Condors 4-3 OT comeback win over SJ Barracuda extends win streak to eight

The San Jose Barracuda fought it out with the Bakersfield Condors on Sat Mar 13, 2021 at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield (@ sjbarracuda photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

BAKERSFIELD, Calif—Ryan McLeod went from goat to hero in a span of two minutes in overtime.

He scored the game winning goal at the 2:37 mark of the extra session as the Bakersfield Condors came from behind to beat the San Jose Barracuda 4-3 to extend its winning streak to eight games on Friday evening at Mechanics Bank Arena.

McLeod took a tripping penalty 30 seconds into overtime. However San Jose wasn’t able to capitalize on its sixth power play of the game. Seconds after the penalty expired, Ryan Stanton sprung McLeod on a breakaway just as he exited the sinbin and beat ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar with a fore-hand to backhand move sliding the puck past Korenar’s five hole for his sixth goal of the season.

Bakersfield (8-5-0-0) drew first blood in the first period with the AHL’s leading scorer in goals and points Cooper Marody getting things started. Tyler Benson sent the puck toward the middle of the net where the puck pinballed through three ‘Cuda defenders. Marody gathered the puck and his backhander beat Korenar for the first goal of his hatrick on the night at the 13:40 mark.

Marody’s goal marked the eighth straight game the Condors have scored the opening goal of the game. They have outscored their opponents 14-0 in the first period during its winning streak, including 6-0 over San Jose.

The ‘Cuda went down a man before the end of the opening frame when Evan Weinger was injured after receiving a hit up high from Graham McPhee. Weinger would not finish the game as he suffered an apparent upper body injury.

Jeffery Viel took exeption to McPhee’s hit on Weinger as the two squared off in a fight immediately afterward and both ended up with fighting majors.

San Jose (5-4-3-0) scored the equalizer early in the second. Alexander True found defenseman Ryan Merkley at the Condors blueline. Merkley skated in from the right wing to just below the net when he sneaked in a backhand shot that went off the back of Condors goalie Stuart Skinner for the former first round pick’s first career goal at the 4:14 mark.

Bakersfield regained the lead late in the middle frame. After a faceoff win inside the ‘Cuda zone, Markus Niemelainen fired a shot from the left point that Marody redirected from the slot past Korenar for his second goal of the game at the 17:09 mark.

The Condors out shot the ‘Cuda 15-12 in the second period.

It only took 41 seconds in the third period for the Barracuda to get the second equalizer of the game. Noah Gregor’s shot from the right wing was stopped but not controlled by Skinner. Joachim Blichfeld crashed the net and cashed in on the rebound for his seventh goal of the season. True received the secondary assist.

San Jose gained its first lead of the season against Bakersfield thanks to a miscue by Skinner. The netminder’s clearing attempt deflected off the body of Noah Gregor on to the stick of True who beat Skinner back to the net with a wrap around to the far post for his fourth goal of the season and second goal in as many games at the 4:22 mark.

True finished with three points on the night (1G, 2A).

Bakersfield pulled Skinner for an extra attacker with 2:04 remaining in the third period. The gamble paid off when Benson found Marody with a backdoor pass and Marody completed his second career hatrick burying a wrist shot past Korenar for his 12th goal of the season.

Marody has 18 points to go along with his 12 goals to lead the league in both categories. He has 17 points in his last nine games.

Skinner finished the game with 31 saves on 34 shots to earn the victory. Korenar stopped 34 of the 38 saves in the losing cause.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 0-for-6 on the power play. Bakersfield was 0-for-3.

More special teams- San Jose is currently on an 0-for-10 streak on the power play. While Bakersfield has killed 24 straight penalties.

Bakersfield is now 7-0 (6-0 at home) when leading after two periods.

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Marody 2) McLeod 3) True

UP NEXT: San Jose returns home to host Bakersfield for two games starting on Tuesday 3/16 at 6:00pm at SAP Center.


Barracuda’s first period outburst shoots down Eagles in 4-0 shutout win; San Jose-Colorado split series

photo from

By Marko Ukalovic

Never underestimate the difference 24 hours can make. After being shut down, the night before, the San Jose Barracuda used a four-goal first period outburst en route to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Colorado Eagles for their first road victory of the season on Saturday evening at the Budwiser Events Center.

San Jose (3-3-0-0) drew first blood on the power play early in the first period. Sasha Chmelevski fed a pass up to Maxim Letunov. The second year forward raced in from center ice down the left side and skated in with a backhanded wrist shot from a tough angle that deceived Eagles goalie Adam Werner (4-2) as it sneaked in past his pad near the left post for Letunov’s second goal of the season at the 2:24 mark.

The goal snapped a 0-for-11 streak for the 25th ranked stuggling power play. It was just their third power play goal of the season.

Evan Weinger doubled San Jose’s lead short-handed after some determination. Alex True sent a no-look pass that led to a breakaway for Weinger whose intital shot was stopped by Werner. Weinger then picked up a loose puck and he buried a backhander past Werner for his first goal of the season at the 7:49 mark. It was the Cuda’s first shorthanded goal of the season.

San Jose scored their third goal of the period when Joachim Blichfeld made a nice move around a sprawled out defender and centered a pass over to Lean Bergmann, open in the middle of ice, who rifled a shot past Werner for his second goal of the season at the 16:55 mark. Bergmann’s goal extended his point streak to three games. He now has four points in three games.

The Cuda concluded their four goal outburst when Letunov sent Jeffery Viel on breakaway with just over a minute remaining. Viel skated in and snapped a wrist shot through the five-hole of Werner for his second goal of the season at the 18:55 mark.

Hunter Miska replaced Werner to start the second period. Werner went to the showers early after giving up four goals on just seven shots.

