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GOTTA SEE IT: Meloche Scores 1st NHL Goal on Mom’s Birthday



WASHINGTON — Nicolas Meloche’s first NHL goal was “special” in so many ways.

Early in the second period, the San Jose Sharks hanging onto a 1-0 lead, Matt Nieto jumped a pass and found the trailer Meloche.

“Amazing. Just unbelievable. It’s my mother’s birthday today too,” Meloche shared post-game. “So just special today.”

Nicolas Meloche’s strike also ended up being the game-winner in a 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.

San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner was pleased with more than just Meloche’s goal. It was the 24-year-old defenseman’s first appearance since Jan. 8 and he skated for none other than the injured Erik Karlsson.

“I really liked him down in the trenches. I thought he was big and heavy. I thought he was physical. He won a lot of battles, made some good plays on some exits,” Boughner shared. “That’s what we need from Mel every night. We’ve talked a little about that, me and him before, is making sure when you’re in that lineup, make it hard on me to take you out. Give me a reason to play you again.

“Definitely, he did that tonight.”

Speaking of Nicolas Meloche’s work in the trenches, he made a big save on Brett Leason in the second period too.

It’s been a long road for Meloche to this moment. The 2015 Colorado Avalanche second-round pick was making just his 20th NHL appearance after making his big league debut last year. He’s also spent five years in the AHL, racking up 193 games with the San Antonio Rampage, Colorado Eagles, and San Jose Barracuda.

“He’s put a lot of time in the minors,” Noah Gregor, who played the last three years in the AHL with Meloche, noted. “He’s worked extremely hard, plays a simple game.”

Naturally, Nicolas Meloche wanted to share the moment with his mother Natalie more than with us.

“For sure, I’m calling her right after I’m done here,” Meloche said during his media availability. “We talked earlier. She’s in Florida right now. I’ll be able to give her the puck tomorrow or in two days. It’s just great timing.”

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