Eagles rock Barracuda 5-1 sending them to sixth straight loss

by Marko Ukalovic

LOVELAND, Colo- In a heated battle where both team combined for 40 penalty minutes, the Colorado Eagles proved their dominanace over the San Jose Barracuda in a 5-1 victory on Friday evening at Budwiser Events Center.

San Jose has lost a season-high six games in a row while Colorado have won three games in a row and sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 54 points.

Colorado (25-14-3-1) drew first blood in the first period. Kevin Connauton fed a home run pass from his own zone all the way into the ‘Cuda zone where AJ Greer pounced on the puck and chipped it over ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko into the upper right corner for the first of his two goals on the night at the 12:09 mark.

San Jose (14-25-1-2) evened the score over four minutes later. Manny Weiderer fed a pass from center ice that sprung Noah Gregor on a breakaway. Gregor skated in and beat Eagles goalie Hunter Miska with a shot top-shelf for his seventh goal of the season at the 16:20 mark.

Things got chippy in the second half of the opening 20 minutes between the two Pacific Division rivals when two separate fights broke out. Lean Bergmann and Logan O’Connor tangoed with each other at the 12:19 mark. Then Jeffery Viel and Dan Renouf exchanged fisticuffs with 56 seconds left.

Colorado took control of the game in the second period en route to four unanswered goals. Shane Bowers fed a pass up the ice to Greer, who had just came out of the penalty box after his penalty had expired, that led to a breakaway. Greer skated in before depositing a backhander past Sawchenko for his second goal of the night and his 11th of the season at the 6:36 mark.

The ‘Cuda had a chance on the power play on to try to score the equalizer late in the middle frame. Instead Jayson Megna blocked a shot attempt by Nick DeSimone at the point and he in turn created his own breakaway opportunity. Megna buried a backhander past Sawchenko for a short-handed goal, his 16th goal of the season and co-team leader, at the 16:21 mark.

Colorado put the game away with two goals in the third. Eric Condra intercepted a cross ice pass inside the ‘Cuda zone. He skated in on net before he finding a wide open Bowers who tapped in the puck into an empty net for his ninth goal of the season at the 1:12 mark.

The Eagles completed the scoring when Greer sent a shot in from the left point that Condra redirected the puck past Sawchenko for his 12th goal of the season at the 12:46 mark.

Miska finished the night with 31 saves on 32 shots to earn his 10th win of the season. Sawchenko made 29 shots on 34 saves in suffering the loss.

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

Gregor snapped a six-game goalless drought.

The three stars of the night were 1) Greer 2) Miska 3) Bowers.

The announced attendance was 5,289.

UP NEXT: The same two teams battle it again on Saturday 2/8 at 6:00pm at the Budwiser Events Center.

Gulls hang on to send Barracuda to fifth straight loss in 4-2 win

photo from: sjbarracuda.com

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- A game that was exciting from start to finish ended with the San Diego Gulls defeating the San Jose Barracuda 4-2 on Wednesday evening at SAP Center.

On a night where San Jose dressed only 11 forwards, the Barracuda lost its fifth game in a row. The Gulls extended its five-game point streak and are now 4-3 against San Jose this season.

San Diego (20-16-4-2) drew first blood early in the first period. Chris Wideman sent in a shot on goal from the right faceoff circle that deflected off the pad off ‘Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge and veteran forward Chris Mueller cleaned up the rebound beating Shortridge top-shelf for his 14th goal of the season at the 5:49 mark. Antoine Morand picked up the secondary assist.

San Jose (14-24-1-2) evened the score just over two minutes later. Noah Gregor won a race to the puck along the boards behind the net. Gregor fed a backhand pass out to a wide-open Ivan Chekhovich who made a deke around Gulls goalie Anthony Stolarz and tucked home the puck for just his third goal of the season at the 7:55 mark. Chekhovic snapped a 12-game goal-less draught. Nick Meloche received the secondary assist.

“Right now I’m playing on (one of ) the top two lines. I got an opportunity (to be more of an offensive threat) and it’s really nice,” said Chekhovich.

San Diego outshot San Jose 19-14 in the opening 20 minutes.