Colorado (4-3-0-0) had two power play opportunities in the middle frame but San Jose penalty kill led by goalie Josef Korenar (2-2) kept the Eagles off the scoreboard. The Cuda held the Eagles to just four shots in the period.

Korenar stopped all 31 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season. Miska stopped all 21 shots he faced coming in on mop up duty.

There was no scoring in the third period despite the Cuda having two power play opportunities in the second half of the final frame.

GAME NOTES: San Jose 1/3 on the power play. Colorado 0/6.

The victory was the 150th all-time in franchise history.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda host the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday, October 30 at 11:00 am at SAP Center.

Barracuda overcome two-goal deficit, down Condors 4-3

photo from

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda have a flair for the dramatic. Down by two goals late in the second period, they went on to score three unanswered goals to storm back in a 4-3 comeback victory over the Bakersfield Condors on Sunday afternoon at SAP Center.

The second consecutive victory for San Jose (2-1-0-0) over the defending Pacific Division champions was also a sweep of the weekend games at home after dropping the season opener nine days ago in Ontario.

After a scoreless first period where neither team generated many scoring chances, Bakersfield (1-1-1-0) drew first blood early in the middle frame. Cooper Marody won a battle along the right boards. He then fed Sam Gagner near the slot and Gagner found a wide open Kailer Yamamoto back door on the left side, who skated in and blasted a one-timer past Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge for his third goal of the season at the 2:00 mark.

The Cuda scored the equalizer when Joel Kellman led a three-on-two odd man rush from center ice. He fed Jonny Brodzinki along the right side. Brodzinki returned the favor back to Kellman, who beat Condor defenseman Evan Bouchard up the ice, and the rookie forward sneaked in a point-blank shot to the left side of Condor goalie Shane Starrett for his first career AHL goal at the 4:24 mark. Noah Gregor received the secondary assist.

“We won the puck low in their end,” said the Swedish forward Kellman. “I just chipped it out to Brodzi (Brodzinski), tried to drive to the net and it was a great pass (from Brodzinski).”

The Condors regained the lead when a shot from Keegan Lowe took a tricky hop from behind the net and ended up out in front of the crease where a scrum of players ensued. After a couple of attempts from Bakersfield, Joe Gambardella poked home the loose puck for his first goal of the season at the 9:10 mark.

Bakersfield gained a two-goal lead two and half minutes later when after a failed clearing attempt by San Jose led to Tyler Bensen feeding out a puck from behind the net over to the left slot where Ryan McLeod skated in and wired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Shortridge for his first goal of the season at the 11:37 mark.

Alex True made it a one-goal game later in the second period when he camped out in front of the crease and tipped the puck through the five-hole of Starrett thanks to a wrist shot from Jayden Halbgewachs just beyond the face off circles. True’s second goal of the season came at the 16:53 mark.

San Jose took the momentum from True’s goal and carried it into the third period where they would do all the scoring. A turnover up high in the Cuda zone led to a three-on-one odd man rush for San Jose. Gregor skated in and beat Starrett top-shelf with a quick wrist shot for his first career AHL goal to tie the game at 3-3 at the 6:51 mark.

“Going back to junior and having a strong a year really helped with my confidence,” said Gregor. “Coming into this year, I knew I could play at the American League level and play pro. I think I carried that into this season.”

With just under three and half minutes remaining in the game, a weak passing attempt into the middle of the ice by Condors defenseman Caleb Jones, hit off the skate of Kellman and went right to the stick of Ivan Chekovich, who brought the puck back before firing a wrist shot over the head of Starrett into the back of the net for the game-winning goal at the 16:40 mark. Chekovich’s first goal of the season earned him the first star of the match.

Shortridge earned his first win of his AHL career making 26 saves on 29 shots. Starrett made 16 saves on 20 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/2 on the power play. Bakerfield was 0/4.

UP NEXT: San Jose closes out their three-game homestand on Saturday 10/19 when they take on the Ontario Reign at 1:15 pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Well-prepared Barracuda get a healthy two-goal win over Bakersfield in last game

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The Barracuda took on their on nemesis the Bakersfield Condors on Saturday night and never looked behind, which is a first in a long time against a team that usually is all over them.

#2 The Barracuda got a two-goal win and just really never let up. What was the difference in their game preparation for them?

#3 One the important things is the Barracuda’s five-game losing streak against the Condors is over. The Cuda finished 5-5 for the season against Bakersfield.

#4 Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer knows to win games it’s best to score early and that’s what the Barracuda did when Matt Fonteyne’s stick took a deflected pass and was directed in the net for the first goal of the night.

#5 In the third period, there were three goals in five minutes to make things interesting, but the Barracuda came up two goals ahead 4-2.

Join Marko for the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday night at

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: They can’t be contained, Barracuda light up the lamp with heavy offense photo: San Jose Barracuda veteran leftwinger John McCarthy (17) leads the Cuda into San Diego to face off against the San Diego Gulls on Saturday night

#1 What does that tell you when the San Jose Barracuda (14-3-1-2) are able to score two goals in the first period in the first 39 seconds to open the game against the Bakerfield Condors?

#2 The Cuda are red-hot. They’ve won five straight and are first in the Pacific Division they get ready for the San Diego Gulls Saturday night at 7 PM.

#3 Rourke Chartier–he’s got a future he took a shot in the second period for his fifth point in four games against the Condors.

#4 The Cuda found themselves in front 4-0 and the team never let up this is a team that just simply dominated the Cuda, who are the best in the AHL at 8-1-0-1.

#5 The Barracuda head down to sunny San Diego for a Saturday night faceoff. Marko sets the game up for us.

Marko does the San Jose Barracuda podcasts for each Wednesday