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

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missed Opportunity Costly in Sharks 3-2 Loss to Coyotes, Hall has Game-Winning Assist in Arizona Debut

Photo credit: @ArizonaCoyotes

By Matthew Harrington

SAN JOSE — Despite fresh faces behind the bench drawing up the plays, the San Jose Sharks power play remains dismal. On Tuesday night, it hit the low point of the season against the Arizona Coyotes. Trailing 3-2 at home, the Sharks were gifted a 6-on-3 for 43 seconds after a pair Coyotes penalties and the goalie pull but failed to generate a single shot on goal. San Jose is now 1 for 15 on the man-advantage over their last five games, going 0-for-4 Tuesday with three shots on goal. Tomas Hertl scored the two Sharks goals and Taylor Hall netted a point in his Coyotes debut. Darcy Keumper was named first star with 26 saves.

In a night where officiating was spotty, enforcement of a rule new to the NHL in 2019 that is fairly black-and-white led to the first Arizona penalty in crunch time. Coyotes defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin had his helmet knocked off in a scrum along the boards, but continued to play on after the puck left the corner. In a new rule this season, since he was not directly involved in the play he needed to grab his helmet or exit the ice but he chose to play on. Brad Richardson would cross-check Tomas Hertl in the back during a scrum for a loose rebound to set up the fatal 6-on-3 that ultimately amounted to nothing.

The Coyotes set up a tense final minutes of the game after Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored with 2:37 left in regulation after his shot ricocheted off Brenden Dillon’s shinpad wide of the far post and went in. Before that, Dillon was beat out on a race to a loose puck by Hall whose effort led to a game-winning assist in his first game since being traded to Arizona Monday afternoon.

The Sharks erased Arizona leads twice, once in the first two periods each. Carl Soderberg scored 4:57 into the contest, but Tomas Hertl answered back on a snapshot that rattled around the net behind Keumper with 2:34 left in the first.

Derek Stepan scored his sixth goal of the year and second against the Sharks this year 9:11 into the second, but Hertl again answered, going bar down on Kuemper from the left face-off dot to the blocker side with 6:05 left in the period. Hertl now has four of the seven goals the Sharks have scored since interim head coach Bob Boughner took over three games ago.

Aaron Dell started in his second game in a row after winning against Vancouver Saturday. He made just 16 saves on 19 shots, though he was hardly at fault on any of the goals. The Sharks now have lost 7 of their last 8 and are six points back of Calgary for the final wild card spot.

The Sharks play host to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at 7:30 pm PST.

Heat outlast Barracuda 3-2

Photo credit: @AHLHeat

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The third act of the NorCal rivalry between the Stockton Heat and the San Jose Barracuda went the Heat’s way as they jumped out to a two-goal lead and then hung on for a 3-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at SAP Center.

The Heat have now won three games in a row and currently sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 35 points, five points behind the division-leading Tucson Roadrunners. The loss for San Jose snapped a three-game point streak and they are 2-1-0-1 in the month of December. Stockton is 3-0 against San Jose this season.

This was the first game without Roy Sommer behind the bench for the ‘Cuda as he was promoted this past Wednesday to be an associate coach with the parent club Sharks. Michael Chiasson and Jimmy Bonneau now serve as co-coaches of the team.

Stockton (16-5-1-2) drew first blood early in the first period with its number one power play in the league. Glenn Gaudin sent a shot in from the left wing that partially deflected to the right of ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar. Luke Philp collected the puck all alone in front of the crease and tapped home the puck into an empty net for his 11th goal of the season at the 5:07 mark. Philp has scored a goal in five straight games and has seven goals in the past five goals.

San Jose (9-12-0-2) evened the score 68 seconds into the second period. Lukas Radil, playing in his first game since being reassigned by the Sharks, centered the puck out in front of the crease from behind the net. During a mad scramble in front of the crease, Maxim Letunov poked at the puck and it deflected off a Heat defender’s skate into the back of the bet for Letunov’s seventh goal of the season. Sasha Chmelevski, who was in the middle of the scrum, was credited with the secondary assist.

“Today I played many minutes,” Radil said after the game. “It’s good for me to get back in (to playing) shape. I’m really glad to get the opportunities (to still play in San Jose). I like playing here.”

