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Sharks, Barracuda Captains Couture, Agozzino Have Long History

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

“I didn’t like him after that series.”

Almost 15 years ago, San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture saw his junior career ended at the hands of San Jose Barracuda captain Andrew Agozzino.

It was Game Seven of the 2009 first-round series between Couture’s Ottawa 67’s and Agozzino’s Niagara IceDogs.

The IceDogs fought back from a 3-1 deficit, and 13 seconds into overtime, Agozzino struck.

In this video, you can see 67’s captain Couture, sporting No. 89, on his knees in despair after the Agozzino kiss of death.

“[He was] a very good player in the OHL” Couture said of Agozzino to San Jose Hockey Now. “A smaller player, but very skilled and in that league he scored a ton, from what I can remember.”

The 5-foot-10 Agozzino still holds IceDogs records for career goals (159) and points (306).

Agozzino returned the compliment: “[Couture] was a top player in the league…It was a pretty hostile series.”

Even back then, Couture was living up to his reputation as a big-game player, leading all Ottawa forwards with 10 points in those seven games.

“We had to be aware any time he was on the ice,” Agozzino recalled. “[He was] pretty much the same as he is now, just a great leader and a great player.”

The San Jose Sharks’ 2007 ninth-overall pick was ninth in OHL scoring that season, behind future stars such as John Tavares and Taylor Hall. Meanwhile, Agozzino, despite his scoring exploits, wasn’t drafted, signing an AHL contract with the Lake Erie Monsters in Aug. 2012. At the end of that season, the Colorado Avalanche inked him to his first NHL contract.

And now, both are in the San Jose Sharks organization. In fact, Agozzino was on Couture’s line during the former’s recent stint with the Sharks, notching a goal and two assists in just four games. He’s back with the Barracuda now, leading the AHL side’s playoff push with 25 goals and 29 assists in just 54 games.

“He’s a natural leader. Guys like that fit in seamlessly. He’s played a long time,” Couture said, when Agozzino was still with the Sharks. “He brings knowledge not only to us older guys, but some of the younger guys. He’s fit in well.”

Agozzino credits his own mindset and focus for that, sharing he tries to “approach everyday as a professional and doing things the right way. That’s how I’ve been able to have success in my career. Just the daily things of being a good teammate, being a good person, and being diligent in your work.”

So there’s certainly mutual respect between the Sharks and Barracuda captains now, like there was back then. That said, has Agozzino ever reminded Couture of Niagara-Ottawa Game Seven?

“I don’t think that needs to be brought up,” Agozzino laughed.

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