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Sharks rookie tourney report
Part 1 of 3
9/16/04 - By GJ Berg

GJ Berg reports from Anaheim, California, site of this year's (2nd Annual) rookie tournament between the Sharks, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes. This is the first of a three part report...

Even though it's not "really" training camp, it's still great fun just to be here. I missed one thing as I wasn't "looking": Jeff Freisen (and John LeClair and a couple of other players) were on the adjacent ice sheet working out before the early game started.

The Disney Ice building is a "M" shaped building with two rinks under the (rounded) arches (think Quonset hut). The one in use for the Rookie Tourney is a normal NHL sized rink, the other is Olympic-sized. The lowest seats about 10-12 feet up off the ice, so there's a good view, except where there are stairs down to the ice level.

The last row seemed to be reserved for media and scouts. The PA system seemed to be cranked to max and was very distorted at times, and sometimes overwhelmed by the music. The rink is located about 5 miles from the Pond, less than a mile from the Matterhorn.

Had some nice conversations with Shark fans, and others, including a couple that sat behind me during the Sharks/Coyotes scrimmage from Phoenix, original Shark STH folks (currently STH of both teams). This latter couple tells me that the Coyoties will be hosting the Rookie Tourney next season -- at the main rink, not at a practice facility.

I talked with a number of the Sharks coaches, brass and scouts, and even had a chance to thank Dean Lombardi for his past contributions to the Sharks.

Day 1

First game of the tourney, at the "early hour" of 4pm was the Coyotes vs. the Sharks. Perhaps 200 folks in attendance (including all the media/scouts).

Although Lukas Kaspar took warm up, he did not skate in the game. I had a chance to chat with him during the 2nd intermission (as many of the players sat in the stands who weren't skating) - a very personable young man; looks like he'll be a good addition for Ottawa 67s in the upcoming season.

Other Shark scratches included Glenn Olson, and Scott Ford. All three goalies played: Ehelechner in the first, Greiss in the 2nd, Churchill in the third. In both games, this and the 7pm Kings-Ducks, for the most part it was a process of the group of individuals coming together as a team. Early in the games would often be a matter of shooting the puck to empty ice, both cross ice (especially noticeable near the opposition's crease) and back toward the point (and no one home).

Starters: Ehelechner (33), Andress (67), Dobben (66), Gorges (40), Gill (49), Joseph (47).

First goal: Sharks - Tim Conboy (50) at 10:55 from Shields (65) and Bernier (46).

Tremblay (56) showed a few times during the game why he got 315 PIM In the Q last year: Fight and minor during the first (and a couple more penalties during the course of game).

End of first 1-0 Sharks. 8 SOG for Sharks; 5 for 'Yotes

Second period; Greiss in goal
Armstrong (58) from Andress (67) at 13:45
Armstrong (58) from Hisey (59) and Conboy (50) at 19:34

End of second 3-0 Sharks. 17 SOG for Sharks; 6 for Yotes.

Third period; Churchill in goal
Coyotes scored at 1:12 (I think the first SOG against Churchill)

Sharks pushed the score further.
Shields (65) from Hennessy (61) and Conboy (50) at 3:25

End of regulation: 4-1 Sharks. 13 SOG for Sharks (total 38); 6 for Coyotes (total 17)

Random thoughts...

Shane Joseph has some wheels -- he can really cover some ice.

Shields looked good.

Like Greiss. (Ehelechner, too,)

Chruchill - after that early surprise, was quite good.

Gill - nice. Won some face offs.

Bernier showed some of that "power forward"-ness he's supposed to have.

Gorges was in the background (as a defender), but seemed to work well.

Hennessy got into his action as well.

Check back tomorrow: Day 2 Report

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