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Sharks could also leave an open spot on their forward
von elvafeng In der Kategorie Allgemein am 07.11.2017 um 06:41 Uhr.

After getting reassigned from the Sharks Sunday morning, Labanc joined the Barracuda 4 5 1 for their tilt against the Texas Stars at SAP Center, helping the team put together its best performance of the season in a 6 1 win as his line collected a combined seven points, including a hat trick from Sorensen.

“That line was awesome to watch. I’d like to keep them together, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen,” Sommer said breaking into laughter.

Sommer knows the idea is comical because the Sharks are likely to recall one of his top three forwards to the NHL in advance of Wednesday’s showdown with the high flying Tampa Bay Lightning at the Tank.

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Based on Sunday’s performance alone, Sorensen would be the front runner.

Sorensen opened the scoring at 12 48 of the first, putting O’Regan’s feed into the slot inside the far post on the power play.

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He tallied his second goal 2 17 later, burying a loose puck at the side of the net after Labanc tried to thread a pass through to O’Regan, who was posted up in front of the blue paint.

The speedy Swede completed the hat trick at 7 50 of the third, blasting in a one timer from O’Regan, who found him in the slot after Labanc dropped him the puck, giving him space by drawing the defense toward him.

In 10 AHL games this season, Sorensen has collected nine points 4g, 5a .

But a Sorensen recall appears to be unlikely considering that Sunday’s performance was the first time he played at the level he reached last season while recording 26 points in 24 games before joining the Sharks for 23 consecutive NHL games on Feb. 28.

The Sharks reassigned Sorensen to the Barracuda out of training camp, in part, because he wasn’t playing the straight lined inside game that propelled him to the NHL last season.

Sorensen said it’s “hard to say” how close he is to hitting the bar that he reached with the Barracuda last winter.

“Obviously, I’m not there yet,” he said. “I think I’m getting better every day…but still I can be better.”

A better candidate would appear to be O’Regan, who leads the Barracuda in goals 5 and scoring with 10 points in 10 games. O’Regan collected 58 points 23g, 35a in 63 games last season, winning the AHL’s rookie of the year award. His standout performance with the Barracuda came after he collected 154 points in 154 NCAA games with Boston University.

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The one blemish on O’Regan’s scorecard is his minus seven, but Sommer insists that the crooked number is misleading. The Barracuda coach isn’t seeing a drop off in O’Regan’s detailed play this season.

“He led our team in scoring chances going into Sunday’s game ,” Sommer said. “I think it was 37 to 14 against, and the guy was a minus nine, so when he was on the ice, pucks were just going in. It wasn’t directly related to him.”

Despite O’Regan’s consistency at the AHL level, he continues to get overlooked by the decision makers in the Sharks braintrust, so he’s hardly a slam dunk to get recalled this week.

Another option could be Labanc. The Sharks might have sent Labanc down Sunday to give him a wakeup call and a resilience test after he collected just one point in his last eight NHL games.
To his credit, Labanc played his second game in two nights Sunday after skating for 12 44 in the Sharks bout against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday and he displayed the same energy and enthusiasm that he brings to NHL hockey.

“You know what? He could have come down here with a big lip and I didn’t see it. He had fun out there,” Sommer said. “This league is all about coming down and getting your mojo back.”

Sommer likened Labanc to Chris Tierney, who was reassigned to the Barracuda for a pair of games during the 2015 16 season. After picking up three points, Tierney returned to the Sharks and played a key role in the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.

“It was definitely fun. You just take it for what it is,” Labanc said while also acknowledging his disappointment about the reassignment. “I felt good. I felt confident and I’ve just got to keep working and keep proving myself every day.”

Labanc said the message from the Sharks braintrust was simple “keep working.”

“Just because you got sent down, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Instead, make a statement. Let them know you’re going to play hard no matter what,” Labanc said.

“Most of the time, guys that get sent down, they get bummed out or what not. You can’t do that. You’ve got to just keep working and not waste the day.”

With five of their next six games at home, the Sharks could also leave an open spot on their forward roster for the time being, keeping the competition going among the Barracuda forwards.

— Defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald recorded the first point of his professional hockey career by notching the Barracuda’s fifth goal at 11 02 of the third period.

— Rookie Rudolphs Balcers recorded his third multi point game of the season Joe Thornton Jersey, earning assists on Fitzgerald’s goal and Filip Sandberg’s tally at 17 19 of the first.

— Troy Grosenick stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced in the win.

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