The Gulls regained the lead at the 9:00 minute mark of the second period. Blake Pietila had the puck along the right boards when he sent over a cross ice pass to Simon Benoit at the left slot. Benoit skated in and wired a wrist shot past Shortridge on the short side for his third goal of the season. It snapped a 28-game goal-less draught for the Laval, Quebec native.

One of the key moments of the game came in the middle frame when Stolarz stopped Chekhovich on a breakaway to preserve their 2-1 lead.

“I thought we made it a point to make sure we got to those (hard) areas and making it a game. I don’t want to say an ugly game but maybe a game they’re not as interested in playing,” said assistant coach John McCarthy.

San Diego scored an insurance goal early in the third period. A shot from the left point was redirected by Brendan Guhle that ricochet off Nick DeSimone’s stick into the back of the net. The unassisted goal was Guhle’s fourth goal of the season that came at the 5:24 mark.

San Jose scored a 4-on-4 goal late in the third period. Chekhovich fished out a puck from a scramble in front of it. He then fed it over to Joachim Blichfeld who buried the puck into an empty net for 14th goal of the season at the at the 14:13 mark. Meloche finished with a two-point game with his second assist on the evening.

“Obviously I have more minutes on the ice so it gives me more confidence (offensively). I just need to move my feet and that’s where I (am able to) create offense,” said Meloche.

Chekhovich played like a man possessed and was arguably the ‘Cuda’s best player of the game. He had numerous scoring chances while creating chances for his teammates.

I liked his game a lot,” said McCarthy regarding Chekhovich. “We talked to him kind of exactly what we’ve talked to the whole team. Not playing on the perimeter and stepping inside on faceoffs. To his credit, he’s been carrying it over into his game and it’s leading to the offensive chances he’s been generating for himself and his linemates.”

Things got chippy with just over nine minutes remaining when a big scrum ensued behind the net after Lukas Radil was called for boarding. Jeremy Roy and Max Comtois exchanged fisticuffs during the skirmish.

Alex Dostie scored an empty net goal, his 10th of the season, with 46 seconds left in the game to seal the deal for San Diego.

Stolarz finished the night making 36 saves on 38 shots in earning his 16th win of the season. Shortridge stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced in the tough luck loss.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-1 on the power play. San Diego went 0-for-5.

Lean Bergmann returned to the lineup for the first time since 12/31/19 when he suffered a lower body. The German forward missed 12 games during his absence.

‘Cuda forwards Alex True and Maxim Letunov were called up to the parent club Sharks and both made their NHL debuts yesterday evening in a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

In a corresponding move, San Jose recalled Tristan Langan from Orlando of the ECHL. It is first call up to the AHL in Langan’s career.

Last Tuesday, the San Jose City Council unanimously approved a 200,000 square-foot expansion of Solar4America Ice at San Jose. The expansion will add two additional recreation rinks to the facility, increasing the building’s total to rinks to six. The expansion will also make the ice center the largest ice facility under one roof west of the Mississippi River. One of the rinks will be located inside a 4,200 seat, two story spectator arena which will serve as the new home for the Barracuda. Construction for the facility is slated to begin in April 2020, with a targeted completion date of April 2022.

The announced attendance was 2,072.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel up to Colorado to take on the Eagles on Friday 2/7 at 6:05pm at Budwiser Events Center.

 

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: True and Letunov recalled by Sharks listen to how they will fit in

sjbarracuda.com photo

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 How important is it for the Barracuda parent club San Jose Sharks to have recalled Alex True talk about what his role was with the parent club at the Sharks means and have him back in the line up at the Shark again?

#2 True is not shy about taking shots he leads the Cuda with 96 shots this season and is third in goals so one of the factors of his being at the Sharks also was for his being ability to put it on net and often

#3 The Sharks have recalled the Barracuda’s Maxim Letunov, Letunov has ten goals and 20 assists for 30 points in 39 games Marko talks about what Letunov brings to the Sharks as well.

