Leonard’s late goal lifts Barracuda over Eagles 5-4

San Jose Barracuda John Leonard gets the Barracuda the go ahead goal against the Colorado Eagles at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland on Oct 22, 2021 (file photo thehockeywriters.com

by Marko Ukalovic

LOVELAND, Colo—In a game that went back and forth, John Leonard provided the heroics for the ‘Cuda.

Leonard scored the game winning goal late in the third period as the the San Jose Barracuda defeated the Colorado Eagles 5-4 on Friday evening at the Budweiser Events Center.

San Jose earned its first win of the season of the ’21-’22 season. Colorado have lost three straight games to start the season.

Leonard pick pocketed Jordan Gross at the red line and raced down the right side on a breakaway. Leonard went sliding down before stuffing the puck underneath Eagles goalie Justus Annunen for his first goal of the season with 4:12 remaining in the game.

Colorado (0-2-0-1) drew first blood early in the first period. Former Barracuda defenseman Keaton Middleton sent a cross ice pass from the left end line over to Alex Beaucage who crashed in from the right wing. The puck hit off a Barracuda defenseman’s stick right to the tape of Beaucage who deposited the puck into the back of the net for his first goal of the season at the 6:13 mark.

The Eagles controlled the majority of the play in the opening frame as they outshot the Barracuda 12-7.

San Jose (1-1-0-0) answered back with two goals in 17 second span early in the first second period.

After a faceoff win by Dylan Gambrell, Noah Gregor sent a shot attempt behind the net that bounced off to the right where a pinching Nick Merkley came in and put the puck into the short corner of the past Annunen for the team’s first goal of the season and his first at the 4:07 mark.

The ‘Cuda then gained possession of the puck inside the Eagles zone where Noah Gregor sent a pass back to the left point where Nick Cicek blasted a one-timer through traffic into the back of the net for his first career AHL goal for the rookie defenseman at the 17:24 mark.

Colorado answered back with the equalizer four minutes later. Kiefer Sherwood stripped the puck off two Barracuda players inside the Eagles zone. Sherwood backhanded the puck out of the zone that sent Dylan Sikura on a breakaway and the former Henderson Silver Knight beat ‘Cuda goalie Alexei Melnichuk with a wrist shot for his first goal of the season at the 8:31 mark.

The Eagles regained the lead on a two-on-one break. Callahan Burke set up Dalton Smith with a cross ice pass and Smith buried the one-timer past Melnichuk for his first goal of the season at the 16:59 mark.

San Jose scored the equalizer 44 seconds later. Timur Ibragimov led a counter attack into the Eagles zone. Ibragimov sent a back pass over to Jayden Halbgewachs in the left shot and the veteran forward rifled home a wrist shot to the far side to beat Annunen for his first goal of the season at the 17:43 mark.

Colorado went up 4-3 with a power play goal right at the end of the period. With the ‘Cuda shorthanded due to a minor penalty for too many men on the ice, Justin Barron snapped a wrist shot top shelf through a sea of traffic in front of the crease for his first goal of the season with one second remaining in the period.

The goal was reviewed and the call stood as it was determined the goal crossed the line before the horn sounded.

The Eagles outshot the ‘Cuda 15-8 in a wild middle frame that featured six combined goals.

The ‘Cuda evened the score to start the third period. Ryan Merkley skated in from the point to the right slot where he found Scott Reedy with a back door pass on the left in front of the net and Reedy tapped home the puck into an open net for his first goal of the season at the 1:58 mark.

Melnichuk finished the game with 21 saves on 25 shots to earn his first win of the season. Annunen made 29 saves on 34 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 0-for-2 on the power play and are 0-for-7 to start the season. Colorado was 1-for-2.

San Jose is now 8-5-2-1 against Colorado in the all-time series.

