor (elbowing, roughing, roughing) and 10 minute game misconduct in the third, made for an uphill effort for the Dallas Stars. After defenseman Mark Fistric was called for a holding penalty early in the second period, goaltender Marty Turco skated far out of his crease to voice his complaints to referees Brad Watson and Rob Martell. Before play resumed, Turco managed to find a problem with the net's marsh peg. The "veteran move" allowed nearly a minute and a half for the penalty killing corps to catch their breath.
The stall had no effect on the Sharks power play. Quick puck movement with three men in a high umbrella opened a shooting lane for Dan Boyle on a second period power play. Boyle's shot from the left point, with Setoguchi providing a screen in front, resulted in his 14th goal of the season. Defenseman Nick Grossman took a tripping minor shortly thereafter, and the Sharks quickly setup a quality scoring chance. A Dan Boyle pass through the slot to Manny Malhotra deflected off traffic and ended up in front of the net. Ryane Clowe and Joe Pavelski outnumbered defenseman Stephane Robidas, and Pavelski grabbed the puck and made a hard move to his forehand to try to lift it over Turco. Sprawled on his back, Turco lifted his leg pads in the air to make the spectacular save.
The Sharks would punch through on the power play for the second time in under three minutes. A Thornton pass to Marleau resulted in a quick shot on goal. With Heatley and Blake set up in front of Turco, Blake was able to corral the rebound and flick it into the empty net. His 134th career power play goal tied him for 3rd alltime for a defenseman with Paul Coffey. His 772nd career point (239G, 533A) also moved him into 18th alltime in career points by a defenseman according to CSNCA.
The Stars were vocally dressing down the officials multiple times during the game. After Boyle's goal, center Mike Ribeiro yelled point blank at one referee. After Pavelski crashed the net later in the period, Steve Ott and Brad Richards complained vigorously to another official behind the net. The Sharks seemed content to put their heads down and play. Patrick Marleau lead the way with a double shift on the penalty kill, and a shorthanded breakaway down the right wing that showed off a glimpse of the speed that he needs to use more often.
Krys Barch drilled Jed Ortmeyer along the end boards, but Ortmeyer took the large hit to make the play out of the zone. A critical Ortmeyer turnover during the road trip was emblematic of the Sharks problems, but in that instance he had time to move the puck up ice but failed on a long, hurried clearing pass. Thursday night Ortmeyer made the critical clear, and it was Barch who limped off the ice and into the locker room as a result of the monster check he initiated. Rob Blake also left the ice after an extended battle in front of the Dallas net with defenseman Mark Fistric. Each player got in a large number of questionable elbows and sticks up high, but after Fistric knocked Blake to the ice Blake returned with a heavy, borderline elbow. Blake made a b-line for the bench and headed straight for the locker room. According to the roster report, he returned for only one shift in the third period.
Closing out the third period against Dallas may have been the most important 20 minutes of the last 2 weeks for San Jose. Stringing together back-to-back wins, and more importantly a refocused defense oriented effort, could help rebuild the Sharks fragile confidence and help them get to a better head space before the playoffs begin. The individual defensive plays combined with forward support, second and third efforts, and solid goaltending by Evgeni Nabokov provided a much needed boost. Torrey Mitchell trailed Joe Thornton on a breakaway up ice providing an outlet and an easy third man back. A group of Sharks players each simultaneously took away the stick of a Dallas Stars forward after a shot on goal. Setoguchi carried the puck down the right wing twice, hemming the Dallas Stars deep in their own zone and setting up Logan Couture for his second goal of the season. After a Patrick Marleau turnover in the netural zone, 3 players blocked the Stars rush up ice and it stalled their attack. Each individual play rolled into a solid collective defensive effort for San Jose, and a few clutch saves by Nabokov put the stamp on win #45.
"At this point in the year, we are not reinventing the game. We have done it for a full year now. They know how to do it, they have proven it does work," San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said after the game. "There are little changes here and there, little tweaks, but nothing dramatic. We won some faceoffs, we got pucks to the net, and we got bodies there. Simple as that."
Video highlights of the game from CSNCA are available here. A photo gallery from the game is available here.
The Worcester Sharks used two goals by Andrew Desjardins and 24 saves by rookie goaltender Alex Stalock to defeat the Syracuse Crunch 3-1 Tuesday night at the DCU center in Worcester, Massachusetts. The win was the 36th on the season for Stalock, which leads the American Hockey League and sets a new rookie record for wins in a season.
The WorSharks have gotten into a habit of scoring goals early in periods lately, and they did it again against Syracuse when Desjardins connected just 56 seconds into the game. After passes in the neutral zone by Dan DaSilva and John McCarthy, Desjardins broke into the Crunch zone down the left wing side and cut to the net driving to the far post. Syracuse goaltender Dan Taylor bit on Desjardins' backhand fake, and left a wide open net that Desjardins easily pushed a forehander into for the 1-0 lead.
The goal was Desjardins' eighth 'first goal' on the season, which is tied for best in the AHL.
Syracuse was able to draw even at 4:37 of the second period when they converted a two on one breakaway while shorthanded. Greg Moore and Chad Kolarik broke in on Danny Groulx after Brendan Bell intercepted a WorSharks pass and Moore picked up the loose puck. Groulx had the passing lane blocked, so Moore fired a low shot that Stalock seemed surprised at and the puck slid past the near motionless netminder and inside the far post to knot the game 1-1.
After a lackluster second period the WorSharks were looking to start the third period off on the right foot, and Worcester's third line took a big step in the right direction when they connected just 11 seconds into the period. Defenseman Mike Moore broke up a Crunch attack off the opening faceoff and sent a pass to DaSilva, who lead a three on one break from the right wing side. DaSilva went wide and faked a shot, sending a tape to tape pass to Desjardins who was standing behind Taylor. Desjardins' easy deflection gave Worcester a 2-1 lead.
T.J. Trevelyan would give Worcester an important insurance goal at 9:05 of the third after he put a rebound of a Steven Zalewski blast past Taylor for a 3-1 lead. Zalewski stole a clearing attempts and skated to the right wing circle before firing a blast on net, where Trevelyan was able to get behind the Crunch defense and bang home the rebound.
Worcester had to kill three minors late in the game to keep their two goal lead, but Stalock was more than up to the challenge as the WorSharks 44th win on the season reduced their playoff magic number to three.
Worcester's Clear Day roster scratches were Joe Callahan, Michael Wilson, and Nick Petrecki. Joe Loprieno took Petrecki's place in the line-up.
It's a rare event for the on ice officials for the game to take part in between period events, but referee Mark Lemelin and linesmen Todd Whittemore and Chris Millea did just that when they joined several current and former hockey officials at center ice for a photo after a pregame conference held at the DCU center hosted by former NHL referee Paul Stewart, the first American born referee to officiate 1,000 NHL games.
The three stars of the game were
1. Desjardins (2g)
2. DaSilva (2a)
3. McCarthy (a)
Desjardins was also the AHL's second star of the night.
The Sharkspage player of the game was Brett Westgarth.
Even Strength Lines
Darryl Hunt: Record Crowd Sees WorSharks Dump Providence, 2-1
The Worcester Sharks got two goals from their third line 71 seconds--and one intermission--apart and some big saves from goaltender Frank Doyle to defeat the Providence Bruins 2-1 Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front 7,568 fans, the largest home crowd in franchise history. With the win the WorSharks' magic number to make the playoffs drops to eight.
In previous seasons this was the type of game Worcester probably would have lost. They'd own the ice on both ends, but run into a hot goaltender who would look like a sheet of plywood in front of the net, and then not get the timely save in their own end or watch a bad bounce roll into their net to send the team home with one in the loss column. But this season the WorSharks win many more of those games than they lose, and Saturday night was no exception.
After nearly a full opening period where Worcester could have easily had two or three goals were it not for some great saves by Providence goaltender Dany Sabourin, Dan DaSilva would get Worcester on the board after a couple of bounces found him all alone at the left post with the puck. DaSilva carried the puck in the P-Bruins zone and wheeled the net looking for an opening. When none presented itself he sent the puck to Mike Moore at the blueline, who hesitated just slightly then and blasted the puck on net. The puck pinballed through traffic, hitting Andrew Desjardins along the way, and then dropped at the post where DaSilva was standing behind Sabourin for the 1-0 lead at 18:59.
