Barracuda dethrone the Reign in 5-0 shutout

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda fighting for their playoff lives, used the power play to their advantage and cruised their way to a 5-0 shutout win over their Pacific Division rival, the Ontario Reign, on Friday evening at SAP Center.

With the win coupled with San Diego’s loss to Bakersfield, San Jose is now in sole possession of second place in the division with 75 points, two points ahead of the Gulls with seven games left in the regular season.

San Jose (34-20-3-4) drew first blood halfway through the first period. Evan Weinger led a rush, where he sent a drop pass down to Jayden Halbgewachs, who threaded a pass over to John McCarthy at the left slot. The Cuda captain buried the puck past Reign goalie Cal Petersen (10-18-3) to the right side for a tic-tac-toe goal and his 12th of the season at the 10:39 mark.

The Cuda doubled their lead as they beat the buzzer at the end of the opening frame. Jacob Middleton sent in a shot from the point that was blocked. McCarthy seized the puck and snapped a back-hander past Petersen for his second goal of the evening and 13th on the season with 0.5 seconds left to give San Jose a 2-0 advantage heading into the first intermission.

The Cuda opened up the second period with a power play goal. TJ Hensick fed a pass over to Nick DeSimone, who fired a shot that ricochet off Reign defenseman Daniel Brickley that rattled into the back of the net for DeSimone’s 13th goal of the season at the 6:44 mark. Francis Perron was credited with the secondary assist.

The Reign (22-30-6-3) could not stay out of the sin-bin as San Jose continued their dominance on the power play just over two minutes later. It took them 16 seconds to score on the hooking penalty by Nikita Scherbak. Hensick found an open Jeffery Viel, who wasted no time beating Petersen with a wrist shot for his ninth goal of the season at the 9:10 mark.

Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (14-12-5) was sharp, despite the lack of shots he saw. He made two spectacular saves in the middle frame. First, he stoned an attempt by Sam Herr on a two-on-one odd man rush. Then, with a little over a minute left, he robbed Brett Sutter when he reached out along with his left arm to keep the puck out of the back of the net.

Anti Suomela completed the scoring with 22 seconds left in the game as fired a shot off the cross-bar and into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season at the 19:38 mark. Viel and Matt Fonteyne received assists on the goal.

Bibeau has won back-to-back games as he stopped all 21 shots he faced to earn his 14th win of the season and his first shutout of the season. Petersen made 24 saves on 29 shots in suffering the loss.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 2/4 on the power play. Ontario was 0/1.

McCarthy played in his 251st game in a Cuda uniform, a franchise record.

San Jose went 5-3 in the season series against Ontario.

DeSimone now has a current seven-game point streak, a career-best for the Cuda defenseman.

Bibeau has 16 career shutouts.

The announced attendance was 4,187.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel down to Bakersfield to take on the Condors on Saturday, March 30 at 7:00 pm at Rabobank Arena.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda looking to make amends Wednesday night after rough weekend

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The San Jose Barracuda (30-16-2-4) had a breakdown in their defense on Friday and Saturday, losing by scores of 8-4 and 5-2 to the Ontario Reign on Friday and Bakersfield Condors (34-16-2-1) on Saturday.

#2 On Saturday, things didn’t get better as Bakersfield scored two goals in the first period to open up the game.

#3 The Barracuda used goaltender Cuda goalie Josef Korenar (19-6-1), but Bakersfield was crashing the nets all game long. Was Korenar just having an off night or did the Condors prepare for this one against the Barracuda?

#4  Condor goalie Shane Starrett (21-4-3) saved 32 of 34 San Jose shots in the three goal win.

#5 The Bakersfield Condors are back this time at SAP Center in San Jose. Can the Barracuda turn it around?

Marko Ukalovic covers the SJ Barracuda and does the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Reign squeeze out late goal to beat Barracuda 4-3

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

In a game that went back and forth, the Ontario Reign scored the game-winning goal with just 38 seconds left in the game to defeat the San Jose Barracuda 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Business Bank Arena. The loss was the third in a row for San Jose as they have lost three straight games for the first time this season.