UP NEXT: San Jose and Colorado wrap up their two-game series on Saturday 10/23 at 6:05pm at Budweiser Events Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda go all out but just couldn’t score in opening day loss

The Bakersfield Condors Seth Griffith scored the game’s only goal in the second period on Sun Oct 17, 2021 at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield against the visiting San Jose Barracuda. Here is Griffith in a file photo taking a shot against the San Diego Gulls from a previous game (Bakersfield.com file photo)

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 Season opener was rough for the SJ Barracuda who went all out but just couldn’t get any offense going and the Bakersfield Condors goalie Stuart Skinner was in front of the net and stopped all of the Barracuda’s 34 shots on net for naught in a 1-0 loss.

#2 Not the way the Barracuda wanted to open the season but Barracuda goaltender Alexi Melnichuk stopped 14 of 15 shots but unfortunately that one goal allowed accounted towards Melnichuk’s first loss of the season.

#3 For Melinchuk it was the third time in his career that he allowed only one goal and looked good on defense Sunday despite the loss.

#4 The Condors Seth Griffith scored the game’s only goal it was on a second period power play for Griffith he now has four points in two games for this season and is working quickly on offense.

#5 The Barracuda will face off against the Colorado Eagles next Fri Oct 22 at Loveland it will be the Barracuda’s second of three consecutive road games.

Join Marko for the SJ Barracuda podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Condors shutout Barracuda 1-0 in season opener

The San Jose Barracuda cut it close at Mechanics Bank Arena the home of the Bakersfield Condors on Sun 10-17-21 in Bakersfield with a 1-0 win. (sjbarracuda.com photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—Ownage is ownage for Stuart Skinner.

The Bakersfield Condors goalie continued his dominance over the San Jose Barracuda with 34 saves in a 1-0 shutout victory in the ‘Cuda’s season opener of the 2021-22 season on Sunday evening at the Mechanics Bank Arena.

Skinner was the difference as the ‘Cuda peppered him with shots throughout the entire game yet they left the building they haven’t been able to win at for two plus season.

The opening 20 minutes was scoreless as San Jose outshot Bakersfield 12-9 as they dictated the pace of play for the majority of the period..

The first period was highlighted by the fisticuffs of Zachary Gallant and Dino Kambeitz as both had a spirited fight at the 12:33 mark.

The second period featured the Barracuda dominating the first 12 minutes. They outshot the Condors 8-1 at one point but could not get a puck past Condors goalie Stuart Skinner, who kept his team in the game by stopping all 11 shots he faced in the period.

San Jose (0-1) went into the sinbin one too many times in the middle frame. They had three minor penalties in the period.

Third time was a charm for Bakersfield (2-0) on the power play as they broke the ice late in the period. Adam Cracknell sent a cross ice pass over to Seth Griffith in the right slot. Griffith fired a wrist shot through a screened ‘Cuda goalie Alexei Melnichuk for his first shot of the season at the 17:21 mark.

It was only the second shot in the period for the Condors but they made it count when they needed it to.

San Jose opened the third period on the power play but it only lasted 19 seconds when Sasha Chmelevski was called for tripping resulting in four-on-four play.

The power play was the ‘Cuda’s own worst enemy. They weren’t able to capitalize on the five chances they had in the game. It looks like it’s going to be a work in progress to in the early going as the players get familiar with each other.

Skinner deserves the credit as he was the Condors best penalty killer on the night. He completed the shutout despite San Jose having an extra attacker for the final 1:17 when they pulled Melnichuk in attempt to try to score the equalizer.

Melnichuk had a light night in terms of shots. He stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-5 on the power play. Bakersfield was 1-for-5.

San Jose was without last season’s leading goal scorer Joachim Blichfeld as he was out with a lower body injury.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda continue its three-game road trip as the take on the Colorado Eagles on Friday 10/22 at the 6:05pm at the Budweiser Events Center.

Barracuda lose second straight to Eagles 4-1 in Colorado

San Jose Barracuda and Colorado Eagles battled at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland on Sun Oct 10, 2021 for the second straight day (@ColoradoEagles photo)

By Len Shapiro

The San Jose Barracuda took a tough loss in their second straight pre season game at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland by a three goal deficit 4-1 to the Colorado Eagles. The Barracuda drew first blood with a first period goal at 4:53 when John Leonard and Joel Kellman assisted for a Nick Cecik goal for a 1-0 San Jose lead.

