Barracuda chase down Roadrunners 3-2

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

Another great comeback for the San Jose Barracuda tonight! The team traveled to the desert to face the Tucson Roadrunners, who previously defeated them 3-1 on Friday night in San Jose.

Tucson, who is ranked #1 in the Pacific Division of the AHL, netted a goal less than three minutes in (at 2:13), courtesy of Jens Looke. San Jose earned a five-on-three power play opportunity, but failed to take advantage of it. However, not long after, Tim Clifton scored his first professional goal–a rebound off of Tucson’s goalie, Hunter Miska–tying the score 1-1 with just over four minutes remaining in the first 20 minutes. San Jose exceeded Tucson in shots on goal 13-9.

Jon Martin wanted in on the scoring action and scored two and a half minutes into the second period to double San Jose’s score. Emerson Clark assisted the goal, and also had his first fight as a member of the Barracuda 12 and a half minutes in. It was at this point that Clark and Tucson’s Tye McGinn were sent to the penalty box for fighting (McGinn was also penalized for slashing), making the game a four-on-four play. Almost a minute later (at 11:39), Mario Kempe scored for Tucson and tied the score again, which remained 2-2 until the third period.

Very quickly into the final interval, Jeremy Roy located Alex True passed him the puck from the blue line, allowing True to give San Jose a 3-2 lead. San Jose’s defense (and starting goalie Antoine Bibeau) remained sound throughout the final 20 minutes, and they took home the 3-2 victory.

Bibeau blocked 23 shots out of 25, not allowing a single goal in the final period. Bibeau defeated Miska, who stopped 24 shots out of 27.

San Jose will face Tucson again in the desert on Wednesday night before returning home this weekend for a doubleheader against the Bakersfield Condors.

Roster update: Sharks defenseman Paul Martin has been assigned to the Barracuda for conditioning purposes as he recently returned to the ice after a two-month recovery from an ankle injury.

Additionally, Danny O’Regan has been called up to the Sharks again as they prepare to face the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames in Canada later this week.

Barracuda Center Alex True – Profile

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—Born into hockey, as he describes, Alex True has had a stick in his hand for as long as he can remember; he was placed on skates for the first time when he was two years old and has never looked back since.

20 years old, True, the son of a former Danish hockey player, was reared in Copenhagen. From a very young age, he would watch his father skate and join him at home to watch different Danish teams on TV. As he got older, his knowledge of the NHL increased. His mother is a native of San Diego, which prompted True to root for the three California NHL teams (Sharks, Kings, and Ducks).

In 2013-14, True joined his first official hockey team, Rungsted Ishockey, in his native Denmark; he appeared in 11 games that season. The following season (2013-14), he came to North America to play for the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). He had 12 points (six goals and six assists) in 35 games.

In 2015-16, True, then 18, nearly tripled his number of points from the previous season with Seattle; he had 32 (14 goals and 18 assists) in 65 regular season games and added an additional 10 (six goals and four assists) in 18 playoff games. That same year, he served as an alternate captain for Team Denmark in the U20 World Junior Championships.

Last season was True’s career-peaking year. He collected 40 points (25 goals and 15 assists) in 66 games and was appointed Seattle’s “Most Dedicated Player.” In 20 playoff games he had 22 points (12 goals and 10 assists) and a plus-11 rating. Leading his team to the WHL Championships (which included a Memorial Cup run) has been his biggest career accomplishment thus far, he noted. He was also named captain of Team Denmark in the U20 World Junior Championships.

True is honored to be a part of the Sharks franchise and receive the opportunity to learn and grow holistically, from improving on the ice to bonding with his Barracuda teammates on the road, who continue to support one another as they work their way up to the NHL. It is no shocker that True, like his nonlocal teammates, appreciates the warm California weather above all else, making it bearable to be outside and explore surrounding cities on off days.

Ontario Reign Crowned Winners Over Barracuda 4-2

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

ONTARIO, CA—After a cross-country road trip, the Barracuda traveled to sunny Southern California to face the Ontario Reign, the AHL affiliate of the LA Kings (the Sharks’ cross-state rival). Unfortunately, the Cuda were not able to reign over them (pun intended), falling 4-2.

The loss could have been way worse, as the Cuda managed to come back despite the Reign’s three goals in the first period alone. A sibling rivalry also occurred in Ontario tonight; brothers Johnny (elder) and Michael Brodzinski (younger) were drafted by Los Angeles and San Jose, respectively, in 2013, and faced one another this evening.

The first 20 minutes were very quiet on San Jose’s end. Ontario rookie Matt Luff sniped the first goal of the game (and the first of Ontario’s three in this period) at 8:08. Johnny Brodzinski notched two at 17:03 and 19:13. The night had something big in store for him, which he would not discover (or, rather, earn) until the third period.

Alexander True provided the Cuda with some relief when he scored on the power play 8:41 into the second period; Cavan Fitzgerald and Danny O’Regan assisted the goal.

Brandon Mashinter returned to the ice tonight after sustaining an upper body injury during the team’s road trip. He brought the lead down to one when he scored at the 11:06 mark, giving San Jose even more hope and relief. However, Johnny Brodzinski led the Reign to their 4-2 victory with an empty-netted hat trick goal at the 19:08 mark. San Jose’s starting goalie Antoine Bibeau was pulled from the net and subbed with a skater. Brodzinski’s hat trick was the fourth in Ontario Reign history.

Bibeau failed to stop three shots out of 33, taking the loss, while Jack Campbell, Ontario’s starting net minder, stopped 22 shots out of 24.

The Cuda are back at the tank this Sunday, November 5. They will take on the Texas Stars, to whom they lost 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday, October 28.