Thornton’s Historic Night Leads Sharks to 7-2 Win

By: Joe Lami and Marko Ukalovic

VANCOUVER, BC–Jumbo Joe Thornton made history on Monday night passing Gordie Howe for ninth all-time in assists notching the 1,050th of his career in Vancouver as part of San Jose’s 7-2 blowout of the Vancouver Canucks.

The record-breaking pass came at 17:30 of the second period, as Thornton led a 2-on-1 breakaway finding Kevin Labanc, who slapped it past rookie goaltender Mike DiPietro making it 6-1. On the play, Jumbo Joe also tied Teemu Selanne for 15th in all-time points in the same game he moved into 15th all-time in games played with 1,540.

“There’s no words to describe being in a dressing room with a guy that’s ahead of Gordie Howe now. It’s pretty crazy, he’s a special player” said Logan Couture.

“When you pass Gordie Howe on any list, I don’t care what list it is, that’s the story of the night. It’s an unbelievable accomplishment, unbelievable career and that’s something that should be celebrated, and our whole group is excited to be here to witness it” added Peter DeBoer.

The pair of Thornton and Labanc has been incredible of late as the two have connected for three of Labanc’s four goals in the last two games.

With the win, the Sharks have swept Western Canada and have extended their win streak to six games jumping into first place in the Pacific Division.

The Sharks dominance of Western Canada continued early, as they quickly went up 3-0 on Vancouver before the Canucks could even get a shot on net halfway through the first period.

Timo Meier welcomed DiPietro to the NHL by scoring on the first shot he would see for his 20th goal of the season. Meier became the fifth Shark to hit 20 goals this season, making San Jose the only team in the NHL to have five 20-goal scorers. In just their 57th game of the year, it’s the fastest San Jose has reached the mark in franchise history.

“Tonight, we knew they were in a tough spot starting [DiPietro] and we wanted to jump on him early. We scored on the first couple of shifts and were in control all night” mentioned Couture.

The Sharks continued their dominance with Evander Kane and Melker Karlsson finding the back of the net before the halfway mark. Kane’s 25th of the season came on a fluttering puck from the right point off the backhand that hit Ben Hutton before going in. Karlsson tipped a Brent Burns wrist shot at 8:48 to make it 3-0.

Vancouver finally got their legs going late in the first and registered their first shot at the 12:24 mark. They made it 3-1 right before the final buzzer thanks to a fantastic play by rookie sensation Elias Pettersson who gained the zone and threw a no-look pass to the top of the right circle finding Bo Horvat for an easy one-timer goal with six seconds remaining in the period. Horvat slapped his 20th of the season to the top right corner of the net.

The Sharks didn’t let the late first period goal come back to bite them as they completely dominated the rest of the way. With no backup available for Vancouver, they continued to pound the puck past the 19-year old with Kane scoring his second, Tomas Hertl, Labanc, and Joe Pavelski all jumping in on the scoring.

Vancouver jumped on the board once again in the third to make it 6-2, as Derek Pulliot slotted his third goal of the season thanks to a beautiful pass from Zack MacEwen, recording his first point in his first NHL game.

Pavelski netted his 30th of the season on a deflection play late in the third to make it 7-2. It’s the fifth time in his career Pavelski has hit 30 goals, as the captain continues his career pace.

Most impressively, the Sharks saw all four lines get on the scoring sheet as they dominated five-on-five. Their powerplay was the one weak spot going 0-for-3 and only generating three shots.

Martin Jones was steady in net for the Sharks stopping 25 of the 27 shots sent his way. He continues to lead all goaltenders since the start of December with a record of 18-5-1 and has allowed two goals or less in ten of his last 15 starts.

San Jose returns home as one of the hottest teams scoring at least five goals in the last three games, including four of the previous six. They host the Washington Capitals on Thursday to kick off a three-game homestand.

Road woes: Earthquakes lose to WhiteCaps 2-1 at BC Place

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By: London Marq

The San Jose Earthquakes took a trip to the Great White North and were welcomed by the eighth-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Saturday night. It would prove to be physically challenging match for San Jose as they drew 22 fouls from Vancouver.

