DeSimone’s late heroics lift Barracuda to 4-3 victory over Roadrunners

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

TUCSON, Ariz. — Nick DeSimone scored the game-winning goal with 24 seconds left in the third period as the San Jose Barracuda rallied back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Tucson Roadrunners 4-3 on Wednesday afternoon at Tucson Convention Center Arena.

In the first period, Kevin Hancock opened up the scoring at 6:17 mark as Ryan McGregor and former Bakersfield Condor’ Cameron Hebig picked up the assists. Less than a minute later, Blake Speers doubled Tucson’s lead to 2-0.

The Barracuda were outshot 13-to-12 in the opening 20 minutes.

In the middle frame, sophomore forward Joachim Blichfeld found paydirt at 11:28, cutting Tucson’s lead in half.

The Barracuda outshot Tucson 15-7 in the second for a two period total of 27-20.

In the third period, rookie forward Brandon Coe would even the score with his first professional goal at 3:53 as Karlis Cukste picked up the only assist. Blichfeld scored his second of the game at 15:02, netting his team-leading third goal of the preseason, giving the Barracuda a 3-2 lead.

With 1:24 left to go, Lane Pederson leveled the score at 3-3 on the power-play. But exactly one minute later, DeSimone’s late goal magic gave the Barracuda its lead back, and the eventual 4-3 win.

Josef Korenar (1-1-0-1) made 22 saves on 25 shots to collect his first victory of exhibition play. Ivan Prosvetov suffered the loss, allowing four goals on 36 shots.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda are back in action on Friday, 1/29 in Las Vegas, as they square off with the newest member of the AHL, the Henderson Silver Knights, at 7 pm PT.

Barracuda Defenseman Nick DeSimone – Profile

Photo credit: @njdes

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—Growing up in a family of hockey players, one would have expected Nick DeSimone to take up the sport at some point. After years of being influenced by his father, a former player, and watching his older brother, Phil, on the ice, DeSimone decided to follow along. His parents supported his then-new found love.

The 6 feet 2 inch, 195-pound defenseman, 22, hails from East Amherst, New York and was a staunch supporter of the Buffalo Sabres growing up. He played three years of college hockey at Union College in Schenectady, New York, which, he noted, was a dream come true for him prior to signing with San Jose; the latter feat, he says, has been greatest milestone in his athletic career thus far.

Before his collegiate-level stint, DeSimone spent one year with the Connecticut Oilers (EJHL) and one with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL), the latter in which he put up 51 points in 52 games (how’s that for a solid season of two-way plays?).

Since entering the professional leagues, DeSimone says he has learned to “be smarter” on the ice.

“It’s kind of a chess match,” he describes. “College was more of a run-and-gun, pros are more strategic.”

Today, DeSimone credits notable NHL defensemen Brent Burns, Drew Doughty, and Erik Karlsson as his primary influences; all three have been awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy.

DeSimone is one of the top AHL prospects for the Sharks. He has yet to make his NHL debut, though he was called up to one Sharks preseason game against Anaheim. From September’s Prospect Showcase to the present, he has showed some solid two-way skills, though as the season progresses his chances of earning a spot on the Sharks roster will become more detectable.

Off the ice, DeSimone, like most East Coast natives who relocate to California, is enjoying the sunny, snow-free weather of the Bay Area.

Sharks Preseason 2017: San Jose Wins 5-3 to End Preseason

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

by M. Walsh

After two losses in a row, and six periods without a goal, the Sharks finished the preseason with a 5-3 win in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights. The game winner came on the power play from young defenseman Nick DeSimone. Goaltender Aaron Dell stopped 20 of 22 shots in the first half of the game, while Troy Grosenick stopped 14 of 15 in the second half. For Las Vegas, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 of 32 shots.

NHL regulars to skate for San Jose included Joel Ward, Chris Tierney, Mikkel Boedker, Joonas Donskoi and Brandon Bollig. Dylan DeMelo was the most veteran defenseman. John McCarthy and Barclay Goodrow, AHL veterans with significant NHL time under their belts, skated as well.

The Sharks were outshot 13-6 in the first period. Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas scored first at 8:08. The Sharks had an offensive zone draw but McCarthy lost it to Haula. As the puck bounced around behind Fleury’s net, Haula predicted its path well enough to reach it in the slot and took off down the ice before McCarthy or Simek could catch him.

Late in the period, DeSimone went to the box for holding the stick. During an abbreviated 4 on 3 power play, David Perron was unable to hold the puck in after Radim Simek cleared it from in front of the net. Marcus Sorensen was there, chasing the puck out and he had momentum on his side when the puck slid over the blue line. Perron and Vadim Shipachyov both gave chase. DeSimone pulled up as Fleury came out to meet him on the edge of the blue paint. DeSimone moved the puck to his left while diving over Fleury’s legs to tap the puck in. Simek got the assist on the tying goal.

