Ducks win Pacific; Sharks will face Kings

Photo Credit: (USATSI)

By Pearl Allison Lo

ANAHEIM– The end of San Jose’s biggest game of the regular season equaled the Ducks’ second straight Pacific Division title, as the home team won for the last time this regular season series, 5-2 Wednesday.

The Sharks now know they will face a familiar Southern California foe in the playoffs, Los Angeles, for the second year in the row as well.

San Jose will have Joe Thornton, which was questionable as he crumbled near the end of the game. Afterwards, what happened was described as a “stinger,” as Coach Todd McLellan said “(Thornton) got hit up in the chest area.”

The game-winner was Patrick Maroon’s first career multi-goal game at 9:35 of the second and brought in goalie Alex Stalock. Teemu Selanne got his second assist and Hampus Lindholm chipped in on the attack. The Ducks never looked back afterwards. Rookie goalie John Gibson won his second game in a row and stopped 36 shots.

The team’s first power play opportunities came almost simultaneously. 15 seconds after the interference penalty to San Jose’s Brent Burns ended, Anaheim was called for too many men on the ice.

Gibson was able to fight off shots by Jason Demers earlier, but Demers broke through at 18:17 of the first, to score the game’s first goal. Joe Pavelski aided on the goal.

The Ducks’ Corey Perry, however, went stick to stick with Justin Braun and tied the game with three seconds left in the first period. Matt Beleskey and Francois Beauchemin got the assists.

Three individual mini fights broke out to cap the end of the first period and led to a Sharks’ power play to start the second period.

Anaheim got their first lead when Selanne passed the puck to Maroon. Maroon then went around the net chased to make the game 2-1 at 3:32 of the second.

17 seconds after San Jose killed their second penalty, Logan Couture re-tied the game at two at 7:23.

The Sharks’ goalie change didn’t halt the Ducks, as they moved further ahead when Beleskey got Perry’s rebound off Stalock. It was the game’s first two-goal margin at 16:46.  Ryan Getzlaf had the second assist.

Beleskey then went in the box with 24.8 seconds left and San Jose started the third period on the power play again.

Demers ran into Stalock who fell backwards and hit the goalpost. After he was down and later came back up again, Stalock was called for delay of game for the puck going beyond the glass at 12:35.

It looked like a 6 on 4 with 2:44 left, but Gibson came back and Jakob Silfverberg scored a shorthanded empty net goal at 18:22. Andrew Cogliano got his 20th assist.

Both teams were coming off 3-0 games as Anaheim killed all five of the Sharks’ power plays.

Game notes: The Sharks’ Bracken Kearns played after returning from Worcester Tuesday. Before the game, it was announced that the Ducks’ Luca Sbisa would not play because of an upper body injury. San Jose’s Marty Havlat and Raffi Torres were also ruled out. Anaheim’s Cam Fowler returned from his mid-March knee injury.  The Sharks’ second to last regular season game will be Friday at 7p versus the Colorado Avalanche.

Ducks win New Year’s Eve battle

(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)

By Pearl Allison Lo


ANAHEIM– Matt Belesky’s goal was the first consecutive goal for either team as the Ducks left for New Year’s Eve celebrations with a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks.

Belesky’s goal came at 18:30 of the second period, as he was aided by Nick Bonino, who had just scored about three and a half minutes earlier.

Anaheim’s now 15-0-2 record at home is their best such start in franchise history, as they snapped the Sharks’ four-game winning streak after losing to them Sunday.

San Jose’s Logan Couture commented, “We didn’t play very well tonight, you know, the second period, we were awful, one of the worst periods for our season, if not the worst…”

The 5-on-5 on ice with two players in the box became a 5-on-4 when the Sharks’ Matt Irwin was called for holding at 5:38 of the first period.

The Ducks’ Kyle Palmieri scored the first and lone goal of the period at 16:24, aided by Beleskey and Cam Fowler.

Antti Niemi made consecutive saves against Anaheim’s Corey Perry with just over 2:47 left in the period. As the first shot bounced off Niemi, Niemi’s second save became a glove catch from straightaway.

Perry then had a slashing penalty with 15 seconds to go to give San Jose a power play.

After a faceoff with about 14.7 seconds left, Couture thought the puck went in the net but it bounced off the goal post and then after a teammate’s missed attempt, Patrick Marleau got the rebound off Jonas Hiller and put the puck inside. However, the goal went under review and it was ruled that time expired before Marleau made the shot.

The Sharks made up for it though by scoring 35 seconds into the second period to tie the game. Dan Boyle was helped by Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton on the continuing power play.

