Vol. LXIII, No. 5
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
SHARK ATTACK: Mike Moore heads up the ice last winter in his senior season for the Princeton University mens hockey team. After a stellar career which saw him lead the Tigers to the ECAC Hockey championship and earn first-team All American honors, Moore is currently playing for the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League. The 61, 200-pound defenseman has 11 points in 46 appearances this season on three goals and eight assists with a team-best plus/minus of + 12. Moore was called up last week to the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League but was sent back to Worcester without making his NHL debut.
As Mike Moore started his senior year at Princeton University in the fall of 2007, he was not sure where he would end up after graduation.
Moore proceeded to have a dream season for the Princeton mens hockey team, leading the Tigers to the ECAC Hockey championship and earning first-team All American honors in the process.
Moores heroics caught the eye of the National Hockey League and afforded him a plum post-graduation opportunity, landing a dream job as he signed with the San Jose Sharks organization after the season.
It was really an amazing feeling; there was a sense of accomplishment, said Moore in recalling his emotions upon signing with the Sharks.
Anyone wonders what they are going to be doing after college; it was great to know that I would be getting the chance to play hockey after college. The next thing I thought is that I have a lot of work ahead of me. I had to finish up my schoolwork and work hard on my conditioning.
The Sharks sent Moore to their Worcester (Mass.) affiliate in the American Hockey League last spring and he put in some good work there.
It was great to get to meet some of the guys and play some games, said Moore, a 61, 200-pound defenseman who had logged 11 penalty minutes and got into a fight in his pro debut.
They had already been eliminated from the playoffs; it was nice of them to put me in there. There is big difference from the college game, it is more of a puck control and possession game in the pros. The guys are older and smarter. There are a lot of players on the cusp of the NHL.
This past October, Moore found himself on the cusp of the NHL as he survived to the last cut of the Sharks training camp.
That was an amazing experience, my original goal was to get to know the guys and the coaches and let everyone know who I am, said Moore, a native of Calgary, Alberta who prepared for the camp by working out with Doug Crashley and his Crash Conditioning program in the Calgary area.
I learned so much from watching the pros. I was competing with them and the goal became to make the team. I ended up playing in all the exhibition games. I learned a lot from camp. It was disappointing. Once you feel like you belong, you dont want to leave.
In getting sent back to Worcester, Moore was determined to make the best of the situation.
You need to use the disappointment to better yourself; you can take it two ways and I didnt want to get down, said Moore, who has put together a solid campaign at Worcester, tallying three goals and eight assists in 46 appearances with a team-best plus/minus of + 12.
I have been enjoying the season. It has been an up and down season for the team, we are in a tight division. We are really fighting with the other teams, the guys are excited.
Moore experienced some major excitement last week as he was called up to San Jose. The Sharks, though, did not use Moore and sent him back to Worcester.
As Moore pays his dues in Worcester, he is sticking to basics. I am just trying to play tough, said Moore, who has helped Worcester climb to third place in the Atlantic Division of the AHLs Eastern Conference. I need to be defensively responsible.
Moore has enjoyed sharpening his defensive skills in tandem with former Princeton teammate Brett Westgarth, who is also playing for Worcester.
Its good, we have been a defensive pair, said Moore, who served as a team captain in his senior year at Princeton and ended his Tiger career with 52 points in 121 appearances.
We have been working together after practice. We want to play the other teams top line, we have a goal to shut them down.
In the meantime, Moore is keeping his eye on San Jose as he pursues his goal of making it to the NHL.
You are always looking at their scores, I am excited about how they are doing, said Moore, noting that the Sharks have been the top team in the NHLs Western Conference all season long.
If you do get called up, it is good to be coming to a successful dressing room. People are happy, its a lot more fun.
When Moore gets the NHL call, he will be happy to apply the lessons he learned at Princeton.
Guy Gadowsky was a very good coach; he told us you have to be prepared every game and that is our responsibility, said Moore.
That is even more true at the pro level. If you are not prepared, it gets noticed and your pro career can be short. He also preached a strong work ethic and all the Princeton players show that.
Utilizing his trademark grit and leadership, Moore is certainly getting noticed by the Sharks organization.
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