Barracuda shoot down Eagles 5-1, advance to Pacific Division semi-finals

The San Jose Barracuda right winger Scott Reedy (54) does some fancy puck handling against the Colorado Eagles at FivePoint Arena in Irvine the site of the Pacific Division Tournament on Wed May 19, 2021 (@sjbarracuda photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

IRVINE, Calif–The San Jose Barracuda scored three unanswered goals en route to a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Eagles in the third play in game of the Pacific Division tournament on Wednesday evening at FivePoint Arena.

San Jose, winning the fourth seed, advances to the Pacific Division semi-final matchup with the top-seeded Henderson Silver Knights in a best of three series starting on Friday.

This was the first and only meeting between the two teams as they did not play against each other in the abbreviated 2021 season.

San Jose drew first blood late in the first period with an even strength goal. Evan Weinger led a two-on-one odd man rush with Maxim Letunov along the right boards. Weinger made a cross rink pass to Letunov who buried a one-timer past Eagles goalie Justus Annunen on the far side for his first goal of the playoffs at the 14:10 mark.

The Barracuda outshot the Eagles 13-12 after the opening 20 minutes.

The ‘Cuda doubled its lead halfway through the second period. Steenn Pasichnuk fed a pass back out to the point where Zachary Gallant checked his options before blasting a slapshot to the far side just under the crossbar for his first goal of the playoffs at the 9:25 mark.

San Jose scored its third unanswered goal when Ryan Merkley made a move around Mike Vecchione at the right point, skated in to the slot and fired a shot that caromed out to the middle where Kristoff Hrabik fired a wrist shot from the high slot through the five-hole of Annunen for his first goal of the playoff at the 12:36 mark.

It was Hrabik’s first career AHL goal. He was recalled up from the Orlando Solar Bears in his debut for the ‘Cuda.

Colorado cut into San Jose’s lead on the power play late in the middle frame. Vecchione sent in a shot from the left point that ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar kicked out to the right. Sampo Ranta needed two chances to bury the puck into the back of the net for his first goal of the playoffs at the 17:47 mark.

The Eagles outshot the Barracuda 14-12 in the second period.

San Jose were awarded a five-minute power play in the first 44 seconds of the third period when Miikka Salomaki was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding on Jacob Middelton. Salomaki pushed Middleton into the right boards as he was in a vulnerable position.

Colorado was able to keep San Jose from adding to their lead as they killed the major penalty to Salomaki.

The ‘Cuda put the game away late in the third period with two empty net goals. First, Nicolas Meloche scored his first of the playoffs at the 17:20 mark. Then Hrabik scored his second of the game with his empty netter at the 18:58 mark.

Korenar finished the game stopping 32 of the 33 shots he faced in earning his second straight play in game win. Annunen made 30 saves on 33 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 0-for-2 on the power play. Colorado was 1-for-2.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda begin its best of three series with the Silver Knights on Friday 5/21 at 7:00pm at Orleans Arena.

Barracuda edge Roadrunners 2-1 advance to play in game finale

The San Jose Barracuda after defeating the Tucson Roadrunners on Tue May 18th advance to the next play in game against either the Ontario Reign or the Colorado Eagles in the AHL Pacific Division playoffs (image from @sjbarracuda)

by Marko Ukalovic

IRVINE, Calif–Jake McGrew scored the game winning goal for the San Jose Barracuda halfway through the third period in a 2-1 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners in a Pacific Division single elimination play-in-game on Tuesday afternoon at Five Point Arena.

San Jose came into the play-in-game as the fourth seed and Tucson was the seventh seed after the regular season concluded. The Pacific Division is the only division in the AHL to participate in a post-season tournament for the 2021 season. The winner of both play-in-games will be the fourth seed and take on the top seeded Henderson Silver Knights in a best of three series.

McGrew’s heroics came as San Jose gained its first lead of the game. Scott Reedy poked the puck away from Victor Soderstrom behind the net. Jayden Halbgewachs quickly found McGrew along the end line and the SoCal native beat Prosvetov with a quick wrist shot to the near side of the post for his first playoff goal at the 9:18 mark of the third period.

The opening 20 minutes was scoreless as both teams played a defensive minded style of play. Both teams combined for just 11 shots in the first period.

