Reign win seasaw battle over Barracuda 4-2

sjbarracuda.com photo

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- Luck can be tricky thing. In a game they mostly dominated, the San Jose Barracuda were on the end of some tough luck in a 4-2 loss to the Ontario Reign on Wednesday evening at SAP Center.

A fluky bounce led to a 2-on-0 breakaway for Giovanni Fiore who lifted a backhand top-shelf past ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for what proved to be the game winning goal, Fiore’s fourth of the season, at the 10:52 mark of the third period.

Both teams split their last two games against each other. San Jose is 3-5-0-1 on the season against its SoCal rival. Ontario have a seven game winning streak on the road and jumped ahead of San Diego for fourth place and the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division with 60 points.

Ontario (27-20-5-1) drew first blood on the power play in the first period. The Reign took advantage of a 5-on-3 opportunity. Paul LaDue sent in a shot from the left point that was initially saved by Korenar but the rebound leaked out to Carl Grundstrom who buried it home for his 11th goal of the season at the 10:57 mark.

The Reign hadn’t registered a shot on goal for almost the first 11 minutes of the opening frame until their two-man advantage. The ‘Cuda (17-27-3-2) had outshot the Reign 8-0 but goalie Matt Villalta made key point blank saves to keep the Barracuda off the scoreboard.

“We had a really solid game,” said Sasha Chmelevski regarding his team’s performance. “I don’t think we had the right breaks at the right time and sometimes that costs you.”

San Jose scored the equalizer 38 seconds into the second period. Jayden Halbgewachs placed a shot on net. Danil Yurtaykin collected the puck and performed a spin-o-rama pass over to a wide open Manny Wiederer who tapped home the puck into an empty net while falling down for his third goal of the season.

Ontario regained the lead thanks to another trip to the sinbin by San Jose. Blaine Byron won a face off back up to Paul LaDue at the point. LaDue’s slapshot was redirected off Tim Schaller’s body for a power play goal, his first goal of the season at the 6:31 mark.

“There were times we pushed the pace, and there were times where they kinda took it to us. It was one of those games. It was a little back and forth. It was enough that I thought we did enough positive things,” said co-head coach Michael Chiasson.

The Barracuda tied the game back up on the power play late in the middle frame. Ivan Chekhovich led a rush up the ice. He fed a pass over to Halbgewachs who quickly sent it over to Chmelevski. The rookie forward then made a nice forehand-to-backhand move to finish off a pretty tic-tac-toe goal for his 10th goal of the season at the 18:27 mark.

“I just went to the net and Halbs (Halbgewachs) found me. I just wanted to be patient with the puck cause I knew the goalie was going to wait for me to make a move. So I was glad that I scored,” Chemelvski said.

With his two helpers, Halbgewachs notched his 11th mutli-point game of the season.

“I’m trying to work, just be consistent every single game. I think that is what I lacked the most is consistency. If I keep that going, things are bright for the future,” Halbgewachs said.

Byron iced the game with an empty netter goal, his 11th of the season, after a turnover by Jonny Brodzinski to complete the scoring at the 19:16 mark.

Villalta finished the night with 33 saves on 35 shots to earn his ninth win of the season. Korenar stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced in suffering the tough luck loss. He is now 0-4-1 against Ontario.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-4 on the power play. Ontario was 2-for-4. The ‘Cuda have scored a power play goal in five straight games.

Yurtaykin was injured four minutes into the second period and left the game when he was slammed up against the boards by Ryan Stanton. No penalty was called on the play. Yurtaykin did not return to the game.

Anthony Greco played in his first game as a member of the ‘Cuda. He was acquired in a trade by the San Jose Sharks along with a 2020 first-round pick this past Monday for Barclay Goodrow and a 2020 third-round pick. Greco has appeared in 40 AHL games this season between Springfield and Syracuse, recording 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points.

The fourth-year pro set career highs with 30 goals, 29 assists and 59 points last season, earning a trip to the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic. He also made his NHL debut, appearing in one game with the Florida Panthers.

Greco has played 264 AHL games with Springfield and Syracuse, amassing 85 goals and 73 assists for 158 points

Keaton Middleton played in his 100th AHL game.

