Gulls fly over San Jose, but Barracuda blows them out of the park with a 5-3 comeback

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda players, their families, staff, crowd members, and press were surrounded by canines as the Barracuda (8-8) took on the San Diego Gulls (7-10) this afternoon at SAP Center. Tonight’s crowd, which consisted of both humans and pooches, was the largest the Cuda has had since the season commenced.

Roster update: Forward Spencer Asuchuk was recalled from the Allen Americans and made his first 2017-18 appearance with the Cuda this afternoon. Asuchuk played with the Cuda in last year’s Calder Cup playoffs run. Marc-Olivier “Marco” Roy made his second appearance with the Cuda along with his first win.

After a 4-1 loss the day after Thanksgiving, the Cuda were determined to make a comeback. Since the start of the season, they have shown strength in doing so, coming back to beat the Ontario Reign, Texas Stars, San Antonio Rampage, Cleveland Monsters, and Manitoba Moose in matches following losses.

Offense and defense were strong on both ends in the first 20 minutes. The Cuda outshot the Gulls 10-5, with John McCarthy scoring the first goal just before the 12-minute mark, courtesy of Marcus Sorensen and Rudolfs Balcers. San Jose held San Diego scoreless for the remainder of the period.

Antoine Bibeau stepped in the net for Troy Grosenick at the start of the second period. San Diego amped up their offense. Despite the fact that San Jose exceeded them in shots on goal, San Diego notched three goals within the first five minutes. Julius Nattinen nailed the first one 51 seconds in, followed by Austin Ortega at 3:47 and then Giovanni Fiore at 4:11. The Cuda prevented the Gulls from scoring additional goals, ending the period on a power play, trailing 3-1. 

And then the momentum arose. The Cuda made two comeback goals in under 30 seconds to tie the score 3-3. Rudolfs Balcers notched a power-play goal at 3:57 and Adam Helewka, with his stellar hand-eye coordination, joined in on the action to score his second goal of the season at 4:20. Helewka sniped another one past Gulls goaltender Reto Berra at 10:38, breaking the tie and providing his team and the crowd with some relief. Two minutes later, Olivier Archambault posted an unassisted, game-winning goal. The final score was 5-3.

Bibeau made 14 saves on 17 shots to get the big win, while San Diego netminder Reto Berra had 34 saves on 39 shots.

Both Balcers and Helewka have been known to put up numbers–specifically scoring goals–throughout their careers, but tonight was the first time both of them scored since the season opener.

“I can’t take all the credit,” Helewka, glowing with satisfaction, said of his goals. “[My linemates, Spencer Asuchuk, Jon Martin, and I] had chemistry almost right away. [Instant chemistry] is rare, especially how hard it is to play nowadays, creating offense.”

Balcers proved himself to be a numbers guy last season with the Kamloops Blazers with 40 goals and 37 assists for a total of 67 points. So why did it take 15 games for him to find the back of the net?

“It’s about being patient,” Balcers, who leads the Cuda in assists with 11, contended in a post-game scrum. “I knew goals were going to come, but I didn’t know when… I haven’t had those barriers in my career, where you are right there [beside the net], but the puck doesn’t go in, but you can’t really do anything. Just work hard and be patient.”

One could attribute his goal-scoring hiatus to growing pains, which was discussed amongst Cuda staff and media profusely at the start of the season. Balcers, a rookie, has been improving with each game, and now that he has the monkey off his back, his scoring game should pick up as the season progresses.

Archambault inked a Player Tryout Agreement (PTO) with the Cuda on October 20. He said that he earned his second goal of the season tonight by just sticking and working in tandem with his line-mates, Marc-Olivier Roy and Brandon Bollig.

The Cuda head to Bakersfield for their next match on December 3 to face the Condors, affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.

Also, Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic made an appearance with his pups tonight, and had the honor of making the first puck drop.

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Barracuda Outshines Stars 6-1, Sorensen Gets A Hat Trick, Labanc Returns

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE — The Barracuda have returned to San Jose from their road trip to the Midwest, Texas, and Southern California (a trip that came with three consecutive losses) to face the Texas Stars yet again. The Stars overthrew them 3-2 in a shootout last Saturday, October 28. Tonight, the Cuda refused to be outshined again and crushed them 6-1.

Roster update: Kevin Labanc was reassigned to the Barracuda from the Sharks today. In 13 games with the Sharks this season, he has posted three goals and four assists for seven points, along with a minus-3 rating and 10 penalty minutes.

The force was strong in the first period, and I am not just saying that because the previous night (November 4th’s match against the Anaheim Ducks) was Star Wars night for the Sharks! Marcus Sorensen scored two goals less than three minutes apart, the first one on the power play (Ludwig Bystrom scored the Stars’ first goal of the game 59 seconds before Sorensen’s second goal, on the power play). Nearing the end of the period, at 17:19, Filip Sandberg scored after being handed the puck by Rudolfs Balcers, who received the pass from Brandon Mashinter. In some of the earlier games this season, the Cuda had put up numerous penalties in a single period alone. There were only two in the first tonight.

The second period remained rather quiet, and ended scoreless. Following the first intermission, the boys stepped on the ice looking confident, as they should after a killer first period. Three goals in one period alone is something the Cuda had yet to accomplish prior to tonight’s match.

Five minutes into the third period, the Cuda has 25 shots on goal. Adam Helewka and Julius Bergman each fired the puck at the net within a few minutes of one another, hitting the rim and bouncing back after each player’s attempt. Then, almost eight minutes in, Sorensen notched a hat trick, assisted by Danny O’Regan and Labanc. Approximately three minutes later, Cavan Fitzgerald scored his first goal of the season, making the score 5-1. Oliver Archambault (who was recently recalled from the Allen Americans of the ECHL) wanted in on the action, and scored (his first goal as well) at the 18:44 mark. The final score was 6-1.

Sorensen, who played on the offensive line with O’Regan and Labanc (as he had last year), spoke with the media about his hat trick following the match. This was his first time scoring since opening night.

“It’s huge to be part of the offensive [line], especially on a power play. You need to help the team,” he said.

“[Sorensen] has always had potential, he just found the back of the net, which made an easy night. It was awesome to watch,” Coach Roy Sommer said.

Labanc also spoke about his reassignment to the Cuda. It came as a shocker for some, but his A-game is as strong as always.

“It was definitely fun [playing with the Sharks]. You want to come with the right attitude, you don’t want to think you’re sent down, you just have to be motivated to get back up, and be a good leader for all of the young guys, show them what it takes to play up there [in the NHL]. Work hard, work everyday.

“I learn from Jumbo [Joe Thornton], he’s always working. No matter what or where I play, you’ve got to have that work ethic, that’s what will make you a good hockey player. I’m down here [with the Cuda], so I’m going to work and just do the best that I can.

“Just because you get sent down, don’t be sorry for yourself. Instead, make a statement. Let them know you’re going to play hard no matter what…don’t waste a day,” Labanc shared.

Labanc, who enjoyed reconnecting with last year’s teammates, also discussed the smooth flow between him, Sorensen, and O’Regan.

“I knew I was playing with Marcus and Danny beforehand, so I knew we had chemistry. You just do what you can, play hard, and goals will come,” he said.

I also spoke with Helewka, Archambault, and Fitzgerald on their overall thoughts and feelings about tonight’s big win.

“The talk in the room before the game was ‘it’s a must-win for our confidence.’ We played like that, it showed, and we had success because of it,” Helewka said.

Helewka’s hand-eye coordination has really stood out to me so far this season; he truly knows where the net is, he knows where to send the puck in order to get it into the net, and how to find the “holes” around the net minder. He has been the king of assists thus far.

“I’ve always kind of worked on [my hand-eye coordination], so I guess it might be progressing this year,” Helewka told me after I brought the subject up with him.

Archambault and Fitzgerald scored their first goals of the season in tonight’s match, Archambault’s being his first in the AHL.

“It’s fun to get the first one out of the way, a good pass by my teammates [Tim Clifton and Radim Simek], so I was happy,” Archambault said.

“We had a lot of confidence in everyone tonight, in all three zones we felt good,” Fitzgerald said. “It was a big bounce-back game for us. We knew we needed to come back… it’s good to get that first win [since returning to San Jose] out of the way.”

Texas Stars Outshine Cuda 3-2 In Shootout

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

CEDAR PARK, TX—The Cuda held on tight for an entire 60 minutes and an overtime period, but could not outshoot the Texas Stars, who took home a 3-2 win in a shootout. Close, but no cigar.

John McCarthy, Filip Sandberg, and Oliver Archambault started in the forward position; Jacob Middleton and Nick DeSimone started on defense; Troy Grosenick started in goal (though he ended up allowing two goals on 26 shots, and one in the shootout). The first period remained silent, ending with no score.

Sandberg has been working on getting faster since arriving in San Jose for his United States hockey debut. The Stockholm, Sweden native’s hard work translated on the ice tonight as he notched San Jose’s first goal of the game fifteen seconds into the second period (assisted by Archambault and Middleton), evening out the score 1-1. Later on in the period, Texas came back when Matt Mangene snaked his way passed San Jose’s defensive zone and scored at 8:25. San Jose held up until the 18:58 mark when Roope Hintz’s shot struck the left post before entering the net.

McCarthy scored his first goal of the season on the power play, tying the game 2-2 at 6:42 into the third period. Rudolfs Balcers and Adam Helewka assisted McCarthy’s goal. Helewka, who has been playing very much in sync with Danny O’Regan the past few games, recently shared that he feels his playing style works in sound with McCarthy in addition. It most certainly appears so.

The score remained 2-2 after 60 minutes, leading both teams into an overtime match. It was still 2-2 after the OT interval, and so the shootout began.

O’Regan, Balcers, and Mike Brodzinski were all given chances to score during the shootout, though they were unable to make it past Texas goaltender Mike McKenna (who made a total of 26 saves out of 28 shots). The Stars took home the 3-2 win after Travis Morin notched the only goal of the shootout.

This may have been San Jose’s second consecutive loss in two days, but it’s not over yet! The Cuda (now 3-4) will travel to Southern California to face the Ontario Reign (the AHL affiliate of the Sharks’ cross-state rivals, the Los Angeles Kings) on November 1.

Random fact: Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon played for the Texas Stars from 2010-2012. He also made his NHL debut with Dallas during this stint.

Rampage Stomp Barracuda 3-1, SJ’s second loss to San Antonio

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN ANTONIO, TX—The Barracuda had a slow start tonight in San Antonio and fell to the Rampage 3-1, their second loss to this team this season.

The starting lineup for San Jose was as follows:

  • Offense: John McCarthy, Filip Sandberg, Oliver Archambault (his first appearance with San Jose)
  • Defense: Jacob Middleton, Julius Bergman
  • Goaltender: Antoine Bibeau

The Cuda played slow to start, picking up two penalties in the first period (Middleton and Bergman were sent to the penalty box within less than two minutes of one another). This gave the Rampage an opportunity to score, which they did at the 13:16 mark in a 5-on-3 play (San Antonio had the two-man advantage).

In the second period, Adam Helewka and Danny O’Regan showcased their dynamic-duo style plays as Helewka provided his seventh assist of the season to O’Regan, who scored the Cuda’s first and only goal of the game (and his fourth of the season) 13 minutes in. Coincidentally, Felix Girard of the Rampage managed to make his way past Bibeau and score exactly 13 seconds later. The second period was, well, penalties galore. Between the two teams, there were a total of nine. The score was 2-1 at the end.

San Jose was still unable to score in the third, despite pulling Bibeau from the net toward the end. Then again, they were on a penalty kill and still short one man. Sure enough, Duncan Siemens notched an empty-netter from across the ice with 27 seconds left in the match.

Bibeau allowed two goals on 22 shots, while Rampage goaltender Ville Husso made a total of 38 saves and helped them cultivate an eight-for-eight.

The Cuda, who set a shots-on-goal record tonight with 39, are now 3-4, and the Rampage’s win tonight put them at 6-1.

Next, the Barracuda will face the Texas Stars at home on October 28, 5:00 p.m. PT.

Barracuda Left Winger Adam Helewka – Profile

Photo credit: NHL.com

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—Adam Helewka was born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia, just outside of Vancouver. He spent his youth hockey years in both cities (mostly the former), up until grade 10 where he played for a boarding school in Saskatchewan called Notre Dame. When he reached grade 12, Helewka left home for the first time to play for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, with whom he would spend four years.

In his third season with Spokane, Helewka notched 40 goals and 43 assists for a total of 87 points. This has been his greatest accomplishment to date.

During Helewka’s final season in the WHL, he was drafted by San Jose in the 4th round (106th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

One of the most significant things Helewka has learned since joining the professional hockey leagues has been, he says, accountability. He discovered the importance of self care and maintaining good overall health.

Helewka, 22, devoted is summer to getting healthier. He focused on cardiovascular training while making substantial dietary changes, emphasizing real food and the consumption of carbohydrates only as needed (post-workout). At the beginning of the season, Helewka noted that these lifestyle shifts yielded great results; he felt far more energized and much stronger than before.

“I feel like I am a completely different player,” Helewka said in a post-game interview on October 18. “It helped me get in better shape and become a lot faster.”

So far this season, Helewka has demonstrated said speed both physically and mentally. The latter is mostly represented by his solid hand-eye coordination and quick decision making skills on the ice. Physically, he is great at making smooth passes which lead to goals (or, simply put, providing assists) and taking care of the defensive zone, exemplifying a two-way playing style.

“Right from when I got drafted, [it has been] a dream come true. [San Jose] is a great franchise, all the way from the general manager down to the equipment trainers. Great people, great staff, it’s been very fun so far.”

Helewka was a staunch follower of the Detroit Red Wings growing up and garnered much of his inspiration from center Pavel Datsyuk, a 14-year NHL veteran.

Another random fact: Helewka’s favorite movie is Stepbrothers. Back home, he and his friends enjoy quoting humorous movies.

Barracuda Retaliate, Beat Monsters 1-0 In OT

Photo credit: San Jose Barracuda

By Alexandra Evans

CLEVELAND, OHIO—After a slow, 4-1 loss against the Cleveland Monsters on Saturday October 21, the San Jose Barracuda refused to be devoured a second time the following afternoon and came out on top with a 1-0 overtime win in Cleveland.

During the first period, the Monsters outshot the Barracuda 12 to 4, who came back to outshoot them 18 to 17 just before the 45-minute mark. Neither team managed to score any goals during each of the four power plays. Cleveland did notch a few posts in the second period, but San Jose goaltender Antoine Bibeau was vastly determined to not let his team be devoured once again, and he successfully blocked every shot fired at him.

Because the game remained scoreless all three periods and nearly the entire overtime interval, San Jose’s defensive game (and Bibeau’s net minding game) evidently remained strong throughout.

It was the timing of the [only] goal scored which blew viewers out of the park. Defenseman Mike Brodzinski retrieved a pass from forward Adam Helewka (a player with solid hand-eye coordination, puck handling, passing, and quick decision making skills) in the offensive zone. From there, Brodzinski notched a buzzer-beating goal on Cleveland’s Matiss Kivlenieks with 1.1 seconds left in the game. This was 22 year-old Brodzinski’s first career AHL goal in 20 career games.

San Jose only put up four total penalties during Sunday’s match, compared to seven on Saturday’s.

With 28 total saves, Bibeau earned his first win as a member of San Jose’s franchise and his 11th professional shutout. Kivlenieks blocked 21 shots of 22 for Cleveland.

San Jose is now 3-3, and Sunday’s win put Cleveland at 2-3. The Barracuda will face the San Antonio Rampage in their home state on Friday, October 27, 2017.

San Jose Barracuda Tuesday game wrap: Fischer and Wood get Roadrunners early lead hand Cuda 2-1 loss in first of two meetings

sjbarracuda.com photo: San Jose Barracuda forward John McCarthy (17) is chased by the Tucson Roadrunners center Chris Mueller (19) as the Roadrunners goaltender Adin Hill (33) looks on Tuesday night at SAP Center

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda pulled within a goal in the second period, but their comeback bid fell short and they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Tuscon Roadrunners at SAP Center Tuesday.

The Barracuda — the Roadrunners

The Roadrunners got on the board first. Christian Fischer took a pass from Chris Mueller and put it into the net for his 20th goal of the season at 15:57 of the opening period.

The Roadrunners went on their first power play of the game after Barclay Goodrow went to the box for tripping at 12:22. They capitalized with the man advantage for a 2-0 lead 43 seconds later. Kyle Wood used a wrist shot to beat Troy Grosenick stick-side for his 14th goal of the season. With that goal, Wood currently leads the AHL in power-play goals (11) among all rookies.

Shots were 12-9 in favor of the Barracuda, but they trailed the Roadrunners 2-0 after 20 minutes.

The Barracuda cut the lead in half with 5:51 left in the second period. Adam Helewka tried to beat Adin Hill five-hole, but hit the left post. Ryan Carpenter proceeded to clean up the rebound for his 14th goal of the season.

Alex Schoenborn was called for cross-checking just as time expired at the 20-minute mark. Despite outshooting the Roadrunners 21-16, the Barracuda continued to trail 2-1 after 40 minutes.

Schoenborn served his cross-checking penalty during the first two minutes of the third period.

The action intensified midway through the period. Dakota Mermis was called for hooking at 12:38. Less than a minute later, Jamie McBain received a double minor for high-sticking Rourke Chartier.

In his postgame press conference, Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer confirmed Chartier was okay after taking a stick to the face.

Hill was called for delay of game with 20.5 seconds left in regulation. The Barracuda went on the power play, but were unable to capitalize with the man advantage, and their comeback fell short.

The Barracuda (43-16-2-5) dropped a 2-1 decision to the Roadrunners (27-31-8-0).

“I think our power play is kind of (good) and we got some weapons on there,” Colin Blackwell said when asked if there was anything his team could’ve improved on the power play. “I don’t think they have to really improve anything…I think if we just keep shooting, we’ll score on the power plays…It was just one of those nights where we didn’t get ahead of them, but they’re a good team and I expect them to that (capitalize on power plays) for the rest of the year.”

“I thought we were (real) flat,” Sommer said. “You know, especially the first 20 minutes, 25 minutes until we scored in the second (period) and then the game picked up a little bit.”

Notes
The Barracuda honored Grosenick’s AHL Goalie of the Year victory on the jumbotron. Fans gave him a big round of applause.

The Barracuda were without Zack Stortini as he served the first game of his two-game suspension after a controversial incident with the Stockton Heat Sunday. Stortini was accused of kneeling Heat defenseman Oliver Kylington.

The Barracuda went with six defenders: Joakim Ryan, Tim Heed, Mirco Mueller, Julius Bergman, Dan Kelly and Jacob Middleton.

Up Next
The Barracuda and Roadrunners return to action Thursday at 7:00 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.

San Jose Barracuda Wednesday game wrap: Meier scores twice as Barracuda crush Ontario 5-1

sjbarracuda.com photo: San Jose Barracuda forward Timo Meier (28) finds the back end of the net as he scores on the Ontario Reign’s defenceman Matt Roy (3) at SAP Center on Wednesday night in AHL action

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda dethroned the Ontario Reign with a 5-1 victory at SAP Center Wednesday.

The defense was strong in the opening period. It was a goaltending duel as Barracuda goalie Troy Grosenick and Reign backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff made the necessary saves to keep the game scoreless.

Things got chippy late in the period when Zack Stortini dropped the gloves with Paul Bissonnette for an action-packed fight. Both players received five-minute majors for fighting and two-minute minors for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Barracuda and Reign skated to a scoreless tie after 20 minutes. Shots were 16-9 in favor of San Jose.

Timo Meier broke a scoreless deadlock halfway through the second period. Meier collected a pass from Barclay Goodrow and fired the puck into the net, beating Zatkoff short-side for his 13th goal of the season.

The Barracuda took a 2-0 lead when Danny O’Regan sent a pass to Meier, who tipped it into the net to beat Zatkoff for his second goal of the game and 14th of the season.

The Barracuda outshot the Reign 28-16 and led 2-0 after 40 minutes.

The Reign cut the Barracuda’s lead in half when T.J. Hensick scored a power-play goal — his 14th overall — after Colin Blackwell went to the box for hooking at 13:48 of the third period.

However, the Barracuda extended its lead to 3-1 with 7:29 left in the period. Tim Heed fired a shot from the right point past Zatkoff for his 14th goal of the season.

Joakim Ryan’s shot missed the net, but Buddy Robinson tipped it in for his 15th goal of the season, extending the Barracuda’s lead to 4-1 with 4:03 left in the period.

48 seconds later, Adam Helewka collected a pass from Joakim Ryan and put it into the net for his 13th goal of the season, expanding the Barracuda’s lead to 5-1.

The Barracuda (42-14-2-5) beat the Reign (33-20-10-0) by a score of 5-1. Grosenick finished with 23 saves in a San Jose victory.

Zatkoff made 33 saves in a losing effort for Ontario.

“They (Barracuda) don’t always go in for you,” head coach Roy Sommer said when asked about his thoughts on tonight’s power play opportunities. “But they get a lot of good looks. I think we’re leading the whole American Hockey League in power-play percentage…As long as you’re getting the looks and you’re getting some quality chances on it…The PP (Power Play) and PK (penalty kill) ebbs and flows are normal…I don’t think there’s a lot of stuff to worry about. We only had three of them tonight.”

Notes
O’Regan was named to the 2016-17 AHL All-Star Team.

Sommer celebrated his 60th birthday. He was born on April 5, 1967 in Oakland, Calif.

Sharks reassigned Meier to the Barracuda.

Up Next
The Barracuda head to Stockton Arena to face the Stockton Heat (32-25-4-2) Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.

San Jose Barracuda Saturday post game wrap: Barracuda offense chips away at Moose to take two game set 6-3

sjbarracuda.com photo: San Jose Barracuda forward John McCarthy (17) puts some follow through into his swing against the Manitoba Moose on Saturday night at SAP in AHL action

by Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda swept the back-to-back series with a 6-3 victory over the Manitoba Moose at SAP Center Saturday.

The Barracuda and Moose wrapped up their four-game season series this weekend. San Jose entered the second game of a back-to-back with the AHL’s best home winning percentage (.776) while Manitoba ranks 21st in road winning percentage (.429).

The Barracuda controlled the tempo for a little over half of the opening period as they had the first eight shots until the 9:06 mark. The Moose committed two penalties when Brian Strait went to the box for tripping at 13:38 and Kevin Czuczman was called for delay of game less than two minutes later. San Jose then broke a scoreless deadlock as Buddy Robinson cleaned up the rebound of Adam Helewka’s shot and put it into the net, beating Jamie Phillips for his 14th goal of the season.

“Absolutely,” Robinson said when asked about his thoughts on home-ice advantage. “Home-ice advantage is important in the playoffs and I think anyone who you talk to is going to say the same thing…The (Barracuda) fans out here have been great and this team has been hot so the fans have been coming out to show their support and we love it…It’s easier to play at home (SAP Center) because you have the same routine everyday…The more home ice we get, the more better we’ll be.”

Ryan Carpenter made it a 2-0 game with just six seconds left in the period. Carpenter collected a pass from John McCarthy and stuffed the puck through traffic, which went over Phillips’ pads for his 13th goal of the season.

The time on the clock winded down and the Barracuda held a 2-0 lead over the Moose after 20 minutes. Shots were 21-6 in favor of San Jose.

The Moose cut the Barracuda’s lead in half early in the second period. Patrice Cormier’s shot from the point deflected off of Jacob Middleton. Czuczman tipped in the deflection to beat Clarke Saunders top-shelf for his eighth goal of the season.

Peter Stoykewych was called for tripping at 13:52. The Barracuda went on the power play and capitalized with the man advantage. Joakim Ryan collected a pass from Tim Heed and fired it into the net for his 10th goal of the season, giving his team a 3-1 lead 21 seconds later.

The Moose scored another power-play goal to pull within one at the 14-minute mark. Mirco Mueller was called for cross-checking. Dan DeSalvo then collected a pass from Scott Kosmachuk and beat Saunders for his 16th of the season.

The Barracuda outshot the Moose 31-23 and brought a 3-2 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes.

Zach Stortini scored his third goal of the season early in the third period, expanding the Barracuda’s lead to 4-2. Stortini’s scoring attempt worked despite crashing the net for a goal and then crashing into the net himself. However, San Jose’s comfortable cushion was short-lived as the Moose went on the power play after Barclay Goodrow was assessed a slashing penalty at 15:59. Kyle Connor put home the rebound to make it a one-goal game 16 seconds later.

The Barracuda scored an insurance goal for a 5-3 lead over the Moose with a little over three minutes left in regulation. Helewka sent a pass to Rourke Chartier, who fired a long-range shot past Phillips short-side for his 17th of the season. McCarthy capped off the scoring with an empty-net goal — his 18th of the season — with 51.7 seconds left in regulation.

“We’re all kind of on the same page,” McCarthy said. “It’s a nice feeling.”

The Barracuda (41-14-2-5) beat the Moose (25-36-4-5) by a score of 6-3. Saunders stopped 32 of 35 shots in his first appearance in San Jose. Phillips made 36 saves in a losing effort for Manitoba.

“It was an unbelievable way to start,” Saunders gushed. “And it kind of let me ease my way into it. I just want to thank them (Barracuda) for working their butts off tonight.”

The Barracuda are 4-0 against the Moose and won seven straight games against Central Division teams.

“It’s kind of unusual,” Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer recalled. “But they (Moose) had 3-for-5 or something like that. We were pretty much right on, but we had some rebounds and stuff like that. Overall, the game we had was alright.”

Notes
Carpenter played in his 200th AHL game.

Up Next
The Barracuda host the Ontario Reign (33-19-10-0) Wednesday to conclude a three-game homestand. You can tune into the game on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.