Tucson drew first blood early in the second period. A clearing attempt by San Jose was intercepted by Nate Sucese near the left corner boards. Sucese found Jan Jenik at the left slot and Jenik skated in and shot a backhander that beat ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar at the 3:01 mark.

San Jose answered back just past the half way mark in the middle frame. Nicolas Meloche fired a shot along the left boards that hit off the skate of a crashing Evan Weinger through the five-hole of Roadrunners goalie Ivan Prosvetov at the 11:24 mark. Brandon Coe received the secondary assist.

Both teams had 13 shots each after the first 40 minutes of the game.

Tucson pulled Prosvetov in the final 2:05 for an extra attacker to try send the game into overtime but Korenar and his defense held down the fort and sent the Roadrunners into the off season.

Korenar finished the game stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced to earn the victory and his second playoff victory of his ALH career. Prosvetov made 18 saves on 20 n the losing effort.

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

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Korenar 2) McGrew 3) Jenik

UP NEXT: The Barracuda will play the winner of the Ontario Reign vs, Colorado Eagles game on Wednesday 5/19 at 7:00pm at Five Point Arena in Irvine.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: After close loss in Colorado Barracuda look to get on track against Stockton tonight photo

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 Marko talk about the Barracuda’s (14-25-2-2) most recent loss 4-3 in Colorado last Saturday, the Barracuda allowed three goals in the second period as the Eagles forced overtime and won

#2 Barracuda goalie Josef Korenar (8-14-4) allowed four goals and faced 35 shots on Saturday it was Korenar’s first game back since suffering an injury on January 22nd

#3 Joachim Blichfeld scored his 15th goal of the season to lead the team in goals Blichfeld scored the goal in the first period

#4 Antti Suomela scored a goal and assist for the Barracuda it was Suomela’s second game back from the San Jose Sharks after two and half months with the big club

#5 The Barracuda try it all over again with a contest set for tonight against the Stockton Heat at SAP Center in downtown San Jose

Catch Marko for all the latest on the Barracuda podcast at

Eagles edge Barracuda 4-3 in overtime

by Marko Ukalovic

LOVELAND, Colo- Lately the Colorado Eagles have had a different hero win during their winning streak. It was Sheldon Dries’ turn as his second goal of the game was the game winning goal with 1:06 left in overtime to beat the San Jose Barracuda 4-3 on Saturday evening at Budwiser Events Center.

With Anti Suomela in the penalty box for holding, Jacob MacDonald sent a hard shot into traffic that ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar stopped but the rebound trickled out to the left where Dries tapped home the puck for a power play goal, his 18th of the season.

Despite earning a point, San Jose has lost a season high seven games in a row. Colorado has won four games in a row and moved into tie with Stockton for second place in the Pacific Divison with 56 points.

San Jose (14-25-2-2) got off to the start it wanted in the first period. Jayden Halbgewachs led a 2-on-2 rush at center ice. He fed a pass over to Joachim Blichfeld and from the right slot he fired a wrist shot past Eagles goalie Hunter Miska to the shortside for his team leading 15th goal of the season at the 7:00 mark.

The ‘Cuda doubled their lead toward the end of the opening frame. Suomela showed off his speed skating into the Eagles zone before sending a wrist shot on net initially stopped by Miska. Keaton Middleton pinched in fom the point and cleaned up the rebound for his third goal of the season at the 16:03 mark.

San Jose dominated play in the first period and their penalty kill stopped two Colorado power play opportunities.

Colorado cut the deficit in half early in the second period on the power play. Connor Timmons made a drop pass back up to the point where Martin Kaut lasered in a slap shot through a sea of traffic beating Korenar for his fifth goal of the season at the 1:35 mark.

The Barracuda regained its two-goal lead on the power play under six minutes later. Suomela intercepted a pass behind the net and flipped it behind them where he skated around the Miska before despositing the puck into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season at the 7:17 mark. Ivan Chekhovich received the only assist on the power play tally.

Colorado scored the next two goals in a 1:42 span near the end of the middle frame. Erik Condra skated in along the right boards and fed a pass over to Mark alt in the high slot. Alt snapped home a wrist shot past Korenar for his fourth goal of the season at the 15:05 mark.