The Eagles tied the score later in the first period with assists from Dylan Sikura and Jordan Gross as Kiefer Sherwood scored at 16:40 to tie the game. In the second period it was all Colorado scoring two goals on Barracuda goaltender Alexi Melnichuk.

The Eagles Ben Tardif and Martin Kaut assisted to Luke Burzan who scored at 3:01 and at 9:11 Andreas Wingerli and Robert Hamilton assisted on a Alex Beaucage goal for a 3-1 Eagles lead.

In the third and final period Beaucage scored again at at 6:22 with assists from Jean-Luc Foudy and Robert Hamilton to take the Eagles home for their second win in as many as two straight nights. For Melnichuk in goal he stopped 36 out of 40 and allowed four goals and for Eagles goaltender Peyton Jones a perfect outing going 15-15 and Eagles starter Justin Annunen he stopped 14 out 15.

The Barracuda are back to the drawing board as they pay a visit to the Bakersfield Condors for their third straight game on the road Sun Oct 17th. Face off 5PM PDT.

Eagles score three late goals in the third period to beat Barracuda in 4-3 comeback win

San Jose Barracuda faced off with the Colorado Eagles at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland Col in pre season AHL action on Sat Oct 9, 2021 (photo from sjbarracuda.com)

by Marko Ukalovic

LOVELAND, Colo—The Colorado Eagles overcame a two-goal deficit with three goals in the final three minutes of the game to beat the the San Jose Barracuda 4-3 in both teams first preseason game of the 2021-’22 season on Saturday evening at the Budweiser Events Center.

Jean-Luc Goudy scored his second goal of the game with 40 seconds left in regulation for the game winning goal to sink San Jose. Trey Bradley and Dalton Smith were credited with the assists.

Colorado (1-0) drew first blood early in the first period. Matthew Boucher sent over a pass the led to Brandon Cutler on a breakaway. Cutler did a dipsy-do right at the crease to get ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko to go down before sliding a backhander into an open net for his first goal of the preseason at the 5:37 mark. Ben Tardif was credited with the secondary assist.

San Jose (0-1) was even with Colorado on the shot clock at eight a piece in the first period as Eagles goalie Hunter Miska was perfect in the opening 20 minutes.

In the second period it didn’t take long for the teams to establish some bad blood between them. 43 seconds in, Nick Cicek and Connor McDonald exchanged fisticuffs. McDonald was also given a 10-minute misconduct penalty.

San Jose scored the equalizer on the power play. Zach Gallant scored his first goal of the preseason at the 7:42 mark of the second period. Evan Weinger and Timur Ibragimov were credited with the assists.

Both team switched goalies midway through the second period. Trent Miner replaced Miska for the Eagles and Zachary Emond for the ‘Cuda.

The ‘Cuda gained its first lead of the game 1:23 later. Brinson Pasichnuk scored his first goal of the preseason at the 9:05 mark. Jayden Halbgewachs and Scott Reedy were credited with assists.

Joesph Garreffa gave the Barracuda what looked to have been insurance goal late in the third period when he scored his first goal of the preseason at the 14:05 mark.

Colorado started its comeback with Foudy’s first goal of the content that cut the lead to a one goal game with his first goal of the preseason at the 17:05 mark.

42 seconds later Ryan Wagner scored the equalizer for Colorado for his first goal of the preseason. Andrew Nielsen and Alex Beaucage were credited with the assists.

Colorado out shot San Jose 22-8 in the third period.

Miner earned the win stopping 12 of the 13 shots he faced in 30:13 of ice time. Emond made 23 saves on 26 in 29:59 of ice time in the losing effort. Miska finished his night 10 saves on 12 shots in 29:47 of ice time. Sawchenko had 10 saves on 11 shots in 29:47 of ice time.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 1-for-2 on the power play. Colorado was 0-for-1.

