San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda get scored on with 3 unanswered goals in Grand Rapids for loss; play in Stockton Friday

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On the San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 In a two-game series, the Grand Rapids Griffins took game two as they edged the visiting San Jose Barracuda last Saturday 3-2.

#2 The Cuda jumped out ahead with an early 2-0 lead with goals from Alex True and Rourke Chartier. That would be all the scoring San Jose would get for the rest of the evening.

#3 Flilp Zadina and Carter Camper both scored for Grand Rapids to tie it up 2-2 and the Griffins’ Matt Puempel scored the game-winner in the shootout.

#4 The Griffins’ goaltender Harri Setari stopped 24 of 26 shots and the Barracuda Antoine Bibeau stopped 30 of 32.

#5 The Barracuda head to Stockton for this Fri Feb 1st’s contest with the Stockton Heat.

Marko does the San Jose Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at

Barracuda let Roadrunners escape with a 3-1 win

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—The San Jose Barracuda put up a solid defensive fight through Friday night’s match against the Tucson Roadrunners, who managed to notch two goals in the final two minutes of the game and earn a 3-1 win.

Both teams played sound defensively in the first period until the final two minutes when Roadrunners’ Michael Bunting approached the net, prompting Cuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau to move out of the net to stop what looked like a play. With Bibeau out of the way, Bunting put the puck right in the net at the 18:08 mark to give Tucson the lead.

In the second period, Rudolfs Balcers scored a power play goal at the 3:08 mark. Despite putting up an additional 16 shots (for 29 total), including some promising attempts from Danny O’Regan on a five-on-three run, the Cuda failed to make it past Hunter Miska, but managed to stop the Roadrunners from scoring again…until the end of third period.

Both teams held one another scoreless for the first 18 minutes of the third, when all of a sudden, Mike Sislo copped a rebound goal with a minute and a half remaining, followed by another from Bunting 23 seconds later to make the final score 3-1.

“It happened so quick,” Bibeau said of Tucson’s final two goals. Despite each “blink of an eye” (so to speak), he saw the puck far better than he had during Wednesday’s 6-0 shutout loss.

Bibeau, who came off of his fifth consecutive win on Sunday evening in Bakersfield, agreed that the team’s defense was very sound throughout the entire match. The team’s inability to score impacted the game, but did not reflect their effort as a whole.

The Roadrunners are ranked #1 in the Pacific Division of the AHL, and some may wonder if it takes even more momentum and strength to stand up to such a team. Not necessarily, according to Bibeau. He explained that there was not much the Cuda needed to change as far as effort, as, coming off of the 6-0 shutout loss, effort was more important to them than whether or not they defeated the Roadrunners (whose sound playing styles he acknowledged, and the fact that they stimulated strong competition that evening).

Edging on their next two matches against Tucson on Tuesday and Wednesday (in the desert), Bibeau said that taking time to relax on the team’s off days will serve them well, and that they will play the next two games with a mindset no different than one which they would have against a lower-ranked team.

Roster update: Danny O’Regan was reassigned to the Barracuda from the Sharks this afternoon, and Bryan Moore was recalled from the Allen Americans. Additionally, the club signed Emerson Clark of the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen to a professional tryout agreement.

Barracuda defeats Condors 2-1 for Coach Roy Sommer’s 700th career AHL win

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By: Alexandra Evans

BAKERSFIELD–First things first, the San Jose Barracuda’s win over the Bakersfield Condors tonight marked their coach Roy Sommer’s 700th career win, the most wins of any coach in AHL history.

Roster update: Marcus Sorensen was called up to the Sharks yesterday. He exceeds all Barracuda players in points with 14, and ranks T-2nd in goals (5) and assists (9). Manuel Wiederer has also returned to the ice following a concussion. Also, defenseman Michael Brodzinski was moved to the forward position, playing right wing for the evening.

Both teams excelled defensively in the first period, though the Cuda could not manage to make it past the Condors’ defense and were, at one point, outshot 9-0. Forward Iiro Pakarinen, who was recently reassigned to the Condors from the Edmonton Oilers (their NHL affiliate), made a wrist shot over Cuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau’s to give the Condors a 1-0 lead on the power play at the 12:42. Defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald tied the score at 16:51 with a wrist shot from the blue line, assisted by Jeremy Roy and Rudolfs Balcers. The score remained tied 1-1 at the end of the first period.

Each team held one another scoreless in the second period, at the end of which the Condors had 19 shots compared to the Cuda’s nine. Wiederer handed the Cuda a 2-1 victory when he notched a goal, his second of the season, at 8:42, assisted by John McCarthy and Jacob Middleton.

Bibeau made 30 saves on 31 shots for his fifth straight win this season, defeating Condors goaltender Eddie Pasquale who made 18 saves on 20 shots.

