sjbarracuda.com photo: The Grand Rapids Griffins Kyle Criscuolo (51) jockeys for position against the San Jose Barracuda’s Dan Kelly (46) as Cuda goaltender Troy Grosenick (1) defends the net in the final meeting of the two clubs at Grand Rapids game five of the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs
By: Eric He
This season, the San Jose Barracuda advanced as far as they’ve been in franchise history. But their campaign ended one round shy of their ultimate goal, and three wins shy of the Calder Cup Final.
With a 4-2 loss at Grand Rapids on Saturday night, the Barracuda’s season concluded in the Western Conference Final, dropping the series 4-1 to the Griffins.
It wasn’t for lack of effort. The Barracuda peppered the opposing net with 41 shots, out-shooting the Griffins in each period. But Grand Rapids jumped ahead early with two goals on just nine first period shots.
In fact, San Jose found itself trailing just 24 seconds in. Matt Lashoff took a pass from Tyler Bertuzzi and buried the one-timer past Troy Grosenick to give the Griffins a 1-0 lead. They doubled the advantage late in the period on Matt Ford’s shot that went off the post and in.
Timo Meier got the Barracuda on the board in the second period, but went into the third period still trailing by two goals as Matt Lorito punched in a power play goal on a rebound.
Grand Rapids extended its power-play goal scoring streak to 11 straight games, while the Barracuda went o-for-4 on the man advantage.
Lorito scored once more less than five minutes into the third period to extend the Griffins’ lead to three goals. Danny O’Regan got it back for the Barracuda, but with time winding down in the third, there would be no season-saving comeback.