Sep 16, 2023

The first day of games at the 2023 Rookie Tournament in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV began yesterday, Sept. 15, 2023. The San Jose Sharks rookies defeated the Los Angeles Kings rookies in a three-round shootout victory and a final score of 4-3.

Forward Ozzy Wiesblatt took an interference penalty early in the opening frame, and the Kings would nearly score on the ensuing power play, but goaltender Georgi Romanov would prove up to the taste, reaching behind to make the save. Though exchanging special teams opportunities in the first period, neither team would be able to find the back of the net, but the Sharks group continued to pressure Jacob Ingham in the LA net, outshooting the Kings 18-9.

The Sharks would see their third power-play opportunity of the game in the second period, but it would be Kings forward Andre Lee who picked up the first goa of the Rookie Faceoff, with a shorthanded tally to put LA on the board 9:36 into the middle frame. Just past the 10-minute mark, the Kings would switch Erik Portillo in for Ingham, using the tournament as an opportunity to see their prospect goaltenders in net in a rotation. San Jose would stick with Romanov, electing to use one goaltender in each of their three games throughout the Rookie Faceoff. Artem Guryev (SJS) and Samuel Helenius (LA) dropped the gloves, exchanging blows in what felt like a heavyweight fight, both earning 5-minute majors. Sharks forward Tristen Robins would pick up the first Sharks goal of the weekend to tie things up. With 2:45 remaining in the second period, the Kings would see a goal from camp invite Chase Pauls and head into the final 20 minutes with a 2-1 lead despite being outshot 33-1.

It wouldn't take long for San Jose to get things started in the final twenty minutes, with forward Bradley Marek scoring early to pull the Sharks even once again. Gannon Laroque would find the goal to give San Jose their first lead and the Sharks would hold it for almost 14 minutes before Kings forward Alex Laferriere would tie things up once again. Regulation would end 3-3 and fans would be treated to extra hockey in the first game of the 2023 Rookie Faceoff.

The three-on-three overtime period would come to a close with neither team able to pick up the game-winner, leading into a best-of-three shootout.

The first Sharks shooter was Danil Gushchin, Barracuda head coach John McCarthy's tried and true shootout performer, and he showed why with a clean goal on Portillo. Koehn Ziemmer would be denied by Romanov on LA's first attempt and William Eklund would get the nod and pick up a shootout goal to force LA to need their next shooter to find the twine. Having already scored for the Kings, Laferriere would get the opportunity to try for another, but Romanov would deny him the chance to extend the shootout, giving the Sharks rookies their first victory of the tournament.

Day Two Preview

The Sharks rookies are slated to take on the host Vegas Golden Knights rookies at 7 p.m.

In their tournament opener, the Vegas group faced a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks rookies and will undoubtedly be looking to avenge that loss in tonight's game.

13 players who suited up in the AHL last season are named on the Vegas roster, including all three goaltenders. Familiar names to Barracuda fans such as Brendan Brisson and Daniil Chayka are in the tournament for Vegas and could play a factor in this evening's game.

Find the complete Vegas roster here.

Check out the complete San Jose roster here.

You can catch all of the action from the 2023 Rookie Faceoff as Barracuda play-by-play broadcaster Nick Nollenberger will have the call live from Las Vegas on the Sharks Audio Network and on the live stream.


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