The announced attendance was 2,149.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda continue their six-game homestand hosting the San Diego Gulls on Saturday 2/29 at 1:15pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda go after second straight win tonight against Reign at SAP Center

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic:

#1 The San Jose Barracuda were behind early against the Ontario Reign 1-0 on Feb 23rd their last game before coming back and scoring three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead and the eventual win

#2 The Barracuda’s Jayden Halbgewachs leads the team in goals with 16th which came in the first period of Sunday’s game

#3 The Barracuda’s Jeff Viel extended his scoring streak to three games with a empty net goal against the Reign

#4 Marko talk about Lean Bergman who scored his eighth goal in the third period his third goal in his last five games

#5 The Barracuda face Ontario again this time at SAP Center the Reign will go after the Barracuda but the Cuda are looking to put two in a row together against the Reign later tonight.

Marko Ukalovic is a beat writer for the San Jose Barracuda at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Barracuda rule over Reign 5-2

sjbarracuda.com photo

by Marko Ukalovic

ONTARIO, Calif- The San Jose Barracuda did a complete 180 less than 24 hours after a disappointing outing in San Diego. They used an offensive attack in where they scored three unanswered goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Ontario Reign on Sunday afternoon at Budwiser Events Center.

San Jose split its SoCal roadtrip with a 1-1 record. They now have won three out of their last four games. Ontario have lost two in a row after wining three games in a row.

Ontario (26-20-5-1) drew first blood with under five minutes remaining in the first period. Tobias Bjornfot sent a long outlet pass to Blaine Byron who waited for a trailing Matt Luff. The Reign right-winger then blasted a shot from the beyond the faceoff circles past ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko for his ninth goal of the season at the 15:46 mark.

San Jose (17-26-3-2) responded with the equalizer on the power play under three minutes later. Jeremy Roy picked up a rebound off a Sasha Chmelevski shot. Roy skated around the net and found an open Jayden Halbgewachs who despoisted the puck into an empty net for his team leading 16th goal of the season at the 18:24 mark.

The Barracuda dominated the second period with two goals to take a commanding 3-1 lead as they out shot the Reign 11-6.

Lukas Radil led a rush up the ice where he fed a cross ice pass over to Maxim Letunov. The Russian winger skated in a wired a wrist shot top-shelf to the right corner past Reign goalie Matt Villalta for his 12th goal of the season at the 1:16 mark of the middle frame.

Then Nikolai Knyzhov scored his first career professional goal in what turned out to be the game winning goal. Danil Yurtaykin out battled Lance Bouma along the boards before finding a trailing Knyzhov. The rookie defenseman skated in and sniped in a wrist shot from the point past Villalta at the 15:47 mark.

Ontario cut the ‘Cuda lead to one goal on the power play early in the third period. Byron fed a pass out Bjornfot at the point. Bjornfot fired a slap shot past Sawchenko, with the help of a Jaret Anderson-Dolan screen, for his fifth goal of the season at the 3:51 mark.

That would be as close as Ontario would get as San Jose scored two goals at the end of the period to seal the deal.

Chmelevski poked checked the puck away from Bouma out to Lean Bergmann from behind the net. Bergmann skated out to the right faceoff circle and snapped home a wrist shot past Villalta for his eighth goal of the season at the 17:25 mark.

Ontario pulled Villalta for an extra attacker and Halbgewachs fed an outlet pass to Jeffery Viel who scored an empty net goal from the Reign blue line for his 12th goal of the year 19 seconds later to complete the scoring.

Sawchenko (5-4-1) made 31 saves on 33 shots to earn his second-consecutive victory and fifth of the season. Villalta (8-5-2) took the loss after allowing four goals on 29 shots.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/3 on the power play. Ontario was 1/5.

Viel extended his goal streak to three games and has four in that span.

Bergmann has scored three goals in his last five games.

Chmelevski with his pair of assists, recorded his sixth multi-point effort of the season.

The announced attendance was 7,961.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home to begin a six-game homestand as they host the Ontario Reign on Wednesday 2/26 at 7:00pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda prepare for home at home games with San Diego starting Friday

photo sjbarracuda.com

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 Marko Saturday’s loss to the Ontario Reign 3-1 was a tough one to take for the San Jose Barracuda after carrying a 1-0 lead for two periods

#2 In order to hold a 1-0 lead Barracuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko had to be standing on his head but when the third period arrived the Reign scored three times for the 3-1 win.

#3 For Sawchenko he stopped 30 shots and allowed two goals a tough one to take but he’s a proven goaltender whose up and coming.

