Finals. Game 7. Wild – Sharks

After a series with plenty of home cooking (home team wins games 1-6) – the two Cindarella’s meet for a pivotal game 7 played HTH over Skype!    The visiting Wild pulled out all the stops, bringing in designated hitter Dominick, who is  witnessing his first GHC finals just 4 months into his life!
Game 7 starts with the Wild continuing to dominate in the face-off circle.  Darling denies Eaves early on a GR, and then Kadri goes to the box to put the Wild on the PP.   Darling denies the Wild on 2 #’s chances a GR save to start out just red hot.   A big save on one ends turns into a goal on the other end when Tarasenko beats Howard for a 1-0 lead.   Play evens out the rest of the period, and there was some 4 on 4 non-action, and the period ends with the Sharks up 1-0.
Period 2 starts out with the Kucherov being denied on a breakaway GR, and then Jack Johnson takes a penalty to put the Wild back on the PP.    Not much action this time,    Both goalies come up with a couple of big saves, and then Landeskog & Brassard both go to the box for some more 4-4.  This time there is a RARE 4-4 goal when Kucherov beats Howard with a number chance from a nice feed from Schwartz and the Sharks are up 2-0.   The Wild dominate the rest of the period, but aren’t generating a lot of good scoring chances.
The Sharks are 20 minutes away from winning the Cup, when Patick Eaves shuts up the home faithful by beating Darling just 1 minute into the 3rd, and we’ve got a 1 goal game.   The Wild are just DOMINATING the puck, and Darling comes up huge with GR saves on both Monahan and Eaves.    The Wild push a little to hard, and Connor Brown goes to the box to put the Sharks on the PP.   After an intercepted icing, Barkov brings the home fans back to their feet with a GR goal to reestablish a 2 goal lead.   The Wild continue to dominate, and Darling denies Stone on a GR when Suter takes a bad penatly and the Sharks go back on the PP.   They can’t score, but it kills 2 minutes off the clock that the Wild need.    The clock is winding down, when Tarasenko takes a penatly, but the clock runs out with the Sharks winning game 7 by a 3-1 final and the home fans goes nuts as the Sharks celebrate their first Cup win in a long time!
Congrats to Dave for a great season!!   Hope everyone has a great summer, and is doing their research for what should be a fun draft!!!
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A couple of notes before the series begins:
1) Minnesota’s one and only Swain Cup Victory came exactly 10 years ago…the only remaining players on the team from that squad are the ageless Henrik Zetterberg and then rookie Paul Stastny.
2) San Jose sniper Nikita Kucherov was actually drafted by the Wild and flipped to the Sharks at the same draft…boy the Wild wish they had him now!
Game 3
San Jose takes the lead halfway through the first on a goal by Couture only to be answered 32 seconds later by Sean Monahan. Wild add 2 in the second but Kessel responds to make it 3-2 MIN headed to third… Monahan strikes again at even strength and Eaves adds an insurance marker to make it 5-2, but the Sharks will not go down quietly. Another goal by Couture makes it 5-3, but a Wennberg marker with 5 seconds left make the 5-4 final seem closer then it was. Mark Stone tallies three assists in the victory
Game 4
Game starts out much like the Game 3 except the first scoring doesn’t happen until the second period. 2 goals for the Wild in the 2nd and 2 goals for Kucherov! Headed to the third tied, Eaves nets the winner on the power play and Sekera nets the insurance. This time no rally from SJ. 4-2 final, shots MIN 37 SJ 24. Johnny Boychuk the first star.
An unlikely ride continues for a team not even picked to make the playoffs riding a the hot goaltending on Jimmy Howard. Will await results of Games 1&2.
On Friday, July 13, 2018, 6:59:27 PM EDT, MATTHEW HOTCHKISS <imrahil@comcast.net> wrote:

This year’s Swain Memorial Cup Finals is an unlikely pairing, pitting the upstart 8th place Minnesota Wild vs. the 6th place San Jose Sharks. Wonder when the last time the finals were two lower seeds like that? I’ll have to do some digging to find out….

FYI – The real reason I’m copying everybody is that hockey ratings preview came out today, so head on over the the Strat website and have a look!

And good luck to Jeff and David in the Finals!

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