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Roenick's Game 7 of the Ages
4 point night for JR caps series
4/22/08 - by Mike Lee

Jeremy Roenick came out of retirement so he could play the type of game he played on Tuesday night. The veteran centerman had a game for the ages with a 4-point night, scoring 2 goals to pace the Sharks to a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarter Final series. Roenick was a juggernaut, flying all over the ice, to dispatch the Flames in the first series 7th game in HP Pavilion history.

The Sharks erupted for 4 goals in the 2nd period, paced by Roenick's pair. San Jose then exacted a little revenge for blowing a 3 goal lead to the Flames in Game 3, by squeezing Calgary in the 3rd period.

"He was struggling a little bit, and, throughout the season, we gave a convenient rest for him," Sharks head coach Ron Wilson said of Roenick after the game. "We tried to schedule it where it's not a rest for one day, it's a rest for three or four days, and I told him that. Well before Game Six, he wasn't going to play, but he was playing either Game One of the next series or Game Seven, if it came to that. He needed to energize, and I texted him last night and told him I was going to rely on him heavily, and he was all excited about that. Did I expect him to get four points? No. Maybe a chip in, do something on the power play; he's got a lot of poise."

San Jose opened the game strong, dictating play from the opening faceoff. A strong forecheck kept the Flames on the heels.

An Anders Eriksson hooking penalty on Ryane Clowe at 9:32 of the opening period gave the Sharks an opening they would capitalize on. Joe Thornton would score his 11th career playoff goal at 10:57. Thornton buried a shot after Jonathan Cheechoo feathered a pass over David Hale's stick through the slot to the Sharks centerman.

Jeremy Roenick earned the secondary assist on the play, his 66th career playoff assist.

Milan Michalek would take a lazy holding penalty a minute later, which would prove costly. The Flames, who have had their way with the Sharks penalty kill this series scored just 16 seconds into the ensuing power play. Jerome Iginla redirected an Adrian Aucoin shot past Evgeni Nabokov for the 1-1 tie. Aucoin sent in a shot from the right point and Iginla redirected the puck as he cut across the top of the crease from left to right.

A Dion Phaneuf holding penalty with just under 3 minutes to play in the period gave the Sharks their 2nd man-advantage of the period, but the Sharks failed to generate a serious scoring chance. Cheechoo had a backhand chance from in tight with 40 seconds to go before the 1st intermission, but Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff shut the door.

The Sharks out shot Calgary 14-5 in the period, clearly dominating play, but the two teams remained deadlocked after 20 minutes.

The Flames grabbed a 2-1 lead on former Shark captain Owen Nolan's 3rd goal of the series. Nolan scored away on a breakaway after Douglas Murray misplayed the puck at the Flames blueline. Nolan raced up ice then bounced a shot off Evgeni Nabokov, but the rebound deflected back to Nolan, who kicked the puck into the Sharks net. The play was reviewed, but the goal stood.

Roenick tied it less than 3 minutes later with his 52nd career playoff goal. Roenick initiated the scoring chance, by throwing the puck on net. Devin Setoguchi was parked in front of Kiprusoff, clearly screening the Flames goaltender. The puck trickled through Kiprusoff's pads and rolled over the goal line.

"Sometimes you get a little lucky," said Roenick. "It's nice to contribute. It was not fun sitting out Game 6. It was a little embarrassing. You don't like to do that, but I understand. You get older, you have to accept certain roles and certain things that happen to you, but that shouldn't affect the way that you play."

Craig Conroy was sent off at 7:37 for interference and once again the Sharks power play converted. Once again it was the old man who led the way. Roenick carried the puck in along the left wing and snapped a shot from a tight angle near the bottom of the left circle past Kiprusoff after gathering his own rebound. Roenick's shot went top shelf to help San Jose regain the lead.

Joe Pavelski extended the Sharks lead to 4-2 at 14:01 of the middle period, lifting a shot over Kiprusoff from 8 feet out after Christian Ehrhoff sent a puck in from the left point. The puck bounced off Mike Grier's skate and died in the slot. Pavelski pounced on it and put his 3rd goal of the series past Kiprusoff.