#4 On the other hand Matthew Vallata of the Reign stopped 30 of 31 shots and was also standing on his head too

#5 The Barracuda are in San Diego against the Gulls for the first of two games home at home Friday night and then in San Jose Wednesday night

Marko Ukalovic is a San Jose Barracuda beat writer at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Reign take down Barracuda with late goal in the third period in 3-1 victory

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by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- The third period has been a period of woe for the San Jose Barracuda this season. It proved to be that once again as the Onatrio Reign scored three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes for a 3-1 victory over their Pacific Division rival on Saturday evening at SAP Center.

The two teams are going in opposite directions heading into the All-Star break. Ontario is riding a three-game winning streak. While San Jose has dropped their past three games.

San Jose (14-22-1-2) drew first blood in the first ten minutes of the first period. Sasha Chmelevski scored an unassisted goal at the 7:47 mark for his eighth goal of the season.

The Reign outshot the Barracuda 12-10 in the opening frame as they had the only power play opportunity but weren’t able to cash in.

The second period was scoreless as San Jose controlled play in the middle frame as they outshot Ontario 13-9 while killing two penalties in the period.

Ontario (20-18-4-1) started their comeback early in the third period. Paul LaDue scored his fifth goal of the season at the 3:22 mark. Sheldon Rempal recorded his 12th assist on the season.

San Jose had a chance to regain the lead when Brett Sutter went into the sinbin at the 12:38 mark for slashing. However the Reign penalty kill, led by Reign goalie Matthew Villalta, was successful killing off Sutter’s penalty.

Ontario scored the game winning goal with 1:08 left in the game when Sutter set up Tobias Bjornfot who snapped a wrist shot past ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko for his third goal of the season.

Matt Luff iced the game for Ontario with an empty net goal with 20 seconds left to seal the deal for the Reign. Mikey Anderson was credited with an assist on Luff’s fifth goal of the season.

Villata (4-3-1) made 30 saves on 31 shots to earn his fourth win of the season. Sawchenko (3-2-1) finished with 28 saves on 30 shots in suffering the defeat.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-3 on the power play. Ontario was also 0-for-3.

The three stars of the game were 1) Bjornfot  2) Chmelevski  3) LaDue

The announced attendance was 5,718.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return after the All-Star break on Friday 1/31 as they travel down to San Diego to take on the Gulls at 7:00pm at Pachenga Arena.

Barracuda match franchise record for goals in 9-0 blowout victory

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by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- The San Jose Barracuda made a huge statement to start their four-game homestand. A five-goal second period was just one of the highlights in a 9-0 shutout pounding over the Ontario Reign on Wednesday evening at SAP Center. The nine goals matched a franchise record they set earlier this season in a 9-2 win against the same Ontario team back on December 6th, 2019.

San Jose has won two games in a row after dropping their previous four games and they also snapped a four-game losing streak at home. Ontario have lost two games in a row as they ended a five-game road trip.

San Jose (12-18-0-2) drew first blood early in the first period. Jayden Halbgewachs fed a pass back up to the point where a trailing Dylan Gambrell fired a shot wide right. A pinching Trevor Carrick collected the puck off the boards and banked it off Reign goalie Cal Petersen for his sixth goal of the season at the 2:42 mark.

The ‘Cuda came out with a ton of energy in the opening 20 minutes as its forecheck kept Ontario on their heels for the first 13 minutes and ended outshooting their SoCal rival by a 17-9 margin.

San Jose had a huge 5-on-3 penalty kill midway through the opening frame where Ontario had almost a full two minutes on the two-man advantage due to the double minor penalty to Danil Yurtaykin for high sticking.

“It was definitely a momentum changer for sure,” said co-head coach Michael Chiasson of his team’s penalty killing on the night. “I think it was great for our group. I think we had three, four or maybe five big time blocks on that kill. It just shows the guys were committed to the PK tonight and guys were committed to the win.”

The ‘Cuda doubled its lead near the end of the first period when Yurtaykin won a battle along the boards behind the Reign net. Sasha Chmelevski swooped in behind the net and centered a pass out to a wide open Noah Gregor who buried the puck top-shelf to the left side for his fifth goal of the season at the 16:09 mark.

San Jose then tripled its lead 18 seconds later on a play almost exactly similar to Gregor’s goal. Another battle along the boards behind the net led to Manny Weiderer retrieving the puck then skating to the left where he centered the puck to a crashing Alex True. True one-timed it past Petersen for his 10th goal of the season. Jeffery Viel was credited with the secondary assist.

