Barracuda Fall 6-5 to Heat in Shootout

Tough close loss for the San Jose Barracuda against the Stockton Heat at SAP Arena in San Jose on Fri Mar 11, 2022 (image from the San Jose Barracuda)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Barracuda (18-28-2) lost 6-5 in a shootout to the Stockton Heat (32-9-4) on Friday. It was the eighth straight home loss against the Heat for the Barracuda. Emilio Pettersen, Jakob Pelletier, Mark Simpson, Walker Duehr and Matthew Phillips scored for Stockton. Adam Werner made 20 saves for the win. The Barracuda got goals from Joachim Blichfield, Eban Weinger, Artemi Kniazev, John Leonard. Zachary Emond made 34 saves in the loss. It was Artemi Kniazev’s first pro multi-goal game.

The first period was scoreless with the Barracuda outshooting the Heat 14-8. The penalty box saw some traffic with the Heat taking three penalties to the Barracuda’s two. The last of those penalties were matching roughing penalties to Connor Mackey and Jasper Weatherby.

The second period saw a flurry of scoring, starting with Joachim Blichfield’s goal at 2:07. Kyle Topping set Blichfield up for the one-timer with a circle to circle pass. Assists went to Topping and Santeri Hatakka.

Stockton’s Emilio Pettersen tied it up less than 30 seconds later, redirecting a shot from Mark Simpson.

Eban Weinger scored to give San Jose the lead back at 4:53, muscling his was past Kevin Gravel to get to the net. Assists went to Sasha Chmelevski and Jake McGrew.

Jakob Pelletier tied it again at 6:05. Matthew Phillips slipped by Ryan Merkley and then chased the puck down to make a diving pass across to Pelletier for the shot.

San Jose took their third lead of the game at 16:51 on their third shot of the period. Stockton’s Nick DeSimone lost his footing as he carried the puck behind his net and went down. John Leonard was right behind him to pick up the loose puck and carry it up the boards. Leonard passed it to Artemi Kniazev, who had just entered the zone. Kniazev took the shot and beat Werner on the stick side. Assists went to Leonard and Hatakka.

The shot count was 13-3 Stockton. The only penalty of the period went to Kyle topping for slashing, at 19:29. That put the Barracuda on the penalty kill to start the third period.

The Barracuda killed that off and then added to their lead with another goal from Kniazev. John Leonard made a short pass up the ice to where Kniazev was moving to the net. Kniazev took the shot from low in the circle and beat Werner through the five hole.

Mark Simpson cut San Jose’s lead back to one at 5:24. Justin Kirkland took a shot from the blue line and Simpson cleaned up the rebound.

John Leonard scored on the power play to make it 5-3 San Jose with a backhand at 6:11. That was the first power play goal against Stockton in 17 tries. Chmelevski and Kniazev got the assists.

Walker Duehr scored for Stockton at 9:53. His spin shot went off of the post. Kevin Gravel got the assist.

Matthew Phillips made it a tie game at 18:21 on a power play with the Stockton net empty. Phillips got his stick on the the puck as it slid out of a scrum at the net. Assists went to Jakob Pelletier and Juuso Valimaki.

The Barracuda were outshot again in the third period, 17-5. The overtime period was lively with a lot of chances for both teams but no goals. The Sharks had three shots and Stockton got none on net.

The first six shooters in the shootout scored, but the goaltenders found their groove in the next two rounds and stopped four shooters. In the sixth round, Johannes Kinnvall scored and Werner made a save on Jake McGrew to win it.

The Barracuda will play again on Saturday, in Stockton against the Heat at 6:00 PM PT.