PENTICTON, B.C. - For many who donned a San Jose Sharks jersey for the very first time in their young careers, the test of applying skill and instruction came to a crescendo by trying to hand the first loss to an opponent featuring the pedigree of a number one overall pick.
For the Sharks, it was a test passed.
In a penalty filled contest, Michael Sgarbossa picked up a hat trick and added an assist, while prospect forward Tommy Wingels
scored the game's opening goal for the Sharks, who took a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers and number one draft pick Taylor Hall in the Sharks finale of the 2010 YoungStars Tournament.
The Sharks, who finished the round robin format with a 2-1 record, found much success on special teams with a 3-for-5 effort on the power-play and contained a line combination of Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle, all selected in the first round of the last three drafts, scoreless at even strength.
“We did a great job of keeping them to the outside and when we got opportunities, we were putting pucks back in the corner,” said Roy Sommer, the Sharks tournament head coach. “We hung in there and it was one kill after another. We seemed to get momentum that way.”
After withstanding several scoring chances in a the first few minutes that were played at a high tempo, the Sharks finally broke through on Tommy Wingels
' power-play goal with 6:03 left in the first period, corralling a pass at the left circle and whipping a 30-foot snap shot past goaltender Bryan Pitton's blocker.
Sgarbossa got on the board with his first goal of the tournament with 5:08 left in the period, cleaning up a rebound to put San Jose ahead 2-0.
A play that involved the Oilers top line in an unconventional method resulted in a Paajarvi power play goal that cut the Sharks lead to 2-1 with 42 seconds remaining. Paajarvi bounced a loose puck through the five-hole of Sharks goaltender J.P. Anderson
and off defenseman Matt Irwin from behind the goal line. Benn Ferriero
, who would finish as the Sharks leading playmaker with three assists in the tournament, helped set up Sgbarbossa's second goal of the game just 23 seconds after the Paajarvi goal to restore the two-goal cushion on the power-play.
Ferriero put a wrist shot on net from the left circle and Sgarbossa tapped the loose puck into an open net past Pitton's glove side.
Two bouts featuring Brandon Mashinter
against Alex Plante at 6:52 and Mike Thomas with 30 seconds remaining were part of a period that feature 54 penalty minutes.
A goal from James Livingston
drew Edmonton to within a goal with 7:13 left in the second period when his wrist shot from the right boards snuck past Anderson's stick.
Sgbarbossa then finished the hat trick effort with San Jose's final goal of the tournament with six minutes left, once more bumping their lead back to a pair of goals.
Sgbarbossa drove the left wing and slipped to the inside past counterpart Jeremie Blain, beating Pitton with a snap shot from between the circles.
Another power play goal, courtesy of Hall, and the second of the game for Edmonton, narrowed the Sharks margin to 4-3 with just 50 seconds elapsed in the third. Hall drilled a slap shot to the upper right corner of the net from the right circle.
The Sharks withstood three more Edmonton power plays and one final flurry of scoring chances in the waning seconds, closing out the win with Anderson's 20 stops.
“Solid win for us,” said Ferriero. “We took a lot of penalties in the third, but showed a little character (in killing them off).”
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
The Sharks shared the captaincy throughout the tournament and Ferriero earned the “C” for the final game against Edmonton.
The Sharks finished with a 6-for-19 effort (31.5%) on the power-play in the three-game tournament.