San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda hope to keep winning face Stockton Friday night at SAP Center

photo from @sjbarracuda: San Jose Barracuda sweaters hang in the San Jose dressing room before Dec 11th’s game commemorating the shooting victims of last year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival. The sweaters will be auctioned off until Mon Dec 30th

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The San Jose Barracuda picked up a big win over the San Diego Gulls 4-2 in a third period comeback last on Friday

#2 Andrew Shortridge in goal for the Barracuda on Friday stopped 25 of 27 shots allowed two goals in the win.

#3 Joachim Blichfield scored a team leading 11th goal in the win on Friday extending his point streak to five games

#4 Michael Chiasson and Jimmy Bonneau co-coaches picked up their first win on Friday since taking over the helm after former head coach Roy Sommer joined the parent club Sharks on Dec 11th

#5 Marko sets up the Barracuda-Stockton Heat match up this Friday afternoon at SAP Center

Join Marko each Wednesday for the Barracuda podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Barracuda use third period outburst to shoot down Gulls 4-2

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda are the worst third period team in the AHL with a goal differential of -16. They made a step to reverse that trend by scoring four unanswered goals in the final frame for a 4-2 come-from-behind win over the San Diego Gulls on Friday evening at Pachenga Arena.

The Cuda snapped their three game losing streak, while San Diego has lost three games in a row. The Cuda are now 3-2 against San Diego this season. The two teams both have 22 points each as they sit at the bottom of the Pacific Divison.

San Diego (10-12-1-1) drew first blood right at the end of a power play that included 50 seconds of a 5-on-3 in the first period. Ryan Johnston fired a shot that banked off a skate that deflected over to a wide-open Blake Pietila, who punched home the rebound for his fifth goal of the season at the 13:16 mark.

The goal snapped a streak by the anemic San Diego power play as they were 1-for-35 in their last 10 games before Pietila’s goal.

Both goalies put on a clinic in the opening 20 minutes. Gulls goalie Anthony Stolarz stopped San Jose best chance, a shot by Alexander True on a 2-on-1 rush with Jonny Brodzinski. ‘Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced

San Jose (10-14-0-2) opened up the second period on a power play as Josh Mahura went into the sinbin for interference with four seconds left in the first period. However, the Gulls penalty kill kept them off the scoreboard.

The ‘Cuda outshot the Gulls 13-7 but it was Shortridge who made a momentum changing save with under a minute left in the middle frame when he stoned away a shot by Alex Dotsie on a 2-on-1 rush as he lunged from his right to left to frustrate Dotsie.

San Jose scored the equalizer early in the third period. True found Joachim Blichfeld in the Gulls zone. Blichfeld fired a low wrist shot off the post and into the back of the net for team leading 11th goal of the season at the 5:32 mark. Nick DeSimone received the secondary assist.

Blichfeld is also the current leader in points for San Jose with 22.

Keaton Middleton gave the Cuda its first lead after taking a pass from Nick Meloche and he sniped a wrist shot from above the left faceoff circle short side under the crossbar for his second goal of the season at the 9:54 mark.

San Jose scored a late insurance goal when Jayden Halbgewachs and Dylan Gambrell led an odd man rush into the Gulls zone. The duo had a pretty give-and-go with each other as Halbgewachs buried the puck past Stolarz for a tic-tac-toe goal, his eighth of the season, at the 18:09 mark.

True scored an empty-net goal with 38 seconds left in the game. It was his eighth of the season for the Danish forward.

Jack Kopacka capped off the scoring with his fourth goal of the season with two seconds in the game.

Shortridge finished the evening with 25 saves on 27 shots for the Alaskan native’s third victory of the season to earn the victory. Stolarz made 33 saves on 37 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-4 on the power play. San Diego was 2-for-4.

Blichfeld extended his point streak to five games. He now has goals in back-to-back games since being reassigned back to the ‘Cuda.

Three stars of the game:
1) Shortridge
2) True
3) K. Middleton

The announced attendance was 7,519.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda host the Stockton Heat on Friday 12/27 at 1:15 pm at SAP Center.

Halbgewachs the OT hero as Barracuda shoot down Gulls 3-2

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda did something that hasn’t happened very often in their five-year history. The ability to come from behind in a hostile environment. They exorcised those demons with a 3-2 overtime victory over the San Diego Gulls on Thanksgiving Eve at Pachenga Arena in San Diego.

