Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
September 21, 2015 Colwood, BC (ISN) – It was a night to remember for many in the local hockey community as the Kraft Hockeyville preason match up between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks in Colwood, BC went down to the wire with the Canucks defeating the Sharks 1-0 on an OT winner by forward Adam Cracknell.
The 30-yr old Cracknell, putting on his Canucks jersey for the first time this preseason, played minor and Junior B hockey in the area. With 82 NHL games under his helmet with the St. Louis Blues and the Columbus Blue Jackets in 10 seasons as a professional, coming home to play in a rink where his picture hangs on a wall was certain to give him little extra jump in his step.
Adam Cracknell had jump in his step for the home town crowd as he wins the race for the puck with the help of his stick – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Both the Canucks and the Sharks would trade chances in the first period, entertaining the home crowd with races for loose pucks, and goal crease puck scrambles that would keep starting goalies Canucks Jakob Markstrom and Sharks Troy Grosenick sharp in net. The Canucks, after two power play opportunities, would see the period end with the Sharks take the shots on goal advantage 8-4, but neither team able to put the puck in the net.
Jakob Markstrom hugs the post as the puck is swung around by an attacking Sharks forward – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allspormedia.ca)
Canucks goalie Markstrom, easily the best Canucks player so far in the game, would give way to reliever Richard Bachman half way though a scoreless second period. A surging Canucks team, noticeably the quicker to the puck, would start to get pucks to the net to draw near even with the Sharks, outshooting San Jose 9-6 in the period. Canucks Chris Higgins would leave the game after an apparent blocked shot at the blue line would send him to the dressing room. He would not return.
The Sharks would start the third period on the PK. Unable to capitalize, the Canucks forward Nicklas Jensen would take matters into his own hands, exciting the partisan Canucks crowd with a near breakaway that was just tipped off his stick at the last moment. Jensen would get another chance with just under 12 minutes remaining when he just missed scooping in an errant rebound. Both teams would finish out regulation time deadlocked at 0-0.
Bo Horvat just couldn’t get his stick on the puck, but he did make goalie Troy Grosenick flinch – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Teams would go to OT with three players a side in a new trial NHL format. In some exciting end-to-end action, a bouncing puck off Sharks Chris Tierney would be knocked aside by the Canucks net minder Bachman to keep it scoreless. After a flurry of chances at both ends, and a delayed Shark’s penalty for tripping up Jannik Hansen that would give the Canucks the extra man on the attack, the fortuitous Adam Cracknell would come up with the loose puck, beating Aaron Dell over the blocker for the 1-0 win.