Former Washington Capitals’ Forward prospect Zach Sanford had the game of his young career Thursday night. Sanford scored four goals in the St. Louis Blues 6-5 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sanford, 25, became the first Blues player since David Backes in 2015 to score four goals in one game. Only Red Berenson, with his six-goal contest on Nov. 7, 1968 against the Philadelphia Flyers, has scored more for the Blues.
“He was unbelievable in the game,” coach Craig Berube said. “Best player on both teams.”
Sanford now has 12 goals and 13 assists in 44 games played for the Blues so far this season. He has 20 goals and 29 assists in 144 career games in the NHL.
Sanford, a second round draft pick by the Washington Capitals in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, was sent to St. Louis as part of the deal that brought defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to the Capitals in February, 2017.
Official: Shattenkirk and goaltender Pheonix Copley for Zach Sanford and Brad Malone, 2017 first-round pick and a conditional pick.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 28, 2017
Sanford had two goals and an assist in 26 games played with the Capitals prior to being traded to the Blues.
Sanford’s four-goal game on Thursday night occurred in front of Sanford’s childhood friend from Manchester, New Hampshire, Brett Glendye, who accompanied the team on the Blues’ Dads’ Trip.
“It was hopefully fun for him,” Sanford said. “But it’s obviously a tough loss. I’m glad he could be here and enjoy this with me.”
Sanford’s father, Mike, died in September 2018 during Blues training camp. Sanford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Obviously, I really want to have him here, but I think he was watching over tonight and maybe helping out a little bit too.”
Sanford made news in December of 2018 when he got into a fight with teammate Robert Bortuzzo in a Blues practice. The altercation came when the Blues were bottoming-out, and just prior to their historic run in 2019 that eventually led to them winning the Stanley Cup.
Robert Bortuzzo and Zach Sanford scrap during Blues hockey practice today. The Blues have lost 10 of its past 14 games #fightSZN @BizNasty2point0 @ryanwhitney6 @RearAdBsBlog @MikeGrinnell_ @spittinchiclets pic.twitter.com/ijWXgtQQEE
— Avery (@Avery_188) December 10, 2018
Thursday night’s tilt with Vegas was the Blues first game since veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode in the first period of Tuesday’s game in Anaheim.
By Jon Sorensen