Worcester Sharks Alumni Swim toward Lord Stanley

Worcester Sharks Alumni Swim toward Lord Stanley 
By Carly Grimaudo
The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs are under way!
In case you missed it the Round One Eastern Conference match ups: Montréal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning; Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins; Philadelphia Flyers vs. NY Rangers; and Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings.
Round One Western Conference match ups: Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild; St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks; Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars; and the battle of California San Jose Sharks vs. LA Kings.
The eight series between the 16 playoff teams aren’t the only matchups to look out for these Stanley Cup Playoffs, as former Worcester Sharks players will both play together on the same team and sit on opposite benches while striving to lift the 34.5 lb. Cup mid-June. 
Take a look at past Worcester Sharks who’ll battle it out for the title!
San Jose opens their playoff run on Thursday, April 17 when they host California rival the LA Kings for the first game of what’s likely to be a close, cut-throat series. San Jose’s current roster features 13 former Worcester players, including three who donned a Worcester sweater just this season. Center Bracken Kearns and defenseman Matt Tennyson were recently called up to San Jose to join in the playoff efforts while rookie and left winger Matt Nieto appeared in two games with Worcester earlier this season before shipping out to California.
Another key former member of the Worcester Sharks and current San Jose Shark is point leader Joe Pavelski (41-38-79) who’s been an undeniable influence on the Shark’s success this season. Joining Pavelski as one of the team’s top offensive contributors is Logan Couture (23-31-54) who played in a combined 46 games in Worcester over the course of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.
Other Worcester Sharks alum to look out for this Stanley Cup Playoffs are Andrew Desjardins, James Sheppard, Tommy Wingels, Justin Braun, Jason Demers, Matt Irwin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and tender Alex Stalock, who minded Worcester’s net for 38 games in the 2012-2013 season.
San Jose Sharks aren’t the only ones who’ve played for Worcester that will be a part of the 2014 Stanley Cup chase!
The Colorado Avalanche’s left winger Jamie McGinn played five seasons for the Worcester Sharks, with his most recent being in 2010-2011 where he played in 30 games tallying 20 points (9-11-20). McGinn and the Avalanche will face the Minnesota wild in the first round series which opens for Colorado on Thursday, April 17 when they host the Wild.
Some former Worcester Sharks will lead their teams in the playoffs as captains!
Both Matthew Carle of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens sport an “A” on their jersey for their current teams. Carle played three games for Worcester, while Gorges played seven, both during the 2006-2007 season. They were also joined that season by the Habs’ Douglas Murray who appeared in five games for Worcester. Gorges and Douglas will face-off against Carle in a first round series that opens on Wednesday, April 16 in Tampa.
Throwback Thursday!
Former Worcester Ice Cats Barret Jackman of St. Louis and Michal Handzus of Chicago will matchup in the first round series between the Blues and the Blackhawks which kicks off on Thursday, April 17 when the Blues play host.
Be sure to catch all these former Sharks prey on the opportunity to have their named inscribed on sports’ most famous trophy, Lord Stanley...but most importantly GO SHARKS!

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