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Shootout Sharks Yet Again

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

The Sharks have taken a liking to the shootout.  For the second consecutive game, Team Teal earned a shootout victory, this time, a 4-3 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks.  Nolan Schaefer kept the Sharks in the game stopping 30 out of 33 shots.  An extra-attacker goal by Marco Sturm enabled the Sharks to get to that position. 


Fifteen seconds into the game, the Sharks received the first scoring chance of the game.  Receiving the puck off of Marleau's face-off win was Niko Dimitrakos.  Dimitrakos circled behind the net and found an open Marco Sturm in the slot.  Sturm's one-time chance whistled just wide.


Vancouver was given the first power play opportunity 5:17 seconds into the first period when Christian Ehrhoff was whistled for tripping.  Goaltender Nolan Schaefer, whose brother Peter began his career with the Canucks, was beaten on a fluky goal.  Stopping an initial shot with a left pad, the rebound deflected to Adam Keefe who tipped the puck in the air.  Flailing in the air, the puck flew end-over-end above the goaltender and into the net for a power play tally.


The Sharks didn't take advantage of an abbreviated 5-on-3 power play; the Sharks weren't deterred in their offensive pursuits.  Josh Hennessy, making his first preseason appearance, set up camp behind the net.  He finally found Milan Michalek who was able to beat Canucks goaltender Alex Auld to tie the game at one, where the period would end.


An unexpected role reversal led to the first goal of the second period.  Alyn McCauley, playing in his first preseason game, held the puck in near the blueline.  There, he found bruising defenseman Rob Davison crashing the net from the point.  McCauley's pass, which hit Davison at the mouth of the goal, was re-directed for a Sharks 2-1 lead.  It marked Davison's first goal of the preseason. 


Another power play and another rebound would get the Canucks their second goal of the game.  A rifle shot by Richard Park was stopped by Schaefer.  But the rebound fell to Josh Green who shelved it for his second goal of the preseason. 


Halfway through the third, the Canucks would re-gain the lead for the first time since the first period.  Sami Salo fed a beautiful outlet pass to Park, while short-handed, that put the right wing a on a breakaway.  He beat Schafer high to the goalie's glove side with a back-hand to take a 3-2 lead over the Sharks.


The Sharks wouldn't relent.  Jonathan Cheechoo just missed an opportunity when his backhand shot just caught Auld in the chest.  Cheech was the recipient of a great pass in transition from Patrick Marleau with just over a minute left.


After a penalty by Todd Bertuzzi and a timeout by coach Ron Wilson, the Sharks this time capitalized on an opportunity created by Cheechoo with an extra-attacker on the ice.  Driving the net, he sent a pass across the goal crease to Marco Sturm, who had missed two one-timers earlier in the game.  When it counted, Sturm connected on the game-tying goal.  The goal was also assisted by Marleau.


Moments into the overtime period, Schaefer was tested by Markus Naslund from point blank range.  Schaefer was up to the task making a tremendous glove save.  Forty seconds later, he stopped Park who had an excellent chance from the right slot. 

A scoreless overtime stanza sent the game to a shootout.  For the Sharks, it marked the second consecutive game to feature a shootout.  For the second consecutive game, the Sharks earned a victory in a shootout.


Steve Bernier, a first-round draft choice in 2003, was the only player to convert on his shootout attempt.  Schaefer stopped Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi and Richard Park in gaining his first victory of the preseason.




The starting pair of defensemen for the Sharks were Scott Hannan and Josh Gorges.  Both are natives of British Columbia.  In addition, the pair also each played their junior hockey for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.      


Nolan Schaefer is no stranger to the shootout.  On December 4th, 2004, he led the Cleveland Barons to a 3-2 shootout win against the Utah Grizzlies.  The shootout lasted an AHL-record 16 rounds and was won by Garrett Stafford.  Schaefer stopped 14 of 16 shooters in the game.    

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