#4 Saturday’s game in San Diego against the Gulls saw the first period where all the action took place, the Barracuda scored two goals to the Gulls three out of the gate, the Gulls ended up winning the game by two goals 5-3

#5 Wednesday night the Gulls are in San Jose this time the Barracuda have home ice the Gulls have been a tough customer Marko talks about tonight’s match up

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

Sherwood’s hat trick take down Barracuda in 5-3 victory

sjbarracuda.com photo

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN DIEGO, Calif- The San Diego Gulls scored three unanswered goals led by Kiefer Sherwood’s hat trick to distanced themselves from the San Jose Barracuda in a 5-3 victory on Friday evening at Pachenga Arena.

In their first game after the All-Star break, San Jose has lost their fourth game in a row while San Diego snapped their two-game losing streak against their Pacific Division rival and are now 10 points ahead of the ‘Cuda in the standings.

San Jose (14-21-1-4) drew first blood in the first period. Evan Weinger intercepted a clearing attempt by San Diego and fed a pass out to Lukas Radil along the left slot. Radil then snapped a wrist shot past Gulls goalie Anthony Stolarz for his second goal of the season at the 1:24 mark on the ‘Cuda’s first shot of the game.

San Diego (19-16-3-2) scored the equalizer 20 seconds later when Sherwood scored on a penalty shot. He made a move to the left then dangled to the right before burying a wrist shot past ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko for his 12th goal of the season.

The Gulls went ahead six minutes later on the power play. Isac Lunderstrom fired a shot on goal that Sawchenko initially saved but Chris Mueller crashed the net and knocked home the rebound for his 13th goal of the season at the 7:42 mark.

San Jose scored the equalizer halfway through the opening 20 minutes when Maxim Letunov scored the first of his two goals of the evening on the power play. Thomas Gregoire sent in shot from the point that Letunov was able to redirect past Stolarz for his ninth goal of the season at the 10:35 mark.

San Diego reclaimed the lead with four seconds left in the first period while killing a penalty. Sherwood intercepted a pass at the blueline and raced down the left side of the ice before depositing a wrist shot in the upper far corner of the net for a short-handed goal, his second of the evening and his 13th goal of the season.

The Gulls extended their lead to 4-2 in the second period. Justin Kloos attempted shot from the left point was blocked by a ‘Cuda defender. Kloos got his own rebound and wired home a shot past Sawchenko for his ninth goal of the season at the 12:31 mark.

San Diego put the game away with their Sherwood’s second short-handed of the game early in the third period. Chase De Leo stole the puck of Gregoire in the ‘Cuda zone. He quickly fed it to a wide open Sherwood who buried a wrist shot past Sawchenko for the hat trick at the 5:58 mark and his 14th goal of the season.

Letunov completed the scoring with his second goal of the contest with under three minutes left in the game. After a mad scramble in front of the crease, Letunov used a back-hander to net his 10th goal of the season at the 17:55 mark.

Stolarz made 41 saves on 44 shots to earn his 15th win of the season. Sawchenko stopped 24 of the 29 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-7 on the power play. San Diego was 1-for-4.

Letunov, snapped an eight goal goal-less draught as he recorded his first multi-goal game of his AHL career and now leads the Barracuda in points (10+20=30).

Sherwood became the first player to score two shorthanded goals against the Barracuda in a game and became the fourth opposing player this season to score three times against the Barracuda.

Radil snapped a 12-game goalless drought.

UP NEXT: The two teams faceoff with each other again on Wednesday 2/5 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

sjbarracuda.com photo

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.

Condors take down Barracuda in 5-0 shutout win

by Marko Ukalovic

BAKERSFIELD, Calif- The Bakersfield Condors used five different goal scorers and received excellent goaltending from Stuart Skinner in a dominating 5-0 victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Wednesday evening at Mechanics Bank Arena.

Skinner stopped all 35 shots he faced to record his first career AHL shutout. The loss snapped San Jose’s three-game point streak. Bakersfield is now eight points ahead of the ‘Cuda with 38 and currently sit in sixth place in the Pacific Divison.

Bakersfield (17-18-4-1) opened up the scoring in the first half of the first period. Brad Malone sent a cross ice pass from the left boards down to Cameron Hebig, who beat two Barracuda defenders, and lifted the puck over the pad of ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for his second goal of the season at the 7:23 mark.

Korenar suffered an injury at the end of the first period and never returned to the game. Zachary Sawchenko replaced Korenar to start the second period.