A bouncing puck on top of the net as Niemi tried to find it and Boyle tried to prevent the puck from going in, almost led to an own goal.

The Ducks thought they scored later near the net but Niemi was able to stop the puck with his leg against the goal post.

Anaheim ended up outshooting San Jose 25-8 in the second period, after the Sharks outshot the Ducks 17-8 in the first.

Francois Beauchemin’s first goal of the season put Anaheim up 2-1 at 11:00 of the second. It was the third attempt by the team during the possession and went between Niemi’s legs. Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg assisted on the play.

About a minute and a half later, Couture switched stick sides and then aimed at the top of the net to retie the game, aided by Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

The Ducks scored on the power play when Bonino was able to go around Niemo’s leg. Getzlaf and Fowler got their second assists of the game with Bonino’s goal to make it 3-2. This would be the first of four straight goals for Anaheim.

Before Beleskey’s goal, Thornton had an empty net but Ben Lovejoy was able to come up from behind and block Thornton with his stick.

Getzlaf got into a semi-breakaway and shot off the goal post and into the net to make it 5-2 at 1:14 of the third period. This gave him his fourth career 20-goal season and took Niemi out of the game.

Down shorthanded about 15 seconds later, Saku Koivu went into a clean breakway about a minute into San Jose’s power play. Koivu’s shot missed and Andrew Cogliano scored off the rebound against Alex Stalock, Niemi’s replacement.

The Sharks scored their second power play less than a minute later. Bracken Kearns got his second goal in two games against the Ducks as he tipped in Matt Irwin’s shot from the blue line in front of the net.


Game notes: Cogliano has started 500 straight NHL games, the fifth to do so in NHL history. San Jose starts the New Year playing the Edmonton Oilers January 2 at 7:30pm.


Stanford vs Oregon Preview: Game Of The Year

Stanford-vs-Oregon1by Jerry Feitelberg

Well fans, this is the game of the year in not only the Pac-12 north division but the entire Pac-12 and , perhaps, the nation.

Stanford will be playing the the high-flying Oregon Ducks on Thursday November 7th at Stanford Stadium at 6pm The Ducks are ranked #2 nationally with a 8-0 record. Stanford has a record is 7-1 i and is ranked at # 5. The game is sold out but there may be some single seats available

Oregon will be looking to avenge the 17-14 loss they suffered to the Cardinal last year at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. The Ducks never lose at home but they did last year and Stanford, not Oregon, went to the Rose Bowl. The Ducks are loaded again. They are led by first year head coach Mark Helrich. Chip Kelly,who built Oregon into a national powerhouse, fled to the NFL and is in the process of rebuilding the Philadelphia Eagle franchise. Helrich has the Ducks playing at an extremely high level again this year. Oregon has scored 34 points or more in 34 consecutive games. The lone exception was the loss to Stanford last year. Handling the chores at quarterback is Marcus Mariota, who is a sophomore. Mariota has been named a semi-finalist for the Maxwell Club’s Award for Collegiate Player of the year. Mariota runs an offense that is second nationally in scoring and in total offense averaging 632 yards per game. That, folks, is absolutely off the charts. Mariota also has completed sixty-four percent of his passes.

The Stanford defense will be sorely tested. Defensive end Ben Gardner has been sidelined for the rest of the season with an arm injury. Stanford’s strength on defense has been the pass rush. Stanford ranks third nationally with 27 sacks and Gardner was second on the team with 4.5 sacks behind Trent Murphy’s 9.5. Murphy, by the way, was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. In the game against Oregon State, Murphy recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks. Logged 8 tackles, 2 quarterback hurries and blocked an extra point. It was the second times this season that Murphy has won the award.

It should be interesting to see how Stanford’s great defense, albeit riddled with injury, can stand up to the offensive onslaught that will be coming there way on November 7th. The Cardinal shut down Oregon State’s Shawn Mannion last week and limited OSU to just 12 points. The Cardinal offense is going to have to get their game going in order to beat the Ducks.

While Gardner is lost for the year, the Cardinal has Senior Henry Anderson returning from injury and Anderson will be at defensive end for the Cardinal.

There is no doubt about it. This should be one of the great games of the year. The winner may be in the BCS championship game. The eyes of the nation will be watching for sure.

Ducks, driving rain storm ruin Cal’s Saturday night

By Morris Phillips

If the Cal Bears were prepared for the challenge of taking on the second-ranked Oregon Ducks, they didn’t get a chance to see their hard work reach fruition in the vicious, driving rains at Autzen Stadium.

The intense storms led to 10 fumbles in the game, including four by the Bears on each of their first four possessions.  The result was Oregon’s quick-twitch offense moved even faster as the Ducks grabbed a 27-0 first quarter lead on the way to a 55-16 dismantling of Cal.