Zach Mitchell moved every one away from the net and spun a backhand pass over to the slot to a wide-open Sam Herr, who buried the puck past Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau for the game-winning goal at the 19:22 mark of the third period. It was Herr’s sixth goal of the season.

Ontario (15-23-4-2) drew first blood halfway through the first period on the power play. Kale Clague sent a pass over to Phillipe Maillet and his shot beat Bibeau (10-6-5) for his 10th goal of the season at the 10:07 mark. Matt Luff received the secondary assist.

San Jose (26-11-2-4) evened up the game five minutes later when Jayden Halbgewachs fired a shot on goal that banked off the shin guard of Jon Martin past Reign goalie Cal Petersen (6-12-3) for his ninth goal of the season at the 15:30 mark.

The Barracuda went up 2-1 under two minutes later. Nick DeSimone sent a pass over to defensive linemate Jacob Middleton at the left point and Middleton blasted a shot top-shelf past Petersen for his third goal of the season at the 17:24 mark. Jeffery Viel received the secondary assist.

San Jose was burned once again taking a trip to the sin bin. Just 16 seconds later after Middleton’s goal, Ontario evened it up six seconds into their second power play when Maillet scored his second goal of the game and 11th goal of the season at the 17:40 mark. Matt Roy and Luff received assists on Maillet’s second power play goal.

The Cuda had a short-handed opportunity halfway through the second period when Rourke Chartier and Anti Suomela led an odd-man rush. Chartier fed a pass over to DSimone whose shot was blocked. Chartier collected the rebound and his wraparound attempt was stoned by Petersen.

Despite being short-handed throughout the middle frame, San Jose outshot Ontario 20-7 in the second period, but weren’t able to break the deadlock heading into the second intermission.

Early in the third period, the Cuda had a great opportunity to take the lead when Martin led a four-on-two odd man rush, but his shot whistled off the post.

Francis Perron gave the Cuda the lead six seconds into a power play after Curtis McDemond went into the penalty box for boarding. Chartier won the face off over to DeSimone who passed it over to Perron on the left side and his wrist shot beat Reign goalie Cal Petersen for his team-leading 15th goal and seventh of the power play at the 12:36 mark.

Brad Sutter was credited with the equalizer as the puck bounced in off his body late in the third period. Ontario’s captain scored his 13th goal of the season at the 16:48 mark. Nikita Scherbak and Alex Lintuniemi received assists.

Petersen played on top of head as he stopped 52 of the 55 shots he faced. The 55 shots were not only a season-high, but a franchise record for San Jose. Bibeau finished with 33 saves on 37 shots, including a breakaway attempt by Maillet that prevented a hat trick, in suffering the tough luck loss.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/4 on the power play. Ontario was 2/5.

Manny Weiderer suffered an injury less than three minutes in the first period. He did not return to the game.

The announced attendance was 8,921.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home on Tuesday 2/12 to host the Tuscon Roadrunners at 7:00 pm at SAP Center.

Reign finally take down Barracuda with 3-1 win

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By: Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — All good things must come to an end. For the San Jose Barracuda, they are no longer undefeated against the Ontario Reign this season, thanks to Ontario taking advantage of a mistake by a young goaltender in a 3-1 victory on Friday evening at SAP Center.

Brett Sutter received a gift from Cuda goalie Josef Korenar (13-3-1) when Korenar attempted a back-handed pass behind his own net to the corner that was intercepted by Sutter. Sutter skated around the net, where his initial backhander hit the outside of the net, but he was able to grab his own rebound and put it into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season in what proved to be the game-winning goal with just under two minutes left in the game at the 18:22 mark of the third period.

“You know it’s funny, I think that was their (Ontario’s) only chance in the third (period),” said Cuda head coach Roy Sommer after the game. “Our goalie learned a lesson (tonight). You can’t reverse a puck if you don’t know where the forecheck is coming from. He won’t do it again I’m sure.”

