SAN JOSE -– Matt Tennyson’s first career goal on Thursday against Edmonton wasn’t just a dream come true for the player himself.
According to head coach Todd McLellan, one of the team’s primary original owners, George Gund, also dreamed about having a former Jr. Sharks player contribute to the big club. Gund died on Jan. 15, 2013 at age 75.
Tennyson was born in Minnesota and grew up in the Midwest, but relocated to nearby Pleasanton at age 14 to join the Jr. Sharks and attended a fair share of Sharks games as a teenager.
At age 17 he moved on to the NAHL’s Texas Tornados for one season, and then enrolled at Western Michigan University, where he played from 2010-12.
“His goal tonight was a really special goal for our organization and actually for the city,” McLellan said after the 4-3 Sharks win. “I know when Mr. Gund was still alive, one of his dreams was to have a San Jose-bred player and somebody who played in the Jr. Sharks system actually play for the Sharks and score a goal.
“Hopefully he’s looking down and he’s really proud of bringing the team here and it finally happened after 23, 24 years.”
The 24-year-old Tennyson was playing in his fourth game of the season and eighth career NHL game. His marker at 8:29 of the third period on the power play tied the game at 3-3, before Barclay Goodrow converted the game-winner less than a minute later.
How did the first one feel?
“Pretty good, always good to get that out of the way,” Tennyson said. “It was a goal that tied it up for us so that makes it even better.”