by David Bandla, Communications
January 3, 2014, EDMONTON (ISN) – Former University of Calgary Dinos men’s hockey captain Bracken Kearns made his National Hockey League debut with the San Jose Sharks in 2013, but never registered a point until a recent call-up that has seen him score in three straight NHL contests.
He played one game at the end of the 2012-13 regular season and went on to perform admirably throughout Rounds 1 & 2 of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.
During his time on the third and fourth line, however, he did not register a point, instead acting as a grinder during the always-tough post-season in a sweep of Vancouver and seven-game defeat at the hands of then-defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles.
To start the 2013-14 season, Kearns played just one NHL game on October 17th before heading back to the minors, with Worcester of the American Hockey League.
Cue the comeback…
On December 28th, the 32-year-old Kearns was recalled to San Jose by General Manager Doug Wilson. Kearns had five goals, 13 assists in 27 games during his most recent stint with the minor-league Sharks.
Making the most of his return, Kearns responded with his very first NHL point, a goal, while earning 3rd Star on the night as San Jose ended Anaheim’s 10-game winning streak, at home on December 29th.
Two nights later he scored again, this time at Anaheim, and on Thursday he started 2014 with a second period marker in a victory over Devan Dubnyk and the Edmonton Oilers.
Kearns’ stats in Canada West show him with 19 goals and 54 points in 87 conference games for Calgary from 2001-02 to 2004-05. He was never an All-Star and did not take home any awards, but Kearns worked hard, pushed on to reach the most elite level of hockey.
He is well-traveled since his days in Calgary, where he graduated in Economics after four years with the Dinos. His father, Dennis, played 10 season for the Vancouver Canucks during the 1970s and early 1980s
There’s no telling the future, but Kearns may have earned a regular spot on the roster with the Sharks, currently fourth in the Western Conference at 26-9-6.