The first period was scoreless as the Cuda outshot the Reign 11-9. The best scoring chances for both teams didn’t come until the final few minutes. Dylan Gambrell had a redirect chance just trickle to the right of the net with under three minutes remaining for San Jose. While Zack Mitchell’s buzzer beating one-timer hit the outside of the net for Ontario.

Ontario (11-17-3-2) drew first blood on the power play to start the second period. Matt Roy fed a cross-ice pass over to Matt Moulson on the left-wing and snapped home a wrist shot past Korenar top-shelf in the left corner for his 10th goal of the season at the 0:57 mark.

San Jose (21-8-1-3) evened the game up on the power play with a little over five minutes left in the middle frame. Nick DeSimone sent a pass over to the Rourke Chartier, who was back playing his first game with the Cuda since December 27th of last year, along the right boards. Chartier danced with the puck and from a tough angle snapped a beauty of a wrist shot top-shelf past Reign goalie Cal Petersen (3-6-3) for his third goal of the season at the 14:54 mark. Gambrell received the secondary assist.

“They kind gave some time on the half wall,’ said Chartier, regarding his goal. “I was looking for a pass first, but nothing really opened up and (I was) lucky enough that it goes in.”

The Barracuda out shot the Reign 13-7 in the second period and were able to kill off a late penalty to Jeffery Viel for tripping to head into the second intermission with momentum on their side.

“I liked our effort tonight,” said Cuda captain John McCarthy. “It was a tight defensive game where anything could have happened and it did.”

Moulson put the game on ice with an empty net with 69 seconds remaining for his second goal of the night and 11th on the season. Micheal Amadio and Sam Herr received assists on the goal.

Petersen had a busy night as he made 37 saves on 38 shots to earn his third victory of the season. Korenar finished the evening with 23 saves on 25 pucks he faced.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/4 on the power play. Ontario was 1/3.

McCarthy played in his 500th AHL game with the Sharks organization. He is the Barracuda’s all-time leader in games played (222), points (118), goals (52) and assists (66).

Defenseman Jacob Middleton was back in the line up since being sent back down by the San Jose Sharks.

Fight Fight Fight! San Jose’s Jon Martin tangoed with the Reign’s Chaz Reddekopp half way through the second period. Each received offsetting fighting majors.

The announced attendance was 3,141.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda host the Stockton Heat on Sunday, January 13 at 3:00 pm at SAP Center.

Barracuda outlast Reign 3-1

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By: Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda didn’t make it look pretty, but they continued to stay undefeated against the Ontario Reign in a 3-1 victory on Monday evening at SAP Center.

For San Jose, it was their second win in a row and are currently 4-0 against Ontario this season. Ontario continued their downward spiral losing their sixth game in a row.

“They’ve had our number for years,” said head coach Roy Sommer regarding his team turning the tables against their Pacific Division rival. “From Manchester (Mass) into Ontario, it’s been a while since we’ve had a winning record against them. So finally the tide turns.”

San Jose (21-7-1-3) drew first blood five minutes into the opening period. Jon Martin found Jayden Halbgewachs at the right faceoff circle and he skated around over to the left-wing and he snapped a wrist shot that beat Reign goalie Cal Petersen (2-6-3) low to the stick side at 5:41 mark. The puck looked to have deflected off Reign defenseman Austin Strand’s skate for Halbgewachs’ eight goal of the season. Kyle Wood received the secondary assist.

I went through a dry spell for a bit,” said Halbgewachs. “I had to get back to finding my game, building up that confidence. (The goals) are a huge confidence booster and every player needs that when they’re in a slump.”

Ontario (10-17-3-2) outshot San Jose 11-8 in the first period, but Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (8-5-3) held down the fort stonewalling the Reign from lighting the red lamp.

In the second period, both netminders put on a clinic out on the ice. Bibeau was aggressive on two penalty kills where he came out beyond the crease to cut off angles and did not give up any rebounds.

“I think in December I wasn’t playing as aggressive and as good as I could (have been),” said Bibeau. “When the guys had to block a shot, they blocked a shot. They boxed out and I saw the puck really well.”

