It was a night that saw San Jose play strong in every facet and eventually pull away from the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1, but the night was all about Jeremy Roenick’s 500th career goal. The marker makes him just the third American-born player to reach the plateau.
Click for postgame reactions (ROENICK
) following Saturday night's game. Click for photos from Saturday night's game and a photo retrospective of Jeremy Roenick's illustrious career (GAME PICS
, ROAD TO 500
“I’m proud to be an American,” said Roenick. “I wish more Americans in the game were coming close. A lot of great ones are coming up.”
“To be the third American is quite an accomplishment,” said Joe Thornton
Roenick was appreciative the tally came in a win.
“It was nice to get the 500th and win the game,” said Roenick. “That it’s the game-winning goal is pretty ironic. It’s timely I guess.”
Roenick now has four of the Sharks eight game-winning goals.
The 37-year-old is a very emotional player and his happiness showed when got the goal as he waved to the crowd and when he skated out to take the game’s number one star with his son riding piggy-back. The Boston, Mass., native had his son Brett tape his stick for the night.
“It was an emotional moment,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “He plays with a lot of passion. The joy he shows when he plays is inspiring.”
“It was special for my boy to see,” said Roenick.
Roenick appreciated the support he received from his home fans, even though he is not a long time Shark.
“The way they celebrated the Modano goals showed they’re first class,” said Roenick. “People don’t know how great the fans are. It’s good to do it in front of a crowd that appreciates hockey.”
The goal was a strange one as it Roenick was simply dumping in the puck when it caromed off the glass toward the net. At that point, Phoenix netminder Alex Auld misplayed the puck and knocked it across the line.
“Tomorrow in the paper it will be top shelf in the back of the net, at least in the box score,” laughed Roenick.
“I’ve seen too many strange goals, but that was the first 500th I’ve seen,” said Joe Thornton
. “It’s the biggest milestone I’ve seen as a player.”
When the moment happened, Roenick felt a big sense of joy.
“I saw it go in and my heart went down to my stomach,” said Roenick. “It was unbelievable.”
Roenick has scored major tallies in some of the NHL’s best old and new buildings.
“I scored by 50th in the Boston Garden, my 250th in Chicago stadium and my 500th here against a team where my home is,” said Roenick.
The nine-time All-Star was expecting to hit 500 when he signed with San Jose, but wasn’t sure it would be this early in the season.
“I wasn’t expecting this so quick in the season,” said Roenick. “I thought December or even January. To do it in this building is important to me. The fans have embraced me.”
However, Roenick did not keep the puck. This summer, Roenick’s first roommate in the NHL, Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson, brought him out of a brief retirement and Roenick showed his appreciation.
“I game it to Doug Wilson,” said Roenick. “He’s been very special to me. I hope he keeps it. He was my first roommate and taught me a lot about the game.”
FOR THE RECORD
He becomes just the third U.S.-born player to reach the milestone, behind the Dallas Stars Mike Modano (511) and former NHLer Joe Mullen (502). In addition, he ranks 40th in goal scoring and 44th in points on the NHL’s all-time lists.
Among U.S.-born players, “JR” ranks third in goals (500), third in points (1180), third in games played (1,267) and sixth in assists (680).
In 1,267 NHL games with Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Los Angeles and San Jose, Roenick has posted 1180 points (500 goals, 680 assists), along with 1419 penalty minutes and a +162 plus/minus rating.
TALKING TO THE KIDS
On a night where Roenick hit 500, two Sharks rookies scored their first goals in HP Pavilion. Devin Setoguchi scored the Sharks first tally and then Torrey Mitchell
scored for the second consecutive game to provide an insurance tally.
“It’s good to get it going,” said Mitchell. “I went 15 to 16 without a goal. I kept playing hard and things fell into place.”
The two had a bit of advice from the Sharks elder statesman just last night.
“I had a long talk with them on the plane coming home,” said Roenick. “They were trying to do too much and pressing. I told them to think about the game for 10 minutes and relax. I hope to teach the kids what (Doug Wilson) taught me.”
“He’s awesome in the room, especially with the young guys,” said Mitchell. “He’s really supportive. He sits right in front of us on the plane and he always turns around to tell us a story. It’s pretty special.”
On Mitchell’s first tally, all he had to do was put his blade on the puck for the redirect. For his second, he skated in alone, avoided a defender and perfectly placed his shot.
“It was a great pass by Ehrhoff,” said Mitchell. “I was able to get some speed, put it on my backhand and put it in the net.”
12 YEARS LATER
Sandis Ozolinsh’s goal marked his first as a Sharks player in 12 years.
GET YOUR PUCK
Commemorative pucks of Roenick’s 500th goal will arrive in the Sharks Store at HP Pavilion and at the Kiosk in Valley Fair on Wednesday, November 14.
Sharks fan received their due from famed hockey writer Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette when he was writing about Modano becoming the all-time leading scorer among American-born players.
“And oh, while we’re at it, let’s agree that San Jose fans are special. Modano received a standing ovation when he set the record. It’s called class.”
San Jose Sharks fans attending the Nov. 10 Sharks-Coyotes game at HP Pavilion were surprised by the arrival of the four newest members of the Sharks family who were released into the air during the first intermission.
Four remote-controlled, polyurethane Shark blimps were officially introduced on Saturday night and will be hand for select Sharks game this season
Future plans call for two of the Sharks blimps to patrol the bowl of HP Pavilion during selected intermissions while the other two soar above the large atrium entrances of HP Pavilion.
Each blimp contains a drop mechanism, located inside their frame, that can drop certificates to lucky fans in the arena bowl that are redeemable various prizes. In addition, one of the blimps will have a camera on board to provide aerial shots that can be displayed on the new Daktronics high-resolution scoreboard in the arena.
Every blimp has its own distinct color, character and varies in size from 16 to 18 feet long with a width of ten feet. A contest will be conducted in the future for all Sharks fans to give their input on naming each special Shark blimp.
The four new blimps replace the original “Air Shark”, who was given a proper and honorable burial at sea at the conclusion of last season.
The Sharks will host Phoenix again on Monday in a 7:30 p.m. start at HP Pavilion. The game can be heard on 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.