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Rookie Tournament Under Way

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
The annual Pacific Division Shootout rookie tournament began Wednesday afternoon before a standing room only crowd at Logitech Ice with Anaheim topping Los Angeles 3-2 in the opener and San Jose falling to Phoenix 3-1 in the nightcap. Phoenix took the 1-0 first period lead, but San Jose's 2003 first round pick, Steve Bernier, evened things at one with an unassisted power play goal in the second period. On the play, a Phoenix player attempted to clear the zone from the corner and the puck bounced off his own player right to the forechecking Bernier. "It ended up on my stick and I saw a hole to shoot at," said Bernier. An understatement at best as Bernier perfectly wristed a shot to the top left corner. During the deciding third period, Phoenix scored twice in making the final 3-1. While wins and losses are important, many future Sharks took to the ice at a level above junior hockey for the very first time and that learning experience is exactly what the tournament is for. "It is definitely a higher tempo and the guys are bigger," said 2005 first round pick Devin Setoguchi. "They are faster on the puck and there is not even close to the amount of time you have in junior hockey. You have to be more responsible because a mistake can be in your net in a matter of seconds." Bernier, who has played in two previous rookie tournaments, noted the difference from year to year. "I was less nervous," said the former Quebec League star. "Each game you feel like you improve and I hope to finish the tourney on a good note." Besides playing with and against everyone on the ice for virtually the first time, most players have to adapt to the Sharks system as well. "We're used to the style on our own team," said 2004 first round pick Lukas Kaspar. "Now we're trying to play the style played here. Tomorrow will be so much better." TRYOUT IN NET Jamie Holden, a tryout player who spent his collegiate years at Quinnipiac, played strong in the loss, stopping 32 of 35 shots. "I felt pretty good, but it is an adjustment from college," said Holden. "There is more pressure to control the puck and get to the rebounds. The guys drive the net hard. I would have liked to have won, but I stopped some pucks and made some saves." The rookie tournament is one reason Holden chose to sign a tryout contract with San Jose. "A lot of people told me that I would be exposed to three other teams, so if things don't work out here, another opportunity could come up. I talked to some players who were in this tournament before and they said it was a lot of fun." BIG HITS Matt Deschamps delivered a big check to a Phoenix forward entering the offensive zone in the first period and not to be outdone, Tim Conboy flattened a Coyotes player behind the net minutes later. SHOTS Devin Setoguchi led all Sharks prospects with four shots on the evening. RULES While these games are the first look at the NHL's new rules for both fans and players alike, there is one additional rule in place. A second fighting major in one game will result in the player being removed for the remainder of the contest and for the next game. On the fighting matter, Conboy had a first period battle with Mike Amodeo and Glenn Olson was given five for fighting as well. EARLY TILT In the afternoon battle between Anaheim and Los Angeles, the Ducks Ryan Getzlaf led the way with three points, including a highlight worthy goal. Corey Perry added a goal and an assist and Dustin Penner had the other tally. Ryan Murphy and Dany Roussin scored for the Kings in the loss.

2004 1st Rounder Lukas Kaspar

2004 Pick Michael Vernace

2005 1st Round Devin Setoguchi

Hockey's Back

Josh Hennessey & Tim Conboy At The Anthem

Josh Hennessy On The Faceoff

Riley Armstrong

Setoguchi & Staublitz On The Attack

Standing Room Only

Tryout Matt Deschamps

Tryout Netminder Jamie Holden
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