The Sharks picked up their game in the second, scoring twice and outshooting Vegas 13-9. At 4:28, Chris Tierney scored on a power play while Jason Garrison sat in the box for tripping. It only took seven seconds for the team to get set up. Joel Ward sent the puck to the blue line where Tim Heed caught it and sent it to Dylan Demelo, who shot it. Tierney tipped it in for San Jose’s first lead in seven periods.

Near the halfway point of the period, Ryan Carpenter redirected a stray puck out of the Sharks zone, to Barclay Goodrow along the neutral zone boards. Finding himself free to do so, Goodrow skated to the faceoff circle and put a shot over Fleury’s left shoulder. It was the Sharks’ only even-strength goal of the game.

Two minutes later, the Sharks thwarted a three on two rush from Vegas, but could not get the puck back out before David Perron got control of the puck along the blue line. After a moment’s reflection, he took the long shot and scored. William Karlsson got the assist.

After that goal, the shot count was 22-11 Las Vegas.

A couple of minutes later, Cody Eakin carried the puck around behind the Sharks net and found Colin Miller just crossing the blue line. Eakin’s pass reached Miller perfectly for a quick shot to tie the game. Assists went to Eakin and Shea Theodore.

Tied going into the third, the game winner came on a power play just past the halfway mark. After surviving a three on two short-handed rush, the Sharks went the other way quickly enough to keep the Knights from getting their penalty kill set back up. A shot from Daniel O’Regan produced a rebound that DeSimone was able to push under Fleury. Assists went to O’Regan and Timo Meier.

The Knights pulled Fleury with 1:45 left, and used their timeout. The Sharks kept the Knights to the outside of their zone until the final 30 seconds when Grosenick stopped a shot from Schmidt and kicked it right up into the slot. Luckily, Joel Ward was there to help it along, all the way down and into the empty net.

Ironically, Timo Meier and Mikkel Boedker led the Sharks forwards in shots on goal with four each, yet came away with just one assist between them. For the Knights, Jason Marchessault got credit for seven shots on goal.

The Sharks will play their first regular season game on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers in San Jose. The game starts at 7:30 PM PT.

Barracuda suffer 3-2 overtime loss, lose out on MacGregor Kilpatrick Trophy

Photo credit: San Jose Barracuda Twitter (@sjbarracuda)

Bakersfield — The San Jose Barracuda concluded the regular season on a negative note with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Bakersfield Condors at Rabobank Arena on Saturday night.

Both teams skated to a scoreless tie after 20 minutes. Shots were 9-3 in favor of the Barracuda.

The Barracuda took a 1-0 lead 1:42 into the second period. Buddy Robinson finished a tic-tac-toe play from Danny O’Regan and Julius Bergman. Robinson scored his 17th goal of the season and tied the entire Condors team with three shots on goal apiece during the first 24 minutes of the game.

The Condors tied the game 1-1 at 12:33 when Josh Currie dangled on Tim Heed and forced it past Troy Grosenick for the short-handed goal and 20th of the season.

The Barracuda outshot the Condors 23-7 and the score was tied 1-1 after 40 minutes.

Currie scored his second goal of the game and 21st of the season to put the Condors ahead 2-1 at 18:40 of the third period.

The Barracuda tied the game 2-2 just 23 seconds later. Nick DeSimone scored his first AHL goal and point. DeSimone collected a pass from Noah Rod and managed to beat Grosenick.

Neither team was able to get ahead and both teams were tied 2-2 after 60 minutes. The Barracuda outshot the Condors 37-14.

Currie completed his hat trick with the game-winning goal, his 22nd of the season, at 1:25 of the overtime period. The Condors beat the Barracuda 3-2 in overtime. Nick Ellis finished with 35 saves for Bakersfield.

The Barracuda (43-16-4-5) dropped a 3-2 decision to the Condors (33-29-5-1). Grosenick made 12 saves in a losing effort for San Jose. They were just one point shy of winning the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy. The Wikes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (50-20-3-2) won the award.

After being named to the first AHL All-Star Team last week, Grosenick collected some more hardware on Monday, earning the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the 2016-17 season.

The AHL announced Wednesday that Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer was voted the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for 2016-17.

The AHL announced Thursday that O’Regan has been named the winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding rookie for 2016-17.

Heed wasn’t selected to the AHL All-Star Game in Lehigh Valley in late January, but was voted to the second AHL All-Star Team last week.

Up Next
The Barracuda will host the Stockton Heat in Game 1 in their first-round series of the Calder Cup Playoffs. The action starts next Friday in SAP Center at 7:00 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.