The opening score came from WhiteCaps midfielder Alphonso Davies at the 22nd minute. The Quakes remained off-balance, despite controlling the possession for the majority of the game, as well as passing with 82% accuracy for the match.

San Jose found themselves in themselves in the scoring third often enough, with 11 shots taken. However, as it has been all season, opportunities continue to slip through the Quakes’ fingers. Only 2 of 11 shots required goalie intervention.

The WhiteCaps found more success, and founds that they could work the opposing keeper more often, with 5 of 16 shots on target. In the 78th minute, Vancouver’s Nicolas Mezquida effectively shut the door on the Quakes’ hopes of winning the match, when he scored to make it a 2-0 game.

These two teams played a full 90 minutes of soccer plus three minutes of stoppage time. Vako helped the Quakes avoid getting shutout by the WhiteCaps by scoring his ninth goal of the season at the 90th minute.

The WhiteCaps defeated the Quakes 2-1.

Since it’s late in the season and with a negative cellar-dweller image in place, San Jose needs to reevaluate for the team’s future. If they can’t find a way to build a more consistent team with better chemistry, they will be bottom feeders again next year.

The Quakes return home to Avaya Stadium, where they’ll host Sporting KC on Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 pm PDT.

Whitecaps come back from 2-0 deficit to edge the Earthquakes 3-2

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By Marko Ukalovic and Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Earthquakes (3-14-8) might want to want to hire a voodoo doctor with their way their luck has been this season at home. Down 2-0 entering the second half, the Vancouver Whitecaps (10-9-7) rattled off three unanswered goals to edge the Quakes 3-2 on Saturday evening at Avaya Stadium.

It was a very important win for Vancouver. With 37 points on the season, they currently are tied with the Portland Timbers in sixth place and jumped over the Seattle Sounders in the MLS standings. All three teams are vying for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

For the Quakes, they still haven’t won at home since their season opening match against Minnesota FC back on March 3rd.

It looked like the Quakes would snap their 11-game winless streak at Avaya when they drew first blood early in the first half when Jahmir Hyka intercepted a clearing attempt by Vancouver’s Aaron Maund off of a centering pass by Nick Lima in the seventh minute. Hyka collected the ball and fired off a shot into the lower left corner of the goal past Whitecaps goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic for his third goal on the season.

San Jose would double their lead when Marcel de Jong tripped Danny Hoesen just inside the box at the 15th minute. The foul was initially ruled outside the box, but after the video review, the Quakes were awarded the penalty shot.

Magnus Eriksson converted the penalty for a 2-0 lead with a low line drive to the left corner of the goal beating a diving Marinovic for his fifth goal of the season at the 18th minute.

Quakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell made a nice diving save off of a Kei Kamara, the Whitecaps’ leading goal scorer, header to open up the first minute of the second half. Tarbell was able to tip the ball away from the goal. It was a foreshadow of things to come in the second half.

“We played well the first 30 minutes,” said Quakes head coach Mikael Stahre. “After we conceded the first goal, we lost everything. The power, the willingness to play the game.”

Yordy Reyna would cut the lead in half in the 59th minute on a free kick from 25 yards out for his fourth goal of the season. The free kick was set up, thanks to a foul committed by Luis Felipe. Reyna’s shot deflected off Tarbell’s hand into the right corner of the net.

Three minutes later, Vancouver would tie the game when Kamara created a counter attack. He passed the ball over to the left side for a streaking Cristian Techera, who deked out Florian Jungwirth and fired the ball past Tarbell into the net for his eighth goal of the season at the 62nd minute.

“They gotta believe they are good players,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “When they produce performances like that, especially in the second half, we’re just not that nice to play against–which is a good trait to have.

Kamara would give the Whitecaps the lead in the 68th minute when Reyna received a long ball from midfield on the left side and centered the ball over to a wide-open Kamara, who tapped the ball into an empty net for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.

