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COYOTES DOMINATE IN 8-0 WIN OVER THE SHARKS

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
By: Chad Lynch

Photo Credit: Norm Hall

COYOTES STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Oleg Saprykin - (C) Mike Zigomanis - (RW) Shane Doan
(D) Keith Ballard - (D) Derek Morris

SHARKS STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Joe Pavelski - (C) Joe Thornton - (RW) Curits Brown
(D) Kyle McLaren - (D) Matt Carle

STARTING GOALTENDERS
Phoenix - Curtis Joseph
San Jose - Evgeni Nabokov


On Saturday night, the Phoenix Coyotes bid farewell to 2006 and in the process completely dominated the San Jose Sharks with Curtis Joseph recording his 48th career shutout and Jeremy Roenick notching the 10th hat trick of his career as the Coyotes demolished the Sharks by the score of 8-0.

Early in the first period, the Coyotes made the most of a San Jose turnover when center Jeremy Roenick stole the puck from Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren, who was making his return at the San Jose blueline, skated in on netminder Evgeni Nabokov and snapped a wrist shot over his glove hand and into the net to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead. Roenick's goal at 3:18 of the first, marked the fourth consecutive game that Phoenix had scored the first goal of the game.

Minutes after Roenick's goal, Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph would keep the Sharks from tying the game as he made a pair of saves at the left side of net, include stacking his goal pads to keep the puck sliding inside the left goal post.

At 9:51 of the period, Joseph again stood on his head for a series of saves, the first of which saw San Jose rookie Joe Pavelski accept a lead pass form Joe Thornton to set him on a breakaway. Pavelski tried to slide the puck through "Cujo's" legs, and when Joseph made the stop, Thornton followed up the play by aggressively trying to stuff the puck between Joseph and left goal post, but to no avail.

The Sharks would make the first trip to penalty box of the night at 12:12 of the first when forward Mark Smith was called for hooking. The Coyotes would only need 42-seconds of power play time to extend their lead over San Jose to 2-0 as Shane Doan sent a pass from along the board to Zbynek Michalek in the slot, allowing Michalek to fire a wrist shot through traffic and over the glove of Nabokov for his fourth goal of the season.

Minutes later, at 15:11 of the opening frame, Shane Doan recorded his second point of the night, this time in the form of a goal as he swept as rebound past a fallen Nabokov and into the Sharks net, putting Phoenix on top 3-0.

After allowing a trio of goal in just over 15 minutes of action, Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson pulled Nabokov in favor of Vesa Toskala.

The two clubs would trade minor penalties over the final five minutes of the first period, but neither team would convert the extra attacker into a goal as the first period came to a close with the Coyotes holding a 3-0 lead, despite being out-shot by San Jose, 19-6.

After jumping out to a three-goal lead in the opening 20-minutes of the game, the Coyotes continued their impressive play in the second period as they matched their offensive play with a stifling defense that forced the Sharks to dump the puck in from the neutral zone.

At 8:04 of the second, the Coyotes found the back of the net for the fourth time when Mike Comrie's centering pass from behind the net hit Travis Roche in stride, allowing the Coyotes defenseman to fire a shot from the left face-off circle that beat Toskala high to the blocker side, for a 4-0 Phoenix lead.

The Coyotes showed just how dominant their defense was San Jose registered their first shot of the second period at the 12-minute mark, but Phoenix was not about to let the Sharks gain an ounce of momentum; as Shane Doan followed the hit be carrying the puck into the San Jose end where he drew Toskala and the Sharks defense with his to the right side of the net before sending a centering pass back to the top of the crease where Ladislav Nagy easily punched it into the open net for a 5-0 Coyotes lead.

At 15:43 of the period, Phoenix forward Oleg Saprykin took a hit from Joe Thornton in front of the Coyotes bench that resulted in an interference penalty to Thornton. Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson quickly received a bench minor for abusive language for his objection to the call on Thornton. Unfazed by the bench minor penalty, Wilson continued his verbal displeasure resulting in on-ice official Mike McGough tossing Wilson from the game. The end result was a five-on-three advantage for the Coyotes.

Phoenix would only need 10 seconds of the two-man advantage to make it a 6-0 game as Zbynek Michalek's blast form the point was knocked down by Toskala, but Mike Comrie, who was in perfect position at the left side of the net, slammed the puck into the Sharks goal for his seventh tally of the season.

With just eight seconds left in the period Phoenix defenseman Matt Jones and San Jose forward Steve Bernier dropped the gloves deep in the Coyotes zone. Jones landed a couple good left hand punches before both men fell to the ice and were separated by the officials. While Jones may have gotten the better of the bought, San Jose would gain the power play as Bernier received just five-minutes for fighting, Jones was given two minute for instigating, two minute for instigating with a face shield, a 10-minute misconduct and five minutes for fighting. The final result would be a four minute power play for the Sharks.

Having turned the tables on the Sharks in the second period by out-shooting San Jose 12-4, the Coyotes skated headed off the ice and into the locker room holding a six-goal lead.

The final period began with the Coyotes still needing to kill off 3:51 of Matt Jones' late second period penalties. The Sharks would only be able to put two shots on Joseph during the extended power play, neither of which posed a serious threat, allowing Joseph to keep San Jose off the scoreboard.

Emotions continued to run high and at the nine-minute mark of the third, Coyotes forward Josh Gratton and San Jose's Mark Smith hooked up at center ice. Both men began throwing wild punches, with Gratton landing the majority of his while Smith punched air. Seconds later Smith grabbed the hair of Gratton, resulting in Gratton finding new motivation as he continued to unload on Smith until the officials could finally intervene.

At 14:52 of the third, Jeremy Roenick took a feed from Shane Doan along the left hand boards, wound up and unleashed a blistering shot that sailed past Toskala and into the net, putting the Coyotes up by the score of 7-0.

Roenick then capped of his memorable night at 18:30 of the third when he flipped a wrist shot past Toskala for an 8-0 Phoenix lead. Roenick's third goal of the game was his fourth of the season and the first hat trick of the year for the Coyotes.

The final seconds of the game would expire without further scoring as Curtis Joseph stopped 40 shots for his 48th career shutout as the Coyotes clobbered the Sharks by the final score of 8-0.

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