San Jose has won two games in a row and are currently tied with San Diego, who have lost two in a row but earned a point going for going into overtime, for last place in the Pacific Division as both teams currently have 15 points on the season.

It didn’t look good for San Jose late in the third period until Evan Weinger rescued his team with his fifth goal of the season with under four minutes left in regulation. Nick DeSimone and Joel Kellman set up Weinger’s equalizer that came at 16:33 mark.

Then, it only took just over two minutes into the extra session when Maxim Letunov set up Jayden Halbewachs for the game winner. Halbgewachs fired a shot past Gulls goaltender Anthony Stolarz for his fourth goal of the season at the 2:08 mark.

San Diego (7-8-1-0) drew first blood late in the first period when Chris Wideman scored his seventh goal of the season at the 17:31 mark. Isac Lunderstrom and Scott Moldenhauer assisted on Wideman’s tally.

Despite outshooting the Gulls by a 2-to-1 margin 12-6, the ‘Cuda found themselves down 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes.

San Jose (7-10-0-1) tied it up with their hot power play of late. Alexander True sent a pass over to Jonny Brodzinski and the Minnesota native’s shot went into the back of the net for his third goal of the season at the 3:14 mark. Joachim Blichfeld received the secondary assist.

The Gulls regained the lead just over five minutes later when Alex Dostie scored his fifth goal of the season at the 8:28 mark. Dostie has now scored in two consecutive games against the Barracuda. Daniel Sprong and Moldenhauer were credited with the assists, giving Moldenhauer a multi-point game.

‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar finished a light evening, stopping 14 of the 16 shots he faced to earn his sixth victory of the season. Stolarz, in contrast to Korenar had a very busy night, making 38 saves on 41 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/3 on the power play. San Diego was 0/2. The ‘Cuda have scored four goals with the man advantage in their last two games.

The announced attendance was 5,444.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home to host the Bakersfield Condors on Friday, November 29 at 6:00 pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda look for second straight win tonight in San Diego, a chance to move out of the cellar

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The San Jose Barracuda (6-10-0-1) got the bitter taste of defeat from Friday’s game out of their mouth and got the sweet taste of victory on Saturday with a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Eagles.

#2 The Barracuda scored six unanswered goals. Anytime you can light the lamp like that, you’re going to have a good chance to win it.

#3 After losing on Friday, it looks like a sure regroup thing. Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer had a game plan.

#4 The Cuda are trying to work their way out of the bottom of the Pacific Division occupying the cellar, but looking to have more games like they did on Saturday.

#5 The Barracuda take on the Gulls tonight in San Diego. The Cuda have had trouble with San Diego. Marko sets this game up for us.

Join Marko for all the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Carrick’s hat trick leads Gulls over Barracuda 9-3

photo from sjbarracuda.com

By Marko Ukalovic

If the Anaheim Ducks need any offensive help from their minor league club, they have a strong candidate who has been putting on a show lately. Sam Carrick scored a hat trick in leading the San Diego Gulls to a 9-3 victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday evening at Pachenga Arena.

With back-to-back to wins for San Diego, they climb past San Jose into sixth place in the Pacific Division after winning five of their last six game. For the ‘Cuda, they fall into the cellar with their fifth straight loss and continue to be winless in the month of November.

The nine goals given up by San Jose is the most goals they have surrendered in franchise history.

San Diego (5-7-0-0) drew first blood early in the first period. Isac Lunderstrom led Justin Kloos on a breakaway. Kloos beat ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for his first of two goals at the 1:12 mark.

San Jose (4-7-0-1) looked like they would change their fortunes when they were scored two goals in 35 seconds part in the opening 20 minutes.

Danil Yurtaykin scored his first goal as a member of the Barracuda when he beat Gulls goalie Anthony Stolarz with a wrist shot at the 8:16 mark. Dalton Prout earned his first point as a member of the ‘Cuda in the second game of his rehab assignment with the primary assist.

Then, Antti Suomela scored the first of his two goals on the evening at the 8:51 mark. Manny Weiderer received the only assist on Suomela’s goal.

San Diego answered San Jose’s goals with three of their own to close out the first period. Alex Broadhurst scored on a breakaway (that would be theme of the game as the ‘Cuda gave up four breakaway goals on five chances) at the 11:25 mark. Blake Pietila and Daniel Sprong were credited with assists.

Carrick scored the next two goals. The first came on the power play at the 12:19 mark when he blasted a rocket of a shot past Korenar. Then five minutes later he got his second one at the 17:29 mark.

