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Coyote mauling turns ugly
Losing streak hits 3 games
12/30/06 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks completed the back end of their home-and-home series with the Phoenix Coyotes by getting their back ends kicked in. They had their front ends kicked in as well for that matter. After failing to generate much offense in a 3-1 loss last Thursday, the Sharks countered by failing to even show up on Saturday night at Glendale Arena, falling 8-0 the Pacific Division cellar dwellers.

Recently exiled from Wayne Gretzky's dog house, Jeremy Roenick recorded a hat trick to pace the Coyotes. Shane Doan added a goal and 4 assists and Curtis Joseph stopped all 40 shots he faced to record his 437th career victory, moving him into a 5th place with Jacques Plante for career wins.

"Jacques Plante was one of the inventors of the game and a Hall of Famer," Joseph said. "Anytime you can be mentioned in the same breath as Jacques Plante it's a tremendous compliment."

Joseph continued his domination of the Sharks, winning for the 34th time against San Jose, which ties an NHL record for most wins against a single team. The Phoenix netminder turned aside 19 1st period shots to keep the Sharks off the board, even though they dominated play with constant pressure in the Coyotes zone.

The up-tempo play fell by the wayside after Roenick, Zbynek Michalek, and Doan all scored against Evgeni Nabokov in the opening period. Nabokov faced only 6 shots by the end of the period, but that was more than enough for Sharks head coach Ron Wilson to stomach.

Vesa Toskala was called into service to start the 2nd period, and he fared no better, allowing Travis Roche, Ladislav Nagy and Mike Comrie to convert in the middle frame.

The Sharks wouldn't record a shot on goal for the first 12 minutes of the period.

With the game firmly out of hand, Coyotes forward Oleg Saprykin took liberties with Sharks centerman Joe Thornton with a cheap shot late in the period. Thornton's teammates failed to exact any retribution on Saprykin, so he took matters into his own hands, decking the winger right in front of the Coyotes bench.

To make a strange night even odder, Wilson was tossed on the play for what the on ice officials deemed abusive language.

"You read abusive language. I never swore once and if [referee] Mick McGeough or any of them wants to say I did that, they're wrong," Wilson said. "It's symptomatic of a lot of things. At least I could have gotten my pound of flesh and called them what I really wanted to."

Several Sharks attempted to send Saprykin a message later in the game, but referees intervened on several occasions, knowing he was a marked man.

Roenick would cap his hat trick in the 3rd period with a pair of goals off Toskala. The Sharks netminder would stop 15 of 20 shots.

"There were times there when I was wondering if I had many games left," Roenick said." My confidence has been shot for a while. It doesn't help when you're on the fourth line and you're a healthy scratch."

The highlight of the evening was Mark Smith's scrap with Matt Jones. Jones held almost a 6 inch height advantage on Smith, but the Sharks forward let him know that the next matchup between the two teams will be an interesting one.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
PHO 3 3 2 8
1st period - 1, PHO, Roenick 2 (unassisted), 3:18. 2, PHO, Michalek 4 (Doan, Sparykin), 12:54, (pp). 3, PHO, Doan 8 (Saprykin, Roche), 15:11.
2nd period - 4, PHO, Roche 2 (Comrie, Perreault), 8:04. 5, PHO, Nagy 6 (Doan, Perreault), 12:24. 6, PHO, Comrie 7 (Michalek, Doan), 15:54, (pp).
3rd period - 7, PHO, Roenick 3 (Doan), 14:52. 8, PHO, Roenick 4 (Nagy, Ballard), 18:30.
1st period - Smith, SJ (hooking), 12:12; Sjostrom, PHO (holding), 15:52; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 19:37.
2nd period - Jones, PHO (hooking), 3:33; Thornton, SJ (interference), 15:43; Team (abusive language), 15:43; Bernier, SJ (fighting major), 19:51; Jones, PHO (instigator), 19:51; Jones, PHO (instigator - face shield), 19:51; Jones, PHO (misconduct), 19:51; Jones, PHO (fighting major), 19:51.
3rd period - Smith, SJ (high sticking), 5:27; Smith, SJ (fighting major), 9:00; Gratton, PHO (fighting major), 9:00; Grier, SJ (10 min misconduct), 10:48; Saprykin, PHO (10 min misconduct), 10:48; McLaren, SJ (roughing), 10:48; Hannan, SJ (10 min misconduct), 19:42; Gratton, PHO (10 min misconduct), 19:42.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 6 3
SJ - Toskala 20 15
PHO - Joseph 40 40
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 19 4 17 40
PHO 6 12 8 26
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
PHO 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Curtis Joseph
Jeremy Roenick
Shane Doan
Referees: Michael McGeough, Justin StPierre. Linesmen: Shane Heyer, Brad Lazarowich.

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