The Condors doubled their lead in the second period. Josh Currie received a pass along the right boards. He dropped it back to Matt Benning who snapped a shot on goal that Tyler Benson redirected past Sawchenko for his ninth goal of the season at the 11:54 mark.

Benson now has nine points in six games against San Jose this season.

San Jose (14-21-1-2) had two power play opportunities in the second period but the Condors penalty killing led by Skinner kept the ‘Cuda off the board after 40 minutes.

Bakersfield sealed the game in the third period with three third period goals.

Anthony Peluso led a 2-on-1 rush up the ice with Joe Gambardella. Peluso fed a pass over to the left to Gambardella who skated all alone on Sawchenko and snapped a wrist shot top-shelf into the left corner for his eighth goal of the season at the 8:14 mark.

Bakersfield scored an empty net goal when San Jose lifted Sawchenko for an extra attacker with over three minutes remaining. Kirill Maksimov received a pass from Luke Esposito and tapped it into the net for his fourth goal of the season at the 16:59 mark.

The Condors completed the scoring with 28 seconds left in the game when Jakob Stukel sent a pass behind the net where Peluso sent in a wrist shot from a tough angle that went past Sawchenko for his second goal of the season.

Sawchenko finished with 23 saves on 26 shots in relief duty.

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

Benson snapped his eight-game goalless drought and now has four goals against the Barracuda on the season after his tally on Wednesday.

Noah Gregor led all Barracuda skaters with five shots on net.

Joachim Blichfeld returned to the Barracuda lineup after missing the last three games on recall with the Sharks and recorded two shots on net and a pair of penalty minutes.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home to take on the Ontario Reign on Saturday 1/25 at 7:00pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda looking for another road win take on Condors tonight in Bakersfield

sjbarracuda.com photo

On the SJ Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The San Jose Barracuda (14-20-1) earned a point in their overtime loss to the Iowa Wild (24-14-3) on Jan 18th just one positive thing to come out of the trip with the Wild.

#2 Can the Barracuda hold onto leads they have, they had an early lead in the game Saturday but the Wild took the lead and the Cuda tied it and lost in overtime 4-3

#3 Barracuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko had a great game in front of the net despite giving up four goals he faced 41 shots and stopped 37

#4 Iowa goalie Matt Robson has a point in his last five games while stopping 23 out of 26 shots against the Barracuda

#5 The Barracuda continue their road trip they’ll be in Bakersfield (16-18-4) tonight for a 6:30 pm face off

Marko Ukalovic does the San Jose Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Wild edge Barracuda in overtime 4-3

sjbarracuda.com photo

by Marko Ukalovic

DES MOINES, Iowa- A seasaw battle between the San Jose Barracuda and the Iowa Wild ended in a thrilling 4-3 overtime win for the Wild on Saturday evening at Wells Fargo Arena.

Louie Belpedio scored the game winner with one minute left in the overtime session as the Wild split their two game weekend series with the ‘Cuda.

The loss snapped the two-game winning streak for San Jose. Iowa evened their record to 3-3 against the Pacific Divison this season.

San Jose (14-20-0-2) jumped out to a early lead just 62 seconds into the first period while killing a penalty. A backhand pass by the Wild was knocked away by Nick DeSimone. Dylan Gambrell made a touch pass over to Evan Weigner and he outraced two Wild defenders before depositing a backhand shot through the 5-hole of Wild goalie Mat Robson for a short-handed goal, his seventh goal of the season.

The ‘Cuda doubled their lead midway through the opening frame when Lukas Radil led a 3-on-2 rush into the Wild zone. He fed a pass to the right over to Noah Gregor who quickly made a touch pass back over to the left to a wide open Gambrell who tipped the puck past Robson for his third goal of the season at the 9:24 mark.

Iowa (22-14-3-2) cut the deficit in half near the end of the period. Belpedio won a faceoff draw back to the Dmitry Sokolov who made a move toward the net and fired a wrist shot past ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko for the first of his two goals on the night at the 16:32 mark.