The only goal in the second period came from the stick of Suomela when he scored his second of the game at the 7:06 mark. Jeffery Viel and Keaton Middleton received the assists on Suomela’s third goal of the season.

San Jose out shot San Diego 13-9 in the middle frame and looked to take momentum into the second intermission as they were down by one-goal 4-3.

However, a complete collapse in a horrific third period by the ‘Cuda allowed San Diego to break the game wide open and turn the game into a laugher as the Gulls scored five goals, including two short-handed and one on the power play.

Carrick completed the hat trick just 1:43 into the period on the power play after knocking in on his rebound through the five-hole of Korenar. Carrick has tallied six goals in his last four games. Then, less than a minute later, Alex Dostie scored his third goal in four games and fourth of the season at the 2:23 mark.

Kiefer Sherwood scored his breakaway goal and third goal for San Diego in the first five minutes of the final frame at the 5:08 mark.

It was deja vu for Kloos as he scored his second breakaway goal, which looked almost identical to his first, short-handed for his second of the season at the 7:16 mark. Chase De Leo joined the offensive party and completed the scoring with a short-handed goal, his second of the season at the 17:25 mark.

Stolarz made 32 saves on 35 shots to earn his fifth victory of the season. It was a night Korenar would like to forget as he gave up all nine goals on 32 shots in the shellacking.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/3 on the power play. San Diego was 2/5.

The announced attendance was 5,934.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel up to Stockton to take on the Heat on Saturday 11/16 at 6:00 pm at Stockton Arena.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda trying to avoid falling into cellar in battle for last place with Gulls tonight in San Diego

photo from sjbarracuda.com: Jacob Middleton has re-joined the San Jose Barracuda after being reassigned from the San Jose Sharks. Middleton is expected to be in the line up tonight against the San Diego Gulls.

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The Barracuda have now lost four consecutive games in their last game against tonight’s opponent, the San Diego Gulls. What will head coach Roy Sommer do to try and stop the bleeding?

#2 The Gulls are just one game back of the Barracuda and are in last place, but always give the Barracuda fits each time the clubs meet.

#3 The one thing that’s killing the Barracuda is their getting locked into tie games and being forced into shootouts. The four consecutive loses have all resulted into shootouts.

#4 How concerning is the Barracuda’s power play they were 0-4 last Sunday at SAP against San Diego?

#5 They play the Gulls again tonight. If the Barracuda lose again tonight, they will be in a virtual tie for last place, how concerning does that have to be for coach Sommer?

Listen to Marko each Wednesday for the Barracuda podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Gulls use balanced attack, take down the Barracuda 3-1

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Diego Gulls scored three unaswered goals and tightened their belts defensively in taking down the San Jose Barracuda 3-1 on Sunday evening at SAP Center.

It is the fourth consecutive loss for San Jose, who have hit a rut offensively this past week. For San Diego, they have won four in a row after going winless in the month of October.

San Diego (4-6-0-0) drew first blood early to open up the game. Jack Kopacka led a 3-on-2 odd man rush where he fed a pass up to Alex Dotsie at center ice. Corey Tropp then gave the puck back to Dostie on a pretty give and go where Dostie skated in all alone on ‘Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge and snapped a shot top-shelf into the upper right corner for his third goal of the season at the 2:19 mark.

The Gulls doubled their lead toward the end of the opening 20 minutes when Brendan Guhle sent a pass into the ‘Cuda zone that caromed off the right boards where Tropp quickly moved it over to Sam Carrick, who crashed the crease and tipped it past Shortridge for his third goal of the season with 58 seconds left.

San Diego dominated the first period as they outshot San Jose 10-5.

San Diego scored an insurance goal midway through the second period. Alex Broadhurst found a wide-open Justin Kloos at the middle of the ‘Cuda blue line. Kloos skated in and fed a pass to his left over to Blake Pietila, who quickly fired a wrist shot top-shelf into the short side of the net for his second goal of the season at the 11:07 mark.

Joachim Blichfeld spoiled the shutout bid for Gulls goalie Anthony Stolarz near the end of the middle frame. San Jose (4-6-0-1)’s forward stole a pass from Guhle at the blueline and raced down on a breakaway where his initial shot was saved by Stolarz. He was able to collect his own rebound, hesitate and then wired a wrist shot top-shelf past Stolarz for his fourth goal of the season at the 17:54 mark.