Worcester didn't wait nearly as long into the second period to light the lamp as they did in the first when John McCarthy beat Sabourin with a wrister to the glove slide and into the net for the 2-0 lead just 10 seconds into the second period. DaSilva and Desjardins were both originally credited with assists on the play, but there appears to have been a scoring changes since the end of the game as Danny Groulx has been given the second assist in place of Desjardins.
Providence would grab their goal at 14:41 of the second on a nice play as the WorSharks defense scrambled to get every man covered. After Providence dumped the puck into the Worcester zone Jeff LoVecchio was able to get control and give the puck to Ned Lukacevic at the left wing halfboards. As Lukacevic turned to the middle he saw--and heard--Levi Nelson banging his stick on the ice calling for the puck at the right wing circle. Lukacevic's pass was nearly perfect, and Doyle had no chance on the one-time blast that came his way.
Both teams would have great chances to get another tally on the board, but Doyle and Sabourin continued their stellar play to keep the score 2-1. After a goaltender interference penalty on Guillaume Lefebvre late in the third killed some of the momentum Providence had built up over the course of the third period, the Baby-Bs pulled Sabourin for an extra attacker but the Worcester defenders held firm for the 2-1 final.
The Worcester shuttle made another cross country trip, dropping off defenseman Jason Demers and picking up rookie forward Logan Couture. Worcester also signed two former college players to ATO contracts. Right winger Cameron MacIntyre, an undrafted free agent from Princeton University who is not expected to play, and left winger Tony Lucia out of the University of Minnesota and sixth round pick for San Jose in the 2005 entry draft who might see some ice time.
Three other former college players have signed with San Jose and expected in Worcester are Nick Schaus, a free agent defenseman from UMass-Lowell; James Marcou, a free agent forward from UMass-Amherst; and Matt Irwin, a free agent defenseman also from UMass-Amherst. It's also expected that UMass-Amherst's Justin Braun, San Jose's seventh round pick in the 2007 entry draft, will be signing with the big club soon and will find his way down Route 9 to Worcester. All former college players on ATO contracts and players joining the AHL after their junior seasons are over are eligible to play in the AHL playoffs.
Worcester's Clear Day roster scratches were Cory Quirk and Nick Petrecki. Alex Stalock, who is a little banged up, got the night off and was the back-up goaltender.
In addition to the franchise record crowd a couple of other franchise records were set or tied last night. The win was the WorSharks 24th on the season, which ties the franchise record, and John McCarthy's goal ten seconds into the second period breaks the record for fastest goal to start a period for Worcester.
There were a handful VIPs in at the DCU Center Saturday night, including Mike Ricci joining coaches Roy Sommer and David Cunniff behind the bench, and Greg Jamison, President and CEO of Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment. Jamison was joined by Kevin Compton, another member of the ownership group, and Worcester's biggest cheerleader, City Manager Mike O’Brien.
The three stars of the game were
1. McCarthy (gwg, +2)
2. Desjardins (a, +2)
3. Doyle (24 saves)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Dan DaSilva.
Even Strength Lines
DOH Podcast #91: Stretch run discussion, Ortmeyer-Mitchell, and rise of the Phoenix Coyotes
Mike Peattie and Doug Santana discuss the Sharks lackluster play against Dallas, Anaheim and Florida, then decide against the negative tack to celebrate St. Patty's Day, talk about what the Sharks have to do in the remaining 13 regular season games of the season, the Phoenix Coyotes recent strong play, Ortmeyer's declining ice time and an increased role for Torrey Mitchell, take issue with The Hockey News most recent Future Watch look at San Jose, and raise questions about the playoffs if the Sharks post a 5-5 or a losing record in the final 10 games on the 91st episode of Dudes on Hockey.
This Sharks podcast is posted here with permission. Visit dudesonhockey.com for more coverage of the team, or download the podcast MP3 file directly here.
Darryl Hunt: Desjardins, WorSharks Take A Bite Out Of Hershey, 6-5
The Worcester Sharks used a complete team effort of both ends of the ice and a rare penalty shot goal by Mike Moore to defeat the Hershey Bears Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 5,415 fans.
Hershey is arguably the best team in the American Hockey League, so the young WorSharks squad knew it would take some hard work--and a little luck--to defeat the defending Calder Cup champions. And both played a role in Worcester’s first goal.
With Hershey swarming the WorSharks zone, John McCarthy had his stick broken while trying to break up the play. Because he was near the Worcester bench he was able to get another stick, and when the Hershey defense was forced to wait for their forwards to clear the zone after the puck bounced outside the blueline McCarthy swooped in from behind stole the puck away and broke in on the left wing side. McCarthy's rush was stopped, but Andrew Desjardins grabbed the lose puck and threw a backhand pass into the slot where Derek Joslin blast it past Bears staring goaltender Michal Neuvirth for the 1-0 lead at 8:40 of the first.
McCarthy would get Worcester a 2-0 lead on a very similar rush. This time Desjardins had the puck in the Worcester zone and found Dan DaSilva just outside the Hershey zone with a hard pass. DaSilva hit McCarthy in full stride with a nice pass of his own, and McCarthy broke down the left side and wheeled around Bears defenseman Bryan Helmer and tucked the puck under Neuvirth at 10:55.
Hershey came out on fire in period number two, and unfortunately for Worcester their first shift was slightly less than spectacular. After several failed clearing attempts Moore tried to go up the boards with the puck, only to fire it into the stands for an automatic delay of game minor. He would make amends for his penalty when he was released from the box and raced toward the Worcester zone, only to turn back to the Hershey end as he was sent away on a breakaway by a nice pass. Referee Terry Koharski was quick to award Moore a penalty shot after he was taken down from behind, and Moore connected on his bonus try by beating Neuvirth five-hole for the 3-0 lead at 2:47.
Worcester would increase their lead to 4-0 after a nice individual effort by Benn Ferriero. Ferriero, taking Frazer McLaren's spot on the fourth line while McLaren served his major for fighting, broke into the Bears zone against two defenders. Ferriero was able to get through one, but the second caused him to lose control as he headed to the net. Brandon Mashinter was the first to get to the puck, and ripped a slapshot past Neuvirth and off the underside of the crossbar and into the net at 9:53.
Worcester's fifth goal would at 13:58 chase Neuvirth from the game when Desjardins picked up a loose puck at the left wing halfboards and circle in. Just as he was being checked by Bears center Mathieu Perreault Desjardins unleashed a blast that broke through the five hole of Neuvirth. DaSilva had the only assist on the goal.
Desjardins would also have Worcester's sixth goal of the contest, this one at 11:34 of the third. He and Joslin broke into the Hershey zone two on one, and Joslin fired a shot on net that hit Bears goaltender Braden Holtby in the arm. The puck dropped into the crease behind Holtby where Desjardins was able to poke it in ahead of the onrushing Bears defense. DaSilva original pass to Joslin gained him the second assist on the play.
With a 6-0 lead all that remained was trying to get Alex Stalock his third pro shutout, but unfortunately Hersehy was able to get on the board at 16:25 when Michael Dubuc fired a laser over Stalock and just under the crossbar. Hershey added a stat killing second goal at 18:03 by Chris Bourque for the 6-2 final.
The end of the game saw what was close to a full 18 man brawl as Hershey's Steve Pinizzotto, a brave man while wearing a full face cage, brought down Desjardins just as the horn expired as all ten skaters on the ice got together. Once the players were separated they went to their respective sides of the red line, where players from both teams jawed back and forth. Several WorSharks players could clearly be seen laughing and pointing at the scoreboard, much to the obvious chagrin of the Bears players.
Defenseman Michael Wilson returned to the line-up after recently re-injuring his finger, taking Nick Petrecki's spot in the line-up. The only other players on Worcester’s clear day roster not to play were Jason Demers (currently in San Jose), Joe Callahan, and Cory Quirk.
