The San Jose Barracuda take the rubber game match against the Tucson Roadrunners at Tucson Arena on Sat Mar 19, 2022 to conclude the three game series (image by the San Jose Barracuda)
By Mary Walsh
TUCSON– The San Jose Barracuda beat the Tucson Roadrunners 5-2 Saturday. Sasha Cmelevski, Lane Pedersen, Nick Cicek, Joachim Blichfeld and Nick Merkley scored for San Jose. Alexei Melnichuk made 32 saves for the win. Cole Hults and Travis Barron scored for Tucson. Ivan Prosvetov made 28 saves in the loss.
Sasha Chmelevski scored the opening goal for San Jose at 6:18 of the first period. He carried the puck into the zone and then cut across to the slot, evading defenders. As he passed through the slot he took the shot and beat Prosvetov on the glove side. Assists went to Evan Weinger and Patrick Holway.
Lane Pedersen made it 2-0 at 14:45 with a shot from a bad angle along the boards that snuck by Prosvetov. An assist went to Jayden Halbgewachs.
The Roadrunners got on the board during a five-on-three power play at 10:17 of the second period. The Barracuda’s Ryan Merkley and Sasha Chmelevski were in the box. Cole Hults took the shot from above the circle on a pass from Jan Jenik who was down by the goal line. The puck went over Melnichuk’s shoulder and in. Assists went to Jenik and Michael Carcone.
Nick Cicek restored San Jose’s two-goal lead at 16:24 with a shot from above the circle. Assists went to Weinger and Adam Raska.
At 7:15 of the third, Travis Barron tipped Matt Foley’s shot from the point and made it 3-2. Assists went to Foley and Mitchell Lewandowski. Right before Barron’s goal, Prosvetov made three impressive saves at the other end, fending off a shooting frenzy from the Barracuda.
Joachim Blichfeld scored on the power play at 8:38. After scrambling to keep the puck in, he carried it down to the face-off dot and took a shot that went through some traffic and over Prosvetov’s shoulder. Jake McGrew got an assist.
Sasha Chmelevski won a race to the puck behind the net and made a quick pass to Nick Merkley who had just arrived in front of the net. Merkley wasted no time and whipped the puck into the net at 13:25.
The shots were very close through the game, with the final count being 34-33 Roadrunners. Artemi Kniazev led San Jose in shots with seven. The Barracuda had five power plays and scored on one. Their penalty kill allowed one goal in five penalties.
The Barracuda next play on Tuesday back in San Jose against the Stockton Heat at 7:00 PM PT.