San Jose would not get any closer than that. Despite some good pressure put on in the third period as they outshot San Diego 10-6, San Diego’s defense anchored down, with the help of Stolarz, and did not allow another goal.

Stolarz finished with 31 saves on 32 shot to earn his fourth win of the season. Shortridge made 22 saves on 25 shots in the losing effort.

GAMES NOTES: San Jose was 0/4 on the power play. San Diego was 0/3.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Dalton Prout made his debut for the Barracuda while on a rehab assignment. He finished with no goals or assists and a -1.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel down to San Diego to take on the Gulls on Wednesday, November 13 at 7:00 pm at Pechanga Arena.

Barracuda overcome two-goal deficit, down Condors 4-3

photo from sjbarracuda.com

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda have a flair for the dramatic. Down by two goals late in the second period, they went on to score three unanswered goals to storm back in a 4-3 comeback victory over the Bakersfield Condors on Sunday afternoon at SAP Center.

The second consecutive victory for San Jose (2-1-0-0) over the defending Pacific Division champions was also a sweep of the weekend games at home after dropping the season opener nine days ago in Ontario.

After a scoreless first period where neither team generated many scoring chances, Bakersfield (1-1-1-0) drew first blood early in the middle frame. Cooper Marody won a battle along the right boards. He then fed Sam Gagner near the slot and Gagner found a wide open Kailer Yamamoto back door on the left side, who skated in and blasted a one-timer past Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge for his third goal of the season at the 2:00 mark.

The Cuda scored the equalizer when Joel Kellman led a three-on-two odd man rush from center ice. He fed Jonny Brodzinki along the right side. Brodzinki returned the favor back to Kellman, who beat Condor defenseman Evan Bouchard up the ice, and the rookie forward sneaked in a point-blank shot to the left side of Condor goalie Shane Starrett for his first career AHL goal at the 4:24 mark. Noah Gregor received the secondary assist.

“We won the puck low in their end,” said the Swedish forward Kellman. “I just chipped it out to Brodzi (Brodzinski), tried to drive to the net and it was a great pass (from Brodzinski).”

The Condors regained the lead when a shot from Keegan Lowe took a tricky hop from behind the net and ended up out in front of the crease where a scrum of players ensued. After a couple of attempts from Bakersfield, Joe Gambardella poked home the loose puck for his first goal of the season at the 9:10 mark.

Bakersfield gained a two-goal lead two and half minutes later when after a failed clearing attempt by San Jose led to Tyler Bensen feeding out a puck from behind the net over to the left slot where Ryan McLeod skated in and wired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Shortridge for his first goal of the season at the 11:37 mark.

Alex True made it a one-goal game later in the second period when he camped out in front of the crease and tipped the puck through the five-hole of Starrett thanks to a wrist shot from Jayden Halbgewachs just beyond the face off circles. True’s second goal of the season came at the 16:53 mark.

San Jose took the momentum from True’s goal and carried it into the third period where they would do all the scoring. A turnover up high in the Cuda zone led to a three-on-one odd man rush for San Jose. Gregor skated in and beat Starrett top-shelf with a quick wrist shot for his first career AHL goal to tie the game at 3-3 at the 6:51 mark.

“Going back to junior and having a strong a year really helped with my confidence,” said Gregor. “Coming into this year, I knew I could play at the American League level and play pro. I think I carried that into this season.”

With just under three and half minutes remaining in the game, a weak passing attempt into the middle of the ice by Condors defenseman Caleb Jones, hit off the skate of Kellman and went right to the stick of Ivan Chekovich, who brought the puck back before firing a wrist shot over the head of Starrett into the back of the net for the game-winning goal at the 16:40 mark. Chekovich’s first goal of the season earned him the first star of the match.

Shortridge earned his first win of his AHL career making 26 saves on 29 shots. Starrett made 16 saves on 20 shots in the losing effort.

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

UP NEXT: San Jose closes out their three-game homestand on Saturday 10/19 when they take on the Ontario Reign at 1:15 pm at SAP Center.

Barracuda dominate Gulls in home opener with 5-1 victory

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda had a week to stew on their horrible seasoning opening loss against Ontario. They came out chomping at the bit as they used three-first period goals to rout the San Diego Gulls 5-1 in their home opener on Friday evening at the SAP Center.

San Jose (1-1) drew first blood late in the first period on the power play. Joel Kellman sent a pass back over to the point to Thomas Gregoire, who fired a shot toward the net. Maxim Letunov camped out in front and the Russian forward was able to tip the puck past Gulls goalie Anthony Stolarz for his first goal of the season at the 15:47 mark.