Petersen was sharp late in the middle frame. Keaton Middleton fed a short-handed breakaway chance to Dylan Gambrell, but Petersen came out to challenge Gambrell and his shot sailed over the net with under four minutes left. Then with under a minute left, Vincent Praplan’s point-blank shot and captain John McCarthy’s follow-up rebound chance were turned away by Petersen.

Jon Martin single-handedly gave San Jose a big insurance goal to open up the third period. Coming in on a three-on-three rush he was able to muscle his way past Kurtis MacDermid, regain the puck and buried it under the left pad of Petersen on the short side for his sixth goal of the season at the 1:28 mark. Martin now has five points in his last three games.

“It’s been a long way for me these last three years,” said Martin. “So it’s nice to come in here and finally feel like I’m contributing a little bit on the board. I’m just trying to keep it going, helping out my linemates, they’ve been supporting me and it’s going well.”

Brett Sutter cut the lead in half on the penalty kill, thanks to a gift from Calvan Fitzgerald. He was pressured by Sam Herr in front of the Cuda net and turned over the puck right onto the stick of Sutter, who one-timed it from the slot into the upper right corner of the net. The unassisted short-handed goal was Sutter’s eight of the season and came at the 7:39 mark.

Halbgewachs sealed the game for the Cuda with his second goal of the evening with an empty-netter with exactly one minute left in the game for his ninth goal of the season.

Bibeau shined bright with a 32 save on 33 shot performance to earn his eight victory of the season. Petersen suffered his second straight loss, making 27 saves on 29 shots.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/4 on the power play. Ontario was 0/2.

On Tuesday, the Cuda recalled defensemen Cody Donaghey and Mike Brodzinki from the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL.

Coming into the game, San Jose were tied for first in the Western Conference with a home winning percentage of .750 (10-3-0-1). Their +20 point differential is the best in the Pacific Division.

Reign defenseman Daniel Brickley suffered a lower body injury in the second period when he was in a battle with Anti Suomela. His leg ended up being tied up and he fell awkwardly to the ice laying there for a while before being helped off the ice. He did not return to the game.

The announced attendance was 2,530.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda take on the Reign for a third consecutive time on Friday, January 11 at 7:00 pm at SAP Center.

Barracuda hold on to edge Reign 2-1

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

Less than 24 hours later, the San Jose Barracuda were able to get the bad taste of the loss to San Diego out of their mouths. Two second period goals were enough to take down the Ontario Reign in a 2-1 victory on Saturday evening at Citizens Business Bank Arena. San Jose is now 3-0 against their Pacific Division rival.

The first 20 minutes was a deadlock at zero as San Jose outshot Ontario (10-15-3-2) 16-12 as Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (7-5-3) looked impressive, making some key saves in the opening frame.

San Jose (20-7-1-3) drew first blood early in the second period. Evan Weinger moved in on net from along the left wing and snapped a shot past Reign goalie Cal Petersen (2-4-3) on the short-side for his seventh goal of the season at the 2:26 mark. Jeffery Viel and Keaton Middleton received assists.

Ontario tied the game up as Kale Clague slapped in a shot from the right point that beat a screened Bibeau for his third goal of the season at the 8:25 mark. Kurtis MacDermid and Michael Amadio received assists.

The Cuda regained the lead 22 seconds before the end of the middle frame. After a bad Ontario change, Nick DeSimone snapped a pass from San Jose’s zone to Anti Suomela and he streaked up the right wing before he found a trailing uncovered Alex True in the slot and True wired the pass in from the high slot past Petersen for his 11th goal of the season at the 19:38 mark.

Despite being outshot 12-5 by Ontario, San Jose went into the second intermission with a one-goal lead.

San Jose spent the first half of the third period on the penalty kill as they were able to kill off separate penalties taken by Jayden Halbgewachs and Suomela. The number four penalty kill in the AHL held their own as the Reign would not be able to find the back of the net the rest of the game as the Cuda netminder stoned away all nine shots that he faced in the final frame.

Bibeau made 32 saves on 33 shots to earn his seventh victory of the season. Petersen stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced in suffering the defeat.

GAME NOTES: San Jose 0/2 on the power play. Ontario was 0/3.

Defenseman Jacob Middleton, who was called up to the Sharks earlier this week, made his NHL debut tonight against the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The announced attendance was 9,462.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home on Wednesday to take on the Reign at 7:00 pm at SAP Center.

Barracuda cruise past Reign 5-2

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

It didn’t take long for the San Jose Barracuda to get the bad taste of San Diego out of their mouth. Less than 24 hours after their shootout loss to the Gulls, San Jose scored three unanswered goals to start the game in route to a 5-2 victory over the Ontario Reign on Sunday evening at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Nick DeSimone drew first blood for San Jose (16-3-1-3) when he collected the puck at the blue line, skated in toward the net from the left-wing and snapped a wrist shot past Reign goalie Peter Budaj (3-5-2) for his fifth goal of the season at the 8:51 mark of the first period. Alex True and Jon Martin received assists.

Martin gave the Cuda a 2-0 lead at the 13:00 mark when he was able to spun a wrist shot from distance off the crossbar into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Zach Frye and True received assists.

San Jose outshot Ontario 11-8 in the first period as Cuda goalie Josef Korenar (10-1-1) wasn’t tested much in the opening frame.

In the second period, San Jose scored its third unanswered goal on the power play. Jacob Middleton fed a pass over to True in the slot, who beat a diving Budaj, who ended up on his stomach, into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season at the 3:25 mark. Kyle Wood picked up the secondary assist.

Ontario would make things interesting as they scored the next two goals to close the gap to a one-goal deficit. First, Kyle Clauge was able to take advantage of a failed clearing attempt by San Jose as he shoveled in a loose puck from atop the crease past Korenar for his second goal of the season at the 14:40 mark. Then Matt Moulson fired a shot past Korenar from between the faceoff circles for his eighth goal of the season with just 18 seconds left in the middle frame.

Dylan Gambrell gave the Cuda an insurance goal at the beginning of the third period. He batted an airborne puck out of mid-air past Budaj for his sixth goal of the season at the 1:02 mark. Thomas Gregoire and DeSimone received assists.

Francis Perron added to the party and closed out the scoring when True, on his way to a career-high, four-point night, found Perron open in the low slot and he buried the puck past Budaj for his 11th goal of the season at the 9:12 mark.

Korenar finished the game, making 24 saves on 26 shots for his 10th victory of the season. Budaj suffered the loss, making 33 saves on 38 shots.

GAMES NOTES: San Jose was 1/5 on the power play. Ontario was 0/2.

Jeffery Truchon-Viel and Jamie Devane exchanged fisticuffs with each other late in the third period as the Reign’s frustrations had boiled over at that point.

The announce attendance was 7,771.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda conclude their three-game road trip with a stop back down to San Diego to take on the Gulls on Wednesday at 7:00 pm at Pachanga Arena.

Barracuda take down Reign 4-1 on AHL Opening Night

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dylan Gambrell made an immediate impact in his first AHL game. Gambrell’s first two career AHL goals sparked the San Jose Barracuda (1-0-0) on AHL Opening Night to defeat the Ontario Reign (0-1-0) 4-1 victory on Friday evening at the SAP Center.

Newly acquired Francis Perron, who came along part of the blockbuster trade that brought Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks, sent a pass over to Gambrell, who snapped a one-timer over the shoulder of Reign goalie Carl Petersen (0-1) on his first shot for a 1-0 lead at the 4:23 mark of the first period.

“It was nice, it’s kind of weight off the shoulders,” said Gambrell on his two-goal performance. “You know get some more confidence, feel more comfortable out there.”

Gambrell delivered his second goal on just his second shot just under four minutes later on the power play. Defenseman Kyle Wood slid over a cross ice pass to Gambrell at the left point and he bombed one past Petersen to double the Cuda lead at the 8:19 mark. Captain John McCarthy received the secondary assist.

“We’ve practiced with each other a couple of times together,” said Gambrell, regarding playing with Perron. “But I think we were reading off each other really well.”

Perron would increase the lead to 3-0 when he was able to clean up a rebound off  a wrap-around attempt from Gambrell. Petersen made the initial save on Gambrell, but wasn’t able to get back in position to stop Perron’s first goal of the season at the 15:53 mark.

“It was a great first period obviously,” said Perron. “I think Dylan had a lot of jump in the first. Me and Vinnie (Vincent Preplan) just followed him and it worked out pretty well.”

San Jose outshot Ontario 14-7 in the first period and controlled the tempo throughout the frame.

Zach Mitchell was able to get Ontario on the board with his first goal of the season in the second period when he was able to tip in a shot from Kale Clague fired from the left point. Mitchell planted himself in front of Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau to get in position for the tip in that came at the 6:30 mark on the power play.

Maxim Letunov gave back the three goal lead to Cuda late in the second period. After winning a battle behind the goal against Mitchell. He then circled around in between the circles, where he snapped home a back-hander to the left corner of the goal for his first career AHL goal at the 15:43 mark. Jayden Halbgewachs and Nick DeSimone received assists.

Despite being out shot 18-8 in the second period, San Jose carried a 4-1 lead into the second intermission.

“You know (with) 12 rookies (on the roster), I think at this point in the year you take a win anyway you can get them,” said head coach Roy Sommer.

Things got chippy toward the end of the third period when Kurtis MacDermid went after Alexander True after True was called for a boarding penalty. A brief scuffle ensued with six players involved. MacDermid was given a instigator penalty and a game misconduct that resulted in a five-minute power play for San Jose.

Bibeau stopped 30 of 31 shots for his first victory on the season. Petersen suffered the loss, making 23 saves on 27 shots.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/1 on the power play. Ontario was 1/4.

San Jose has only 11 players returning from last season in a team that features 11 new players.

Defensemen Zach Frye and Thomas Gregoire were healthy scratches for San Jose.

UP NEXT: San Jose travels down south to take on their Pacific Division rival Bakersfield Condors on Saturday, October 6 at Rabobank Arena at 7:00 pm PT.

Barracuda to kick off the 2018 AHL season vs. Reign

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By: Ana Kieu

Minor league hockey fans can rejoice as the San Jose Barracuda kick off the 2018 AHL season at SAP Center versus the Ontario Reign on Friday night.

Here’s everything to know about the rivalry matchup.

Friday’s meeting
Friday’s meeting marks the first of eight rivalry meetings in 2018. San Jose went 2-5-1-0 a season ago against the Reign and are 10-13-5-0 since the Pacific Division was established in 2015. Ontario is the only team San Jose isn’t .500 or better against all-time.

Frenemies
Former teammates and Calder Cup Champions with the Maine Mariners (AHL) during 1983-84, Roy Sommer and Mike Stothers have enjoyed a friendship off the ice and a heated rivalry on it since Stothers took over as the head coach of the Kings’ top affiliate during 2014-15, where he propelled the Manchester Monarchs to a Calder Cup Championship in his first year. Over five years, Sommer is 14-20-5-1 against Stothers’ teams.

Dynamic duo
The L.A. Kings re-acquired Peter Budaj from the Tampa Bay Lightning this offseason, pairing him with Cal Petersen as a one-two punch in the AHL. Budaj was the AHL’s Goaltender of the Year (Baz Bastien Memorial Award) in 2015-16 as a member of the Ontario Reign, leading the league in GAA (1.75), SV% (.932), shutouts (9), and wins (42). As a rookie 2017-18, Petersen, an AHL All-Star, went 4-0-1 against San Jose in five games.

Youth movement
The Barracuda open up the 2018-19 season as the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 22.7 years old, which is comprised of 10 rookies. Ontario is the AHL’s 20th youngest roster at 24.38 years old. 13 players on San Jose’s 25-man opening night roster skated in at least one game for San Jose last year.