There was one fight in the contest, with Frazer McLaren and Grant McNeil going at it two minutes after Moore’s penalty shot. It was pretty much a nothing fight, with neither really gaining a big edge over the other. McNeil gets the nod for the bout as he landed a few more punches than McLaren.
With the win Worcester's magic number to clinch a playoff spot drops to 11. They currently have a six point lead over second place Portland with a game in hand. Worcester has 14 games remaining, four at home and ten on the road. After alternating away and home games the WorSharks will go on a seven game road trip, which starts March 26 against these very Bears.
The three stars of the game were
1. Desjardins (2g,2a,+4)
2. Stalock (31 saves)
3. Joslin (g,a,+3)
The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy.
Even Strength Lines
The Worcester Sharks used multiple point nights from Danny Groulx, Logan Couture, and T.J. Trevelyan to defeat the Binghamton Senators 6-4 Friday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 3,609 fans. The win reduces Worcester's magic number to clinch an Atlantic division playoff spot to 13 points.
The WorSharks would score the first goal of the game at 5:01 when Trevelyan grabbed a loose puck along the right wing halfboards and skated it into the slot, firing a laser past Senators goaltender Chris Holt for the 1-0 lead. Joe Loprieno and Mike Moore had the assists on the play.
Binghamton would draw even at 3:38 of the second period after converting on a three on one break where WorSharks rookie defenseman Nick Petrecki backed all the way to Alex Stalock's crease without ever making any sort of defensive attempt at all. Stalock had no chance on Josh Hennessy’s shot. Unofficially, Petrecki would play just six more shifts in the contest.
Hard work along the boards by Kevin Henderson would help give Worcester the lead back at 6:52 of the second. Henderson kept digging at the puck along the left wing boards, eventually gaining control despite being outnumbered. Groulx would have the eventual goal with a blue line blast through traffic, with Frazer McLaren grabbing an assist along the way.
Sixty-two seconds later John McCarthy would give the WorSharks a 3-1 lead when he backhanded a rebound over Holt's left shoulder. Andrew Desjardins, fresh off his newly signed NHL deal, cleanly won a face-off to Dan DaSilva who blasted it on net. McCarthy was there to scoop up the rebound to light the lamp.
Bingo would get back to 3-2 with a power play tally by Derek Smith at 11:33 after he flipped a shot into a yawning net after Stalock made a save that put him out of position for the return blast, but it was the WorSharks that would have the last goal of the period after Derek Joslin and Groulx tried to play 'give and go'.
Joslin saw Groulx all alone at the left wing half boards and fed a nice pass to him, breaking to the net for the return pass through the slot. Groulx threw that pass, and it was headed perfectly to Joslin for what looked to be a great scoring chance. But Ryan Vesce had other ideas and intercepted the pass headed to Joslin and fired a spin-o-rama type shot that Holt had no chance on at 16:41 for a 4-2 WorSharks lead.
Couture would give Worcester a 5-2 lead with a highlight reel power play tally at 4:12 of the third period. From the top of the left face-off circle, and with defender Craig Schira diving in front of him to block the shot, Couture fired a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Holt and just inside the near corner for his 20th on the season with assists to Groulx and Benn Ferriero. With the goal Couture became the first WorSharks rookie to hit the 20 goal plateau.
The Senators continued to play hard despite being down three goals, and in the span of 56 seconds got themselves within one. Jason Bailey would connect at 16:14 when he tipped at slapshot from the point past Stalock, and Geoff Kinrade's end to end unassisted tally at 17:10 made it 5-4.
Worcester would wake up after the twin scores by Binghamton and settle in defensively, limiting the Senators chances to a handful of weak attempts from bad angles. Trevelyan would ice the game for Worcester with an empty net goal at 19:55 after grabbing a clearing pass from Couture at the Senators bench.
The Worcester shuttle made a stop in Worcester Friday afternoon, picking up defenseman Jason Demers. Joe Loprieno took Demers' spot in the line-up.
It was amusing watching Worcester's first line (T.J. Trevelyan, Logan Couture, and Ryan Vesce) line up for face-offs, with all three players switching positions almost every time the lined up. Such versatility is what makes them one of the top lines in the AHL.
Both goaltenders made some huge plays that don't appear in the boxscore. Bingo's Chris Holt made a great arm save along the ice on Couture in the second period that would easily have made ESPN's top 10 had it been in the NHL, and Alex Stalock had a head's up play just after the Senators first goal to grab a loose puck in front of him after Mike Moore was checked off the play by a big hit. Stalock was actually moving to grab the puck before Moore was even hit.
The hit of the game was one that took place accidentally when Binghamton's Martin St. Pierre skated full stride into linesman Chris Libett, with St. Pierre taking the full brunt of the hit spilling to the ice. Lineman Libett, who looks to be the dictionary definition of "lanky", shrugged off the charging forward without even appearing to lose his balance.
Former San Jose Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo, traded to Ottawa on September 12, 2009, now plays for Binghamton. Cheechoo's play for the game looked fairly uninspired as it appeared he was simply going through the motions. He also had the bad luck of being the first Binghamton player to touch a Worcester player after referee Chris Brown called Frazer McLaren for a horrendous boarding call, getting called for an equally bad boarding minor himself.
The three stars of the game were
1. Groulx (g,2a)
2. McCarthy (g)
3. Hennessy (g,a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was T.J. Trevelyan.
Even Strength Lines
San Jose drops football score on Nashville in 8-5 win, Joe Pavelski spin-o-rama game winner caps 6 goal third period
More notes from the San Jose Sharks 8-5 win over the Nashville Predators will be posted soon. Pavelski's spin-o-rama game winning goal comes 9:03 into the highlights, his post-game interview and CSNCA's highlights are available here.
DOH Podcast #90: Western Conference bubble picture, San Jose power play
Mike Peattie and Doug Santana discuss come-from-behind wins over the New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets, the San Jose Sharks power play, the recent improved play of center Torrey Mitchell, weigh the Anaheim Ducks playoff chances, examine the bubble picture in the Western Conference, pick one Doug Wilson trade they would reverse, and answer reader email on the 90th episode of Dudes on Hockey.
This Sharks podcast is posted here with permission. Visit dudesonhockey.com for more coverage of the team, or download the podcast MP3 file directly here.
Darryl Hunt: Trevelyan, WorSharks Triumph Over Wolf Pack 6-4
The Worcester Sharks overcame several early miscues by goaltender Frank Doyle and used two third period goals by T.J. Trevelyan to defeat the Hartford Wolf Pack 6-4 Wednesday night at the DCU center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Hartford came into the DCU Center on a four game winning streak against the WorSharks having won all of their previous meetings this season, and it looked like Worcester's bad luck against the Wolf Pack would continue when defenseman Corey Potter intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line and flipped an easy arcing shot on Doyle that somehow found its way into the back of the net for a 1-0 Hartford lead at 5:54.
The WorSharks would answer at 9:08 with their first of three power play goals on the night. Derek Joslin began the play by breaking in down the right wing side, and firing a shot on Hartford goaltender Matt Zaba that was easily saved. Steven Zalewski was able to grab the rebound and jammed at it twice before the puck got past Zaba to knot the game.
The Wolf Pack would regain the lead as referee Mark Lemelin was waiting to call a delayed minor on Worcester. Just before Zaba could make it to the bench Potter would again light the lamp from the blue line, this time beating an unscreened Doyle with a slapshot over the netminder's glove at 14:16. Doyle would again have an issues with the puck, being called for playing the puck in the restricted area just 13 seconds after Potter's second goal.
Hartford would make it 3-1 halfway through the second period after a turnover deep in the WorSharks zone. Brodie Dupont was able to deflect a pass from Corey Locke under Doyle and just over the goal line at 10:21.
Worcester would get back within one at 14:32 with their second power play goal of the contest. The play began with Worcester skating five on three and not having much luck getting a scoring chance, but as Wolf Pack defense Ilkka Heikkinen jumped out of the box and into the play Worcester was able to get a lucky bounce. After several attempts in close that were turned away captain Ryan Vesce's shot deflected off defenseman Anders Eriksson leg and into the net to make it 3-2. Benn Ferriero and Danny Groulx had the helpers on the play.
