Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic
It wasn’t exactly the “Four Dead in Five Gun Fight” 137 years ago in Texas, but it was as close as it could get for a hockey game. The San Jose Barracuda (7-1-0-1) scored four goals in the second period in a 6-1 thrashing of the Texas Stars (4-3-1-1) on Saturday evening at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park to sweep their two-game Texas road trip.
Texas didn’t take long to get the opening goal. Michael Mersch tipped in a shot from Denis Gurianov past the five-hole of Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (3-1-1) for his fourth goal of the season at the 1:17 mark of the first period.
San Jose would respond with the equalizer just over a minute later, in what would start six consecutive unanswered goals by the Cuda. Jayden Halbgewachs would score his fifth goal of the season after receiving a pass from co-team goal leader Maxium Letunov and jammed in his own rebound past Texas goalie Colton Point (1-2-1) from point-blank range at the 2:33 mark. Filip Sandberg received the secondary assist.
The Cuda took over the lead just 61 seconds later and never looked back when defenseman Keaton Middleton jumped all over a loose puck and wristed it inside the far left post for his first career AHL goal at the 3:34 mark. Alexander True and Lukas Radil received assists on the Middleton’s first ever professional goal.
San Jose expanded their lead early in the second period when Manny Wiederer was able to deflect a shot from the point from Jacob Middleton that just trickled past the goal-line at the 3:50 mark. It was Wiederer’s third goal of the season. Kyle Wood received the secondary assist.
The Cuda poured it on the rest of the second period. Jeremy Roy received a pass from Radil, skated in from the point and rifled a shot past Point for his first goal of the season at the 14:24 mark. Matt Fonteyne received the secondary assist.
Radim Simek joined the goal party over a minute later when his shot from the point beat Point through his five hole for a 5-1 lead at the 15:36 mark. Simek’s second goal of the season would send Point to the showers as he was replaced by Landon Bow. Praplan and Manny Weiderer received assists.
Letunov, who assisted on Halbgewachs goal, beat Bow through his five hole to complete a four-goal second period. His fifth goal of the season was assisted by Halbgewachs at the 16:18 mark.
Bibeau was sharp in the net with 20 saves on 21 shots for the win. Point allowed five goals on only 16 goals in suffering the defeat. Bow finished with nine saves on 10 shots in mop up relief.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/2 on the power play. Texas was 0/2.
San Jose stays undefeated on the road at 5-0. This is the first time in franchise history they finished the month of October with a perfect road record.
This was only the second time this season the Cuda didn’t score the first goal.
Fisticuffs! San Jose’s Jeffery Viel and Texas’ Samuel Laberge late in the second period.
Gurianov has scored a point in six straight games.
The Cuda will only play Texas twice this season as the Stars were realigned into the Central Division (along with San Antonio) of the Western Conference.
The announced attendance was 4,841.
UP NEXT: San Jose returns home on Friday, November 2 to host the San Antonio Rampage at SAP Center at 7:00 pm PT.