Barracuda edge Heat 2-1 in Game 5, advance to second round against Gulls

May 2, 2017

AHL, San Jose Barracuda

Photo credit: San Jose Barracuda Twitter (@sjbarracuda)

by Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda edged the Stockton Heat 2-1 in overtime in a do-or-die Game 5 at SAP Center on Tuesday night.

The Heat served three penalties in the first period, but the Barracuda were unable to capitalize on the power play. Rasmus Andersson was called for roughing at 11:56. Mike Kostka went to the box for high-sticking at 10:58. Hunter Shinkaruk received an elbowing penalty at 16:39.

The Barracuda served just one penalty as the officials sent Mirco Mueller to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct with 1:23 left in the period. As a result, 37 seconds of Mueller’s penalty rolled over.

Both teams skated to a scoreless deadlock after 20 minutes. The Barracuda outshot the Heat 15-9.
David Rittich left the game and never returned. He stopped all 15 shots he faced.

Jon Gillies entered the game in the second period in relief of Rittich.

The Heat broke the scoreless deadlock at 10:38. Brett Kulak fired a shot from the left slot that went wide of the net, but Jamie Devane picked up the loose puck and put it into the net, beating Troy Grosenick for his first goal of the playoffs.

Shots were 38-13 in favor of the Barracuda, but they trailed the Heat 1-0 through 40 minutes.

The speed of both teams increased during the third period. The Heat finally managed their first shot on goal of the period around 12:40.

Timo Meier beat Gillies top-shelf for his second goal of the playoffs, tying the score 1-1 with 9:47 left in the period.

“I was pretty confident it was going to happen,” Meier said. “So it was just a matter of time…I had some good chances early in the game…It was obviously a relief to finally have it bounce in and we went from there and just kept going.”

Mike Angelidis fired a shot that was supposed to go into the net, but Grosenick made an impressive glove save to keep the score tied 1-1 late in the period.

Hockey fans inside the arena received free hockey as a treat as the decisive Game 5 headed into overtime. Both teams were tied 1-1 after 60 minutes. The Barracuda outshot the Heat 48-23.

Ryan Carpenter scored on a breakaway to lift the Barracuda to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Heat. Grosenick finished with 27 saves for San Jose. Gillies made 37 saves in a losing effort for Stockton.

“I lost the draw and then the puck went back and forth so we just tried to stay in the shot lanes and the guy made a bad pass and then (Barclay) Goodrow pounced on it,” Carpenter said when asked to describe his game-winning goal. “He continued to protect the puck…It was wide open in the slot and I couldn’t ask for an easier chance. Just tried to get on it quick.”

“If I stopped that goal, we would’ve won in regulation,” Grosenick said when asked about the first goal he allowed. “But that’s hockey. It was kind of a weird bounce off the board and I felt it hit my blocker and I just didn’t quite know where it was on the net so I was just trying to seal the post and it squeaked through. It’s kind of one of those weird plays, but hey, their puck counted and they found a way to put it in and our guys battled back and got the big goals, and it is what it is, we won.”

The Barracuda won the best-of-five series 3-2.

“It was one of those games,” Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer said. “Their other goalie (Jon Gillies) played really well. He (David Rittich) got sick and left because of something…The other guy (Gillies) stood on his head and made like 15 or 18 point blankers, and then Grosy (Grosenick), what can you say? He made great plays late in the third period like the ones on (Mike) Angelidis and (Hunter) Shinkaruk. I thought it was over. He hit the post, went behind him…Every team that goes a long way, there’s always a huge scare somewhere…That kind of described us tonight, but I thought we deserved the win.”

After finishing the 2016-17 regular season with the AHL’s second best power play, the Barracuda’s power play unit went ice-cold during the postseason. San Jose is just 1-for-17 on the man advantage, ranking 14th out of the 16 playoff teams.

After being held off the scoresheet in the Barracuda’s first two postseason games, Danny O’Regan has three points (two goals, one assist) over his last two games. O’Regan is the AHL’s Rookie of the Year, leading all of the league’s freshmen in points (23 goals, 35 assists) during the regular season. He finished second in San Jose with 11 points (five goals, six assists) against the Heat in 11 games played.

Ryan Carpenter netted his third goal of the series on Friday. He now has six points (three goals, three assists) in four postseason games. In his three-year career, Carpenter scored 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 12 career playoff games along with a plus-12 rating.

After signing an entry-level contract with the Sharks fresh out of Union College, Nick DeSimone played just four regular season games for the Barracuda before the playoffs. He has four points (zero goals, four assists) in four postseason games along with a plus-four rating. He leads all defensemen in points during the series and ranks third in points among all defensemen during the postseason. He scored his first professional goal in San Jose’s final regular season game of the year on April 15.

Zack Stortini is the Barracuda’s most experienced postseason player. He played in 61 playoff games over his 12-year career. He won a Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2007. He appeared in San Jose’s first two playoff games, but wasn’t featured in the lineup in Games 3 and 4 at Stockton Arena.

Up Next
The Barracuda host the San Diego Gulls in Game 1 of the second round on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.

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