Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic and Alexandra Evans
SAN JOSE–The third time was definitely a charm for the Stockton Heat as they crushed the San Jose Barracuda in a 6-0 shutout victory at SAP Center on Wednesday night.
Led by Spencer Foo’s first hat trick of the season, the Heat came into the game having a 0-2 record against the Barracuda this season. They made the most of their shots early on in the game as they scored three goals on just eight shots, proving quality over quantity.
Hunter Shinkaruk started off the scoring for the Heat just 5:11 into the first period when he skated in alone off a odd man rush and snuck in a shot passed Antoine Bibeau (6-4) on the short side of the goal.
The Barracuda couldn’t capitalize on separate 2-on-1 opportunities by Jon Martin and captain John McCarthy in the first period as both player’s shots missed the net.
Stockton goalie Jon Gillies (7-5-1) recorded his second shutout of the season on 25 saves. The highlight of his game came with 11 minutes left in the third period when stopped three point blank chances by the Barracuda. Adam Helewka’s back-hander on a breakaway and two subsequent rebound chances were stoned away by Gillies to preserve the shutout.
The Barracuda were guilty of standing around watching the puck when Defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon was wide open in the right slot and scored his third goal of the season beating Bibeau top self for a 2-0 lead. Ramus Andersson assisted on the Heat’s first two goals.
Foo scored the first goal of his hat trick at 9:07 of the 2nd period on tip in from a shot from Oliver Kylington along the left side of the boards as the puck redirected right between the five-hole of Bibeau. Head Coach Roy Sommer had seen enough and pulled Bibeau immediately after and replaced him with backup Parker Gahagen to try shake up his team’s lackadaisical play.
“We had some breakdowns defensively,” head coach Rommer said after the game. “It didn’t feel like a game where we didn’t have any emotion to me. I mean they were the ones who carried all the emotion, not us.”
Foo then tallied his second goal of the game at 15:40 of the third period on a power play goal skated in alone after receiving the puck and put a back-hander past Gahagen. The Heat had four goals on their first 12 shots.
Marek Hrivik continued the barrage when he scored his seventh goal of the season after the Cuda turned the puck over in their own zone and Hrvik was all alone in front of Gahagen putting the puck past the five-hole for a 5-0 lead
Foo would complete his hat trick and the scoring for the Heat when he was able to bury home a rebound shot from Oliver Kylington that beat Gahagen into the net. After a video review the goal was deemed good.
NOTES: The loss for Bibeau snapped his five-game winning streak. Gahagen finished his night with 12 saves on 15 shots. San Jose out shot Stockton 25-23. San Jose was 0/4 on the power play while Stockton cashed in, going 2/4. Stockton improved to 13-6-0-2 and with 28 points are in second place in the Pacific Division while San Jose currently sits sixth with 19 points at 9-9-0-1.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda take on the Pacific Division leading Tuscon Roadrunners on Friday 12/8 at SAP Center at 7 pm.