Before San Jose could gather themselves, Conor Timmins shot from the left point was redirected by Dries into the back of the net for his first of two goals, his 17th of the season at the 16:47 mark.

The sequence shell-shocked the ‘Cuda as they headed into the second intermission tied at 3-3.

Tempers flared once again in a scoreless third period. Jeffery Viel got into a battle with Dries as the two exchanged fisticuffs at the 13:25 mark. Viel has fights in back to back games.

Miska finished the night making 29 saves on 32 shots to earn his 11th win of the season. Korenar, playing in his first game since suffering an injury back on January 22, made 31 saves on 35 shots in suffering the defeat.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-4 on the power play. Colorado was 3-for-8.

Suomela collected a pair of points (one goal, one assist) in just his second game back from the Sharks after a two and a half month stint in the NHL.

Dries is now fourth in the AHL in power play goals with 10.

Trevor Carrick collected a pair of assists, his third multi-assist effort of the season.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home to host the Stockton Heat on Wednesday 2/12 at 7:00pm at SAP Center.



San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda look for second straight win tonight in San Diego, a chance to move out of the cellar

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The San Jose Barracuda (6-10-0-1) got the bitter taste of defeat from Friday’s game out of their mouth and got the sweet taste of victory on Saturday with a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Eagles.

#2 The Barracuda scored six unanswered goals. Anytime you can light the lamp like that, you’re going to have a good chance to win it.

#3 After losing on Friday, it looks like a sure regroup thing. Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer had a game plan.

#4 The Cuda are trying to work their way out of the bottom of the Pacific Division occupying the cellar, but looking to have more games like they did on Saturday.

#5 The Barracuda take on the Gulls tonight in San Diego. The Cuda have had trouble with San Diego. Marko sets this game up for us.

Join Marko for all the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at

Barracuda power their way over Eagles 6-2

photo from

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda didn’t have to wait long to get revenge on the Colorado Eagles. They scored six unanswered goals, including three on the power play, to take down their Pacific Division rival 6-2 on Saturday afternoon at SAP Center.

Only 16 hours after a tough 4-1 loss to the same Eagles team, San Jose snapped out of their funk and split the two-game series with Colorado. The ‘Cuda now have 13 points on the season and went 2-2 on their four-game home stand.

San Jose (6-10-0-1) jumped out to another fast start when Alex True sent a pass back up to Thomas Gregoire at the right point. Gregoire threw a wrist shot at the net, where Lean Bergmann deflected the puck past Eagles goalie Antoine Bibeau for his fifth goal of the season at the 2:42 mark of the first period.

Just under four minutes later, San Jose doubled its lead when Joachim Blichfeld intercepted a clearing attempt by Kevin Connauton. Danil Yurtaykin quickly passed it to Joel Kellman and the Swedish forward backhanded a centering pass back to Blichfeld, who fired a one-timer past Bibeau for a tic-tac-toe goal, his team-leading seventh of the season at the 6:36 mark.

The ‘Cuda completed their first period three-goal output on the power play just a little over half way through the opening frame. A give and go passing display between Jonny Brodzinski and Gregoire led to the Quebec native teeing up a slap slot just above the slot that rocketed past Bibeau for Gregoire’s second goal of the season at the 11:10 mark.

Bibeau was sent to the showers during the first intermission as he was replaced by Adam Werner in the second period after giving three goals on 10 shots.

San Jose continued their dominance in the second period scoring two more goals. Just like the first period, both goal came in the first 10 minutes of the period.

Sasha Chmelevski, playing in his first game back since October 30th when he was out with a lower body injury, did some nifty skating into the Eagles zone as he went past two Eagles defenders before putting a backhand shot on goal that Werner stopped but couldn’t handle the rebound. Maxim Letunov’s attempt deflected over to Jeffery Viel who cleaned up the rebound into the back of the net for his fourth goal and San Jose’s second power play goal at the 2:09 mark.

“Yeah it felt great,” said Chmelevski about how healthy he feels. “I didn’t even know if I was going (to play) today with everything that’s been going on (with my injury). I just wanted to help out the team anyway I could and I’m just happy we won.”

Just under three minutes later, Letunov sent a pass behind the net that Evan Weinger collected and fed back to Jayden Halbgewachs, who quickly turned toward the net with a backhander that slid past Werner’s five-hole for Halbgewachs third goal of the season at the 4:53 mark.