Andrew Desjardins would tie the game for Worcester at 7:26 of the third period as the WorSharks third line swarmed around the net. John McCarthy's original shot went wide of Zaba, but Dan DaSilva grabbed the loose puck and found Desjardins in the slot. Desjardins' blast to the stick side just glanced off Zaba's blocker and into the net.
Trevelyan would give Worcester its first lead of the evening after converting on a two on one break. After a rebound of a Doyle kick save that Kevin Henderson grabbed, he and Trevelyan would skate into the Wolf Pack zone against Eriksson. Henderson threw the perfect pass to Trevelyan as Locke dove in from behind to try and block the play, and Trevelyan's blast hit off Zaba and in at 9:30 for the 4-3 Worcester lead.
The Wolf Pack would get back to even at 13:03 of the third when Potter's fluttering blast from the point was deflected by Dale Weise and past Doyle to make it a 4-4 game.
Trevelyan's second of the game at 18:15 would give Worcester the lead for good when he deflected Logan Couture's hard centering pass past a surprised Zaba. Brett Westgarth, in his first home game in Worcester since being traded back to the WorSharks last week, had the other assist on the goal.
With a minute to go in the contest Hartford tried to get Zaba off the ice for an extra attacker, and were called for a too many men on the ice minor. Despite being shorthanded Hartford pulled Zaba as their first opportunity to get the skaters back to even, but they were unable to get a single shot on goal. Groulx iced the game by stick handling out of the Worcester zone as time ticked down, and threw a lazy shot in the empty net that made it over the goal line as time expired. Even though the green light was on Referee Lemelin ruled the goal good for the 6-4 final.
Worcester's scratches were Joe Callahan, Matt Jones, Joe Loprieno, Tyson Sexsmith, Dennis McCauley, Cory Quirk, and Michael Wilson. Alex Stalock was the back-up goaltender. Nick Petrecki did not play in the third period, but did not appear injured.
The Worcester Sharks Booster Club announced their players of the month for December and January, with Benn Ferriero winning the award for December and Danny Groulx being the winner for January. Groulx's empty net goal at 19:59.9 kept alive a streak of winners scoring goals in games where the awards were given out that extends back into last season.
Wednesday was the deadline for teams to submit their Clear Day Rosters to the AHL. The AHL rules say that only players on the list, along with college and junior players signed after their seasons are over, are eligible to play from now until the end of the Calder Cup playoffs. In reality, it is very simple for teams to literally play anyone they want. Worcester's list was fairly predictable with the notable exception of Jamie McGinn. McGinn can still play for the WorSharks should he be reassigned to the AHL at any point as long as he is replacing an injured or recalled player on the WorSharks list. Headaches and the sniffles are considered "injures" by the AHL.
Worcester's list contains forwards John McCarthy, Logan Couture, Dwight Helminen, Cory Quirk, Frazer McLaren, Steven Zalewski, Ryan Vesce, Benn Ferriero, Andrew Desjardins, Dan DaSilva, T.J. Trevelyan, and Brandon Mashinter; defensemen Danny Groulx, Jason Demers, Mike Moore, Michael Wilson, Derek Joslin, Joe Callahan, Nick Petrecki, and Brett Westgarth; and goaltenders Frank Doyle and Alex Stalock.
The three stars of the game were
1. Trevelyan (2g)
2. Potter (2g,a,+3)
3. Vesce (g,a)
Trevelyan was also the AHL's second star of the night
The Sharkspage player of the game was Danny Groulx.
Even strength lines
Power play lines
1st Period-1, Hartford, Potter 3 5:54. 2, Worcester, Zalewski 21 (Joslin), 9:08 (pp). 3, Hartford, Potter 4 (Dupont, Locke), 14:16. Penalties-Brashear Hfd (hooking), 7:46; Doyle Wor (delay of game - restricted area), 14:29; served by Brashear Hfd (bench minor - too many men), 17:05.
Tim McKenzie and Jenna Castillo shine at WOTH 5 Muaythai Kickboxing and MMA Championships in Santa Clara
WOTH 5 - TIM MCKENZIE (13-6) POSED WITH TEAM AFTER WIN IN MAIN EVENT WOTH 5 - TEAM BLACK'S QUINCEY SHAMON LANDS A KICK VS MATT LUCAS WOTH 5 - CARRESA KIBLER PERFORMED THE RAM MUAY PREFIGHT RITUAL
The fifth edition of the War of the Heroes Muaythai Kickboxing/MMA Championships presented by USMF/Xfight officially brought a standing room only crowd of nearly 1600 fans to the Santa Clara Convention Center on Saturday night. Unofficially, estimates on seating capacity and the Virtual Box Office information show that as many as 1800 fans may have been in attendance and possibly more. The Santa Clara fire department shut down the box office because it was over capacity.
In the two main event professional MMA bouts, UFC/WEC veteran Tim "the Wrecking Machine" McKenzie (13-6) blitzed Mike Arellano, and Fairtex Mountain View's Chris Moore showcased a slick wrestling and submission game as both ended their fights with early first round submissions. Four U.S. Muaythai Federation title contests headlined 15 amateur fights, and the lone professional muaythai bout witnessed Strikeforce kickboxing veteran Ryan "T2" Roy batter and bloody a game Nathan Bagby.
Flanked by cheerleading and MLM marketing exhibitions, Conference Room B was packed wall-to-wall with fight team members, vocal supporters and a growing underground kickboxing fan base for 4+ hours of marathon kickboxing/mma hybrid action. Stockton-based and SF-trained under Ganyao "Dr. Knee" Fairtex, Tim McKenzie has been in the cage with several grizzled MMA veterans and up-and-comers including Emanuel Newton, Akihiro Gono, Scott Smith and Chael Sonnen. With 3 losses in his last 5 fights, McKenzie was looking to rebound against Gladiator Challenge and Tachi Palace veteran Mike "Showtime" Arellano.
After a short feeling out process, McKenzie went airborne to keep his balance against a solid double leg takedown attempt from Arellano. Folding the Corona, CA native back on himself, McKenzie ended up in the dominant mount position after a short scramble. Instead of going for a ground and pound finish, "the Wrecking Machine" flattened out his opponent while controlling the head. As Arellano bucked his hips and reversed position, McKenzie kept control of the wrists and slipped fluidly into a textbook armbar. The Ronin Jiu-Jitsu instructor finished the fight in 43 seconds with an armbar submission.
In his professional MMA debut, Fairtex Mountain View's Chris Moore looked impressive en route to a first round submission over Sacramento native Tramail Smith. Moore plowed through a hard side kick to score an early takedown, but he could not gain a good enough posture to advance his position. After Smith showed several agressive upkicks and inside kicks off his back, he tried to press the action standing with a flurry of kicks and punches. Moore quickly used a hip throw into the mount position, sinking in a deep keylock submission moments later. Tramail Smith tapped at 1:53.
Burgeoning Muaythai and San Shou star Jenna Castillo (25-1) has seen her profile rise quickly among Bay Area fans and media. A member of Fairtex SF also under Ganyao Fairtex, she has sparred with 2-time female boxing champion Ana Julaton and UFC/WEC/Strikeforce veteran, Scott Smith. Castillo also recently defended her WCSC Batamweight title as the headliner on a San Francisco Female Fury card in convincing fashion. Facing her would be 29-year old Melanie Kohler Edwards (8-4) of Utah. Edwards, a K-1 USA Superfight winner in 2003, came out to a solid walk-in track by Gangstar, but the flow of the fight would be directed by Castillo from the outset.
Castillo piled up damage until the decisive third round. Quick two-punch, inside leg kick combinations found their mark for Jenna. Along with a piercing right hand, left high kick combination, Edwards was on the defensive, covering up and on her heels. Castillo pressed the action and forced a standing 8-count. Cornered again later in the round, Castillo's right hand found its mark repeatedly until referee Dan Stell stepped in and stopped the fight.
