Barracuda capture Roadrunners and overthrow them with a 5-2 win


By Alexandra Evans

One win over the Tucson Roadrunners this week was clearly not enough for the San Jose Barracuda as they chased them down Wile E. Coyote style, earning a 5-2 victory at the Tuscon Convention Center.

San Jose put up two goals in the first period less than one minute apart. Julius Bergman sniped the first one on the power play at 12:45, and John McCarthy, who assisted Bergman’s goal, collected Paul Martin’s rebound off of Tucson goalie Hunter Miska and shot the puck, backhanded, past him. The Cuda ended the first period with a 2-0 lead; each team had eight shots on goal.

The scoring action translated into the second period as Brandon Mashinter received a pass from Jacob Middleton, putting the puck in the net just before the four minute mark. Emerson Clark notched his first goal with the Cuda at the five minute mark when he circled around Miska and located the low slot. Down 4-0, the Roadrunners tried to retaliate later in the period as Michael Bunting got a helper from Mario Kempe and sniped the puck past Cuda goalie Parker Gahagen at 9:10. Three minutes later, Trevor cheek scored one unassisted (and shorthanded) on a breakaway. The Cuda’s lead was cut in half, 4-2, at the end of the second.

Gahagen, who earned his first professional win tonight in the desert, and San Jose’s defense did not allow any additional goals in the third period. Brandon Bollig earned the team a 5-2 victory with an empty netter two minutes before the match ended.

The Cuda, now 11-10, return to action at home this weekend for a double header against the Bakersfield Condors: Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:15 p.m.

Moose Cross Barracuda Territory, Leave Their Mark 5-2

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—The Barracuda commenced their weekend with the first game of a double header against the Manitoba Moose (affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets), who certainly left their mark after scoring five goals over the first and second periods, during which the Cuda were scoreless. The Moose took a 5-2 victory.

The first 20 minutes started off rather smooth; defense was strong on both ends, both goalies effectively protected their nets. But then, just before the 13-minute mark, the Moose began scoring over a course of five minutes; the scoring frenzy ended just before the 18 minute mark. The Cuda were down 3-0 at the end of the first despite outshooting the Moose 13-9. Jack Roslovic, Mike Sgarbossa, and JP Lipon scored the three goals, respectively.

The Cuda remained quiet throughout the second period, even with two power play opportunities (up from one opportunity in the first). The Moose proceeded to score two more goals, courtesy of Roslovic (one of the Jets’ top prospects) and Jansen Harkins.

San Jose did not score until the third period. Determined as ever since being reassigned to the Cuda from the Sharks last week, Kevin Labanc notched San Jose’s first goal of the game (and his first of the season with the Cuda) just before the six-minute mark. Brandon Bollig chimed in with just about a minute left in the game, scoring his second goal of the season. The momentum picked up substantially in the third period, and both Labanc and Bollig, in a post-game scrum, noted that heavy momentum is what the team needs to play a sound game, amp up their competition, and ultimately play better.

“I don’t think we deserved to give up five goals,” Bollig said. “We played a good game, it just came down to capitalizing on Manitoba’s chances. This was not a lack of effort.”

“I think we were overly confident,” Labanc added. “They’re a good team, you’ve got to tip your hat, but we’ve got to come prepared tomorrow and fix our mistakes… we need to not turn the puck over, and just be a little harder and heavier in the defensive zone. It’s a two-way game, we need to come with a two-way mentality.”

Troy Grosenick, San Jose’s starting goalie, only made 11 saves on 16 shots, while Eric Comrie stopped 36 shots out of 38.

Not to fear, the Cuda have a second chance to claim their territory over the Moose tomorrow. The line pairings are likely to change, especially since Rudolfs Balcers, Alexander True, and Filip Sandberg, as a group, did not meet Coach Roy Sommer’s expectations, he said following the match.

On a happier note, Rourke Chartier returned to the ice this afternoon after a six-month absence due to injury. On a separate note, Grosenick and his wife, Maggie, welcomed their first child, a son named Beckett, on November 7.

Barracuda Left Winger Brandon Bollig – Profile

Photo credit:

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—First generation hockey player to Stanley Cup Champion. Not even Brandon Bollig himself could fathom such an accomplishment growing up.

Born and raised in St. Charles, Missouri, Bollig picked up hockey at the drop of a hat, making every team he tried out for in his youth.

The left winger, who is 6 feet 3 inches and 220 pounds, took his skills to the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, with whom he spent three years (2005-2008). Bollig then went on to play hockey for St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. In 2010, after his sophomore year, he signed with the Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent and appeared in three games with their minor league affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, that season (2009-2010).

Bollig was called up for his NHL debut with Chicago on February 29, 2012 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also made four playoff appearances that season.

With his hometown so close to St. Louis, Bollig grew up supporting the Blues, one of the Blackhawks’ biggest rivals.

“I got a lot of crap from my family and friends when I signed with Chicago,” Bollig laughed. “Whenever we played the Blues, they would always say, ‘We are rooting for you and only you. We hope you score some goals, but we want a Blues win.’”

Aside from the rivalry, Bollig’s family was immensely supportive. Around 50 members of his family would attend every Blackhawks vs. Blues game at home. His family would also travel from St. Charles to Chicago to watch Bollig play at the United Center.

Bollig’s greatest accomplishment was his Stanley Cup win with the Blackhawks in 2013.

“That was indescribable,” he noted. “It’s something you imagine a million times as a kid. Once you finally do it, it is better than you ever thought.”

Following the Stanley Cup win, Bollig played one more year with the Blackhawks before he was traded to the Calgary Flames at the start of the 2014-2015 season. He still received the same familial support when the Flames would visit St. Louis, though he noted that deep down, his family still hoped for Blues’ wins.

Most recently, Bollig played for the Stockton Heat, the Flames’ AHL affiliate, in 2016-2017.

Bollig’s objective for each game is to play one that is “sound.” His playing style focuses heavily on tending to the defensive zone, and on physical presence (Bollig does not have any fear of fighting). Putting up numbers, to him, is an “added bonus.”

San Jose closed a one-year deal with Bollig on July 4, 2017, three days after the free agency market opened. Thus far, it has been a pleasant experience for him. Off the ice, Bollig and his fiancee enjoy the friendly Northern California vibes, sunny weather, and various downtown San Jose activities, including those on Santana Row.