Sharks’ Nicolas Meloche gives mom birthday gift of first career NHL goal

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Sharks’ Meloche scores perfect birthday gift for mom originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Nicolas Meloche doesn’t have to worry about getting his mother a birthday gift this year.

He checked it off his list Wednesday night during the Sharks’ 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals by scoring his first career NHL goal.

Early in the second period, San Jose forward Matt Neito stole the puck in the neutral zone, skated across the blue line and slid a pass over to Meloche. The 24-year-old defenseman had plenty of space to unload a wrist shot into the back of the net.

Meloche’s career milestone just so happened to come on the birthday of his mother, Natalie.

“Amazing,” Meloche said of the goal. “Just unbelievable. I’m for sure calling her right after I’m done here. Just special that it’s on her birthday.”

Acquired by the Sharks in a trade in 2019, Meloche made his NHL debut Jan. 14, 2021. He tallied one assist in seven games last season and posted one assist through his first 13 contests in 2021-22 before lighting the lamp for the first time Wednesday night.

His mother’s birthday gift will be arriving shortly as the Sharks continue their road trip Saturday against the Florida Panthers.

“She’s in Florida right now, so I’ll be able to give her the puck right now or in two days,” Meloche said. “It’s great timing. It feels unbelievable.”

Andrew Cogliano, Jonathan Dahlen and Noah Gregor also scored for San Jose, which snapped a three-game losing streak with the win. The Sharks hadn’t beaten Washington in regulation in its last seven meetings, going 0-6-1 against the Capitals in that span.

“I don’t know if I’d say it was the biggest of the year, but it was definitely a response game,” coach Bob Boughner said.