Photo credit: @sjbarracuda
By Marko Ukalovic
Less than 24 hours later, the San Jose Barracuda were able to get the bad taste of the loss to San Diego out of their mouths. Two second period goals were enough to take down the Ontario Reign in a 2-1 victory on Saturday evening at Citizens Business Bank Arena. San Jose is now 3-0 against their Pacific Division rival.
The first 20 minutes was a deadlock at zero as San Jose outshot Ontario (10-15-3-2) 16-12 as Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (7-5-3) looked impressive, making some key saves in the opening frame.
San Jose (20-7-1-3) drew first blood early in the second period. Evan Weinger moved in on net from along the left wing and snapped a shot past Reign goalie Cal Petersen (2-4-3) on the short-side for his seventh goal of the season at the 2:26 mark. Jeffery Viel and Keaton Middleton received assists.
Ontario tied the game up as Kale Clague slapped in a shot from the right point that beat a screened Bibeau for his third goal of the season at the 8:25 mark. Kurtis MacDermid and Michael Amadio received assists.
The Cuda regained the lead 22 seconds before the end of the middle frame. After a bad Ontario change, Nick DeSimone snapped a pass from San Jose’s zone to Anti Suomela and he streaked up the right wing before he found a trailing uncovered Alex True in the slot and True wired the pass in from the high slot past Petersen for his 11th goal of the season at the 19:38 mark.
Despite being outshot 12-5 by Ontario, San Jose went into the second intermission with a one-goal lead.
San Jose spent the first half of the third period on the penalty kill as they were able to kill off separate penalties taken by Jayden Halbgewachs and Suomela. The number four penalty kill in the AHL held their own as the Reign would not be able to find the back of the net the rest of the game as the Cuda netminder stoned away all nine shots that he faced in the final frame.
Bibeau made 32 saves on 33 shots to earn his seventh victory of the season. Petersen stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced in suffering the defeat.
GAME NOTES: San Jose 0/2 on the power play. Ontario was 0/3.
Defenseman Jacob Middleton, who was called up to the Sharks earlier this week, made his NHL debut tonight against the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The announced attendance was 9,462.
UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home on Wednesday to take on the Reign at 7:00 pm at SAP Center.