Sharks hosted their first Sikh Heritage Night – Kaurs Singhs and Sharks

Jalandhar 8 March (Jaswinder Azad)- Sharks hosted their first Sikh Heritage Night – Kaurs Singhs and Sharks. The Sikh Heritage Night was a huge Success with a sold out group event. The Local Sikh Community came together to support their sharks as they beat Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Thursday Night in SAP Center.
San Jose Sharks hosted NHL's first ever "Kaurs Singhs and Sharks" event on March 2nd 2017. The event itself is inline with “Kaurs Singhs of North America” theme where by Major League Sports teams celebrate their region’s cultural diversity and heritage by hosting their local Communities. In this regard the Sikh Community.
The Canucks and Sharks teams are significant in this regard because both Vancouver and San Jose (Bay Area/Silicon Valley) have significant Sikh Populations. A brief summary of the game - While Vancouver Sikhs were elated when the Canucks silenced SAP Center with their goal in the first period, but the Sharks held the Canucks to that one and only goal while themselves scoring three and came out victorious.
Kaurs Singhs and Sharks activities included showcasing Sikh Heritage and Identity hosted by the San Jose Gurdwara Sangat. The event also included a Gatka performance by the San Jose Gurdwara Gatka Akhara. San Jose Gurdwara sangat members also hosted a Sikh Turban demonstration and wrapped sharks fans in colorful turbans while teaching them values for which it represents. Gatka is a martial art associated with the Sikh history.
While this is the NHL's first Sikh Heritage Night, it would be an injustice to the NHL if we did not mention that the NHL has had some of the first South Asian Sports personalities Including the first Sikh who actually played for the Sharks - Robin Bawa, played for San Jose Sharks in the Early 90’s.
The list of players of South Asian descent to have played an NHL game is far and few, they still number significantly above other leagues. South Asian Players have contributed to the NHL on both sides of the boarder (Canada and America) including  Robin Bawa, Manny Malhotra, Prab Rai, Kevin Sundher & Jujhar Khaira.
Additionally, Ajay Baines a veteran AHL defenceman and Everett Silvertips of the WHL have had a groundbreaking team - an all-Punjabi line featuring Vancouver-area players Khaira, Manraj Hayer, and Tyler Sandhu have taken the team by storm. The fact is that it is surprising this story hasn’t been covered in greater depth. That may continue to be the case until a player of South Asian/East Indian descent makes a significant impact within the NHL such stories won’t make the sports headlines. Interestingly Khaira has risen quite quickly with the Edmonton Oilers’ prospect ranks, and is a player the team is counting on to become their long-awaited power forward. Khaira represents HOPE for both the Oilers and young South Asian youth throughout North America. He is the stereotypical Indo-Canadian, Surrey, BC native – the son of a gravel truck owner-operator and a first-generation Canadian.
Pioneer Recognition is due to Harnarayan Singh who has become to the Punjabi community what Jim Hughson or Chris Cuthbert are to the mainstream Canadian television viewing audience. As a result Hockey itself is quickly growing among the South Asian community, a reported a 20% increase from ethnic or immigrant families. Much of which can be attributed to Hockey Night in Canada expanding its broadcasting platform and including Punjabi-language telecasts. Low and behold some immigrant parents who could not previously understand the game or English telecasts are fast  developing an affection and interest in the sport. Which is also resulting higher registrations of  south Asian youth in the sport. Average online viewership of the Punjabi broadcast has grown by over 50% since the 2011-12 regular season, with playoff games noticing a particularly sharp increase in viewers.
Back to the Canucks Vs Sharks - San Jose started the game a little sluggish. Just 3 minutes into the period Vancouver forward Reid Boucher (24) got a delay of game penalty, but the Sharks were unable to capitalize on the ensuing power play. Even with the man advantage opportunity, the Sharks managed just 2 shots on goal in the first 6 minutes of the game, until finally, Brent Burns, in an effort to clear the puck, chipped it over the glass putting the Canucks on their first power play. Over a minute into the power play, Ben Hutton collected a rebound off of Aaron Dell (30) on the bottom of the left circle and fed it to Bo Horvat (53) on top of the crease, and he tapped it home through the five hole giving the Canucks a 1-0 lead.
The second period was mostly all Sharks. About half way through the period, Joel Ward (42) made a short pass to Tomas Hertl (48) inside the right circle and he passed it to Marcus Sorensen on the bottom of the left circle. Sorenson took the pass off of his right skate before tapping it in by the left post giving the Sharks their first lead of the game. Just four minutes later Couture took a short pass from Patrick Marleau (12) inside of the right circle and unleashed a wrister short side top shelf beating Miller over his glove and giving the Sharks a commanding 3-1 lead. In the third period, the Sharks continue to dominate the game outshooting the Canucks 11-5 but Miller was able to stop all 11 of their shots keeping the final score at 3-1.
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