| Sharks rookie tourney
Part 2 of 3
9/17/04 - 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 second of a three part report...
Thursday's games had a recorded instrumental version of the
National Anthem played before each game. Friday's games had a local 12 year old
sing before each game (very nice "pipes").
First game of the day was
the Kings vs. the Coyotes. The Phoenix couple sitting near me indicated that
neither goalie was really "in" the organization, perhaps more like a "practice"
goalie. And it really seemed that way; he wasn't helped much by the defense
either. Score was an extremely lopsided 11-2 in favor of the more local team.
It sometimes seemed that every time the Kings got a scoring opportunity they
Starting line up: Bernier (46), Kaspar (54), Prudden (63), Tuomi
(64), Andress (67), Ehelechner (33)
Scratches: Gorges (40), Ford (55),
Joseph (47), Gill (49)
Ehelechner played the entire game. Greiss
dressed as backup.
The Sharks still had speed, but lacked some of the
hustle (see Joseph) and didn't get their defensive game "together" until the
The Sharks got into penalty trouble, killing off minor
after minor, including two before they scored their first. Jarrett (69) from
Hennessy (61) and Armstrong (58) scored on the PP at 13:59. SOG: 13 for Ducks,
9 for Sharks. Period ending score: Sharks 1-2 Ducks
The second period started show casing the fighting
skills of the two teams. The first fight on the card was Tremblay (56) vs
Konopa (66), followed soon after by Hoffman (62) vs Smith (47); Hoffman retired
for "repairs" and didn't return until the third period. Ehelechner was really
struggling; getting beat on some side-to-sides and over the shoulders when he
went down (perhaps a bit more "patience" in not committing to a position as
soon). The rest of the team wasn't faring that much better, loosing control on
a lot of poke checks, and just not able to keep control of the puck. Delayed
off sides seemed the whistle of choice for a large part of the period. Soon
after getting out of the box, Tremblay and Konopa had a rematch, which resulted
in their ejection (tourney rules: two fights and you're out of the game).
Kaspar played for the first time in the tourney Friday (might be his
first "real" game on the smaller North American ice). He was often in the right
place to receive great head-man and near scoring chances, but the passes
weren't getting to him; I think that's a matter of team chemistry and
communication. By the end of the game, he was getting more. Also put on some
nice hits against the boards, very nice to see he's not afraid to dig in and go
for it. Could be a "power" forward in the future. Like the pick up.
Sharks scored again in the second on a 5-on-3 opportunity. Kaspar (54) from
Conboy (50) and Jarrett (69) at 17:11. Almost immediately after that, a Duck
took on a Shark player (who wouldn't respond) sucker punching his way into the
penalty box (appears to be in retaliation to drawing a penalty from the
resulting calls). And then another fight -- between Conboy (50) and O'Brein
(74) -- before the puck was even dropped.
Plihal (39) seemed to be the
acting captain as he went over the official's crease to get the low down on the
sucker punch and Conboy situations. End result of those little incidents --
Sharks: 53 tripping, 50 slashing, fighting, game misconduct; Ducks: 73 high
sticking, unsportsmanlike conduct, 74 slashing, fighting, game misconduct. SOG:
Ducks 10, Sharks 13. (I didn't write down the score, but IIRC the Ducks had
five or so goals by this time, scoring at least twice, if not three times
during the period.)
In the third, there was a delay of game penalty
against a Duck for closing his hand around the puck as well (the announcer
didn't recognize the movement so had to call the ref over for an explanation
;-). SOG: Ducks 4 (total 27), Sharks 10 (total 32). Final score Ducks 6 - 2
Kings lead the tourney 2-0, Ducks 1-0-0-1, Sharks 1-1, Coyotes
(the defending tourney champs) 0-2.
Check back tomorrow:
Day 3 Report
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