Oregon’s eight touchdown-scoring drives averaged less than two minutes each as Cal made it easy for the Ducks, especially on a pair of Bralon Addison’s punt returns for scores.

“You’ve got to give Oregon credit,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said.  “They’re a good football team and they executed well despite the rain.  We had some major struggles with the rain.  That’s pretty much how it went down.”

While the point-total wasn’t surprising, Oregon’s swift run to 55 points was.  The Ducks led 41-3 at the half, and added two more touchdowns less than five minutes into the second half.   At that point the Ducks brought in the subs, slowed down the tempo and seemed more concerned with getting hot showers after the game than blowing the doors of Cal’s fumbling machine. 

Last season, the Ducks came to Berkeley and struggled into the third quarter before scoring five touchdowns in the final 21 minutes to blow past Cal, 59-17.  Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota triggered the Oregon attack in both games, amassing 90 points in less than 60 minutes of action, starting with the second half surge in 2012.  Mariota’s combined numbers for both games could wake up a Heisman voting block from a group slumber in a heartbeat: 491 yards passing and eight touchdowns completed.

Meanwhile, Jared Goff didn’t survive the first quarter on Saturday night.  After turnovers on the first four possessions, Dykes wasn’t confident that his freshman signal caller could hold on to the football and replaced him with second-stringer Zach Kline.  

“I didn’t have much confidence that he was going to be able to hold onto it,” Dykes said of Goff.  “I made a change with Zach and he gave us a little bit of pop when we first put him in there.  We dropped balls all night long.  Pretty much everything you can do poorly as a football team we did tonight.”

Kline saw his first game action as a collegian, and getting that opportunity down four touchdowns in a hostile environment doesn’t qualify as a plan for success.  But it did allow journalists and media information people to put the blowout in context.  Kline entered trailing 27-0 and needed 37 pass attempts (he completed 18) to find James Grisom on a 7-yard touchdown pass with just three minutes remaining in the game.

How could the scoring futility be with Cal’s equally frenetic offensive attack expected to at least put points on the board against the Ducks?  Such predictions failed in the face of Oregon’s excellent pass rush that gave Goff and Kline fits throughout.  The Bears ran 95 plays on the night, but committed 11 penalties, five turnovers and failed on 13 third-down conversions.

It was if the Bear Raid offense got to the campground and found all the food and goodies had been washed away by the rainstorm.  But the Ducks—with their superior speed and quality trigger man Mariota can do that to all but the best of Division I competition.

Next Saturday, the Bears (1-3,0-1) return to Berkeley to face Washington State, who had an equally challenging weekend in losing to Stanford, 55-17.



Sharks lose in Overtime; Raffi Torres Hurt

By: Phillip Torres

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks hosted the Anaheim Ducks at the SAP Canter in San Jose on Friday night for the Sharks first home preseason exhibition game. The Sharks lost a heart breaker in overtime 3-2 when Ducks Defenseman Ben Lovejoy found the back of the net after less than three minutes of play into the extra period.

The loss for the Sharks might not be as bad as the news that left winger Raffi Torres was banged up on a collision in the second period. Raffi Torres and Ducks forward Emerson Etem collided hard and both men spent an extended amount of time on the ice. Etem was able to come back later on in the period however Torres did not return for the rest of the game.

“He’s being checked by the medical staff, and when we know something, we’ll let you know,” said head coach Todd McLellan. “It’s obviously not a good situation for either player, Etem or Torres. A complete accident, too. We hope they’ll both be well and ready to play.”

Tomas Hertl started the scoring early for San Jose with a goal at 14:42 in the opening period. The assists were earned by Adam Burish and Captain Joe Thronton. The Ducks tied the score at 1-1 with a goal from Emerson Etem. The goal was assisted from teammates Devante Smith-Pelly and Daniel Winnik.

San Jose regained the lead shortly after with a goal from Tyler Kennedy. Kennedy scored on a short-handed two-on-one with the assist handled by Patrick Marleau. Corey Perry tied the game up again for the Ducks late in the period. with assits from Captain Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon, Anaheim was back into the game. The third period was scoreless and at regulation the score was 2-2. Ben Lovejoy won the game in overtime for the Ducks and ended the Sharks night.

On the loss, McLellan said, “I thought that our team forgot a little bit how hard it was to play and how you have to make hard, firm plays and move the puck quick. We weren’t as good as we needed to be, but it’s something we can work off of.”

The Sharks continue the preseason at home Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at 7:30pm.Sharks Lose To Ducks

Phillip Torres covers the San Jose Sharks for