In the lone professional Muaythai bout of the evening, Strikeforce and WCSC veteran kickboxer and a member of Fairtex Mountain View, Ryan "T2" Roy put his stamp on Fort Worth, Texas native Nathan Bagby. Bagby started the fight with more effective strikes from the outside, but Roy's power changed the gameplan early. Heavy kicks to the body echoed off the walls of the conference room, and looping right hands were thrown with knockout intentions. Bagby threw a solid, technical high kick at the end of the first. Roy blocked it with both hands and tossed him unceremoniously to the canvas.
In the second round, Bagby followed his corner's instructions and landed several quick pinpoint kicks to the legs and body. An imposing T2 started leveling heavy kicks to the midsection, like chopping wood. After scoring a knockdown, Roy sent Bagby sprawling to the mat seconds later by kicking his leg out from under him. Ryan Roy began finding the zone in the third round, backing up Bagby into a corner and landing knockout quality punches. Bagby was bloodied, but he remained on his feet. An elbow, right hand combination cut a gash over the right eye of Nathan, but after a quick consult the doctor said he could continue. The onslaught resumed until the doctor was called a second time, and the fight was stopped. It was the 7th win for Ryan Roy, and argueably one of the most impressive of his career. His animated in-ring celebration drew a slight chuckle from veteran Thai referee Dej Sri-Ampai, who is as stone faced and professional as any referee in California.
IFMA World Championship Gold Medalist (Nov 27-Dec 5th - Bangkok, Thailand) and AKA fighter Eric Luna earned a unanimous decision win over a flamboyant, spinning kick weilding Mario Martinez, and Combast Sports Academy's Amber Pope looked impressive with unanimous decision wins in USMF Muaythai title fights. American Kickboxing Academy's Gabe Carrasco (11-0) scored the knockout of the night with a high kick through the guard of American Top Team's Eric Shellard. The Winter Springs, Florida native Shellard was out cold for several seconds, and had to be restrained briefly by the ref as he came to after the fight was stopped.
Team Black's Quincey Shamon upset Matt Lucas with a 4th round TKO. The technically sound Shamon picked apart the powerful striker Lucas, and after one knockdown in the corner in the 4th he pressed and stopped the fight. Fairtex Mountain View's Lawerence Ward beat Unlimited Kickboxing's Robert Connejo with a solid performance, 30-27 on all three cards, and San Francisco's Andrew Moy came from behind to win with a stunning 3rd round TKO of Ray Hov. Team Black's Soni Tuungasasi stalked Elite MMA's Matt King for 3 rounds, but the heavy hitting heavyweight could not knock him out. Instead the enormous Tongan earned a decision win, 29-27, 29-27, 28-89, and the well earned respect for any future opponent he will face in the ring. Christie Cheekets, Brooks Hurd, Podar Duarte and Amber Goodwin were all successful in a blistering start to WOTH 5, which created a good atmosphere in the crowd and built up anticipation for the main event fights.
It was announced that there will be 5 War of the Heroes events in 2010, WOTH FC 6 is scheduled for May 22nd at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, WOTH FC 7 is scheduled for July 24th at the Fairtex Thepasit Stadium in Pattaya, Thailand, and WOTH FC 8 & 9 will return to the Santa Clara County Convention Center at the end of the year. Fairtex USA and USMF President Anthony Lin also noted that the USMF is looking to expand its muaythai reach to Texas, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
The U.S. Muaythai Federation had its most successful run at the IFMA World Muaythai Championships to date, earning 2 Gold medals, 1 Silver Medal, and 4 Bronze Medals in Bangkok, Thailand (Nov 27-Dec 5th). The USMF is dedicated to the promotion of Muaythai kickboxing in the U.S., and looking to furthur the competition of muaythai as an Olympic sport. The USMF will scout American talent to represent the U.S. at the upcoming PAMU Championships in Brazil (April), SportAccord in China (August), and IFMA World Championships in Thailand (November-December).
Strikeforce/UFC/former WEC Champion Scott Smith, Strikeforce Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, K-1 former champion Carter Williams, and WBC Muaythai/WBC Asia/ABCO General Secretary General Kiate Sirigul were on hand to award USMF belts inside the ring. Former Strikeforce title holder Cung Le was in the corner for several USH team fighters. Other notable players within the MMA/Muaythai community in attendance were promoter Scott Coker of ISKA/Strikeforce, Mike Kogan of FEG/K-1, promoter Mick Maynard of Long Star Beat Down, promoter Andy K of Muaythai Lao, Trevor of Pure Pankration, and several others. A post-fight afterparty was held at the Fahrenheit Lounge in San Jose.
War of the Heroes 5 Muaythai/MMA Championships
March 6th, 2010
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara
PRO Mixed Martial Arts bout
Tim McKenzie (13-6) Submitted Mike Arellano (6-4)
Armbar Submission, 1st Round - 0:43.
PRO Mixed Martial Arts bout
Chris Moore (1-0) Submitted Tramail Smith (3-2)
Keylock Submission, 1st Round - 1:53.
PRO Muaythai Kickboxing Fight
Ryan Roy (7-2) tko Nathan Bagby (3-2)
Doctor stoppage, 3rd Round.
USMF Muaythai Title Fight
Jenna Castillo TKO Melanie Kohler Edwards
USMF Muaythai Title Fight
Eric Luna Defeated Mario Martinez
USMF Muaythai Title Fight
Gabe Carrasco KO Eric Shelland
KO, 1st Round - 0:40.
USMF Muaythai Title Fight
Amber Pope Defeated Carresa Kibler
(Amateur Muaythai Undercard)
Tony Lawrence def. Diego Cuenca, UD
Chrisente Joaquin def. Ivan Guerrero, UD
Quincey Shamon TKO Matt Lucas (4th - 0:33)
Laurence Ward def. Robert Cornejo, UD
Andrew Moy TKO Ray Hov (3rd - 0:24)
Jeremy Leslie def. Vincent Urruty, UD
Soni Tuungasasi def. Matt King, SD
Amber Goodwin def. Liezel Warford, UD
Podar Duarte def. Daniel Marchbanks, UD
Brooks Hurd def. Philip Jucaban, UD
Christie Cheekets def. Jennifer Faust, UD
[Note] Official results were updated via the CSAC, and information from Fairtex was included in the recap. This article was republished on USMF.tv and may be featured in an upcoming issue of Muaythai Times magazine.
Hockey for Haiti-Chile game featuring San Jose Jr Sharks coaches vs Santa Clara Blackhawks coaches raised over $15,000 for charity
The Hockey for Haiti/Chile game on Friday, March 5th at Sharks Ice in San Jose raised over $15,000 for charity. The San Jose Jr Sharks coaches defeated the Santa Clara Blackhawks coaches 10-8, despite a late penalty shot awarded to SC. There was a round of penalty shots and a speed skating competition at the first intermission, a raffle for prizes including one ticket package for next season with a visit to the broadcasting booth and locker room at the second intermission, and a party at Stanley's Bar & Grill (with windows overlooking the rinks) after the game.
Thanks to the fans for showing their support, former SJSU captain Ray Kellam for organizing the game, Randy Hahn and Jamie Baker for mc'ing the event and participating respectively, and the Jr Sharks and Blackhawks coaches for supporting youth hockey in the South Bay.
San Jose Jr Sharks coaches roster:
John Beaulieu (Fin Coach)- Bantam AAA
Tony Zaswoski - Director of Coaches M18 AAA
Mike Richardson - M16/M 18
Sean Castagna M 16 AA
Tyler Shaffar - M 16 AA / Bantam AA
Yumi Haraguchi - Girls 8U
Tanya Silva - Girls 12U
Martin Dennis - Bantam AAA
Brad Dudschus - Bantam A1
Todd Cleaver - Bantam A1
Robert Savoie - Girls 10U
Gary Bortolotto - PeeWee AA
Martin Moody - Goalie Coach
Santa Clara Blackhawks coaches roster:
Hal Nunn (Talon Coach) M16
Harri Makkarainen - Mites
Ian Fazzi - M16
Ian MacDonald - PeeWee B
Jamie Baker - Bantam A
Ken Moore - PeeWee B
Kevin Powell - PeeWee A
Mike McKinney - PeeWee B
Ray Kellam - M16
Devin Di Nardo - Squirt A
Eric Pane - Mites
Eric Semmelmeyer - Bantam B
Pierre-Paul Allard - Bantam B
A donation can be made online to help support Haiti and Chile relief efforts via the Red Cross at this secure paypal link, and more information can also be found at the Hockey for Haiti facebook page.
