Leonard’s hat trick power Barracuda past Roadrunners 6-2

San Jose Barracuda John Leonard acknowledges his teammates and fans after scoring a goal one of three to make a hat trick against the Tucson Roadrunners at SAP Center in San Jose on Sun Mar 6, 2022 (image by the San Jose Barracuda)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE–John Leonard recorded his first ever hat trick as the San Jose Barracuda routed the Tucson Roadrunners 6-2 on Sunday evening at SAP Center.

San Jose have won two out of its past three games. Tucson has lost four games in a row.

Tucson (17-26-3-1) drew first blood early in the first period. Hudson Fasching made a cross rink pass over to Michael Carcone who rifled a wrist shot past ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Emond for his team leading 23rd goal of the season at the 3:42 mark.

San Jose (17-28-2-0) answered back at the 7:40 mark when John Leonard scooped up a loose puck just outside the Roadrunners crease. Leonard lifted a backhander over the stick of Roadrunners goalie Ivan Prosvetov for his 14th goal of the season.

Leonard has a goal in three consecutive games.

San Jose gained its first lead on the power play midway through the second period. Leonard’s shot from the left wing caromed over to Lane Pederson on the right side. The former Roadrunner forward cleaned up the rebound into an open net for his first goal in a Barracuda jersey at the 9:23 mark.

Tucson scored the equalizer early to start the third period. A shot from the point Matt Foley sneaked it’s way off the post into the net for Foley’s first goal of the season at the 2:26 mark.

San Jose answered back less than three minutes later. Dillon Hamailuk found a trailing Nick Merkely in the slot and Merkely buried a wrist shot past Prosvetov for his 10th goal of the season at the 5:07 mark.

The Barracuda scored an insurance with their second power play goal of the game. Merkley found Joachim Blichfeld near the right side if the net. Blichfeld’s one timer bounced off Prosvetov and into the back of the net for his 17th goal of the season at the 12:26 mark

San Jose sealed the deal with 3:04 remaining in the final frame when Leonard scored his second goal of the night, a one timer past Prosvetov for his 15th goal of the season.

Leonard finished off his hat trick with a nice move to get Prosvetov to go down before sliding the puck underneath him for 16th goal of the season with 55 seconds left in the game.

Emond finished the evening stopping 36 of the 38 shots he faced to earn the victory. Prosvetov made 28 saves on 34 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 2-for-4 on the power play. Tucson was 0-for-4.

This was the first Barracuda game that has featured two women as on ice officials. Samantha Hiller served as one of the referees and Kirsten Welsh served as one of the lines persons.

The Three Stars of the Game were:

1) Leonard 2) Emond 3) Merkley

The game featured the second Paws & Pucks promotion where fans were able to bring their dogs to the game. It also was a Hockey Is For Everybody night.

UP NEXT: San Jose goes on the road to take on the Ontario Reign on Wdnesday 3/9 at 7:00pm at Toyota Arena.

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