The Cuda will face the Condors, who beat them 6-0 in the preseason, another nine times this season. They are back at home on Wednesday, December 6 to face the Stockton Heat.

Roy Scores First Pro Goal To Help Cuda Steal Crown From Reign, Beating Ontario 1-0

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—It’s rivalry weekend! The Barracuda had their first match of a weekend-long doubleheader against the Ontario Reign on Saturday afternoon. In hopes of a retaliation against the Reign’s 4-2 win on November 1, the Cuda stole their crown and shut them out 1-0.

Roster updates: Danny O’Regan was called up to the Sharks this morning from the Cuda, and Johnny Brodzinski, brother of Cuda defenseman Michael Brodzinski who scored a hat trick against the Cuda, was called up to the Kings from the Reign yesterday.

Both the Reign and Cuda defense were strong in the first period, and the Cuda appeared to be good on offense as a number of their shots were aimed directly between the posts of the net (in contrast with the Reign, most of whose shots ended up hitting the wall), though Jack Campbell managed to shut them all out. At the end, the Cuda outshot the Reign 11-9 and the score was 0-0, neither team having taken advantage of the power play.

Offense picked up in the second period as defenseman Jeremy Roy scored just after the 2:00 mark with an assist from Tim Clifton. This was Roy’s first goal of the season, as well as his first professional one. The Cuda held the Reign scoreless throughout the second, who outshot them by one. However, the Cuda were not able to succeed on the man advantage yet again. The Cuda kept a 1-0 lead through the third period.

“Jeremy is getting better and better every game,” Coach Roy Sommer said after the match. “This is why [the Sharks] drafted him… his thing is producing points. He did that in juniors, that’s why he was such a high pick (31st overall in 2015). He’s not only defensive. He gets out of trouble, but he’s also got some offense to his game.”

Cuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau recorded his second shutout of the season (side note: I asked Bibeau, in French, how he feels after a shutout. He responded that it provides him with feelings of great satisfaction and contentment); Bibeau blocked all of the Reign’s 31 shots, whereas Reign goaltender Jack Campbell stopped 30 shots out of 31 (which still exemplifies strong netminding).

The Cuda, who are now 6-6, are back on tomorrow against the Reign at 3:00 p.m.

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 Goalie Antoine Bibeau – Profile

Photo credit: @LongLiveTheAnt

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—Antoine Bibeau grew up in Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada. Most children around him began playing hockey at a very early age, in which he took part. One of his greatest influences growing up was former Montreal Canadiens (Bibeau’s favorite team as a child) and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy, who won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996 and 2001, during Bibeau’s single-digit age years.

The 23 year-old goaltender stands at 6 feet 3 inches and weighs 213 pounds. His maternal great-uncle played as a goaltender for the Quebec Nordiques of the NHL, who, he believes, served as another net minding inspiration for him.

Beginning in 2009, Bibeau played five seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the Trois-Rivières Draveurs, Lewiston MAINEiacs, Prince Edward Island Rockets, Charlottetown Islanders, and the Val d’Or Foreurs. It was not until he arrived in Prince Edward Island that he learned to speak English (his native language is French).

“It was pretty bad,” Bibeau said of his English-speaking skills at the time. Thankfully, with the help of his girlfriend and hockey coaches (who were always giving commands in English), Bibeau picked up the language thoroughly.

In 2014, Bibeau helped the Val-d’Or Foreurs advance to the QMJHL championship, where they won the President’s Cup. Following the 2013-2014 season, he was awarded the Guy Lafleur Trophy as the QMJHL Most Valuable Player and the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the Memorial Cup’s Most Outstanding Goaltender. Bibeau was also admitted to the CHL Memorial Cup All-Star team.

Bibeau was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs 172nd overall in 2013. The following year, he began playing for their American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. In 32 games with the Marlies in 2016-2017, he notched a 13-14-5 record, a .894 save percentage, a 3.08 GAA, and three shutouts, for which he tied 12th amongst all AHL goalies. Since the start of his AHL career in 2014, he has attained a 56-33-11 record, a .906 save percentage, a 2.79 GAA, and 10 shutouts.

He was called up to two Maple Leafs games during the 2016-2017 season, making his NHL debut on December 11, 2016. In these two games, he cultivated a 1-1-0 record, a .927 save percentage, and a 1.99 goals against average (GAA). Bibeau described his NHL appearances with Toronto as one of the milestones of his net minding career, from major junior all the way up to the pros.

San Jose signed Bibeau to a one-year deal when the free agency market opened on July 1, 2017. Like many non locals, Bibeau has been enjoying the sunny Bay Area weather since his arrival just before the start of the preseason.

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.