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Teal & White Game showcases roster
Stalock steals the show with big saves
9/21/10 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks held their annual Teal & White Game at HP Pavilion on Tuesday night, giving the three thousand or so fans in attendance a chance to see the training camp roster in action for the first time this season. Touted as a special event for season ticket holders, box owners and business partners, the Sharks have held the event for several years as a way to kick off the pre-season.

44 players from the training camp roster suited up and split into two teams for a scrimmage after spending an hour signing autographs for the Sharks faithful. Autograph tables were spread throughout the main concourse, where players such as Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau put pen to paper, jerseys and anything else fans brought to the event.

The arena parking lot was filled with a few minutes of the 5:00pm opening, and autograph lines snaked up and down the concourse. Fans were lucky to get through one table, which hosted five players. Thornton was joined by Logan Couture, Antero Nittymaki, Derek Joslin and Frazer McLaren.

The scrimmage was a hit with the two squads playing two 30 minute running halves. Thornton wasted little time getting the Teal Team on the board, wristing a shot past newly signed goaltender Antti Niemi just 36 seconds into the scrimmage.

Thornton cracked at a half time interview that he'd been waiting all summer to finally get on past Niemi, because he "didn't fare so well last spring." Thornton was referring to his team's frustrating performance against Niemi and the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals last May.

While the contest may have been a low key affair for spectators, the hitting on the ice was real enough to create some uneasy moments. Right wing prospect Tommy Wingels layed out Couture with a hit along the penalty box side boards with 10 minutes to play in the opening half, drawing the ire of defenseman Jay Leach, who let his displeasure be known by putting Wingels in a head-lock.

Defenseman Joe Loprieno would get his bell rung later in the period after getting hit in the corner. He was assisted off the ice by the referee.

The one play that had many in the audience holding their breath was a knee-on-knee collision between Dany Heatley and Mike Moore. Heatley spun to the ice and glared back at Moore after the hit, but he skated away and continued playing.

In addition to Thornton's interview, the casual atmosphere included a halftime chat between Sharks television analyst Drew Remenda and Marleau. When asked why he chose to re-sign with the Sharks this past off-season, Marleau replied that "this is home."

When play resumed in the second half, Team Teal would add to their lead when left wing prospect Tony Lucia snapped a shot past goaltender Thomas Greiss.

With the running clock format, both squads were afforded 7 minute man-advantage opportunities to get some power play and penalty kill work in. Team Teal didn't generate much in terms of scoring chances with their crack at Team White's four-man penalty kill.

Team White would put more opportunities together, but goaltender Alex Stalock was down right stellar in net. Throw in a Ryane Clowe tripping penalty and the White Team had a golden opportunity to score, but Stalock made several acrobatic saves in the scrimmage's last 5 minutes of play.

Notes:

Kent Huskins was sporting a shiner under his left eye, after taking a puck to the face in Sunday's training camp scrimmage at Sharks Ice.

Andres Lilja saw lots of ice time as he made his first appearance in teal. The Swede looked was paired with Derek Joslin for most of the evening.

In addition to Niemi, Greiss and Stalock, Antero Nittymaki saw action in the first half of the scrimmage and didn't allow any scoring.

Jamal Mayers continued to play n a line with Scott Nichol and Frazer McLaren.


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