To tag your hockey coach in the above video, please keep them positive, use this link.
The Worcester Sharks finished their four game Canadian swing splitting both two game series against the Manitoba Moose and Abbotsford Heat.
The WorSharks first game ever in Canada was Tuesday, and Worcester jumped out early on the Moose with T.J. Trevelyan's power play goal at 5:19 of the first. Unfortunately that would be the only puck the WorSharks could get past former Boston College standout Cory Schneider, who stopped 34 of 35 Worcester shots. Second period goals by Sergei Shirokov and Pierre-Cedric Labrie gave the Moose the lead, and Matt Pope's third period tally made for the 3-1 final. Alex Stalock was the third star of the game.
Wednesday's rematch saw the WorSharks get off on the wrong foot with Manitoba center Marty Murray putting the Moose up 1-0 just 29 seconds into the contest. But unlike Tuesday against Schneider Worcester would have much better luck against Moose netminder Daren Machesney, scoring the next five goals in the game. Second period tallies by Dwight Helminen and Matt Jones, along with third period scores by Trevelyan, Ryan Vesce, and Dan DaSilva would propel the WorSharks to a 5-2 win over the Moose. The three stars of the game were all from Worcester; Vesce, DaSilva, and Trevelyan.
Friday night in Abbotsford looked like a carbon copy of the Heat's visit to Worcester last weekend, with the WorSharks getting ahead early only to fall behind after giving up multiple goals in a row. Trevelyan would score four minutes into the contest on the power play, but by the end of the second period Worcester found itself down 4-1. Michael Wilson would stop the bleeding for a short while in the middle of the third period, but another Abbotsford tally proved costly as Worcester was able to get two more late goals, by Brandon Mashinter and Logan Couture, to make the 5-4 final.
Saturday saw the WorSharks go with newly acquired back-up goaltender Frank Doyle, and Doyle evened his record at 1-1 after a 2-1 win over the Heat. Helminen put Worcester ahead with just 14 seconds left in the second period, and after Abbotsford tied it DaSilva put Worcester ahead to stay as the WorSharks skated on a four minute power play after John McCarthy was cut by a Heat errant stick. Despite winning the contest the WorSharks had just one of the three stars of the game, with Doyle being named as the number two star.
During the trip up north the WorSharks made a trade with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, re-acquiring defenseman Brett Westgarth for future considerations. It didn't take Westgarth long to get back into the swing of things for Worcester, getting into a fight just 15 minutes into his first game back with Worcester on Wednesday and getting into another first period altercation Friday night in Abbotsford.
Ryan Vesce started the trip with Worcester, but was recalled Saturday under emergency conditions as Scott Nichol was injured Thursday night after a late hit by Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre. Lapierre, who was not penalized on the play, was suspended four games by the NHL. Joe Callahan and Tyson Sexsmith didn't make the trip out west due to their injuries.
The season series with both of Worcester's Canadian opponents have concluded, with the WorSharks going 3-1 against Manitoba and 1-2-0-1 against Abbotsford. The next chance for Worcester to face either of them again would be a possible match-up in the Calder Cup finals.
The Sharkspage player of the game for the trip were Alex Stalock in Tuesday's game in Manitoba, Logan Couture in both Wednesday's win against the Moose and Friday's game in Abbotsford, and Steven Zalewski for Saturday's win over the Heat.
Scott Nichol injured in 3-2 win over Montreal Canadiens, Maxime Lapierre suspended 4 games for 'careless' hit on Nichol
MONTREAL CENTER MAXIM LAPIERRE CHECKS SCOTT NICHOL FROM BEHIND IN 3RD - CSNCA NICHOL INJURED ON PLAY, COULD MISS 7-10 DAYS - CSNCA NICHOL MOTIONLESS ON THE ICE AFTER THE HIT, NO PENALTY CALLED ON LAPIERRE - TSN
Thursday night down 2-1 to the Montreal Canadiens, Maxim Lapierre shoved center Scott Nichol dangerously into the boards. Nichol was forced to leave the game with an upper body injury and may miss 7-10 days. An angered San Jose squad stormed back with goals by Dany Heatley (PP) and Manny Malhotra to earn a 3-2 win, but the emotional response may stick with the club for some time.
Last season the Sharks battled a crush of injuries down the stretch, exceeding a 4-year average of 204 man games lost to injury per season by 132. This season only defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was out with an injury (after Manny Malhotra's post-Olympic return). Tweaking a knee January 28th against Chicago, Vlasic was expected to start skating soon and possibly play in 10-15 games before the postseason.
TSN color commentator Ray Ferraro called the hit on Nichol a "garbage, gutless" play by Lapierre. "I don't want to talk about it any more because I am starting to lose my temper." Nichol is an agitating third/fourth line player who can raise animosity among opponents in a heartbeat, but save for the occasional goalie collision most of his edgy play occurs face to face. "When you get a play like that, where a guy hits you 3 feet behind the goal line, that is a dangerous situation," an animated Bret Hedican said on CSN California. After questions were raised why the Sharks did not drop the gloves in response, Hedican noted that they were down a goal late in the game. "If you lose the game, then you can second guess," he said.
Now the Sharks will have to adapt to the short term loss of Scott Nichol, but the game was almost tied on the play. Down 2-1, Torrey Mitchell lasered a backhand pass to Scott Nichol as he drove the net less than 2 minutes into the third period. Nichol wristed a shot off the near post, and raised his stick to take a whack at the fluttering rebound. Monteal center Maxim Lapierre shoved Nichol from behind, forcing him into the end boards awkwardly at almost full speed. Crumpled on the ice, Nichol got up and went ballistic when he noticed a penalty was not called on the play. He held his injured arm and verbally chastised referee Chris Lee before heading to the locker room for treatment.
"I think it was a missed call, I think it was a real dangerous play," San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said after the game. "I wouldn't want to see one of their players go into (the boards) like that, and I certainly don't want to see one of ours."
Nearly two years ago, Minnesota Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster collided with rookie center Torrey Mitchell in a battle for icing. Foster suffered a season ending leg injury on a play. Six years ago almost to the day, former Shark Marco Sturm also suffered a gruesome season ending injury after being ridden into the boards by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote. Mitchell and Foote were each penalized in-game for their actions, but not suspended after. Maxim Lapierre was not penalized for the hit Thursday night, but Friday he was suspended by the NHL 4 games for his actions.
"I think (the refs) did a good job tonight," San Jose Sharks captain Rob Blake said after the game. "On Scotty Nichol's play, that is a tough play, those are plays we do not like to see. He is in a very vunerable position. It was a tough call, and the refs were very open about it. I thought they did a good job, they let the guys play a little bit. You could see there was some contact, and some atmosphere in that game."
Asked about how the Sharks responded after the Nichol hit by CSNCA's Brodie Brazil in a post-game rinkside interview, "There is no better way to stick it to them than to get the win," game winning goal scorer Manny Malhotra said.
[Update2] Yahoo's Greg Wyshynski called this a "reputation-based" 4 game suspension, noting the punishment was about double what would fit the crime in his opinion. Sharks radio color analyst Jamie Baker was semi-apoplectic after the play. "It hurts your eyes... you can break your neck... a brutal, brutal play by Lapierre," the former youth hockey coach and NHL forward said on the radio broadcast. On the CSNCA post-game television show, Baker was full apoplectic. "That is the lowest thing you can do as a hockey player... it makes you cringe to watch something like that," he said. "That is a 5-10 game suspension in my mind, automatic, you could paralyze a guy. I give the Sharks credit, they were frustrated by the play of Carey Price, they were frustrated by the amount of blocked shots... they used their frustration to draw a penalty and score a couple of goals... payback is great, but let the NHL take care of that."
Sports Illustrated's Allan Muir said it was a cheap shot, but not suspendable. "On the one hand, Lapierre's doing his job by clearing out a player who was in position to pick up a rebound off his breakaway attempt. And Nichol must have been skating on Bambi's legs to go down that easily on what looked like a pretty lightweight crosscheck." Actually it was more of a shove. Lapierre placed his gloves on the back of Nichol, already at the side of the net behind the play, and shoved him into the end boards.
