By Matthew T.F. Harrington
sjbarracuda.com photo: The Bakersfield Condors right winger Patrick Russell (36) and the San Jose Barracuda center Rourke Chartier face off in Friday’s night’s contest on Star Wars night at SAP Center
SAN JOSE, Calif. –San Jose (that’s Sharks AND Barracuda today) forward Barclay Goodrow had a whirlwind of a Black Friday. The right winger awoke from his Thanksgiving food coma to the news of a call-up from the AHL club to the NHL squad for an afternoon tilt against the New York Islanders. Goodrow took the ice for pregame skate with the Sharks, but didn’t crack the line-up and, in fact, didn’t crack the roster past one period.
“I had warmed up, then after warm-ups they told me I was playing here tonight,” said Goodrow. “My legs felt great because I had warmed up earlier.”
During the Sharks matinee, Goodrow was reassigned to the Barracuda, in plenty of time to play in their 6 pm contest against the Bakersfield Condors (6-8-0-0). Luckily for the Barracuda, the 23-year-old was ready to play, scoring the game winner in a 4-1 Barracuda victory. Colin Blackwell also scored for San Jose (6-5-0-2) while netminder Mantas Armalis made 31 saves to avenge a 3-1 loss on the road to the Condors Tuesday night in which Armalis relieved an injured Troy Grosenick in net.
“That’s the thing,” said Colin Blackwell. “One guy goes down, somebody else has to step up. Offense, defense, different guys cycle into the lineup. That’s our mentality. He had a great game tonight.”
“I guess I like playing here,” said Armalis with a chuckle.
Timo Meier had a goal and an assist for a two-point night for San Jose.
The Condors opened the scoring first with defenseman David Musil lighting the lamp 8:59 into the game on the power play. The Barracuda would go on the man advantage once in the period, but could not beat Laurent Brossoit between the pipes.
The Barracuda tied the contest 9:48 into the second period after Colin Blackwell potted his first professional goal. The Harvard-man-turned-Barracuda-rookie skated down the right wing, flipping the puck over Brossoit’s glove for his third point of the season. Fellow Harvard alum Patrick McNally and Nikita Jevpalovs assisted on the goal to put San Jose ahead 2-1.
“I had a shot last minute,” said Blackwell. “I was lucky. It went through his armpit.”
The Barracuda took the lead 1:47 into the third period after Barclay Goodrow tipped a Julius Bergman point shot past Brossoit for his seventh point of the season. Mirco Mueller also picked up an assist.
Another player with a recent, brief stint in the NHL lit the lamp for the Barracuda in the third. Danny O’Regan, just four days removed from making his NHL debut in a 4-0 Sharks win against New Jersey Monday, beat Brossoit on a backhanded dangle in the low slot with 6:55 left in regulation. O’Regan received a perfect backhand pass from Timo Meier along the boards to pick up his sixth goal of the year and a 3-1 Barracuda lead.
“Honestly, I kind of blacked out on that one,” said O’Regan when asked to describe his goal. “My linemates did a great job on the rush, driving to the net. Timo (Meier) was able to find me in the slot and I was able to corral the puck. I picked my head up and saw the defender went down. I was able to move around him and get close to the net then I got a little puck luck.”
Meier added an empty-netter with 48.8 seconds to seal the win for his second point of the game. San Jose won’t get to enjoy home ice for too long. After just their first game at home since November 6th, a stretch that saw the Barracuda go 2-3-0-1, they’ll face the Ontario Reign Saturday night in the Inland Empire. After Tommy Wingels suffered an injury, one of the Barracuda could find themselves in the Sharks lineup tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks.
“You have to always bring your game,” said Goodrow. “If you’re playing well enough, you’ll get recognized. Just try to play your game.”