Ontario’s (16-16-3-1) frustration boiled over multiple times in the last five minutes of the period as Chaz Reddekopp and Thomas Gregoire exchanged fisticuffs at the 14:54 mark. There were multiples bouts of pushing and shoving between both teams at the end of the first period. Boko Imama received an unsportsmanlike conduct peanlty after the period expired.

San Jose jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the power play just 57 seconds into the second period. Carrick sent a pass over to Joachim Blichfeld from the point. Blichfeld skated to right faceoff circle snapped a wrist shot past the five-hole of Petersen for his 12th goal of the season.

“We were hoping we were going to get some (offensive) production. It’s good for a lot of guys to get some points, but it’s good for guys to play the right way too,” said Chiasson.

Less than three minutes later after a shot attempt from Lukas Radil on a 2-on-1 rush sailed along the left boards, Carrick threw a shot at the net that was redirected by Blichfeld for his second goal of the game and team-leading 13th of the season at the 3:52 mark.

“I think I had a pretty slow start (to the season). I think when I get more comfortable, I play even better. Just being comfortable is what I think makes me a good hockey player,” said Blichfeld.

The ‘Cuda made it 6-0 with a 4-on-4 goal. Gambrell tossed a pass over to Halbgewachs and he buried a wrist shot past Petersen for his 12th goal of the goal at the 6:06 mark.

The would end the night for Petersen who gave up six goals on 23 shots. He was replaced by backup netminder Matthew Villalta.

Chemelevski joined the scoring party after he collected a turnover inside the Reign defensive zone. He skated in from the left shot and lasered in a shot just inside the post to make it 7-0 at the 15:07 mark.

San Jose scored their fifth goal of the middle frame when Jonny Brodzinski battled for the puck at the top of the right faceoff circle. The puck leaked out to Gambrell and he skated around Brodzinski and snapped home a backhand shot for his first goal as a member of the Barracuda at the 16:25 mark.

“I think it (this result) sends a bit of message that we’re coming together. We’re playing the right way. We gotta keep it going,” said Gambrell.

The ‘Cuda weren’t done with their onslaught to start the third period. Weiderer connected on an outlet pass up to center ice to Viel who skated in on a breakaway and his wrist shot beat Villalta for his fifth goal of the season at the 3:00 mark. It snapped a 13-game goal-less draught for Viel.

‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko, who made just his second career start, did not have quite the busy night his counterparts did as he stopped all 24 shots he faced for his first career shutout and second win of the season. Villalta made 19 saves on 22 shots in mop up duty.

“I think the biggest thing is when you’re called upon is doing your job,” said Sawchenko discussing his transition from the ECHL to the AHL. “You gotta do your job right? If I gotta face 45 (shots), if I gotta face 24, at the end of the day my job is to stop the puck.”

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-3 on the power play. Ontario was 0-for-6.

San Jose had nine players with multi-point games.

Gambrell recorded his first career four-point game (1G, 3A). The last ‘Cuda player to record a four-point game was True back on 12/16/18.

The announced attendance was 2,563.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda continue their four-game homestand when they host the Stockton Heat on Saturday 1/11 at 1:15pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda host Ontario tonight at SAP Center; Cuda looking to win two straight

sjbarracuda.com photo

SJ Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic:

#1 The San Jose Barracuda opened up early on the Tucson Roadrunners last Saturday with three goals in the first period to set the tone early.

#2 In the third period the Roadrunners scored twice and the Barracuda once which tied up the game at 4-4 and force a shootout.

#3 The Barracuda win snapped a four game losing streak and it had to be a relief for co-coaches Jimmy Bonneau and Michael Chiasson to back in the win column

#4 Marko talks about Barracuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko (1-0-0) who made 37 saves in getting the win.

#5 The Barracuda face off tonight against the Ontario Reign the puck drops at SAP Center at 7:00pm

Join Marko Ukalovic for exclusive beat coverage of the San Jose Barracuda tonight following the game at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Reign edge Barracuda 4-3

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Ontario Reign have had their way with the San Jose Barracuda this season. Their success continued once again in a 4-3 victory over their Pacific Divison rival on Wednesday evening at SAP Center.

The loss is the third in the row for San Jose, while Ontario has points in five straight games and are now 4-1 against the ‘Cuda this season.

This was the first game featuring the three players that were sent down by the San Jose Sharks: Noah Gregor, Joachim Blichfeld and Dylan Gambrell. All three were on the number one line together set by assistant head coaches Michael Chiassson and Johnny Bonneau.

