For today’s Vintage Video, we take a look back at the very first regular season game for the San Jose Sharks franchise, which took place on October 4, 1991.

The music in this video alone is enough to give you a big wave of nostalgia. The footage is also excellent, and provides a nice in-depth look into this historic day — from pre-game preparations to the heart-breaking last minute goal by Vancouver’s Sergio Momesso.

The Sharks would ultimately fall to the Canucks, 4-3, but played a hard-fought game — giving the sold-out crowd plenty of entertainment. Fittingly, California native Craig Coxe scored the Sharks’ first ever goal.

As the video points out, defenseman Neil Wilkinson’s jersey went mysteriously missing prior to the opening face-off, so he was forced to wear No. 5 instead of his usual No. 45. I’m not sure how many times that’s happened in NHL history, but I’d be willing to bet this is the only occurrence of such an event during a team’s first ever game.

San Jose sure looked like an expansion team on opening night  — surrendering 48 shots against — and that kind of play continued throughout the 1991-92 season. Led by head coach George Kingston, the Sharks would finish the year with a disappointing 17-58-5 record.

Several days after the opener, the Sharks would win their first ever game at the Cow Palace (now the home of the ECHL’s San Francisco Bulls). However, they would go on to lose their next 13 in a row, and would win back-to-back games just three times all year.

FUN FACT: Doug Wilson, who is now the GM of the Sharks, was the captain of San Jose’s inaugural team. He played his last two years in SJ, retiring after the 1992-93 season.

BONUS VIDEO: San Jose Sharks’ First Win – October 8, 1991

 

 

About The Author

Andrew Hirsh is a graduate of Elon University and is entering his fourth year as a credentialed NHL writer. He founded SunbeltHockey.com in 2012 and serves as the site's managing editor. Andrew can be reached via email at ahirsh3@gmail.com.