“It was a gut punch,” said Quakes captain Chris Wondolowski. “(We) played so well for so long and then (you) have 15 minutes of complete letdowns.”

An apparent hand ball inside the Vancouver box on Maund wasn’t called in the 83rd minute when a centering feed fell beside Maund and appeared to touch his arm. Maund was then taken out by friendly fire four minutes later when his teammate Kendall Watson’s forearm smacked him upside his head when both players were attempting to clear out a centering pass.

Even with six minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game, San Jose would fail to get the equalizing goal and drop another heartbreaker at home.

GAME NOTES: Anibal Godoy received a yellow card in the 30th minute after a sliding tackle on Reyna. Reyna received a yellow card in the 51st minute for unsportsmanlike conduct when he spiked the ball protesting a foul. A minute later, Vancouver’s Felipe was also issued a yellow card as well as De Jong was tagged with a yellow card on a vicious tackle on Lima at the 52nd minute.

Play was stopped a minute into stoppage time in the first half when Jakob Nerwinski collided with Joel Quiberg as both players were playing a loose ball in the air. Both players did not suffer an injury on the play.

This past Wednesday, Quakes defenseman Guram Kashia was named the recipient of the inaugural #EqualGame award from UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, for his stand in the wake of intense criticism after wearing a rainbow-colored armband in October.

UP NEXT: The Quakes return back to action on Wednesday, August 29 as they host FC Dallas at Avaya Stadium 7:30 pm PDT.

Boyle’s back bar shot seals comeback OT win

Photo Credit: Unknown

By Pearl Allison Lo

It was a swift and abrupt end for the Vancouver Canucks, after upon video review, the referee acknowledged San Jose Sharks’ Boyle’s goal had entered the net for a 2-1 win Thursday.

31 seconds after Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin went off for hooking at 2:07 of overtime, Boyle made the Sharks’ fourth time on the power play count. Boyle was aided by Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture for San Jose’s second consecutive overtime win, as they took the season series over the Canucks 3-1 in an early finale.

Couture had a chance with 3:11 left to go in the first period, moving across the ice against traffic, but his shot was muffled up front by goalie Roberto Luongo. The Sharks later controlled the majority of the possession as the first period neared its end. San Jose’s Marc Edouard Vlasic with three shots on goal, was the only one with multiple shots. Ryan Kesler led with almost half of Vancouver’s blocks with four.

The Sharks’ second power play was majorly controlled by the Canucks, and included an offensive blocked of a shot attempt by Luongo with his stick.

Vancouver’s Alexandre Burrows was called for interference to give San Jose their third power play at 11:10 of the second period. The set up for the Canucks’ go-ahead goal then started when Pavelski was called for interference 40 seconds later. After the then even matchup expired, Vancouver was given a 36 second man advantage, with which they capitalized.   After a faceoff win and Burrows’ wide shot, Kevin Bieksa was awarded his first goal of the season, slapping the puck in the net from 56 feet away. Bieksa was helped by Sedin with his 18th assist and Burrows.

The Sharks were outshot 20-9 in the second period.

In the third, it looked like the Canucks would be ending their two game losing streak amidst their momentum since the second period. However, with an extra attacker, San Jose was able to stay alive. Joe Thornton went down, but was able to pass it to Boyle, who eventually got it to Tomas Hertl, on Luongo’s left side, as Hertl scored with just over a minute left. Thornton had his 18th assist and Hertl had his 11th goal.

Re the goal, Boyle responded, “The puck came out and I was going to shoot originally, and then…guys kinda came together and I changed my mind at the last minute…”

Game notes: Vlasic led the team in shots at the end of the game with six and led in ice time, along with Boyle, as both stayed on for 22:34. Vancouver’s Dan Hamhuis led all skaters in ice time with 25:40. Thornton extended his points streak to six games. The Sharks will go for three in a row when they face the Edmonton Oilers at 7pm PST Friday.

