Barracuda chase down Roadrunners 3-2

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

Another great comeback for the San Jose Barracuda tonight! The team traveled to the desert to face the Tucson Roadrunners, who previously defeated them 3-1 on Friday night in San Jose.

Tucson, who is ranked #1 in the Pacific Division of the AHL, netted a goal less than three minutes in (at 2:13), courtesy of Jens Looke. San Jose earned a five-on-three power play opportunity, but failed to take advantage of it. However, not long after, Tim Clifton scored his first professional goal–a rebound off of Tucson’s goalie, Hunter Miska–tying the score 1-1 with just over four minutes remaining in the first 20 minutes. San Jose exceeded Tucson in shots on goal 13-9.

Jon Martin wanted in on the scoring action and scored two and a half minutes into the second period to double San Jose’s score. Emerson Clark assisted the goal, and also had his first fight as a member of the Barracuda 12 and a half minutes in. It was at this point that Clark and Tucson’s Tye McGinn were sent to the penalty box for fighting (McGinn was also penalized for slashing), making the game a four-on-four play. Almost a minute later (at 11:39), Mario Kempe scored for Tucson and tied the score again, which remained 2-2 until the third period.

Very quickly into the final interval, Jeremy Roy located Alex True passed him the puck from the blue line, allowing True to give San Jose a 3-2 lead. San Jose’s defense (and starting goalie Antoine Bibeau) remained sound throughout the final 20 minutes, and they took home the 3-2 victory.

Bibeau blocked 23 shots out of 25, not allowing a single goal in the final period. Bibeau defeated Miska, who stopped 24 shots out of 27.

San Jose will face Tucson again in the desert on Wednesday night before returning home this weekend for a doubleheader against the Bakersfield Condors.

Roster update: Sharks defenseman Paul Martin has been assigned to the Barracuda for conditioning purposes as he recently returned to the ice after a two-month recovery from an ankle injury.

Additionally, Danny O’Regan has been called up to the Sharks again as they prepare to face the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames in Canada later this week.

California AHL rivals, Reign and Barracuda, face each other for the 4th time this month, Reign takes home the crown with a 3-0 win

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—The San Jose Barracuda followed Thanksgiving with another match against their cross-state rival, the Ontario Reign, whom they have now faced four times this month. Tonight, the Reign refused to give up their crown and defeated the Cuda 3-0 over the course of seven minutes (all in the final period).

Roster update: This afternoon, the Cuda welcomed forward Marc-Olivier Roy who closed a professional tryout agreement with the club. Roy, originally selected 56th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2013, was acquired from the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL and currently has 16 points (five goals and 11 assists).

The first period remained utterly silent, with the exception of strong defensive plays from both teams. Neither team took a penalty, and the board remained numberless. The Cuda picked up a man-advantage (the only one of the match) just over two minutes into the second period when Reign forward Paul LaDue was benched for tripping. Cuda defenseman Jeremy Roy took a shot off the far post which would have been his third goal of the season. The Cuda fired two more shots which were deflected off the post, keeping the game scoreless. At 18:13, both Jon Martin (San Jose) and Stepan Falkovsky (Ontario) were sent to the penalty box for roughing. This resulted in a two-minute four-on-four play, on which neither team gained an advantage offensively.

The Reign turned things around in the third period (which began with the remaining 13 seconds of the four-on-four play) when Stepan Falkovsky appeared from left point and scored at 1:57, giving the Reign the lead. Less than three minutes later, at 4:25, Brett Sutter fired the puck from the slot to make the score 2-0. Wanting in on the action, Justin Auger took a pass from Mike Amadio and found the back of the net (and his way past Cuda goaltender Parker Gahagen) at the seven-minute mark. The Cuda remained scoreless through the remaining 13 minutes of play, taking their third loss to Ontario this month.

Gahagen made his professional debut tonight and, even though he allowed three goals on 27 shots, he fought hard and his determination never wore thin. Ontario’s Cal Petersen, the No. 2 AHL goaltender, stopped all of the San Jose’s 23 shots, got his second career shutout and a second consecutive win over the Cuda.

San Jose, now 7-8, will host Pucks and Paws Night on Sunday afternoon (3pm) as they take on the San Diego Gulls.

