Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jordan White Suits Up for the San Jose Sharks

What a treat to turn on the Vancouver Canucks game and see, Jordan White, a Spruce Kings alumni getting into his first NHL game with the San Jose Sharks. Normally the tandem of Antti Niemi and Antero Nittymaki would be the go to guys between the pipes for the San Jose Sharks, but that changed earlier in the day. After Nittymaki was placed on the Injury Reserve list, the Sharks turned to the former Spruce Kings and current UBC netminder to fill the role of backup goaltender, signing White to a one-day amateur tryout contract.

Jordan White making a save in goal for the Spruce Kings
(January 14, 2007)
Seeing Jordan sitting on the bench with that smile reminded me of the goaltender that played out the 2006/07 season with the Spruce Kings including the record setting semi-final game in the RBC Royal Bank Cup. It started out as any other game in the tournament that week with an appearance in the National Championship Game at stake. The Spruce Kings started out the game the right way building up a 2-0 lead early in the second period against the defending Champions.

The Camrose Kodiaks showed the Prince George fans why they were in the National Championship for a second straight year after cutting the lead in half before the end of the second and then tying the game in the third. At the end of regulation time, the Kodiaks led 42-34 on the shot clock and had one powerplay goal in five chances while keeping the Spruce Kings without an odd man tally in four tries.

Overtime in the National Championship is of the full meal variety with a full intermission between 20 minute periods. This scenario played out in the Prince George Multiplex for a five full periods and got in to a sixth before the game was final settled six hours after it began - shortly after 1am local time.

Overtime action in the RBC semi final game
(May 13, 2007)
Although the eventual game winning goal was the most important play at the time, the real story of the game was the goaltending in overtime, especially from Jordan White. In that record setting game, White faced a total of 93 shots from the Camrose Kodiaks and after being beat on the 23rd and 41st shot, proceeded to shut the door making save after save of the spectacular variety. The performance between the pipes earned the then 19 year old goaltender player of the game honours and the team a berth into the Championship game.

Unfortunately the physical, mental and emotional drain of the game that took a total of 146 minutes to play, 86 minutes of which were played under the stressful setting of sudden death, was just too much to over come in the final game. The Spruce Kings won silver, but for the fans that were in the building that night, the team won gold in that semi final game.

Oh and as for the eventual winning goal ... that was scored by Jason Yuel tipping a Tyler Helfrich shot under the cross bar while on the powerplay ... their first powerplay goal of the game in ten opportunities. It was a beautiful goal that can be found in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the form of Jason Yuel's stick and the puck that came 122:50 minutes after the Spruce Kings made it a 2-0 game.

No comments: