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.

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 gain a point, but fall 5-4 to Reign in overtime

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By: Ana Kieu

The San Jose Barracuda were looking to rain on the Ontario Reign’s parade at the Citizens Business Bank Arena on Sunday.

The Barracuda tweeted out their starting lineups in a fairly creative manner.

The Reign got off to a strong start as Philippe Maillet finished a wraparound to open the scoring for a 1-0 lead at the the 16:06 mark of the first period. A Reign player then fired a shot into the net, but Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau stopped the shot with a notable save.

The Barracuda went on their first power play of the game after the Reign committed a faceoff violation. However, Ontario made it a 2-0 game when Jonny Brodzinski (Mike Brodzinski’s older brother) buried a one-timer from the far side with a minute left in the first.

Shots were 7-6 in favor of the Reign, who led 2-0 after the first.

But the action was just getting started in the rivalry game. Both teams exchanged words with each other. This time around, they remained at even strength, which was a rare occurrence.

A Reign player was called for high-sticking and the Cuda returned on the power play. Not only that, San Jose scored just 10 seconds into that power play. Alex True collected a deflection from Nick DeSimone and fired the puck into the net to cut Ontario’s lead in half at the 13:12 mark of the second period.

After a Cuda power play that was sparked by a Reign tripping penalty, Julius Bergman helped his team erase a two-goal deficit with a full-strength goal to tie the game with 7:08 left in the second. San Jose then went on a 5-on-3 penalty kill as Adam Helewka and Brandon Mashinter went to the box for boarding.

The Cuda were short-handed and the Reign capitalized with the man advantage as Jonny Brodzinski scored a power-play goal–his second of the game–with 4:57 left in the second. With that goal, Brodzinski tallied his 1,000th AHL point.

The Cuda’s power play was most definitely good. Jacob Middleton tied the game at three apiece with 28 seconds left in the second. The officials reviewed Middleton’s goal and decided that it was still good.

Shots were 22-21 in favor of the Cuda, but the score was even at three apiece after the second.

Nobody predicted a wild start, but the Cuda took a 4-3 lead on a short-handed play by DeSimone early in the third period.

It was a first for both teams when San Jose’s Zach Fryes dropped the gloves with Ontario’s Jordan Subban (P.K. and Malcolm Subban’s youngest brother). Fryes experienced his first professional fight, while Subban and his team had their first fight against the Cuda since the 2015-16 AHL season.

Since the Cuda didn’t want to be left out of time in the box, the game headed into a 4-on-4 and the Reign tied the game at four apiece. After that, Ontario headed back on the power play for the remainder of the game, which went into a sudden death overtime.

There’s nothing like an extra dose of hockey, but the game was in favor of the Reign. Just 59 seconds into overtime, Reign captain Brett Sutter scored the overtime winner for a 5-4 win over the Cuda, who gained a point regardless of the final result.

Tonight’s Matchup: On Sunday, the Barracuda and Reign collided for the seventh of eight matchups on the season. The Barracuda are 2-4-0-0 against the Reign this year and are coming off a 2-1 shootout win against the Reign in the last meeting on March 4 at SAP Center.

Century Mark: The Cuda earned franchise victory #100 with a 4-0 win over the Monsters on March 10. The Barracuda joined the Reign, Gulls and *Texas Stars (*play 76 game schedule) as Pacific Division teams to reach 100 wins since 2015-16.

Killing It: The Cuda have killed 17 straight on the PK after going 2-for-2 on Friday and have not given up a power-play goal since March 23 at Bakersfield. San Jose ranks first in the Pacific on the kill and seventh in the AHL.

Oh Captain: Cuda captain John McCarthy collected six points (three goals, three assists) in two games against the Monsters last weekend, culminating in his first CCM/AHL Player of the Week nomination. McCarthy helped lead San Jose to a 6-2 win on Saturday as he collected his first pro hat-trick (sixth in Cuda history) and his first four-point night. The Olympian ranks first on the Cuda in plus/minus (+7), first in power-play goals (6), T-second in goals (10), and third in points (23). McCarthy is riding a three-game point streak (three goals, four assists).

Hey Rudy: Among first-year AHL players, Rudolfs Balcers ranks eighth in points (40), T-10th in assists (22), and T-13th in goals (17). The Liepaja, Latvia native leads the Cuda in points, assists, goals, and is T-first in game-winning goals (4). Balcers is currently on a three-game point streak after collecting a goal and an assist on Friday.

Goalie Time: In his fourth professional season, and first within the Sharks’ organization, AHL All-Star Antoine Bibeau is 18-12-2 in 32 games played with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. The Victoriaville, Quebec, native is T-fourth in the AHL in shutouts (4), fifth in goals-against average, T-seventh in save percentage, and T-10th in wins.

Coach Knows Best: Cuda head coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected the 700th AHL win of his career on December 3 at Bakersfield. Sommer is the first coach in the 82-year history of the AHL to reach 700 coaching wins. In 2015-16, Sommer surpassed Fred “Bun” Cook as the AHL’s all-time leader in wins and collected his first A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year in 2016-17. Sommer, who’s in his AHL record 20th season behind the bench for the top affiliate of the Sharks, coached his 1,500th game in the AHL on December 8 at SAP Center against Tucson.

Up Next
The Barracuda visit the Roadrunners for the first of a back-to-back set Tuesday night at 7:05 pm PST.

Bulls Fall In Overtime To The Reign 3-2

Photo Courtesy of the SF Bulls
Photo Courtesy of the SF Bulls

By Kahlil Najar


The San Francisco Bulls (7-12-2-2) lost a tough one in overtime to the Ontario Reign (15-3-1-3), 3-2. Dale Mitchell, who just returned to the ice yesterday tied the game up in the third to force overtime however the Reign’s Matt Register scored in the extra period to squash a Bulls sweep on the weekend. Tyler Gron is proving to be a superstar on the team as he continued his point streak to seven games with a goal and an assist.

At 12:08 of the first period, Mario Lamoureux was able to snap a short shot past J.P. Anderson and give the Reign a 1-0 lead. Matt Register and Derek Couture earned assists on the goal. Tyler Gron and the Bulls responded with 3:14 left in the first when on a power play he was able to flip a rebound off of Hutchinson into the back of the goal and tie the game at one a piece.

Ontario was given a two-man advantage and Derek Couture received a nice pass from Jake Newton and got a shot past Anderson from the bottom of the left circle and make it a 2-1 lead after two periods. The Bulls had only shot 14 times in the first two periods while the Reign had 30.

The Bulls were on a four-minute power play after a double minor to the Reign and Dale Mitchell was able to backhand rebound past Hutchinson’s blocker to tie the game 2-2.

In overtime, Register scored at 3:24 to give Ontario the 3-2 victory.

The Bulls travel to Las Vegas to face the Wranglers tomorrow for a 2:05 pm start.

Bulls beat first place Reign 4-1

Photo Courtesy SFBulls
Photo Courtesy SFBulls

By Kahlil Najar

ONTARIO – Scott Langdon scored twice and Tyler Beskorowany made 42 saves to help lead the San Francisco Bulls (7-12-1-1) to a 4-1 victory over the first place Ontario Reign (14-3-1-3). Tyler Gron extended his point streak to six games with a goal, while Jordan Morrison  and Brett Findlay also extended their point streaks to five games.

Spark plug Dale Mitchell returned for the first time since a back injury in early November and grab himself a goal early in the first period. Langdon followed up with his first goal of the night just 48 seconds later on a beautiful wraparound goal that he was able to stuff by Ontario goalie Hutchinson and give the Bulls a 2-0 lead.

After the first intermission, Langdon stormed back onto the ice and was able to shoot a blast from the point with only 44 seconds gone and gave the Bulls a 3-0 lead. The Reign got their first goal of the night on a laser shot from Matt Register from the point that somehow made it’s way through traffic and beat Besko.

With a little less than 10 minutes gone in the third, Tyler Gron was able to be Hutchinson and bring us to the final score of 4-1.

The Bulls face the Reign again Saturday night for a 6 p.m.

Bulls drop fifth straight lose 6-0

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Bulls can’t seem to figure out the Idaho Steelheads and goalie Pat Nagle. The Bulls took a season high 41 shots on goal but dropped their fifth straight game and lost to the Steelheads 6-0. The 41 shots on goal is one shot less than the franchise record set last year. The Bulls are now 0-2-1-1 against Idaho. With his 41 stops, Steelheads goalie Nagle earned his fourth win and first shutout of the year. The goose egg put up by the Bulls was their first shutout at home this season and the first time they haven’t scored a goal since November 6th against Ontario.

The Steelheads Anthony Nigro beat Tyler Beskorowany just 18 seconds into the game and gave Idaho the early 1-0 lead.

On the quick goal Bulls Head Coach Pat Curcio said, “He scored on a lucky bounce and it hit the shaft and went in. It’s hard to gain confidence when you have a goal go in like that.”

The Bulls played well after that goal and notched a season high 19 shots on goal in the first period. One of those shots was what looked like a goal by the Bulls Chris Crane but was waved off by the on-ice officials as the goal judge had lost sight of the puck.

‘The goal judge couldn’t see the puck so he blew the whistle. You’d think at home they’d turn the light on for you,” said Curcio.

“We’ve got to get to the net, we’ve got to stop at the crease and we have to pepper it on the goalie. We have to get in their face,” said right winger Chris Crane on the Bulls play through the first.

In the second, Idaho’s Patrick Cullity was streaking down the left side of the Bulls zone and found a open Mercier who was skating into the slot and smacked a one-timer that just beat Beskorowany’s outstretched left pad to make it 2-0.The third period saw a flurry of Idaho goals including a gut-wrenching shorthanded goal by Mercier that Curcio said was the killer and totally deflated the team. Brock Montgomery, William Rapuzzi, and Gaelan Peterson scored the remainder of the goals for Idaho and sealed the victory, 6-0.

“I don’t know what to tell these guys when you take 41 shots and probably over 20 scoring chances and you don’t score a goal, it’s pretty frustrating,” said Curcio. “If you don’t score and get momentum and get confidence then you’re in trouble.”

The Bulls head back on the ice tomorrow at the Cow Palace against the Utah Grizzlies. Curcio said, “We’ve got to find a way to win tomorrow. We’re going to stay positive and take shots on goal.”

Crane echoed coaches sentiments and said, “The most important thing is that we have to move on. You have to walk out of this rink and get a good nights sleep and recover. We have to come in tomorrow and take it to them. It’s our barn and that’s what we have to do.”

Game time is 7:30pm PST. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Bulls Cow Bell. In addition, the SF Firefighters Local 789 is hosting a Toy Drive. Each fan that donates a toy receives a “Buy One Get One Free” voucher for either the December 14 or December 17 game.

Bulls losing streak builds to three, Reign win 3-1


By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Bulls (4-7-1-1) lost to the Ontario Reign (9-1-1-3) 3-1 which brings their losing streak to three games. Sunday afternoon at the Cow Palace. The Bulls took a season high 9 shots on goal but were only able to find the back of the goal once by Chris Crane.

“Our five-on-five hockey, we’re exactly what we want to be. A blue collar, hard-working team. I feel like right now we’re just struggling to score. It’s been our story all year. I feel like we’re doing everything we’re supposed to do. It’s our special teams, if we could get one more power play goal and prevent one more goal against on the penalty kill,” said Head Coach Pat Curcio on the teams struggles.

The Ontario Reign got on the board first when Dan DaSilva was able to strip the puck from the Bulls and managed to get the puck past Tyler Beskorowany for a shorthanded goal and make it a 1-0 Ontario lead.

The second period saw a total of 17 penalties which led to a lot of 5-on-3 and 4-on-4 opportunities for each team and Ontario was able to capitalize. On a 5-on-3 power play, Cameron Burt smacked a one-timer from the blue line that beat Tyler Beskorowany and brought the Ontario lead to two.

The Bulls struck back in the third when Chris Crane as able to shove the puck home after a Mark Lee shot from the point was turned away. Dean Ouellet, who was held pointless in yesterday’s game earned an assist and brought his point total to six on the year. Ontario’s Adrian Van de Mosselaer scored the insurance goal with 9:58 remaining in regulation and sealed the Bulls three game losing streak.

The Bulls next take on the Stockton Thunder at Stockton Arena on Wednesday at 7 pm.