Colorado (9-8-0-0) had a chance to score before heading into the second intermission when Jacob Middleton went into the sin-bin for hooking with two minutes left in the middle frame, but San Jose’s penalty kill kept the Eagles from cashing in on their opportunity.

The ‘Cuda made it 6-0 in the third period with their sixth different goal scorer when Chmelevski won a face off over to Halbgewachs. The Saskatchewan native then skated over to the right slot when he snapped a wrist shot that Chmelevski tipped past Werner for his third goal of the season and San Jose’s third power play goal of the game at the 4:27 mark.

“I feel like when we play with passion and like that will, there’s not a lot of teams that can stop us. Today I thought I provided a little bit of a spark for the team. And I thought that’s what we needed to win today,” said Chmelevski.

Colorado broke ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar’s shutout bid with a little help from the referee. A clearing attempt by Keaton Middleton hit off the ref’s skate that allowed the Eagles to sustain pressure inside the zone. After a two point-blank chances by Colin Campbell were stopped by Korenar, the rebound trickled out to a wide-open Erik Condra who tapped it into an empty net for his third goal of the season at the 10:12 mark.

Sheldon Dries completed the scoring when he came crashing in to put home a rebound off a Jayson Megna shot was kicked out to the left of the crease for a power play goal. Dries’ eighth goal of the season came at the 15:50 mark.

Korenar finished the afternoon stopping 39 of the 41 shots he faced for his fifth victory of the season. Werner nine saves on 12 shots in mop-up duty.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 3/7 on the power play. Colorado was 1/3. The three power play goals for the ‘Cuda were a season-high.

The three stars of the game were…
1) Chmelevski
2) Korenar
3) Gregoire

The announced attendance was 3,385.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel down to San Diego to take on the Gulls on Wendesday 11/27 at 7:00 pm at Pechanga Arena.

Eagles take down the Barracuda 4-1

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda are trying to stay afloat through stormy waters. They put forth a better effort from the other night against Tucson but still ended up on short end of the stick of a 4-1 victory by the Colorado Eagles on Friday evening at the SAP Center.

With the win, Colorado has now won two of their last three games after splitting a two-game series with the Bakersfield Condors last weekend. For San Jose, their woes continue with back-to-back losses and eight out of their last nine games.

Colorado (9-7-0-0) drew first blood in the first period. The Eagles sustained pressure in the ‘Cuda zone as Mark Alt kept the puck in and fed a pass over to Erik Condra. Condra skated near the right slot when he threw a shot on net that was tipped in by Sheldon Dries for his seventh goal of the season at the 6:29 mark.

Despite outshooting the Eagles 11-9 and having some good scoring chances late, the ‘Cuda went into the first intermission down by a goal in a penalty-free opening 20 minutes.

“It’s just tough right now,” said ‘Cuda head coach Roy Sommer. “We make a mistake and it’s in (the back of) our net. That’s kind how things are going for us right now.”

Colorado doubled its lead just 32 seconds to start the third period. Nick Henry centered a pass from the left faceoff circle over to Julien Nantel, who was all alone camped out just to the right of the crease. After his inital shot was saved by ‘Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge, a Quebec native, put away the rebound chance for fourth goal of the season.

San Jose (5-10-0-1) cut the deficit in half on the power play. From the point, Jeremy Roy fed a pass over to Noah Gregor, who skated in and from the left slot wired a wrist shot that beat Eagles goalie Adam Werner, who was screened on the play by Alex True, for his second goal of the season at the 13:32 mark. Maxim Letunov was credited with the secondary assist.

Gregor’s goal sent the Tank into a frenzy of stuffed animals being thrown onto the ice in the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night the ‘Cuda have put on since moving to Silicon Valley from Worcester, Massachusetts five years ago.

“Yeah, it was cool,” said Gregor when asked how it felt to play Santa Claus for one night. “Teddy bear toss games are fun, fun for the fans. It was nice to get the one goal for myself and see the teddies fly (on to the ice).”

Shots were even at 10-10 in the middle frame. One of them Shortridge could have been charged with grand theft when he made a point blank save on Nantel with just over 11 minutes remaining that helped shift the momentum in San Jose’s favor.

