Photo credit: San Jose Barracuda Twitter (@sjbarracuda)
San Jose — The San Jose Barracuda lost to the Tuscon Roadrunners 4-3 in overtime at SAP Center on Thursday night.
The Barracuda and Roadrunners competed against each other for the final time in the 2016-17 AHL regular season. The Barracuda players sported their alternate orange jerseys in the final regular season home game. The game included fan pack giveaways, season ticket holder tribute videos and a huge “thank you” to the fans who have supported the Barracuda throughout the season.
The Roadrunners took a 1-0 lead at 11:08 of the first period. Tyler Gaudet picked up a pass from Conor Garland and put it into the net, beating Troy Grosenick for his fifth goal of the season.
Jeremy Morin was called for cross-checking at 10:24. John McCarthy then tipped in a Joakim Ryan shot to notch his 19th goal of the season, a power-play goal, tying the game 1-1 just 20 seconds later.
Both teams skated to a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes. The Barracuda outshot the Roadrunners 12-5.
The Barracuda went ahead 2-1 just 4:30 into the second period. Buddy Robinson fired a bullet type shot past Adin Hill’s left ear for his 16th goal of the season.
The Barracuda outshot the Roadrunners 20-10 and brought a 2-1 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes.
Things started to get chippy with 9:34 left in the third period. Julius Bergman and Joe Whitney dropped the gloves for an action-packed fight.
The Barracuda made it a 3-1 game with 6:37 left in the period. Dan Kelly tried to take shots at Eric Selleck and Jarred Tinordi. After reviewing the play, the officials told Selleck to sit in the box. Danny O’Regan scored his 23rd goal of the season on the power play.
The Roadrunners pulled within one as Morin scored his 14th goal of the season against his former team. Jamie McBain followed with a game-tying goal, his eighth of the season, with 40 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Things got even more heated in the extra period. Chris Mueller wristed a shot into the net, but Grosenick collided in the crease and the puck seemed to have crossed the goal line. Despite the alleged violation, the officials ruled it as a good goal. Mueller’s game-winner, his 19th of the season, lifted the Roadrunners (28-31-8-0) to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Barracuda (43-16-3-5). Hill finished with 24 saves for Tuscon.
Grosenick made 21 saves in a losing effort for San Jose.
“We live and learn,” Grosenick said. “So I did and we’ll move on and I’m not too worried about it.”
“We got to learn how to close these games,” McCarthy said. “It’s disappointing.”
“Yeah,” Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer said when asked about the “weird” ending. “Not the one we wanted, that’s for sure…The whole thing was about details and we forgot about them…We got caught deep on the tying goal and had a turnover on the second goal…We were going pretty good, but you lose a game, and you learn a lesson, hopefully.”
In preparation for the playoffs, Sommer shared a couple of thoughts on the Barracuda.
Sommer said: “We’re a skating team so we can’t get mixed up in there. They’ve got seven or eight guys and we got a couple of them…The other night, we outshot them 52-25 or something so I think once the playoffs come around, we’ll be better.”
Sommer was voted the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2016-17 season.
Sommer thanked the media members after they congratulated him on winning the award.
Grosenick was voted the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for 2016-17.
Barracuda forward Danny O’Regan was voted the winner of the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as an outstanding rookie for 2016-17.
“It was definitely a great honor to win the award,” O’Regan said. “I think it was a really cool award…It’s a good test to me and my team and what we did this year as a team.”
Despite receiving the award, O’Regan told the media that he’s not sure if he’ll have a better chance in getting called up by the Sharks again and staying with the team.
“It’s always tough getting in the zone with that team,” O’Regan said when asked about the Barracuda’s power play. “We just need to work hard to get some pucks back in the other unit.”
The Barracuda conclude the regular season against the Bakersfield Condors (32-28-5-1) at Rabobank Arena on Saturday night. The action starts at 6:00 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.