San Jose and Anaheim took to the ice for the first game of their three-day rookie tournament Monday night and the Sharks prevailed with a 2-1 shootout victory.
The story ended up being the shootout itself as it not only decided the contest, but it went eight rounds before the Sharks closed it out. The winning shot was delivered by Dean Strong (a free agent signee) who was the hero for the night as he also set up the Sharks opening tally.
On the regulation goal, which was scored by Michael D’Orazio (a tryout player), Strong sent the pass to the point and D’Orazion connected with a seeing eye puck.
“We had a little scrum in front and when the puck slid to the side, we got it to the point and the D-man buried it,” said Strong.
Anaheim tied the game with a third period goal by Nicolas Deschamps.
The primary reason the game even got to the shootout was the netminding of Thomas Heemskerk
who is a tryout out player. Not only did Heemskerk stop seven of eight shots in the shootout, but he turned away 26 of 27 Anaheim shots during 65 minutes of live action.
Heemskerk admitted a bit of jitters prior to settling in.
“I got some nerves going, but after the first few minutes, I felt at home,” said Heemskerk. “I got in my rhythm. It was nice to get under my belt.”
The goalie of record noted the eight rounds were a first for him.
“I think in season I once went five rounds in the shootout,” said Heemskerk.
Sharks Director of Scouting Tim Burke was please with what he saw on the first evening of play.
“I thought we forechecked pretty well and we had good energy,” said Burke.
When the game came to its conclusion, the fans who made donations to the Jr. Sharks to attend broke into the “Hey” chant in celebration.
San Jose’s fans gave nice rounds of applause to Sharks television color commentator Drew Remenda and forward Ryane Clowe
when they walked by near ice level during the contest.
Former Sharks prospect Timo Pielmeier was the goaltender on the night for Anaheim.
To view the game’s scoresheet, go to:
Game 2 of the series will again take place on the north rink at Sharks Ice with proceeds benefiting the Jr. Sharks. Tickets are limited and on a first come, first serve basis.