Barracuda defeats Condors 2-1 for Coach Roy Sommer’s 700th career AHL win

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By: Alexandra Evans

BAKERSFIELD–First things first, the San Jose Barracuda’s win over the Bakersfield Condors tonight marked their coach Roy Sommer’s 700th career win, the most wins of any coach in AHL history.

Roster update: Marcus Sorensen was called up to the Sharks yesterday. He exceeds all Barracuda players in points with 14, and ranks T-2nd in goals (5) and assists (9). Manuel Wiederer has also returned to the ice following a concussion. Also, defenseman Michael Brodzinski was moved to the forward position, playing right wing for the evening.

Both teams excelled defensively in the first period, though the Cuda could not manage to make it past the Condors’ defense and were, at one point, outshot 9-0. Forward Iiro Pakarinen, who was recently reassigned to the Condors from the Edmonton Oilers (their NHL affiliate), made a wrist shot over Cuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau’s to give the Condors a 1-0 lead on the power play at the 12:42. Defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald tied the score at 16:51 with a wrist shot from the blue line, assisted by Jeremy Roy and Rudolfs Balcers. The score remained tied 1-1 at the end of the first period.

Each team held one another scoreless in the second period, at the end of which the Condors had 19 shots compared to the Cuda’s nine. Wiederer handed the Cuda a 2-1 victory when he notched a goal, his second of the season, at 8:42, assisted by John McCarthy and Jacob Middleton.

Bibeau made 30 saves on 31 shots for his fifth straight win this season, defeating Condors goaltender Eddie Pasquale who made 18 saves on 20 shots.

The Cuda will face the Condors, who beat them 6-0 in the preseason, another nine times this season. They are back at home on Wednesday, December 6 to face the Stockton Heat.

Barracuda Defenseman Michael Brodzinski – Profile

Photo: sjbarracuda.com

SAN JOSE—“Those first few steps [on the ice] are huge in moving on to different levels [of hockey], and just seeing yourself getting better every day is a huge accomplishment,” defenseman Michael Brodzinski said of his earliest days on skates.

Born in Ham Lake, Minnesota to a family of hockey stars, Brodzinski, 22, was placed on the ice as soon as he could walk. His father, a lifelong hockey player, played for both the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University, the latter for which all three of his brothers previously played or have committed to.

Originally selected by the Sharks in 2013 (141st overall), Brodzinski first played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and then took the college route, playing for Minnesota while studying Business Marketing. In 2015-2016, he made his AHL debut with the Barracuda, appearing in six games total that season. The following season, he played in nine games with the Cuda and 37 with the Allen Americans of the ECHL.

Brodzinski scored his first AHL goal this season, and it was the most impressive of any player thus far. During their second away game against the Cleveland Monsters (who had beat them the day before), the match remained entirely scoreless. With one second left in the overtime interval, Brodzinski got the monkey off his back (as he described the moment) and scored on Matiss Kivlenieks, Cleveland’s goalie.

Since relocating to San Jose, in addition to the weather, Brodzinski has been enjoying the Northern California beaches, a far cry from Lake Superior, the closest landmark Minnesota has to a beach.

Fun fact: Brodzinski’s older brother, Jonny, 24, plays for the Ontario Reign and notched the hat trick in their 4-2 win over the Cuda on November 1 (one of the goals went off of Michael himself). Jonny was selected 148th overall by the LA Kings in 2013. The two brothers last played alongside one another at Blaine High School in their home state.