Larry Levitt on Pro Hockey

by Larry Levitt
DALY CITY–The off ice officials in the ECHL have a very difficult job and when your working behind the net as a goal judge it is tough because you get so immersed in the game you got to remember what your job is and that’s to watch that goal line and watch that puck. It is very exciting down there your right on top of the action I’ve done it a few times.
Any seat around the rink watching a San Francisco Bulls game your right on top of the action and at the Cow Palace your not too far away from the rink so come on down and enjoy the Bulls. Opening night on Friday night is always a good special time and Bulls owner, president, general manager, head coach Pat Curcio wears a lot of hats and I hope he’s ready for the home games after opening night.
Curcio has a lot of dignitaries here at the Cow Palace he’s got San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee here to drop the ceremonial puck and I’m sure some of the investors were at the game Friday as opening night was a big night. So Curcio has to be the general manager and head coach it’s tough just to coach a team but also to be involved in the planning with the parties and all of the events and all the dignitaries it’s going to be tough but Curcio can handle it.
The Bulls play the Stockton Thunder on Monday night and their an interesting team their coach got hired away from the team, the general manager got hired away from the team and half the front office staff got hired away from the Thunder. They did make it away from the ECHL finals against the west coast versus the east unfortunately they didn’t win the finals but they showed a lot of people how good they were.That showed caused a lot of people to turn their heads and look their way and to hire them away.
Tough run for San Jose: Starting with last Tuesday’s loss to the Buffalo Sabers, unfortunately with Buffalo they didn’t even start playing until the third period by then it was too late they did tie it up to get into overtime in the shootout but lost in the shootout and they had a weird goal taken away and not even credited to them.
The league made a huge mistake by not owning up to the mistake and saying “we missed that one lets move on” instead they used the intent of the whistle blow which is a way to cover your rear. Unfortunately it’s over, it’s done. They should have come out against Vancouver and played harder. They really had a flat game the puck was bouncing like crazy in that game.
It just wouldn’t settle down for the Sharks but if a Vancouver stick would touch it it could be as flat as could be and it could go right down the ice. Sometimes a puck would go misdirected but there were a lot of poor decisions. A lot of mistakes and bad passes in your defensive zone which turned it over right to the Vancouver Canucks.
He put it right in the net and Antti Niemi the Sharks goaltender and usually you can count on him to take over when you make those stupid mistakes he wasn’t there and he just didn’t show up. The two brightest things we could take out of that Vancouver game was the fourth line played exceptionally well. They controlled the pace of the play, they controlled the puck every time they were out there.
Larry Levitt does commentary each week on Pro Hockey

San Francisco Bulls add 6’8″ Riley Emerson to lineup

Guess which one Riley is..
Guess which one Riley is..

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Bulls announced today the signing of forward Riley Emmerson. At 6-foot, 8-inches, he becomes the tallest player in Bulls history. The Vancouver, British Columbia native spent last season with the Missouri Mavericks of the Central Hockey League. There, he ranked second on the team with 95 penalty minutes in 55 games, adding five goals and an assist.

“Riley adds a whole new dimension to this team” said SF Bulls President and Head Coach Pat Curcio. “At 6-8, he can use his size in front of the net effectively and will be a physical force on the ice.”

Emmerson was drafted in 2005 by the Minnesota Wild and since then he has been a bit of journeyman playing in the ECHL three times, the AHL twice and the WHL and CHL each for one season.

Check out some highlights from his 2012 season with Toledo Walleyes.

(Bonus points for the fan in the stands with the Dino Cicarelli Minnesota North Stars jersey!)

Whitecaps shutout Quakes in Vancouver

By Elliot Alagueuzian

August 10, 2013

143VANCOUVER–The San Jose Earthquakes will be disappointed they did not finish their chances after conceding two goals and losing 2-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. The Whitecaps offense was led by Nigel Reo-Coker, Kenny Miller and Camilo Senvezzo. Reo-Coker took on Clarence Goodson and beat him out wide before crossing into the box to Senvezzo who tapped the ball into the back of the net to give the Caps a 1-0 lead.