[Update3] Official press release from the NHL:
MONTREAL’S LAPIERRE SUSPENDED FOR FOUR GAMES
TORONTO (March 5, 2010) – Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre has been suspended for four games, without pay, for a late hit on San Jose Sharks forward Scott Nichol during NHL game #949, last night, the National Hockey league announced today.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Lapierre will forfeit $14,248.72. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
At 1:50 of the third period, Lapierre knocked Nichols into the end boards with a late, careless hit. Nichol was injured on the play and did not return to the game. No penalty was assessed on the play.
Lapierre will miss games on March 6 at Los Angeles, March 7 at Anaheim, March 9 against Tampa and March 11 against Edmonton. He will be eligible to return March 13 against Boston.
DOH Podcast #89: NHL trade deadline, USA vs Canada gold medal game
Mike Peattie and Doug Santana talked about winners and losers at the March 3rd NHL trade deadline, recent "Worcester Shuttle" roster transactions, react to Team Canada's overtime win over Team USA for the Winter Olympic gold medal, the impact of recently acquired defenseman Niclas Wallin, and discuss the stretch run on the 89th episode of Dudes on Hockey.
This Sharks podcast is posted here with permission. Visit dudesonhockey.com for more coverage of the team, or download the podcast MP3 file directly here.
The Sharks re-entry to the second half of the NHL regular season took an unexpected trajectory en route to a 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. After Evgeni Nabokov and Martin Brodeur combined to stop 18 total shots in the first period, several of them coming on quality scoring chances and odd man rushes, the Devils started capitalizing on costly mistakes in the second period.
Defenseman Dan Boyle flubbed a point shot on goal, and Colin White quickly moved the puck to recent trade acquisition Ilya Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk powered into the Sharks zone, cut high in the slot above Boyle and Kent Huskins, and executed a slick back pass to a trailing Dainius Zubrus. Nabokov made the initial save, but Zubrus and Patrick Elias were first to the rebound. 35 seconds later, defenseman Mark Fraser added to the total with a booming slapshot that beat Nabokov gloveside. The shot may have deflected off of the stick of Jason Demers in front.
"We used up a lot of energy in the first period and needed to get the lead. When 1 turned into 2 real quick, it is tough to come back against a real defensive team, yet we finally found a spark," San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said after the game. "It was too little too late."
The Devils did not let up, and needed all of 6 seconds to capitalize on a Manny Malhotra hooking penalty at the end of the second period. A faceoff loss by Joe Pavelski to fellow Team USA member Zach Parise gave Kovalchuk another opportunity with the puck on his stick on the point. Kovalchuk slid to the center of the ice and released a quick wrist shot that caught Nabokov off guard. 3-0 Devils after 20 minutes, and Joe Thornton took an ill advised interference penalty trying to drive around Jamie Langenbunner.
The Sharks were able to kill the New Jersey power play, but the Devils kept the pressure on. A mistake by Patrick Marleau set up Ilya Kovalchuk for the eventual game winning goal. As Zach Parise carried the puck through the neutral zone, both Marleau and defenseman Douglas Murray moved to challenge him. An unchecked Travis Zajac on the right wing got a step on the defense, and Zajac ripped a shot across the grain for a 4-0 lead.
"I think we had 8 guys that didn't have a shot on goal. It can't be fun playing a game like that. You put 60 minutes in and you have no chance of scoring," Todd McLellan said as the Sharks were outshot 25-20. "Even halfway through the third we didn't have many except for that final flurry."
Right wing Devin Setoguchi, moved up to the top line with Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley, gave the Sharks desperately needed life at 8:46. With San Jose registering only 14 shots on goal, 0 to that point in the period, Heatley initiated a 3-on-3 rush into the Devils zone. After a quick dish to Marleau up top, Heatley drove to the front of the net. It was the Devils this time who left a player unmarked in the slot, and Setoguchi quickly pivoted around a puck in the slot. He torqued a heavy shot on goal, almost like a tennis player running around a forehand, and Brodeur had no time for reaction on the play.
Almost like a light switch, the Sharks were exploding up ice and creating a crush of scoring opportunities. With Dean McAmmond in the box for the lone New Jersey minor penalty of the game, Setoguchi tee'd up the rebound of a Rob Blake shot and buried it from 15 feet out. Joe Pavelski would add his 17th of the season at 11:32. The Sharks scored 3 goals on 3 shots in a span of 2:46.
Brodeur, widely considered the best goaltender to ever play the game, was under duress but the fourth and final goal of the Sharks comeback proved to be an insurmountable task. Brodeur held off a late Sharks flurry with Evgeni Nabokov pulled, and picked up his 35th win of the season.
"I think (Marleau-Thornton-Heatley) are still on a little bit of a high, they had some energy in their legs but I don't think they were real polished on plays. Jumbo didn't get a shot on goal. Dan Boyle didn't have a shot on goal. They weren't real dangerous all the time, yet they tried to give us what they had energy wise," Todd McLellan said. "Once we get them to where they need to be, fatigue wise and mentally rested, we will expect more polish from them."
After flirting with a shutout, Brodeur had to weather a three-goal, third-period outburst from the San Jose Sharks as the Devils barely held onto a 4-3 victory Tuesday night at HP Pavilion in their first game after the Olympic break.
“What happened? We won. It was a good game, a great game,” Devils coach Jacques Lemaire said. “This is great. A week from now we’ll say we just won in San Jose. We won’t say that they were coming back. We got two points.
"It’s like the Olympics. We (Canada) won. They won’t say a year from now it went into overtime. We won it. That’s it. Thank you.”
Sharks Gold and Silver medal post-Olympic press conference
Gold medal winning Team Canada members Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley and Dan Boyle joined Silver medal winning Team USA member Joe Pavelski to answer questions from the media at a post-Olympic press conference this morning in San Jose.
[Q] Can you describe the feeling of having a gold medal around your neck?
[Joe Thornton] You haven't been able to wipe the smile off my face in 48 hours, and I think the rest of these guys are about the same. I am not sure about Pavs. He did a great job though. We still love him. We are just so excited, and really, really, really happy.
[Q] Dan, you have a Stanley Cup and a gold medal, so you are good to go now?
[Dan Boyle] It is pretty awesome. It has been a great career for me, especially where I have come from. I need one more Cup though. We are all aware of what we need to do here. It is a great accomplishment.
[Q] Can you talk about the week after you lost to USA?
[Dan Boyle] We were obviously disappointed losing to USA. It was a big deal. In our meetings, and talking the night before games, we knew even the Switzerland game, we had to play an extra game. It wasn't a bad thing. We needed that. We didn't get it right right away, as much as the Americans did. We needed extra games. I think the Russia game was huge for us. That really got us going. We never really panicked. We had the right guys above us. Stevie Y was in the building and in the meetings, helping us out and keeping us calm. The veteran guys helped out too.
[Q] You have been playing in the U.S. for awhile, what does winning this medal for your home country mean?
[Patrick Marleau] It was complete pandamonium after the game. I think there were streets shut down in Toronto, let alone Vancouver. In Vancouver, it took 3 green lights to get through a light in a car. Everybody was excited, hanging out of windows hooping and hollering. It was something spectacular to see.
[Q] Did it remind you that you are Canadian?
[Patrick Marleau] Yes. Those are the moments you cherish your nationality and where you come from. It brought the country together. It was unbelievable.
[Q] What was the pressure like after you lost that first game to the United States?
[Dany Heatley] It was the same as Boiler said, we are confident in the group we had in the room to do the job. Most of us have been through short tournaments like that, you realize that it is 1 game, and you have to play through that. I thought we played well in the first American game, they played well as well. The Germany game, that extra game helped us kind of get used to each other, get used to the system for most of the guys. It helped us through the Quarters.
[Q] What were the thoughts after Team USA tied the game in the third period with less than a minute left?
