Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif. — It was a night made for debuts. A goal for a pair of San Jose Barracuda (8-1-0-1) forwards. The goaltending was stellar and three unanswered goals were enough for the Cuda to send the visiting the San Antonio Rampage (2-9-0-0) to their ninth loss in 10 games in a 3-1 victory at SAP Center on Friday evening. It was San Jose’s third win a row.
The first period ended scoreless with both teams registering nine shots on goal. The best chance for both teams came seconds apart with six and half minutes remaining in the period. The Rampage had a 2-on-1 chance that failed to get a shot on Cuda goalie Josef Korenar (5-0-0). San Jose countered immediately as Evan Weinger was sent in with a breakaway attempt at San Antonio blue line and his shot was stoned by Rampage goalie Ville Husso (1-7-0).
Lukas Radil would draw first blood for the Cuda early in the second period. Nick DeSimone sent cross ice over to the left point to rebound Keaton Middleton where he fired a shot on net that was blocked out in front of the crease by Husso. Radil pounced on the rebound and went forehand to backhand to score his 1st goal of the season and first goal as a member of the Barracuda at the 1:03 mark.
Evan Weinger was credited with his fourth goal of the season after a wraparound attempt by Maxim Letunov was stopped. The rebound trickled out to the slot, where Weinger was able to deflect the puck off a Rampage defender past Husso for a 2-0 lead. Jeffery Truchon-Viel received the secondary assist on the goal at the 8:25 mark of the second period.
“Hey you win a lot of hockey games in the second period”, said Cuda head coach Roy Sommer. “Because most of the time if you have the lead going into the third (period) you’re in pretty good shape. We found a way to that this year.”
Truchon-Viel gave the Cuda a little insurance early in the third period. Jacob Middleton sent in a shot from the point that deflected off a body in front of the crease. Truchon-Viel was able to collect the rebound and in a 360 degree motion swooped the puck through traffic as it trickled past Husso for his first goal as a Barracuda at the 2:57 mark.
“All the guys are pushing together,” said Truchon-Viel. “We had 10 forwards (after the first period) and (yet) we found a way to win the game.”
Samuel Bias would spoil the shutout bid for Korenar when he skated in all alone on a rush and flipped a pretty backhander top-shelf past Korenar for his first goal of the season at the 15:23 mark.
“It’s really fun playing with these guys,” said Weinger. “If you’re having fun, good things will happen.”
Korenar remained unbeaten making 22 saves on 23 shots saves for the victory. Husso suffered the loss making 30 saves on 33 shots.
GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/2 on the power play. San Antonio was also 0/2.
Dylan Gambrell was back in the lineup for San Jose after being reassigned from the San Jose Sharks.
Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau was named CCM/AHL goaltender of the month for October after allowing just nine goals on 149 shots with a 3-1-1 record . He ranks first goals-against average 1.75 and save percentage .940.
San Antonio have only five players who were a holdover from last season’s squad.
The announced attendance was 3,156.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda host their Nor Cal rival the Stockton Heat on Monday, November 5 at SAP Center at 7:00 pm PT.