San Jose had a golden opportunity to even the game midway through the third period when both Ty Lewis and Kevin Connauton went to the penalty box 63 seconds apart. However, the ‘Cuda sqaundered the 5-on-3 power play as Colorado killed it off and seized back control of the game.

“The bottom line is the five-on-three we don’t score on,” said Sommer. “That was the game right there. That’s kind of (opportunity) what you wait for and (we) didn’t get it done.”

Colorado iced the game with two empty-net goals with under a minute remaining in the game. First, Jacob McDonald fired a long shot from inside his own defensive zone after winning a battle along the boards for his fifth goal at the 19:16 mark. Then, Michael Joly won a race to a loose puck and put the biscuit in the basket for his fifth goal at the 19:31 mark.

Werner stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced to earn his sixth win of the season. Shortridge made 23 saves on 25 shots in their losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/5 on the power play. Colorado was 0/2.

Eagles forward Josh Dickinson left the game with a lower body injury early in the first period.

Fisticuffs! San Jose’s Jacob Middleton and Colorado’s Dan Renouf dropped the gloves in a fight that had two hits, one by Middleton and Renouf hitting the ice after just one punch.

San Jose Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow scored the first ever Teddy Bear Toss goal when he was a member of the ‘Cuda back on November 7th, 2015.

The announced crowd was 3,923.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda conclude their four-game homestand on Saturday, November 23 vs. the Eagles at 1:15 pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda host Bakersfield in Wednesday matinee at SAP Center

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The Barracuda (3-3-0) are coming off a split in Colorado last Friday and Saturday nights taking the second game. How important is it for the Cuda to get that split going into Wednesday’s game against the Bakersfield Condors (3-4-0)?

#2 The Barracuda not only got the win last Saturday in Colorado (4-3-0) in game 2, but they threw a shutout 4-0 after getting beat on Friday night.

#3 Cuda goalie Josef Korenar (2-2-0) made 31 saves to collect his first shutout of the season and his fifth of his AHL career.

#4 The game last Saturday against the Eagles was the Barracuda’s 150th victory in franchise history.

#5 The Condors are a team that could give the Barracuda fits and their looking to pick up their fifth win. Meanwhile, the Barracuda have won two of their last five games and have home ice for today’s matinee.

Marko does the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at

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.

Eagles’ quick start dooms Barracuda in 4-2 win

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The Colorado Eagles used two goals in the first three minutes of the first period to take down the San Jose Barracuda 4-2 in the first game of the two-game weekend series on Friday evening at Budwiser Events Center.

Michael Joly got things started just 69 seconds into the opening 20 minutes when he scored an unassisted goal with a shot that beat Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge (1-1) for Joly’s fourth goal of the season.

Nick Henry joined the scoring party under two minutes later when he scored his first goal of the season at the 2:53 mark. Collin Campbell and Kevin Connauton picked up assists on the play.

Neither team scored in the second period. Colorado had a chance to take a three-goal lead 55 seconds into the middle frame when Cuda captain John McCarthy went to the sin-bin for hooking. However San Jose’s penalty kill came through to keep them in it heading into the third period.

San Jose (2-3-0-0) cut the lead in half at the 7:33 mark of the third period when Lean Bergmann scored his first AHL goal after beating Eagles goalie Adam Werner (4-1) with a wrist shot. Joel Kellman and Evan Weinger received assists on Bergmann’s goal.

Colorado (4-2-0-0) extended their lead to 3-0 less than three minutes later with an insurance goal when Julien Nantel scored his first goal of the season at the 10:27 mark. Campbell and Henry were credited with assists.

San Jose wouldn’t go down quietly when defenseman Keaton Middleton scored his first goal of the season with just under five minutes remaining in the game. Bergmann and Jeremy Roy assisted on Keaton’s goal.

T.J. Tynan iced the game for Colorado with an empty net goal with 1:03 left in the game as the Cuda pulled Shortridge for an extra attacker.

Werner made 33 saves on 35 shots in earning his fourth win of the season. Shortridge made 23 saves on 26 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/3 on the power play. Colorado was 0/2.

Forward Sasha Chmelevski led the Cuda with five shots on goal.

UP NEXT: Both teams faceoff against each other once again on Saturday, October 26 at 6:05 pm at the Budweiser Events Center.