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Jets Young Stars Shutout Sharks, 4-0

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

by Mike Benton, Special to

PENTICTON, Canada – A feast on Sunday turned into a famine on Monday.

The San Jose Sharks can attest to that experience in a 24-hour span at the hand of goaltending and scoring opportunities.

Behind Edward Pasquale’s 22 save shutout and Levko Koper’s pair of goals, the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Sharks, 4-0 in the second day of the 2011 YoungStars Tournament, hosted by the Vancouver Canucks at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The Sharks fell to 1-1 in the three-game preseason tournament and were blanked just one day after a 6-1 victory to open the event against the Calgary Flames. Thomas Heemskerk, making his second straight appearance in net, turned away 12 shots in the defeat just one day after he denied all 27 shots he saw against Calgary.

“We had goaltending last night and tonight I thought we actually played a better game,” said Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer, serving as coach for the Sharks rookies during the tournament.

“We didn’t give up as much (scoring chances) as we did last night. We did some good things and definitely, some things we can work on. But I didn’t think we got a lot of pucks through on the back end – not a lot of second opportunities.”

With the Jets competing in game action for the first time since the 1995-96 season, Koper and Winnipeg first round draftee Mark Scheifele put up a goal each to lift the team to a 2-0 edge after the first period.

Koper opened the scoring on an outnumbered break at 9:11 of the first period, becoming the first player to get a shot past Heemskerk in the tournament when he snuck a wrist shot past the goaltender’s glove side.

Scheifele jumped on a Sharks turnover at the Winnipeg blueline and converted on a shorthanded breakaway for a two goal lead with 4:36 left in the period.

The Sharks defense clamped down on Winnipeg’s chances in the second period, allowing only three shots to get to Heemskerk. Their eight shots in the middle 20 minutes were the most on Pasquale for one period.

One day after a two point output against the Flames, Michael Sgarbossa helped produce the Sharks strongest bid in the period, putting a post-to-post feed onto the stick of James Livingston, who was positioned at the right side of the crease.

Pasquale zipped his left pad out to knock the puck away on Livingston’s redirection.

“If you put pucks on net, things are going to happen,” said Sharks forward Freddie Hamilton. “I think we have to do more of that.

Jason Gregoire lifted Winnipeg to a 3-0 lead just 24 seconds into the final period. He finished a two-on-one break by skating down the left wing and tapping a redirection past Heemskerk’s stick side, set up by a pass by Scheifele from the right side.

Pasquale denied all seven shots by the Sharks in the third period, including a slapshot by Sena Acolatse from the right point and a drive by Sgarbossa from between the circles.

After Zach Yuen was whistled for holding with 2:37 to play, Heemskerk was pulled for a 6-on-4 skating advantage.

Koper sealed the game with his second goal – an empty netter from his own zone – with 47 seconds left in the game.

“Both teams traded chances,” said Sommer. “The power play could have done a little bit more for us today but we haven’t had a lot of time to work on it. Bottom line is that we had our opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them.”

The Sharks power play went 0-for-4 in the game.

The Sharks prospects weren’t afraid to scrap, combining with Winnipeg for six fighting majors in the game. Curt Gogol dropped the gloves with the Klarc Wilson of the Jets in the first period with 1:39 left. Zach Bell traded punches with Winnipeg counterpart Austen Brassard with 8:02 left in the second period and Sharks forward Ben Thomson battled Ben Chiarot on the ensuing faceoff, following Gregoire’s goal.

The Sharks will rest on Tuesday and return to play for their third and final game in the 2011 YoungStars Tournament on Wednesday, looking to close the trip with a win against the host Canucks at 4:00 p.m. Online coverage of the game can be viewed via the Canucks YoungStars webpage.
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