Big trade
On June 14, Sharks GM Doug Wilson traded forward Adam Helewka to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for the 6-foot-5, 235-pound defenseman Kyle Wood. Two seasons ago, Wood was named to the AHL All-Rookie team after collecting 43 points (14 goals, 29 assists) from the blueline.

National pride
With the offseason signings of Vincent Praplan (Switzerland) and Lukas Radil (Czech Republic), along with the return of Barracuda captain John McCarthy, San Jose’s opening night roster will be comprised of three different skaters who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

If you bring your entire family tonight, then you won’t have to pay any fees and you can save $18 at the Threat Metrix Ticket Office. In addition, the Intermission Player Signings–presented by Will Party–will happen during the second intermission tonight. Barracuda players to be announced. Enjoy the game!

Barracuda unable to string two wins together as they lose to Reign 7-3

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By: Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda were looking to win two games in a row, entering Saturday’s rivalry matchup against the Ontario Reign at SAP Center.

The Reign pretty much gave the Cuda a hard time in the first period.

The Reign went on an early power play for hooking against the Cuda’s Julius Bergman. Just three minutes in, Michael Mersch found the back of the net to give his team a 1-0 lead.

The Reign made it a 2-0 game after Kyle Bauman notched his first professional goal in his third AHL game so far this season. Bauman made a diving backhand flip on the puck, which made its way over the shoulder of Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau.

The Cuda cut the lead in half on Brandon Mashinter’s goal, his 16th on the season,

But the Reign quickly found a way to extend its lead to 3-1 with 4:34 left in the first. Matt Moulson found himself in the middle of the crease with the puck on his stick and put it in the net.

The Cuda trailed the Reign 3-1 at the end of the first. Shots were 16-9 in favor of San Jose.

Cuda’s Emerson Clark scored on the breakaway for his eighth goal on the season to pull his team within one just 3:08 into the second period.

From there, things started getting chippy between the two rival teams. Mersch and Kurtis MacDermid were not happy with each other, which led them to drop the gloves for an action-packed fight. In addition, Colby McAuley threw the puck into the empty net. The officials were perplexed at first, but then figured out to assess the appropriate penalties.

The Reign went on a 5-on-3 power play for two minutes. Ontario managed to redeem themselves as Philippe Maillet tallied a power-play goal, his 17th on the season, at the 11:37 mark. As a result, the Barracuda pulled Bibeau in lieu of Stephon Williams.

Justin Auger made it 5-2 Reign with 6:29 left in the second. Auger completed a stunning pass from Sam Herr in the far corner for his 10th goal on the season.

The Reign expanded its lead to 6-2 with 4:58 left in the second. Maillet dangled around the net and fed Sean Walker, who fired in a clean slap shot and subsequently picked up his sixth goal on the season.

Reign’s Bokondji Imama went to the box late in the second. Reign goalie Cal Petersen made a tremendous save on the penalty kill, but then the Cuda’s Rudolfs Balcers proceeded to score a power-play goal, his 18th goal on the season, to help his team cut the lead in half with 3:04 left in the second.

The Barracuda started to pave its way back into the game, but continued to trail the Reign 6-3 at the end of the second. Shots were 29-20 in favor of San Jose.

Austin Wagner beat Williams through the five-hole for his ninth goal on the season, giving the Reign a 7-3 lead with 1:13 left in the third period.

The Reign pretty much had this game from start to finish and the Cuda lost by a score of 7-3. Petersen finished with 33 saves for Ontario. Meanwhile, Bibeau made 10 saves and allowed five goals before being pulled in favor of Williams, who made eight saves and allowed two goals in relief of Bibeau.

Notes
Cuda starting lineup: Rudolfs Balcers, Rourke Chartier, Adam Helewka, Jacob Middleton and Tim Heed.

Reign starting lineup: Jordan Subban, T.J. Hensick, Kurtis MacDermid, Jonny Brodzinski and Austin Wagner.

Up Next
The Cuda host the Roadrunners Sunday at 3:00 pm PST.