The Wild scored the equalizer in the first five minutes of the second period. Luke Johnson sent a cross-ice pass over to a open Will Bitten whose shot was initially saved by Sawchenko. However the rebound trickled out to Kyle Rau and he slammed it home for his ninth goal of the season at the 4:23 mark.

Iowa gained its first lead of the game with under three minutes left in the middle frame. Belpedio found Sokolov open at the top of the right faceoff circle and he blasted a one-timer past Sawchenko for his second goal of the game and 11th of the season at the 17:17 mark.

Just when it looked like Iowa had the game locked up while on the power play with under two minutes remaining in the third period San Jose striked for the equalizer. Noah Gregor led a rush up the ice along with Jonny Brodzinki. Jonny on the spot then fed it to a trailing Jacob Middleton who buried a wrist shot the far side of Robson for his first goal of the season at the 18:25 mark.

His first goal of the season could not have come at a better time for San Jose as it snapped a 34 game goalless drought for the ‘Cuda defenseman.

Robson (8-7-4) stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced to earn his eighth win of the season. Sawchenko had a good night in goal, despite suffering the loss, as he made 37 saves on 41 shots.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-2 on the power play. Iowa was 1-for-5

Weinger netted his team-leading second shorthanded goal of year.

Gambrell recorded his third multi-point game (one goal, one assist) over his last six games.

Saturday was the third time in franchise history in which the Barracuda scored two shorthanded goals in a game and the first since 3/26/17 at Tucson.

The announced attendance was 10,928.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda continue their roadtrip in Bakersfield to take on the Condors on Wednesday 1/22 at 6:30pm at Mechanics Bank Arena.

Barracuda third period outburst tames Wild 3-1

photo sjbarracuda.com

by Marko Ukalovic

DES MOISES Iowa- Better late than never is the philosophy the San Jose Barracuda used in the third period as they scored three unaswered goals to defeat the Iowa Wild 3-1 on Friday evening at Wells Fargo Arena.

This was the first game San Jose has played outside the Pacific Division this season in the first of four games they will play against Iowa this season. The ‘Cuda have won two games in a row. The Wild are 2-3 against the Pacific Division this season.

The opening 20 minutes went scoreless with San Jose outshooting the Iowa 10-5. Each team had a power play opportunity with neither team not being able to cash in with the man advantage.

Iowa (22-14-3-2) drew first blood near the end of the second period. Jacob Middleton slipped and fell while trying to clear the puck out of the ‘Cuda zone. Brandon Duhaime collected the puck and made a back hand pass over to Dmitry Sokolov who buried a shot top-shelf past ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko for his ninth goal of the season at the 15:29 mark.

Despite outshooting Iowa 13-11 in the middle frame, San Jose still trailed 1-0 at the second intermission.

San Jose (14-20-0-2) began their comeback 33 seconds into the third period. Alexander True led a rush into the Wild zone. His centering pass deflected off a Wild defender onto the stick of Nikolai Knyzhov who quickly fed over to Jeffery Viel to the right of the net. Viel than tapped the puck into the empty net for the first of his two goals of the game and seventh of the season.

The ‘Cuda gained the lead when Jonny Brodzinski intercepted a clearing attempt by the Wild. He made a pass over to Trevor Carrick at the left slot and Carrick sent a cross-ice pass over to Sasha Chmelevski who buried a wrist shot to the short side of Wild goalie Kaapo Khakonen for his seventh goal of the season at the 6:22 mark.

Iowa pulled Khakonen for an extra attacker with two minutes remaining in an effort to score the eqaulizer but Viel dashed the Wild’s hopes of scoring the equalizer when he won a race to a loose puck inside the Wild zone and desposited the puck between two Wild defenders into the empty net for his eighth goal of the season and second of the contest at the 18:29 mark.

It was the first time in Viel’s career he has had a multi-goal game.

Sawchenko (3-1-0) stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced to earn his third win of the season. Khakonen (14-5-1) allowed two goal on 29 shots in suffering the loss.

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

Prior to Friday, the Barracuda were just 3-16-0 when trailing after two periods.

After the win, the Barracuda are now 4-2-1 all-time against the Wild.

The announced attendance was 5,596.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda conclude their two game series with the Wild on Saturday 1/18 at 4:00pm at Wells Fargo Arena.