“I got stronger,” said Letunov, who had a two-point night. “I think that’s where my biggest improvement was made. I think I’m going to get a lot of goals this year, dirty goals like you said in front of the net.”

The Cuda doubled their lead 72 seconds later. Letunov stole the puck on a clearing attempt. As he was knocked off the puck, Jeffery Viel skated in for the loose puck near the left slot and wired a wrist shot past Stolarz for his first goal of the season at the 16:59 mark.

“Last game our forecheck wasn’t very good,” said Viel. “Our d-zone was sloppy. We had a good week of practice. I think it showed today on both sides (of the ice) so it’s good.”

Alexander True appeared to have scored his first goal with 2:08 remaining, but the goal disallowed as he kicked the puck in with his skate.

San Jose scored their second power play goal of the period when Gregoire fed a pass over to Noah Gregor at the right slot where his shot was saved by Stolarz. However, a big rebound carried out to Jayden Halbgewachs near the left side of the net, where he buried the puck into an empty net for his first goal of the season at the 18:32 mark.

The Cuda outshot the Gulls by a 2-1 margin, 16-8 in the opening 20 minutes.

“I think it was the camping trip, the rangers making us pour all of our beer out,” head coach Roy Sommer bemused about his team’s start. “I think we found two descent forechecks. Tonight there was a barrel of them. Great effort.”

San Diego (0-2) received two power plays in the first 10 minutes of the second period, but weren’t able to cash in on either opportunity, thanks to some good goaltending from Cuda goalie Josef Korenar. He made two consecutive point-blank saves during the second power play attempt that kept the Gulls off the scoreboard.

San Jose added to their lead late in the middle frame when the line of Halbegwachs, Joachim Blichfeld and True generated two good scoring chances before True found himself all alone in front of the net. After jamming away at the puck twice, the third time was a charm as the puck slid underneath Stolarz for True’s first goal of the season at the 14:36 mark.

The highlight of the period came when Chase De Leo stormed in on a breakaway attempt, only to have Korenar hold his ground and turn away De Leo’s shot with under four minutes remaining.

“The big saves early (on), those are the ones that usually win you games,” said Sommer. “Like the NHL, this league is a hard league to come back from when you’re down. It got us going and we took off from there.”

San Diego broke the shutout bid for Korenar on the power play late in the third period when Kiefer Sherwood sent over a cross-ice pass to Hunter Drew at the right point. Drew skated in and snapped a wrist shot past Korenar for his first goal of the season at the 14:22 mark.

Jonny Brodzinksi put the bow on the box when he closed out the scoring on a breakaway 42 seconds later. Brodzinski intercepted a pass at the center ice and skated in on Stolarz and finished off the play with a forehand-to-backhand move over the right shoulder of Stolarz for his first goal of the season at the 15:00 mark.

Korenar (1-1) finished the game, stopping 23 of the 24 shots he faced to earn his first win of the season. Stolarz (0-2) had a busy night, making 37 saves on 42 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 2/6 on the power play. San Diego was 1/6.

Fisticuffs! Viel and Coey Tropp got into it with each other five minutes into the first period. Both went off for fighting majors.

UP NEXT: San Jose hosts the Bakersfield Condors on Sunday, October 13 at 1:15 pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda and Gulls in home opener tonight at SAP Center

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On SJ Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 With the Barracuda parent club going 1-4 to start the season, will the San Jose Sharks dip into the Cuda well to farm out some players to help out in some SOS situations?

#2 Another concern is the Ontario Reign got what is known in hockey, a 5-0 shutout laugher, on the Barracuda last Friday night in the Southland in the season opener?

#3 Cuda goalie Josef Kornear was made of target practice Friday stopping 27 shots out of 32. Is this something that he can shake off coming into tonight’s opener or should head coach Roy Sommer be concerned?

#4 The power play was weak for San Jose they went 0-4. Those are some critical opportunities where they could have got on the scoreboard, but ended up getting shutout.

#5 The Barracuda open up against the San Diego Gulls, who also lost the Bakersfield Condors last Friday night 2-1. The Gulls gave the Barracuda fits last season to knock them out of the playoffs. Marko set this one up as the Barracuda host the Gulls for the home opener tonight.

Marko Ukalovic is a Barracuda beat writer for http://www.sportsradioservice.com