sjbarracuda.com photo: San Jose Barracuda celebrate on their bench as they defeat the Stockton Heat 2-1 in overtime on Sunday afternoon at SAP Center
By Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda clinched the Western Conference, wrapping up their 12-game season series against the Stockton Heat with a 2-1 overtime victory at SAP Center Sunday.
After a quick stop in Stockton Saturday night, the Barracuda returned to San Jose to open a three-game homestand, starting with the Heat.
Following a brief fight, Zack Stortini received a slashing penalty while Jamie Devane sat in the box for cross-checking.
“It’s two teams that compete hard against each other,” Stortini commented. “We’re both playing for something and we’re very competitive so those kinds of games are very fun to play in.”
Andrew Mangiapane was called for high-sticking with 9:22 left in the period. The Barracuda got into another fight with the rival Heat. This time, it was over a questionable call made by the officials. Julius Bergman’s shot bounced off the end boards and Ryan Carpenter tried to slam the puck into the net, but the call stood. No goal for San Jose.
The Barracuda opened the scoring with just 51.5 seconds left on the clock. Garnet Hathaway went to the box for holding the stick. Tim Heed sent a pass to Danny O’Regan, who blasted it into the net, beating David Rittich for a power-play goal — his 22nd of the season.
The Barracuda led the Heat 1-0 after 20 minutes. Shots were 20-7 in favor of San Jose.
Things remained chippy in the second period as Mirco Mueller dropped the gloves with Ryan Lomberg for a fight at 13:08. As a result, both players served two-minute minors for roughing.
The Barracuda held a 1-0 lead over the Heat after 40 minutes. San Jose outshot Stockton 36-14.
The action ensued in the third period. Buddy Robinson dropped the gloves with Austin Carroll for an intense fight just 2:03 into the period. Consequently, both players served 10-minute misconducts and two-minute roughing minors.
Jacob Middleton was called for tripping at 14:07. Mike Angelidis then finished a tic-tac-toe play from Mangiapane and Mark Jankowski for a power-play goal — his seventh goal of the season — tying the game 1-1 at 13:39.
The game headed into overtime after the Barracuda and Heat remained in a 1-1 deadlock after 60 minutes. Troy Grosenick made a notable save, stopping the puck with his glove to prevent a potential game-tying goal from a Heat forward.
Barclay Goodrow scored the game-winning goal — his 25th of the season — to lift the Barracuda to a 2-1 win at 2:48 of the overtime period.
The Barracuda (43-15-2-5) edged the Heat (33-25-5-2) in a 2-1 overtime victory. Grosenick finished with 20 saves for San Jose.
“I was a little bit bored there,” Grosenick said when asked about how he shot the puck back and forth with Rittich. “So I wanted to play pass with somebody and I passed it to him. Then he took a shot on that and I wasn’t happy with that.”
Rittich made 47 saves in a losing effort for Stockton.
When asked about the melee between both teams, Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer didn’t have much to say.
“I don’t know man,” Sommer responded. “It was kind of just a heat of the moment thing…I don’t remember what he said. It was just one of those things and it’s kind of a team thing. They get under your skin and into your mind and shame on me, I guess.”
Notes Sommer received a misconduct — his second of the season — after attempting to discuss a call with the Heat bench. He now has 20 penalty minutes, zero goals and zero assists.
O’Regan was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team Wednesday.
Grosenick and Heed were selected to the AHL First and Second All-Star Team Thursday.
Up Next The Barracuda continue their homestand Tuesday when they host the Tuscon Roadrunners (26-31-8-0) at 7:00 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW