The San Jose Barracuda enjoy their final game of the season with a 4-2 win over the Tucson Roadrunners at Tucson Convention Center Arena on Saturday APR 15, 2023. (San Jose Barracuda)
by Marko Ukalovic
Ending the season on a positive note is always good thing despite not accomplishing their main goal.
The San Jose Barracuda barely missed out on reaching the AHL Playoffs this season, but they went out with high hopes for next season with a 4-2 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners in their season finale on Saturday evening at the Tucson Convention Center Arena.
San Jose ended the 2022-23 season with a record of 31-34-2-5 to finish the year with 69 points in eighth place in the Pacific Division under first year head coach John McCarthy. It was quite the improvement from last season where the ‘Cuda finished dead last in the AHL with just 46 points.
The Barracuda drew first blood 57 seconds into the second period when Danil Gushchin, who had a hot final two weeks of the season, scored an unassisted goal, his 22nd of the season. Gushchin finished the game with three points (1G, 2A).
Tucson (30-33-8-1-69 points) answered back less than six minutes later with an even strength goal. Michael Kesselring scored 15th goal of the season at the 6:13 mark. Milos Keleman recorded the only assist on the play.
San Jose regained the lead with 50 seconds left in the middle frame with an even strength goal. Kyle Criscuolo netted his 17th goal of the season. ‘Cuda captain Andrew Agozzino and Gushchin set up Criscuolo’s goal.
The Roadrunners scored the equalizer early in the third perido when Michael Lomabardi scored his first goal in a Roadrunners uniform at the 4:28 mark. Micah Miller recorded his first point for Tuscon with the lone assist.
Nick Cicek scored the eventual game winning goal for San Jose with 40 seconds left in the final frame. Criscuolo and Guschin recorded assists on the game winner from Cicek.
CJ Suess completed the scoring with an empty net goal, his 10th of the season, with four seconds left in the game to seal the deal for San Jose.
‘Cuda goalie Strauss Mann, who made his second consecutive start, finished the night stopping 22 of the 24 shots to earn back to back wins for the first time this season. Mann finished with a record of 8-7. Roadrunners goalie Tyler Parks was once again on the losing end as he made 32 saves on 35 shots.
GAME NOTES: San Jose finished 0-for-4 on the power play. Tuscon was 0-for-6.
With the sweep of the series, San Jose won the season series over Tucson 5-3.
The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Gushchin 2) Cicek 3) Lombardi.
Sports Radio Service thanks the readership for checking out our coverage of the San Jose Barracuda this season and we look forward to providing coverage of the 2023-24 season that will include the AHL All-Star Weekend which will happen the weekend of February 4-5, 2024, in San Jose, California.