Sorensen’s First NHL Goal a Winner for Sharks 3-1

March 2, 2017

NHL, San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks’ Marcus Sorensen (20) eyes the puck next to Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 2, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. San Jose won 3-1. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Thursday Night against the Vancouver Canucks one San Jose Shark player hit a major career milestone. No, Joe Thornton didn’t collect assist number 1,000 in the Sharks 3-1, but rookie Marcus Sorensen netted the game-winner for his first goal of his National Hockey league career. Logan Couture added a goal and an assist and Mikkel Boedker potted a power play goal to give the Sharks their third straight win. The Canucks received a goal from all-star Bo Horvat.

About the easiest thing Sorensen did on his goal during the shift was push the puck into the net 9:28 into the second period. The Swedish rookie, playing in just his fourth NHL game, kicked the puck to his stick at one point, batted down a puck mid-air with his stick and generally wowed with the kind of stick handling an NHL vet would normally own.

“Speed, skill,” said Couture of Sorensen’s talent. “He skates well. He’s a smaller guy with a lower center of gravity. He’s stronger than he looks. I’ve talked to (Barracuda coach) Roy Sommer, (development coach) Mike Ricci. I took him a little bit to get used to the ice here. They said he’s turned a corner. We see it up here, he’s definitely an NHL player.”

“He’s making a case to stick around,” said Sharks coach Peter DeBoer.

Couture added a goal 4:20 later, taking a pass from Patrick Marleau and ripping it over Canucks goalie Ryan Miller’s glove for a 3-1 lead. Brent Burns also picked up an assist on the insurance marker to add to his now seven game point streak. Couture, the Sharks Player of the Month for February, now has 21 goals on the year.

With Miller pulled in the closing minutes, Joe Thornton went for his 1,000 assist. The forward’s attempts were all turned away though, with Jumbo often turning down a chance to score to get the milestone out of the way.

“I’m sure he’ll get it next game,” said Couture.

Despite the Sharks having 32 shots on goal to Vancouver’s 18, the inexperienced Canucks looked like the better team early on. The Sharks went on the power play 3 minutes into the game, but failed to score. Instead, the visitors scored on the man advantage, with Horvat one-timing his 19th goal past Aaron Dell for his 19th of the year and a 1-0 Vancouver lead7:38 into play. Dell would make 17 saves on the night with the expectation that he will be making more starts down the stretch.

“Our plan is to play him,” said DeBoer. “There’s going to be a fine line there with how much we play him, how much we play (Martin Jones). We’ll definitely play him more than we played him earlier in the year.”

The Sharks answered back on Boedker’s 8th goal of the year after Couture fed him with the perfect cross-crease one-time pass. Paul Martin also assisted on the goal with 4:15 left in the first period.

While the Sharks came away with the win, they didn’t do so unscathed. Defenseman David Schlemko sat out most of the second and all of the third period with an injury. While his status is unknown, Dylan Demelo did take the ice with the team in warm-ups, a sign his close to returning from a broken wrist. DeBoer will have a decision to make on whether Schlemko, Demelo or potential call-up Tim Heed will be the sixth defenseman when the Sharks face the Wild in Minnesota Saturday.

 

 

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