Flames head coach Mike Keenan pulled his netminder, in a move similar to his move in game 3. Curtis Joseph replaced Kiprusoff and promptly surrendered a goal to Setoguchi. The Sharks rookie slipped a shot just inside the left post from the top of the left circle.

"I don't think the move was controversial," said Keenan. "Kipper didn't play that well. That was the fourth goal that they had scored against us. Certainly I was surprised. We were looking to get his best game tonight and we didn't get it."

With their season on the line, Calgary tried forging some offensive pressure to start the 3rd period. Alex Tanguay bounced a shot off the right post in the first minute of the period.

Keith Primeau cut the Sharks lead to 5-3 at 5:18 of the period on a deflection that floated over Nabokov's left leg pad. Flames right wing David Moss pushed the puck out to the top of the crease from behind the Sharks net, where Primeau chopped at it. The puck did a 180 and flipped into the Sharks goal.

Patrick Rissmiller was sent off for high sticking at 11:15, even though replays showed that Vandermeer was responsible for clipping his own teammate. San Jose buckled down and prevented any rubber from finding its way to Nabokov. Patrick Marleau's short-handed chance went high after the Sharks captain backhanded a shot over the crossbar.

Roenick tried to create some more offense on a 3-on-1 with three minutes to play, driving a shot into Joseph. The Flames goaltender would cover the shot, but that would be his plat play of the game after Keenen pulled him for the extra skater.

"You have to give them so much credit," Roenick said of the Flames. "They played so hard. Trying to stop Jerome Iginla is one of the hardest things you can do in the National Hockey League. They tested us all the way through. If we go on to bigger and better things, it's because they gave us such a test and such a hard fight in the first round."

Rissmiller missed on an empty net chance with 2:30 to play. Wilson called a timeout after the Sharks iced the puck to rest his line.

San Jose failed to ice the game again, when Tanguay batted another empty-net chance out of the air after Ryane Clowe sent in a shot with 50 seconds to play.

"When we had the 2-1 lead, that's when we should have kicked it up a notch," added Keenan. "Maybe carried the play, at least neutralize the play. We left ourselves sitting in a position where we really ignited their play. Their resolve… You have to give them credit for really turning it up after they were down by a goal."

Game Notes:

It was the 11th game 7 for Keenan, a new NHL record. Roenick's 4 points tied a Sharks franchise record for points in a playoff game.


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1 2 3 T
CGY 1 1 1 3
SJ 1 4 0 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 2 (Cheechoo, Roenick), 10:57, (pp). 2, CGY, Iginla 4 (Aucoin, Phaneuf), 12:23, (pp).
2nd period - 3, CGY, Nolan 3 (Huselius, Conroy), 3:33. 4, SJ, Roenick 1( Ehrhoff), 6:04. 5, SJ, Roenick 2 (Campbell, Rivet), 9:04, (pp). 6, SJ, Pavelski 3 (Grier, Ehrhoff), 14:01. 7, SJ, Setoguchi 1 (Roenick), 14:53.
3rd period - 8, CGY, Primeau 1 (Moss, Aucoin), 5:18.
1st period - Eriksson, CGY (hooking), 9:32; Michalek, SJ (holding), 12:07; Nolan, CGY (roughing), 12:46; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 12:46; Phaneuf, CGY (holding), 17:12.
2nd period - Conroy, CGY (interference), 7:37; Regehr, CGY (tripping), 11:49.
3rd period - Rissmiller, SJ (high sticking), 11:15.
Shots Saves
CGY - Kiprusoff 30 26
CGY - Joseph 11 10
SJ - Nabokov 22 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CGY 5 8 9 22
SJ 14 21 6 41
Power Play Conversion
CGY 1 of 2
SJ 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Jeremy Roenick
Joe Thornton
Devin Setoguchi
Referees: Watson, O'Halloran. Linesmen: Heyer, Lazarowich.

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