In case you were wondering how the Cuda celebrated Turkey Day, check out the photo below from their team dinner in Ontario on Thursday night:

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Credit: @sjbarracuda

Roy Scores First Pro Goal To Help Cuda Steal Crown From Reign, Beating Ontario 1-0

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—It’s rivalry weekend! The Barracuda had their first match of a weekend-long doubleheader against the Ontario Reign on Saturday afternoon. In hopes of a retaliation against the Reign’s 4-2 win on November 1, the Cuda stole their crown and shut them out 1-0.

Roster updates: Danny O’Regan was called up to the Sharks this morning from the Cuda, and Johnny Brodzinski, brother of Cuda defenseman Michael Brodzinski who scored a hat trick against the Cuda, was called up to the Kings from the Reign yesterday.

Both the Reign and Cuda defense were strong in the first period, and the Cuda appeared to be good on offense as a number of their shots were aimed directly between the posts of the net (in contrast with the Reign, most of whose shots ended up hitting the wall), though Jack Campbell managed to shut them all out. At the end, the Cuda outshot the Reign 11-9 and the score was 0-0, neither team having taken advantage of the power play.

Offense picked up in the second period as defenseman Jeremy Roy scored just after the 2:00 mark with an assist from Tim Clifton. This was Roy’s first goal of the season, as well as his first professional one. The Cuda held the Reign scoreless throughout the second, who outshot them by one. However, the Cuda were not able to succeed on the man advantage yet again. The Cuda kept a 1-0 lead through the third period.

“Jeremy is getting better and better every game,” Coach Roy Sommer said after the match. “This is why [the Sharks] drafted him… his thing is producing points. He did that in juniors, that’s why he was such a high pick (31st overall in 2015). He’s not only defensive. He gets out of trouble, but he’s also got some offense to his game.”

Cuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau recorded his second shutout of the season (side note: I asked Bibeau, in French, how he feels after a shutout. He responded that it provides him with feelings of great satisfaction and contentment); Bibeau blocked all of the Reign’s 31 shots, whereas Reign goaltender Jack Campbell stopped 30 shots out of 31 (which still exemplifies strong netminding).

The Cuda, who are now 6-6, are back on tomorrow against the Reign at 3:00 p.m.

Sharks Add Nabokov as Goaltending Coach, Camp Opens Friday

By Mary Walsh

With training camp starting Friday, the Sharks formally added Evgeni Nabokov to their coaching roster, as goaltending development coach and special assignment scout. The Sharks have also signed defenseman Jeremy Roy to an entry level contract.

The addition of Nabokov to the coaching staff was not surprising, as he had already been spotted on the ice during prospect camp practices. Of the former Sharks goaltender, Sharks GM Doug Wilson said, in the team press release: “Nabby’s career speaks for itself and he is one of the most beloved players to ever play for our franchise,” said Wilson. He will be a tremendous asset to our young, developing goaltenders. I have great respect for him as a hockey person and as a man.”

The press release also summarized Nabokov’s playing career:

Nabokov finished his remarkable career ranked 18th on the NHL’s all-time wins list (353), 17th in shutouts (59) and 25th in games played by a goaltender (697). He appeared in 86 career Stanley Cup Playoff games (22nd all-time), and ranks 23rd all-time in postseason wins (42) and T-20th in postseason shutouts (7). He helped lead the Sharks to two of their three franchise Western Conference Final appearances (2004, 2010). In 697 career NHL games with San Jose, the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning, Nabokov posted a 353-227-29-71 record, with a 2.44 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage and 59 shutouts.

Sunday, the Sharks announced that they had signed their 2015 2nd round pick, defenseman Jeremy Roy, to an entry level contract. Roy spent the past two seasons in the QMJHL, and represented Canada at the U-18 World Junior Championships last season. He recorded four points in that tournament, on the way to a bronze medal for his team.

On Friday, the Sharks training camp officially kicks off at Sharks Ice in San Jose. Group A will skate at 9:30, with Group B taking the ice at 11:45. The team is scheduled to skate again Saturday and Sunday at the same times. They will be in Vancouver for preseason games Monday and Tuesday.