[Dany Heatley] I think you realize, in a tournament like that with those stakes, anything can happen. You have to be prepared for it. I am not going to say we weren't a little disappointed and a little nervous when that went in, but I think the break in between the third and overtime was good for us just to regroup. We are a pretty confident group. We came out and played well in overtime.
[Q] What were your thoughts after the goal to tie the game?
[Joe Pavelski] I think right from the start of the tournament the group in our room, we felt we had something there. We almost felt like we were going to win before we won. We didn't win, we came a goal shy. Even when we went down 2-0, it was a feeling in that room that it didn't really matter, we were going to break through. It was just a matter of time.
We were able to tie it up late. Going into overtime, we never felt like we had anything to lose. We had to keep playing, and keep pressure on them. They are a good team. That is what we tried to do.
[Q] As Shark teammates, do any of you feel bad for Joe?
[Q] Do you look back on how important a game this was now?
[Joe Pavelski] It isn't bad, but it isn't great either. It is one of those things, the excitement of the game that was played, it was in Canada and it meant so much just to the hockey world, just to be a part of it was awesome. We came up short, one goal shy. Down the road it will feel good, but we still didn't win. That is one of the things you look back on. It was a tremendous experience.
[Q] Can you talk about how the experience will have an application for San Jose?
[Dan Boyle] Hopefully, the other guys to, we learned, especially that last game, the ups and downs and the roller coaster of a playoff, the highs and the lows, and just kind of dealing with it. I thought, our locker room especially, I gained from past experience, the Cup in 04. Game 6 in Calgary, going into double overtime, we were calm in Tampa. Fast forward to a couple of nights ago, I just felt it was a pretty calm locker room. With the pressure we had all tournament, going into overtime, I felt it was a pretty calm locker room. I think that is what the 5 of us will bring to the playoffs this year, a little bit more calmness that we saw maybe last year.
[Q] What was it like facing off against each other, when the two Joe's went at it in the faceoff circle?
[Joe Pavelski] It is something that is stressed here, it is one of those things you are kind of looking forward to just get in there and see who would win the draw. I think you can sense that everyone back here was waiting for one of those moments too.
[Joe Thornton] We practice a lot against each other in faceoffs. I think we probably went 50/50, it was pretty even, 60/40 maybe?
[Q] Canada won one game, USA won one game, should they play one more time?
[Joe Pavelski] Hopefully in 4 more years.
[Q] Should NHL players play in Sochi in 2014?
[Dany Heatley] I think so. You see that game, the tv numbers were unbelievable. Everybody I have talked to here, they were watching it in every bar and every home. I think the best players in the world should be at the Olympics.
[Q] You talked about scoring against Nabokov?
[Dan Boyle] My response was it was weirder jumping into Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf's arms. What was I thinking? That was the weirdest part for me, there was a big picture and I was in Ryan Getzlaf's arms.
With tournament MVP goaltender Ryan Miller pulled in the final minute of regulation for an extra attacker, USA forward Zach Parise set up in front of Roberto Luongo and tracked a Patrick Kane shot that pinballed through traffic. Stick on the ice, Parise quickly gathered the rebound and buried it in the back of the net to tie the game 2-2 with 25 seconds left in the third period. It was yet another heart attack moment for Canadian fans, whose condition would have to be monitored on each subsequent rush up ice in overtime.
Former San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber created a 2-on-1 scoring chance early in OT that caused fans to rise out of their seats. Marleau tried to quick release a shot 5-hole, but Miller closed it down and expertly froze the puck instead of allowing a rebound. On the other side of the ice a fake shot by Kings defenseman Jack Johnson sprung forward Joe Pavelski along the right wing. Pavelski fired a quick shot but the enormous 6-foot-3 frame of Luongo swallows shooting area in the butterfly. The puck plunked off his goalie mask and deflected into the saftey netting. As the sellout crowd chanted "Go, Canada, Go", Pavelski created another scoring opportunity minutes later trying to split Scott Niedermayer and Shea Weber. Niedermayer stripped him of the puck, but Pavelski chased him down from behind, intercepted a cross ice pass, and fired a quick shot up high off the shoulder of Luongo.
Canada had the opportunity to win its 14th gold medal with a win, a Winter Olympic record, and to become only the third Men's Olympic hockey team to win gold on home ice (1960 USA at Squaw Valley, 1980 USA at Lake Placid). The fact that Team Canada's womens team shut out Team USA for its third straight gold medal on Thursday only intensified the pressure.
American author Ernest Hemmingway once said that "courage is grace under pressure", and there was no clearer display than the 7 minute mark of overtime. Four Team USA members collapsed on Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby as he tried to carry the puck into the offensive zone. Checked to the outside, Crosby was the first player to the puck in the corner. He slid a pass along the wall to Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, and drove straight towards the front of the net. Checked hard from behind, a diving Iginla managed to hit Crosby with a pass on the tape, and the 22 year old Nova Scotia born Crosby scored on a low shot before Team Canada Place erupted in celebration on and off the ice. "And an entire nation is relieved," CTV's Pierre McGuire said of the goal.
"I just shot it, I didn't really see it to be honest," Crosby said in a post-game interview. "It's special," Jarome Iginla told reporters after the game. "We knew that as players and wanted to be part of it. I'm very proud of Team Canada, not just hockey."
Canada, Russia and Sweden were pre-tournament favorites by hockey insiders, but as the youngest team in the tournament Team USA put their heads down and played a hard nosed style that resulted in 5 straight wins in the leadup to the gold medal finale. That work ethic instilled by head coach Ron Wilson and GM Brian Burke paid dividends, as USA needed to grind its way back from a two goal deficit after strikes by Jonathan Toews and Corey Perry in the first 27 minutes of play.
50 years to the day after Team USA's gold medal winning 9-4 victory over Czechoslovakia at Squaw Valley, the American's sent a message about the sport as played in their country. "Our guys came here as an afterthought to a lot of people, I think we set a new trend for USA Hockey," goaltender Ryan Miller said.
The USA-Canadian finale also crossed boundries between traditional hockey and casual sports fans into a much larger non-sports audience on Sunday afternoon. Sports Media Watch reported a 17.6 overnight rating for NBC, "on pace to finish as the highest rated hockey telecast in the United States since 1980." SMW notes that the 17.6 rating is the second highest rating for a U.S. sporting event this year. An official press release from NBC notes that only the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" win over the Soviet Union (23.9) and the 1980 gold medal win over Finland (23.2) were higher watched hockey broadcasts in the U.S.
The Men's and Women's gold medals for hockey returned to the country where the sport was born, and on Tuesday four of them will return to San Jose for practice in a condensed stretch run for Stanley Cup silver.
Video highlights are available from NBColympics.com here, and a photo gallery from the gold medal game is available from USA Hockey here.
Canada 3, USA 2 OT
Sunday, February 28th
2010 Winter Olympics
Gold Medal Game
Canada Hockey Place, Vancouver, BC
CAN 1 - 1 - 0 - 1 = 3
USA 0 - 1 - 1 - 0 = 2
First Period - Scoring: 1, CAN, Toews (Richards), 12:50. Penalties: USA, Ryan (tripping), 14:02.
Second Period - Scoring: 2, CAN, Perry (Getzlaf, Keith), 7:13; 3, USA, Kesler (Kane), 12:44. Penalties: USA, Malone (high-sticking), 2:33; CAN, Staal (interference), 4:41; CAN, Toews (tripping), 8:25.
Third Period - Scoring: 4, USA, Parise (Langenbrunner, Kane), 19:35. Penalties: None.
Officials: Referees-Bill McCreary (CAN), Daniel O'Halloran (CAN); Linesmen-Stefan Fonselius (FIN), Jean Morin (CAN)
[Update] Team USA goaltender Ryan Miller, forward Zach Parise and defenseman Brian Rafalaski, Team Canada center Jonathan Toews and defenseman Shea Weber, and Slovakia forward Pavol Demitra were named to the 2010 Olympic all-star team. Miller was also award Tournament MVP.
Sunday’s gold-medal Olympic men’s hockey game became the most-watched TV broadcast in Canadian history, with an average audience of 16.6 million viewers. Nearly half the Canadian population watched the entire game on average, while 80 percent of Canadians watched some part of the game (26.5 million).