The Sharks struggled to find the back of the net tonight in their 4-0 loss to the Jets, as Winnipeg netminder Edward Pasquale made 22 stops in a shutout performance. Levko Koper, first round pick Mark Scheifele, and Jason Gregoire all added tallies for the Jets in the win, with Koper putting the finishing touches on the game with an empty netter at the 19:13 mark to seal the deal for San Jose's young stars.
Despite the shutout loss however, the Sharks prospects managed to keep their heads up following the game, especially those here on tryout contracts with the club. San Jose is carrying a multitude of tryout contracts on the roster in Penticton, in part due to the standout play of Michael Sgarbossa and J.P. Anderson last year at the tournament, as well as the organization's need to replenish their prospect pool heading into a new season.
Charles Inglis, who scored a goal last night against the Flames, talked about the excitement about getting a call from a professional organization. Despite being disappointed about going undrafted in 2011, he realizes that this is just another step in what he hopes will be a long hockey career.
"I was extremely excited when I got the call, it was about an hour after the draft occurred. While I've been here I've just been working hard, doing my best to impress the coaches and put some pucks in the net," Inglis said. "I like to get lots of traffic to the net, especially with a goalie like this tonight where he's playing well. You have to get in his kitchen, get in his crease a lot, and shoot for rebounds because he's seeing everything up top."
Nathan Moon, who has drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2008, has shown a good shot while centerering the third line over the last two nights.
"Every time you get to these Young Stars tournaments, and others like it, you realize there are a lot of guys watching you," Moon said. "You just have to show them what you can do and go from there. When I got the call it was a great honor for me, especially to come to an organization like this and have the chance to prove myself."
Appearing in his first game of the tournament, University of Michigan alum Scooter Vaughan was impressive in the loss against the Jets. Utilizing his speed and physicality, Vaughan was playing the body all night and forcing the issue with any Jets skater that was carrying the puck up the ice.
"I'm a physical and strong power forward, that's where my game is. I'm going to get in your face, finish my checks, use my speed. Whatever it takes I'm going to use that to the best of my ability," said Vaughan. "It's nice we have practice tomorrow, it was my first day on the ice since we lost to Minnesota-Duluth in last year's title game, so I feel like I got a little bit of the cobwebs off today."
Responding to a question about his great hockey name (seriously, a guy named Scooter should be on every team throughout the NHL), Vaughan acknowledged how it's caught on with his teammates.
"Yeah I hear that a little bit," Vaughan said with a laugh. "I usually go by Scooter, the guys have fun with it."
Trevor Cheek, who meshed well with Moon against Calgary, reaped the benefits of his performance. After scoring a goal on Sunday, Cheek was promoted to the top line where he played with Sharks prospect Freddie Hamilton and the aforementioned Vaughan.
"You just have to be working hard, trying your best to impress the guys upstairs. It was great to play with Freddie [Hamilton] tonight, he's a great player," Cheek said. "He gets open a lot, a very easy guy to play with. I thought our line with Scooter had some potential for sure."
"I like to call myself a goal scorer," Cheek said with a grin, "but I'm definitely a power forward and try to use my body as much as possible. You just have to keep it simple and play hard."
Staying out of penalty trouble will be key to San Jose in their final game against the Canucks. The Sharks took five penalties tonight, and while they managed to cut down on the turnovers that were prevalent against Calgary, gave up a handful of odd-man breaks due to mis-communication and turnovers at both bluelines.
But despite the loss, the players here on tryout contracts are looking forward to getting another chance against Vancouver on Wednesday night. With a few tweaks, they feel like they can end the tournament on a positive note in front of what should be a decidedly pro-Vancouver crowd.
"I've been impressed with the guys here. We're obviously all here trying to make a good impression, but we're still coming together as a team," Scooter Vaughan said. "If we start chipping more pucks deep, start banging bodies and getting pucks to the net, I think we'll have a better game on Wednesday."