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2015 Rookie Camp Game Two: Ritchie's Hat Trick Helps Ducks Tip Sharks 5-2

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Three point afternoons from Nick Ritchie, Josh Manson lead Anaheim to a weekend Rookie Games split in San Jose.

The Ducks rookies celebrate their win at Sharks Ice-San Jose on Sunday, September 13.
The Ducks rookies celebrate their win at Sharks Ice-San Jose on Sunday, September 13.
Eric Evelhoch

Lines

Nicholas Ritchie - Julius Nattinen - Stefan Noesen 'A'

Nicolas Kerdiles - Nathan Noel - Bryan Moore

Joseph Cramarossa - Alexandre Alain - Charlie Sarault

Matt Bailey - Lane Pederson - Wyatt Johnson

Josh Manson 'C' - Jaycob Megna 'A'

Brandon Montour - Eric Knodel

Kevin Gagne - Andrew O'Brien

Landon Bow

Brendan Burke

Recap

Even when it's a game between the organizations' rookies, contests between the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks always seem to be chippy, emotional affairs.

Sunday afternoon was no different, as lead offensively by Nick Ritchie's  hat trick the Ducks rookies never trailed, converting on three of five power plays to beat the Sharks 5-2 at Sharks Ice-San Jose.

The Ducks opened scoring 3:35 in to the contest after '13 SJ draft pick Gabryel Boudreau was called for interference at the Anaheim blue line. Ritchie bulled into the zone up the near wall, powering out of the corner toward the net front and rattling a chance off the side netting in to the slot. Brandon Montour had crept down from the point, and fired home the 1-0 marker from the hashmarks past tryout goalie from the OHL's Ottawa 67's Liam Herbst.

San Jose responded  nearly six minutes later with Josh Manson off for hooking, as a point shot deflected free agent Vincent Aresenau, who beat tryout goalie Landon Bow from WHL's Swift Current Broncos five hole with a backhander at the bottom of the near circle. Despite allowing both Sharks goals on special teams, Anaheim killed three off thanks to strong efforts from forward pairs Lane Pederson and Stefan Noesen, and Matt Bailey and Wyatt Johnson.

Another Sharks penalty near the midway mark allowed Anaheim to retake the lead. Manson did well to hold an attempted clear at the line, with his point shot deflecting to Julius Nattinen. The 2015 2nd round draft pick then found Ritchie alone cross-slot to hammer home the 2-1 lead that the Ducks would enjoy after the first period.

The hosts leveled just past three minutes in to the second stanza with Charlie Sarault off for high sticking. 2014 Sharks draft pick Nikolay Goldobin, who was a menace all after noon creating chances, ripped it home after a point shot deflected to him.  San Jose had the better of play for the first half of the period, with Bow being forced to make several stops on odd man chances including a blocker save on a three-on-two and a glove snatch on a two-on-one. Near the midway mark tryout goalie from the WHL's Calgary Hitmen Brendan Burke replaced Bow.

With the hosts carrying momentum and on the power play again thanks to a Nick Kerdiles high stick, Anaheim turned it around with an aggressive penalty kill. Bailey and Johnson were able to create a couple chances, including a two-on-one that lead to Halifax Mooseheads tryout defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald taking a holding penalty for the Sharks on the recovery. The scoreboard read a level 2-2 through two periods, though San Jose had the better of the second stanza chances.

The physicality of the game bubbled over early in the final frame, as 13 seconds in there was a fight involving Noesen. Nearly three and a half minutes later the Ducks got their first even strength goal, as off a face off Manson's shot from the line found it's way home through traffic to make it 3-2. San Jose responded with a couple opportunities, but Burke was equal to each, making a save on Goldobin in the high slot, then denying Harvard defenseman Patrick McNally's point shot and Aresenau's drive to the net on the rebound.

Anaheim put the game away on a two-man advantage near the midway mark, as off an offensive zone draw Ritchie set up between the circles, with Manson finding him for the finish to up the Ducks lead to 4-2. Anaheim had no problem killing a late delay of game penalty on Jacob Megna, and with the Sharks net empty Noesen tracked down a dump in by Nattinen and swung it in front for Ritchie to complete his hat trick and finish the 5-2 scoreline.

Manson finished the night with a goal and two assists, earning first star honors while Montour's goal and assist were good for second star. Anaheim was outshot 30-25 for the game, but in the critical third period held the Sharks to just five shots. Ducks Rookie Camp continues Tuesday and Wednesday at The Rinks: Anaheim Ice with public sessions at 10:30 AM.

Thoughts

- Sharks Ice is a very nice facility, saw three separate rinks while walking around before the game. Also, the pro shop was selling San Jose's Heritage Jerseys for the club's 25th anniversary, which look pretty sharp in person.

- The process to attend the game was much more strict than in Anaheim, as fans had to wait outside for wristbands to enter. San Jose definitely used it as an opportunity to promote ticket sales, as before being able to enter the rink area folks had to pass a table with representatives.

- Game presentation was almost identical to a game at SAP Center, with all the same sounds you hear at Sharks games- the synthesizer organ, the 'Jaws' theme on penalties, all the staples. Between periods they interviewed a player from game one, as well as former Shark Mike Ricci, who has taken a role in the organization.

- Ducks fans had a presence; saw 10-15 folks either in jerseys, hats, or some other paraphernalia.

- Folks on Twitter were incredulous about Ritchie's lack of Three Stars love for the hat trick, but Manson was a force defensively and clearly one of the better players on the ice. Montour had a good game as well, aside from the goal another moment that stood out was breaking up a two-on-one when Knodel got picked by a linesman after fumbling a hold in.

- Bailey, Pederson and Johnson were a good energy presence and very involved physically. Bailey's work rate on the penalty kill will be an asset for San Diego, while both Pederson and Johnson had no problem mixing things up.

- As much as the hat trick will likely stoke excitement about Ritchie making the Ducks out of training camp, he's probably better served starting the season with the Gulls.

- Despite being undersized, Gagne did well in his shifts working the blue line in the offensive zone. Held the line well and showed good instincts in when to pinch and get involved in the attack, helping to create chances.