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Foudy 2) Wagner 3) Cutler

UP NEXT: San Jose and Colorado battle again on Sunday 10/10 at 1:00pm at Budweiser Events Center.

Sharks Preseason: Sharks Shut Out Golden Knights 4-0

The Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks faced off for the final pre season game Sat Oct 9, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (photo from fearofthefin.com)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks (3-2) defeated the Vegas Golden Knights (3-4) by a score of 4-0. In their final pre-season game, the Sharks got goals from Jonathan Dahlen, Keving Labanc, Willim Eklund and Brent Burns. Adin Hill made 25 saves for the shut-out win. Robin Lehner made 30 saves for the Golden Knights.

Timo Meier sent the puck across the crease to where Jonathan Dahlen was lurking to tap the puck in behind the goalie. Assists went to Meier and Erik Karlsson.

Kevin Labanc made it 2-0 with a power play goal at 6:37. Labanc found the puck as it emerged from traffic in front of the net. He sent it back down the slot and past Robin Lehner on the glove side. Assists went to Jasper Weatherby and Tomas Hertl.

The teams were tied on the shot clock, 6-6, at the end of the first. Each team had a power play chance. The Sharks penalty kill gave up two shots and their power play needed just the one to score. The Sharks won 75% of the first period face-offs.

William Eklund made it 3-0 at 3:32 of the second. He carried the puck through the neutral zone and passed to Balcers, low in the slot. Balcers passed it right back and Eklund took the shot. Assists went to Balcers and Karlsson.

The Sharks out-shot the Golden Knights in the second, 16-9. The Sharks had the only second period power play. They got five shots in that one. The Golden Knights improved in the face-off circle, so the Sharks won only 56% of those.

Brent Burns made it 4-0 with a shot from the blue line at 9:36 of the third. The puck zipped through traffic and Lehner did not see it coming. Assists went to Kevin Labanc and Matt Nieto.

The teams each had a power play in the third period. Neither penalty kill gave up a shot. The shot count was very close in the third, 12-10 Sharks. The Golden Knights won 60% of the face-offs.

The Sharks will play their season opener at home on Saturday the 17th at 7:00 PM PT against the Winnipeg Jets.

Special teams key Silver Knights 4-2 victory over Barracuda, sweep series

The San Jose Barracuda battling it out with the Henderson Silver Knights in game 2 of the Pacific Division Finals at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Sun May 23, 2021 (@sjbarracuda photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

LAS VEGAS, Nev.–The Henderson Silver Knights scored three goals off of special teams en route to defeat the San Jose Barracuda 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at Orleans Arena.

Henderson swept the best of three series and now will wait to host the winner of the San Diego Gulls-Bakersfield Condors semifinal series in the Pacific Division Finals. The winner of that series receives the John D. Chick trophy. San Jose ends their season having lost their last five games against the Silver Knights.

San Jose drew first blood on the first shot of the game just 40 seconds into the first period. Jacob Middleton threw a puck up to the neutral zone that sprung a two-on-one rush with Jake McGrew and Jayden Halbgewachs. McGrew skated down the left slot and snapped home a wrist shot past Silver Knights goalie Logan Thompson for his second goal of the playoffs.

Ivan Chekhovic was injured during a collision with a Brayden Pachal inside the Silver Knights zone with 10:45 left in the first period. Pachal was given a five-minute major for interference. It appeared Pachal delivered a knee-on-knee hit to Chekhovich. Kyle Topping received a penalty for roughing Pachal after the whistle was blown.

Chekhovic didn not return to the game.

Henderson answered back with a short-handed goal while killing the major penalty to Pachal. Gage Quinney carried the puck out its own zone and skated down the right wing where he used Robby Russo as a screen as he fired a wrist shot that beat ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar to the far side for his first goal of the playoffs at the 12:26 mark. Kaedan Korczak received the only assist on the play.

Quinney had three short-handed goals during the regular season.