Ontario (13-11-3-1) drew first blood just under eight minutes in the first period. Chaz Reddekopp sent a cross ice pass from left point over to the right where Paul LaDue snapped a wrist shot past Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for his second goal of the season at the 7:41 mark.

San Jose (9-14-0-2) scored the equalizer under a minute later when Maxim Letunov led a rush into the Reign defensive zone and fed a pass up to Lukas Radil near the right slot. Radil then fed it back up to Nick DeSimone at the right point. DeSimone surveyed the ice before sending a shot through a sea of traffic that went past the five-hole of Reign goalie Cal Petersen for his third goal of the season at the 8:32 mark.

Ontario had a chance to extend their lead while on the power play when Nich Meloche went into the sinbin for slashing. Korenar came up huge stopping a shot from the point and then the immediate rebound chance from Brett Sutter as he slid over to the left with a pad save to keep the score even at 1-1.

The Reign outshot the ‘Cuda in 15-10 in the opening 20 minutes as they controlled play, outshooting San Jose 15-5 after the first two minutes.

San Jose gained the lead early on the power play early in the second period. Jonny Brodzinski did a spin-a-round cross-ice pass over to Blichfeld. The Danish native touched passed into the middle where Kellamn tapped home the puck into an empty net for a tic-tac-toe goal, his fourth of the season at the 3:19 mark.

“I think I’m more comfortable out there,” said Blichfeld regarding how his game has evolved this season. “I’m making more plays with the puck, yeah feeling more comfortable.”

Like in the first period, the lead didn’t last long as Ontario returned the favor 50 seconds later. Jaret Anderson-Dolan won a faceoff draw back up to Austin Strand from just above the right faceoff circle. Strand delayed a bit before firing a slap shot just under the arm of Korenar for his fifth goal of the season at the 4:09 mark.

“Our 5-on-5 play we gotta do a better job. We had great O-zone possession. We gotta do a better job at getting inside, whether that’s (generating) traffic or it’s taking the puck to the net,” said Chiasson.

Korenar bailed out his team twice in the middle frame when defensive breakdowns led to golden scoring opportunities for Ontairo. A loose puck jumped on to the stick of Johan Sodergren, whose point-blank shot was stoned away by the Czech goaltender with under 13 minutes remaining. Then he spoiled a 2-on-0 break when he absolutely robbed Anderson-Dolan with a left pad save.

“Like always he tries to keep us in the game and most nights he does. When we get the chances, we gotta score on those when he keeps making save after save for us,” said Blichfeld.

Ontario regained the lead on the power play late in the period. Boko Imama picked up the puck at the right faceoff circle. He then skated back up to the middle of the slot where he snapped a wrist shot that was tipped past Korenar by Sutter, who was camped out in front of the crease. The second goal of the season for the Reign captain, that came at the 16:10 mark, snapped an 18-game goal-less drought for Sutter.

“They were getting pucks to the net, getting bodies to the net, getting rebounds. And that’s something we just weren’t doing. We had a lot of offensive zone time, it looks pretty but it’s not really effective,” said Brodzinski.

Ontario scored an insurance goal right at the 6:00 mark of the third period. Imama snapped a wrist shot on goal from the right slot. Korenar wasn’t able to freeze the rebound as Mason Bergh slid the puck underneath the right pad of Korenar for his second goal of the season. Bergh snapped a seven-game goal-less drought.

San Jose cut the lead to one-goal deficit with Korenar pulled for an extra attacker. Thomas Gregoire fed a pass over to Blichfeld just above the right faceoff circle. Blichfeld then lasered a wrist shot past Petersen into the far side of the net for his 10th goal of the season at the 17:56 mark.

“I think when Butchie (Blichfeld) has a shooting mentality, when the puck is on his stick and he’s looking to shoot, he’s a threat,” said ‘Cuda co-head coach Chiasson.

The calls seemed to be one-sided throughout the game as San Jose was frustrated with the lack of calls against Ontario. Jeffery Viel received a game misconduct penalty with under a minute remaining in the second period for unsportsmanlike conduct after arguing with the officials.

Petersen made 29 saves on 32 shots to earn his 12th win on the season. Korenar, who was arguably the best player on the ice for the ‘Cuda, made 33 saves on 37 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-2 on the power play. Ontario was 0-for-3.

‘Cuda defenseman Jacob Middleton was also reassigned back down by the Sharks and played in the game.

Letunov, with the assist on DeSimone’s goal, extended his home point streak to eight games and has points in 12 of his last 13 games overall.