Earthquakes tried to respond when Sam Cronin took a shot inside that rebounded off a Whitecaps defender and above the head of Shea Salinas who attempted an overhead kick whoever, the shot lacked power and fell straight into the arms of goalkeeper David Ousted.

The second goal came when midfielder Russell Teibert passed the ball into the box from the right hand side, Reo-Coker missed his shot but Kenny Miller didn’t and made it 2-0 Vancouver.

Quakes Head Coach Mark Watson was disappointed his team couldn’t take their chances against a good team away from home. “The game quite simply was they took their chances and we didn’t, we had a couple opportunities to score one or two early on that would’ve changed the game.” Said Watson who believes his team still have a great chance to qualify for the playoffs. “We’re disappointed but we know that there are enough points on table so we keep working, we get back to work next week and prepare for our next game.”

Vancouver made the game’s first great chance when Senvezzo hit a freekick and Miller headed the ball inches over the crossbar. Quakes created a few chances to try and take the lead but the best chance of the first half came when the ball fell to Cordell Cato who struck the ball very well but Ousted made a fantastic save.

Chris Wondolowski thinks the team can bounce back against Sporting Kansas City next week. “They’re very good, it’s good to be home but we have to go out there and play to the best of our capabilities.”

Vancouver offers fine dining at Bridges Restaurant

photo (3)August 9, 2013

VANCOUVER, BC — For a first time traveler to Canada, Vancouver was a great place to dip my feet in and get a feel for the place. Just a mere two hours (unless you get stopped at the border… *grumble*) from Seattle, Vancouver had so much to offer. Upon first glance, it seemed it had the same two seasons you see in Illinois; Winter and Construction. Once you get through the traffic and avoid all the tourists, Vancouver became a beautiful and extraordinary place.

From the “stadium city”, where the Whitecaps, BC Lions, and Canucks play, the Science Centre where I learned far too much about sexuality, and Convention Centre where a Pokemon Championship was being held, there wasn’t a day I spent in Vancouver I wasn’t in awe. The hospitality provided was just as I hoped for, and our hosts at Bridges Restaurant were no exception!

Located on Duranleau Street in Vancouver, Bridges Restaurant welcomed the four of us with open arms and warm hearts. When I think “Bridges”, the first thing that comes to mind is Mrs. Doubtfire and Robin Williams, but now I have a whole new memory to recall. Our waitress, Nicole, was exceptional. She laughed with and at us, cracked jokes, and even participated in our radio show, to which we are very grateful! The owner, Damien, stopped by and told us his story on air and even threw in a few jabs about the Canucks and Sharks!

The food was, simply put, amazing. The entrees we had around the table all came out perfectly. Fresh Oysters, Caeser Salad with grilled prawns, Caprese Pizza, and the fish and chips, all brought smiles to our faces and filled our stomachs. But wait, there’s more! We couldn’t leave without getting dessert! I had hoped to get a small slice of chocolate cake, but that just wasn’t in the cards… Do you remember in the movie Matilda where that kid had to eat the entire chocolate cake in front of everyone? I swear, the cake was that big, but WOW was it good. It came with raspberry sauce and a blob of ice cream, and sadly, extra spoons for the vultures around the table. If you are ever in Vancouver, look up Bridges. Head to Duranleau street and check out the scene… you won’t be disappointed.

One of the great opportunities Sports Radio Service provides me is the chance to meet new people and go new places. Bridges Restaurant, Nicole and Damien, and Vancouver, British Columbia will forever be one of the first things that come to my mind when I think of this trip. Not the fact the SJ Earthquakes lost, not the traffic or rain, but the friendship we created with people who extended the hospitality to us and joined in on something we care about deeply. That’s one of the special things sports can offer you; the chance to go somewhere you’ve never been and bond and relate with people you’ve never met.

So thank you Nicole, thank you Damien, and thank you Bridges Restaurant. Like our former Governor once said, We’ll be back.

Visit Bridges Restaurant