Henderson gained its first lead of the game early in the second period. Paul Cotter sent a pass up to center ice over to Tomas Jurco from inside his own zone. Jurco skated in made a move and beat Korenar with a wrist shot for his first goal of the playoffs at the 1:59 mark.

The Silver Knights went up 3-1 less than three minutes later with its second short-handed goal of the game. A turnover in the neutral zone led to a two-on-one opportunity led by Danny O’Regan. The ‘Cuda killer haunted his old team once again as his wrist show beat Korenar for his first goal of the playoffs at the 4:47 mark.

San Jose made up for the shortie the gave up with a power play goal late on the man advantage. A shot from the left slot from Middleton was saved by Thompson but the rebound bounced around the crease. Maxim Letunov crashed the net and cleaned up the rebound with a backhander past Thompson for his second goal of the playoffs at the 6:24 mark.

The Silver Knights regained its two-goal lead with a power play goal of its own halfway through the second period. Ryan Murphy found O’Regan along the right slot. O’Regan’s initial shot was blocked but he followed up his own shot and put home the rebound past Korenar for his second goal of the game at the 9:06 mark.

The third period went scoreless as Henderson out shot San Jose nine to eight.

Thompson finished the game stopping 30 of the 32 shots he faced to earn the victory. Korenar suffered his second straight loss as he made 24 saves on 28 shots.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-5 on the power play. Henderson was 1-for-4.

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) O’Regan 2) Jurco 3) Quinney

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Knights present potent offense and defensive goalie Thompson in net

The San Jose Barracuda will be battling with everything on the line in game 2 down 1-0 to the Henderson Golden Knights in the AHL Pacific Division semifinals at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas (photo from @sjbarracuda)

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The Henderson Silver Knights proving to be the successful AHL minor league affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights proved why they and their parent club is so successful with a three goal 4-1 convincing win over the San Jose Barracuda on Friday night at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

#2 Marko talk about Barracuda goaltender Josef Korenar and who face 30 shots and allowed two goals to the Knights in game one of this playoff round a tough night for Korenar.

#3 The Knights Logan Thompson stopped 22 of 23 shots allowing the Barracuda’s Jayden Halbgewachs the only San Jose goal for the night.

#4 Look out for the Knights Jack Dugan who scored a hat trick scoring two empty netters talk about taking advantage of a short handed situation.

#5 Barracuda and Knights square off again Sunday night at Orleans Arena the Knights are holding the home ice advantage and are coming off a three goal win against from game 1 and after Dugan’s hat trick this team has a strong offense. Can Cuda head coach Roy Sommer and the Barracuda even up this series?

Join Marko for the Barracuda podcast Saturday nights at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Silver Knights take down Barracuda 4-1 in semifinal opener

The Henderson Silver Knights center Jake Leschyshyn (39) and the San Jose Barracuda defenceman Brinson Pasichnuk (50) scramble for the puck on open ice during game 1 of the Pacific Division Semifinals on Fri May 21, 2021 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas (@sjbarracuda photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

LAS VEGAS, Nev.–The Henderson Silver Knights opened their first ever playoff game with a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Barracuda in game one of the Pacific Division Semifinals on Friday evening at Orleans Arena.

Henderson went up 1-0 in the best of three Pacific Division semifinals series. The Barracuda kept the game close throughout the majority of the game until the Silver Knights put the game away with a couple of empty net goals.

The Silver Knights drew first blood on an even strength goal in the first period. A clearing attempt by ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar went out of the reach of Jacob Middleton. Brayden Pachal collected the puck along the right boards and wristed a shot towards the net where Jack Dugan redirected past Korenar for his first goal of the playoffs at the 8:20 mark.

San Jose answered back late in the opening 20 minutes. Jake McGrew fired in a shot from the right wing and Jayden Halbgewachs, who was camped out in front of the crease, tipped home the puck past Silver Knights goalie Logan Thompson for his first goal of the playoffs at the 15:02 mark.

The Barracuda out shot the Silver Knights 11-9 in the first period.

