In their third game of the 2005 Pacific Division Shootout, the San Jose Sharks fell to the Los Angeles Kings, 5-4, despite a three goal comeback that nearly gave them their first win of the tournament.
San Jose started the scoring off, as Tim Conboy fired a hard slap shot on goal, which bounced off goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji, allowing Mike Iggulden to tip it in. The goal gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead halfway through the first.
"I came off the bench, skated as fast as I could towards the net and saw that they were lining up for a one timer," said Iggulden. "Conboy fired a perfect shot low, the rebound kicked right out to me and I was able to put it home."
Los Angeles answered back, with forward Connor James controlling the puck, skating around a San Jose defenseman and netting a pretty goal that tied the game. Just 15 seconds later, Brendan Bernakevitch drove the faceoff straight in, wristing one right over the shoulder of San Jose goaltender Jamie Holden.
The Kings took a 2-1 lead into the first period intermission despite the Sharks firing 19 shots on goal.
Los Angeles came out determined to put the game away in the second. They proceeded to score three more unanswered goals, the first coming off James' second goal of the contest.
Tyler Hanchuck hopped on the scoring bandwagon, lighting the lamp again midway through the second. Dany Roussin, a linemate of Sidney Crosby in juniors, followed with a short handed breakaway goal. But a power play, coupled with sharp San Jose passing, allowed the Sharks to pull within three goals, heading into the locker room still down 5-2. They did have momentum building for the third.
The third period was all Sharks. Devin Setoguchi opened the scoring four minutes in, when a wrist shot sailed past Fukufuji. Fukufuji went down with a leg injury on the ensuing play, leaving the rest of the game up to Barry Brust.
Iggulden put the pressure on Brust, as he flipped a back hander past the new goaltender with six minutes left in the period, bringing San Jose within one goal. Lukas Kaspar then nearly tied the game when a shot rang off the crossbar.
San Jose pulled Holden with just over a minute left, but could not get the last goal they needed to send the game to overtime. Los Angeles left with a 5-4 win and a 2-1 record in the Pacific Division Shootout. San Jose fell to 0-3.
"We had 47 shots, giving us plenty of opportunities," said Cleveland Barons Head Coach Roy Sommer. "We battled back like we did Thursday night and did some good things, but just couldn't come away with the win."
The Pacific Division Shootout gives the best young prospects from San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Phoenix an opportunity to showcase their talents to their fans and the teams that drafted them. But the tournament has also provided a great opportunity for guys that signed tryout contracts like Holden and Iggulden.
"This experience has been unbelievable for me," said Iggulden. "I'm just here on a tryout basis, so I can't really control anything, only how hard I play. I've been trying to go as hard as I possibly can."
Iggulden has been making the most of his opportunity, scoring three goals in three games for the Sharks.
Los Angeles Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji left the game midway through the third period due to a leg injury.
San Jose fired 47 shots on goal.
All four San Jose goals came while on the power play.
Connor James led all skaters with three points (two goals, one assist).
PHOENIX COYOTES VS. ANAHEIM MIGHTY DUCKS
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks won their third straight game in the 2005 Pacific Division Shootout Saturday afternoon, defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2. The win sends Anaheim to the tournament championship game held tomorrow night at 4:30 p.m.
Phoenix got on the board first with a power play goal scored by Aaron Gagnon. Anaheim rebounded with four straight unanswered goals by Simon Ferguson, Curtis Glencross, Bobby Bolt and Brett Festerling.
Phoenix forward Randall Gelech added one more goal for the Coyotes in the third, but a late goal by Anaheim's Ryan Shannon capped off the scoring for the evening.
Anaheim goaltender Michael Wall stopped 35 of 37 shots in earning the win.
San Jose and Phoenix will play in the consolation game at 1:00 p.m. The championship game, pitting the Ducks against the Kings, will follow at 4:30 p.m.