Barracuda power their way over Eagles 6-2

photo from sjbarracuda.com

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 http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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

photo from sjbarracuda.com

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.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda look to improve their game against the Reign; Ontario beats SJ twice already

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the SJ Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The Ontario Reign scored three first period goals in their win over the San Jose Barracuda at SAP Center on Saturday.

#2 Josef Korenar, the Barracuda goalie, recorded his second loss of the season facing three goals on 17 shots.

#3 The Cuda’s Carl Grunstrom and Tobias Bjorn each scored goals in their AHL debuts.

#4 Nick DeSimone collected his first goal of the season and the Barracuda goal of the first period.

#5 The Barracuda open up the first of two games on Friday against the Colorado Eagles to be played in Colorado.

Marko does the SJ Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Reign take down Barracuda in 5-2 victory in SJ

sjbarracuda.com photo: After the Ontario Reign defeated the San Jose Barracuda back on opening day 5-0 the Reign came calling on Saturday at SAP Center in San Jose and beat the Barracuda again 5-2.

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- The Ontario Reign lived by the quality over quantity moto as they scored three-first period goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday afternoon at SAP Center.

The game featured the first AHL action for forwards Lean Bergmann and Danil Yurtaykin, who both recently were reassigned to the Barracuda after spending the first two weeks of the season with the parent club Sharks.

Ontario (3-2-0-0) drew first blood halfway through the first period. Carl Grundstrom was cherry-picking at center ice when he received a long feed from Martin Frk. Grundstrom skated in all alone and wired a wrist shot from the left slot that beat Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for first goal of the season at the 9:18 mark.

San Jose (2-2-0-0) tied it up less than 90 seconds later when Alex True won a face inside the Reign zone. Joachim Blichfeld tapped it back to the point over to Nick DeSimone, who sent a rocket top-shelf over the left shoulder of Reign goalie Cal Petersen for his first goal of the season at the 10:46 mark.

Ontario regained the lead on the power play. Rasmus Kupari entered into the Cuda zone and fed a drop pass to the left point over to Tobias Bjornfot. The Swedish defenseman sent a innocent looking wrist shot, that fooled Korenar, into the back of the net for his first goal of the season at the 13:19 mark.

The Reign went into the first intermission with a two-goal lead when Brett Sutter centered a pass from behind the goal line that kicked off the skate of Lance Bouma into the back of the net for his second goal of the season with 24 seconds remaining in the opening 20 minutes. San Jose head coach Roy Sommer challenged the call believing that Bouma used a kicking motion, but after a replay review, the call was upheld.

Tonight (we got) kind of behind the 8-ball”, said Sommer. “Down 3-1, especially the first 10 minutes we were all over them. (Then) they’d come down and score, come down and score. The one that killed us was the one with 24 seconds left in the first (period).”

The Cuda made it a one-goal game late in the second period. Joel Kellman sent a pass up to Lean Bergman that ended up on a two-on-two with Jonny Brodzinski. Bergman stopped on a dime, spun around with a back hand pass over to Brodzinski who was able to chip the puck over the stick of Petersen for his second goal of the season at the 13:15 mark.

“You know I played a lot today”, said Bergmann after being a healthy scratch the past few games with the Sharks. “Playing a lot is always good. Just get more comfortable with the (Sommer’s) system. Just learning everything (I can).”

San Jose controlled the play in the third period. However, despite out shooting Ontario 14-5 and creating all kinds of havoc in front of Petersen, the Reign goaltender made many key stops throughout the final 20 minutes, frustrating the Cuda for a second straight time this season.

Ontario wrapped up the game with two empty net goals with under a minute remaining when San Jose pulled Korenar for an extra attacker. First Frk scored his fourth goal of the season with 1:10 left to seal the deal for Ontario. Then Grundstrom finished off his two-goal afternoon with his own empty netter with 15 second left in the game.

“I was actually happen with our game”, said Cuda captain John McCarthy. “We carried the pace of play. They were opportunistic on their chances and it came back to bite us (in the end).”

Petersen finished his busy afternoon stopping 32 shots of the 34 he faced to earn his third win of the season. Korenar made 14 saves on 17 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/3 on the power play. Ontario was 1/3.

Fisticuffs! Cuda’s Keaton Middleton danced the tango with Ontario’s Boko Imama at 11:36 of the second period.

Sasha Chmelevski, Manny Wiederer and Evan Weinger were healthy scratches.

UP NEXT: San Jose travels out to Colorado to take on the Eagles on Friday 10/25 at 6:05pm.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda to open season Friday in Ontario

sjbarracuda.com file photo: Alexander True (70) one of the few members of the San Jose Barracuda is on the bubble to go to the big club, the San Jose Sharks. The Barracuda open this Friday at Ontario for the 2019-20 season.

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The SJ Barracuda didn’t waste anytime getting a two-game sweep over the Colorado Eagles at Solar4America Ice on Friday and Saturday nights.

#2 What’s it like for Antoine Bibeau playing for the Eagles and coming back to face his old teammates in San Jose?

#3 Were the two games with the Barracuda and Eagles more of snapshot to see the prospects and up-and-coming players as head coach Roy Sommer prepares for the regular season?

#4 Do you get an indication from the Barracuda that their offensive prowess hasn’t lost a step and they should be offensive ready for opening night on Friday?

#5 In winning the two games over the Eagles and knowing and playing with Bibeau, was that an advantage for the Barracuda in keying on taking shots on him?

Marko does the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: After record-setting game against Eagles, Cuda start three-game road trip

Photo credit: sjbarracuda.com

On the San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic:

#1 The San Jose Barracuda, in their record-setting 9-0 victory, got off quick with two goals to start the first period.

#2 The Colorado Eagles came in with a nine-game win streak and it was kind of amazing their streak got snapped with that kind of definition by the Barracuda.

#3 The Cuda are a in a three-way tie with the Eagles and the San Diego Gulls for second place with 70 points and 11 games left.

#4 The Eagles are 11 games over .500. How surprising after winning nine straight that they would have such a poor defensive game? Was it a matter that they were due for a bad game like this or were they tired and flat?

#5 The Cuda open a three-game road trip with the Tucson Roadrunners this Saturday and Sunday and San Diego next Thursday.

Marko does the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda looking for next win as Colorado comes in for two

sjbarracudapodcast.com file: San Jose Barracuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau (34) and the Cuda will host the Colorado Eagles this Saturday and Sunday at SAP Center in San Jose.

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

The way the game between the Stockton Heat and the San Jose Barracuda the Cuda looked like they were going to be on a five-game losing streak as they were able to snap the losing streak at four on Sunday 5-4 in a shootout.

It was one of those games where they were not playing good hockey. It was a game where the Heat scored the first two goals in the first period, and when you play catch up hockey like that, it’s not a good formula to win games.

Listen for more as Marko brings you analysis of San Jose Barracuda hockey each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com