Henderson regained the lead halfway through the second period. Maxim Marushev led a two-on-one odd man rush with Pavel Dorofeyev. Marushev threaded a pass over to Dorofeyev who skated in and slipped a bandhander through the five-hole of Korenar for his first goal of the playoffs at the 10:19 mark.

Dorofeyev scored four of his nine goals during the regular season against San Jose.

Henderson out shot San Jose 14-7 in the middle frame.

San Jose had a chance to score the equalizer with a power play halfway through the third period but weren’t able to capitalize on its only chance with the man advantage.

Dugan iced the game with his two empty net goals at the end of the game. His first empty netter (and second of the game) came at the 18:32 mark. Then he completed the hat trick with his second empty netter with 19 seconds left.

Thompson finished the game with 22 shots on 23 shots to earn the victory. Korenar made 30 saves on 32 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 0-for-1 on the power play. Henderson was 0-for-3.

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Dorofeyev 2) Dugan 3) Thompson

UP NEXT: Game 2 is slated for Sunday 5/23 at 1:00pm at Orleans Arena.

Barracuda shoot down Eagles 5-1, advance to Pacific Division semi-finals

The San Jose Barracuda right winger Scott Reedy (54) does some fancy puck handling against the Colorado Eagles at FivePoint Arena in Irvine the site of the Pacific Division Tournament on Wed May 19, 2021 (@sjbarracuda photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

IRVINE, Calif–The San Jose Barracuda scored three unanswered goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Eagles in the third play in game of the Pacific Division tournament on Wednesday evening at FivePoint Arena.

San Jose, winning the fourth seed, advances to the Pacific Division semi-final matchup with the top-seeded Henderson Silver Knights in a best of three series starting on Friday.

This was the first and only meeting between the two teams as they did not play against each other in the abbreviated 2021 season.

San Jose drew first blood late in the first period with an even strength goal. Evan Weinger led a two-on-one odd man rush with Maxim Letunov along the right boards. Weinger made a cross rink pass to Letunov who buried a one-timer past Eagles goalie Justus Annunen on the far side for his first goal of the playoffs at the 14:10 mark.

The Barracuda outshot the Eagles 13-12 after the opening 20 minutes.

The ‘Cuda doubled its lead halfway through the second period. Steenn Pasichnuk fed a pass back out to the point where Zachary Gallant checked his options before blasting a slapshot to the far side just under the crossbar for his first goal of the playoffs at the 9:25 mark.

San Jose scored its third unanswered goal when Ryan Merkley made a move around Mike Vecchione at the right point, skated in to the slot and fired a shot that caromed out to the middle where Kristoff Hrabik fired a wrist shot from the high slot through the five-hole of Annunen for his first goal of the playoff at the 12:36 mark.

It was Hrabik’s first career AHL goal. He was recalled up from the Orlando Solar Bears in his debut for the ‘Cuda.

Colorado cut into San Jose’s lead on the power play late in the middle frame. Vecchione sent in a shot from the left point that ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar kicked out to the right. Sampo Ranta needed two chances to bury the puck into the back of the net for his first goal of the playoffs at the 17:47 mark.

The Eagles outshot the Barracuda 14-12 in the second period.

San Jose were awarded a five-minute power play in the first 44 seconds of the third period when Miikka Salomaki was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding on Jacob Middelton. Salomaki pushed Middleton into the right boards as he was in a vulnerable position.

Colorado was able to keep San Jose from adding to their lead as they killed the major penalty to Salomaki.

The ‘Cuda put the game away late in the third period with two empty net goals. First, Nicolas Meloche scored his first of the playoffs at the 17:20 mark. Then Hrabik scored his second of the game with his empty netter at the 18:58 mark.

Korenar finished the game stopping 32 of the 33 shots he faced in earning his second straight play in game win. Annunen made 30 saves on 33 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 0-for-2 on the power play. Colorado was 1-for-2.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda begin its best of three series with the Silver Knights on Friday 5/21 at 7:00pm at Orleans Arena.