The announced attendance was 2,892.

UP NEXT: San Jose travel down to San Diego to take on the Gulls on Friday 12/20 at 7:00 pm at Pachenga Arena.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda battling to get out of cellar, try for win tonight against Ontario

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The Stockton Heat in Saturday’s game at Stockton Arena put the game away against the San Jose Barracuda in the third period scoring two goals and the Barracuda went down losing by three 5-2.

#2 The Barracuda put 49 shots on net against the Heat, but weren’t able to capitalize a lead for much of the game. Lots of shots, but no conversions.

#3 What’s worse for San Jose, they have lost three of their last four games and got swept Friday and Saturday by the Heat.

#4 Would you say that former Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer’s promotion to the parent club Sharks is one of the reasons why the Barracuda have struggled without his presence?

#5 The Barracuda are home tonight against the Ontario Reign. The Cuda will have to work hard to get this one as they try to get out from last place in the Pacific Division in the AHL.

Marko Ukalovic is a San Jose Barracuda beat writer and does the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Heat third period goals put away Barracuda 5-2

photo from sjbarracuda.com

By Marko Ukalovic

The Stockton Heat are proving themselves to be a power house in the Pacific Division. They used two goals in the third period to put a close game out of reach in a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Sunday evening at Stockton Arena.

Despite putting up a season high of 49 shots on goal, San Jose has dropped three out of their last four games and were swept in their weekend series with their NorCal rival. Stockton has won four in a row and sit in second place with 37 points.

Stockton (17-5-1-2) got off to a fast start in the first period when Matthew Phillips scored his second goal in two games against San Jose. Brandon Davidson and Byron Forese assisted on Phillips’ 11th goal of the season at the 1:17 mark.

Heat goalie Jon Gillies made his presence known in the opening 20 minutes as he stopped all 21 ‘Cuda shots he faced in frustrating San Jose’s offensive attack.

Stockton jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 30 seconds into the second period. Alan Quine skated up from the right wing back up towards the blue line where he found Buddy Robinson alone on the left wing. Robinson then fired a one-timer past ‘Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge for his 12th goal of the season.

San Jose (9-13-0-2) cut the lead in half at the mid-point of the second period. Manny Weiderer won a faceoff inside the Heat zone back up to Thomas Gregoire. Gregoire quickly fed a pass up to Nick DeSimone at the point and the ‘Cuda defenseman rocketed a shot top-shelf into the upper left corner of the net beating Gillies for his second goal of the season at the 10:06 mark.

Stockton regained their two-goal lead just four seconds into their power play with Jayden Halbgewachs in the sinbin for hooking. Glenn Gawdin won the faceoff draw back up to the point to Justin Kirkland. The left winger sent in a wrist shot that change direction on Shortridge when it was deflected off Trevor Carrick’s body and sneaked into the back of the net for Kirkland’s fifth goal of the season at the 15:01 mark.

The ‘Cuda once again cut the lead back to a one-goal deficit 68 seconds later when Maxim Letunov skated in from the behind the net and centered a back-door pass to a crashing Lukas Radil, who tapped home the puck to the left side of Gillies for his first goal as a member of the Barracuda and fifth of his AHL career at the 16:09 mark. Radil now has points in both games he has played in with the ‘Cuda this season.

Stockton put the game away with two goals in the first eight minutes of the third period.

Adam Ruzicka led a rush from his own blue line and found Alex Gallant in the neutral zone. Gallant raced down the left wing and from a tough angle sniped home the puck on the short side of Shortridge for his second goal of the season at the 4:27 mark.

Then four minute later Quine fed a pass down low to Gawdin who centered the puck over to Phillips in the middle of slot and he snapped a home a one-timer top-shelf in the upper left corner for his second goal of the evening and 12th of the season at the 8:47 mark.

Gillies stopped 47 of the 49 shots the ‘Cuda peppered him with to earn his sixth victory on the season. The 47 saves were the second most of Gillies’ career. Shortridge, whose bad luck in between the pipes continues, made 22 saves on 27 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-6 on the power play. Stockton was 1-for-3.

DeSimone snapped a 15 game goal-less drought with his goal in the middle frame.

Letunov’s assist on Radil’s goal gives him 20 points on the season to lead the Barracuda in scoring and has points in 10 of his last 11 games.

The announced attendance was 3,344.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home to host the Ontario Reign on Wednesday 12/18 at 7:00 pm at SAP Center.