The Heat regained the lead late in the middle frame. Andrew Nielsen led a rush into the ‘Cuda zone and fed a pass over to Justin Kirkland. He skated down the left board and sent a tough angle shot on Korenar, who kicked out the rebound into the middle of the ice where Matthew Phillips cashed in the rebound as his shot rolled off the arm of Korenar into the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season at the 16:14 mark.

Stockton received an insurance goal in the third period. A turnover by the ‘Cuda in the neutral zone fed Adam Ruzicka at the red line and he skated all the way in from the left wing with a power move, fighting off Thomas Gregoire at the crease and snapped a backhander past Kornear for his fourth goal of the season at the 7:05 mark.

San Jose cut the deficit to a one when Danil Yurtaykin skated in from the blueline down the right wing making a move around a Heat defender as he centered the puck over to Ivan Chekhovich. The rookie forward fired home a one-timer past Heat goalie Artyom Zagidulin for just his second goal of the season at the 11:45 mark. Chekhovich snapped a 13-game goal-less drought.

“It was great to see Checko (Chekhovich) get on the board,” said Bonneau regarding the rookie’s goal-less skid. “(He’s a) talented kid, works hard. (We’re hoping for) things to just get going for him.”

A key moment in the game came with seven minutes left in the third period was when San Jose had a 5-on-3 power play opportunity for 18 seconds but weren’t able to cash as the number three penalty kill in the AHL stifled the ‘Cuda power play.

“Limit the turnovers. I think we had a little more than we should’ve had in the third period. I think when we’re good on our forecheck, that’s when we are successful,” said Letunov.

The ‘Cuda pulled Korenar for an extra attacker with two minutes left in the game, but Stockton’s defense kept San Jose’s attack at bay.

“Our neutral zone (play) both offensively and defensively need a little work. I thought we struggled to keep our lines together a little bit, shifts were extended. The quicker we can get out of our zone the more we can get stability in that,” said Bonneau.

Zagidulin finished the afternoon with making 21 saves on 23 shots as he is now 11-1-1 on the season. Korenar stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced in a valiant but losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-4 on the power play. Stockton was 1-for-4.

The last time Stockton won in San Jose before today was back in October of 2018.

Jonny Brodzinski had his six-game point streak come to an end as he was kept off the scoreboard.

The announced attendance was 3,465.

UP NEXT: The two teams complete their weekend series Sunday, December 15 up in Stockton at 5:00 pm at Stockton Arena.

Sharks Lose Boughner’s Debut 6-3; Make that six consecutive winless games

Photo credit: @NBCSSharks

By Jerry Feitelberg

Meet the new Sharks, same as the old Sharks. In their first game since the firing of Peter DeBoer and a number of other coaching staff moves, the San Jose Sharks still ran into familiar problems of an ineffective power play and subpar goaltending in a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers.

Artemi Panarin scored a hat trick for the Blue Shirts, Mika Zibanejad added a pair and the Rangers had 30 shots to just 18 for San Jose in Bob Boughner’s debut behind the San Jose bench. Tomas Hertl scored playing a hybrid wing-center position, Logan Couture netted a goal and Brenden DIllon scored his first goal in over a year, but the Sharks fell to 0-5-1 over their last six games and now sit five points out of a playoff spot. Joachim Blichfield made his NHL debut and Joe Thornton appeared in NHL career game 1,6000.

Dillon’s goal broke a 2-2 tie 4:12 into the third period and felt like it would be the deciding goal that would spark a Sharks turnaround, but Zibanejad used a Chris Kreider screen on a Rangers power play to tie the game 8:49 into the period. A lackluster defensive effort that saw two Rangers slip behind Sharks defenders for a gigantic screen on Sharks goalie Martin Jones led to another Zibanedjad strike about five minutes later for a 4-3 Rangers lead.

Jones would most likely want the Rangers next goal back as he pulled off his left post with Panarin nearly on the goal line to that side. An all-world sniper, Panarin made Jones pay for the early release from the post with 3:11 left in regulation. He scored on the empty net as well for his 18th of the year and the hat trick to complete a four-goal Rangers third period.

The early response from the Sharks seemed to be a change for the better. Tomas Hertl opened the game scoring first 9:13 into the first period, something the Sharks were having trouble with this season. Jesper Fast and Panarin (another goal Jones would want back after leaving his five-hole unguarded on a lateral push) would score in the second period, but Logan Couture answered back with his 10th goal of the year. San Jose didn’t capitalize though on two power plays, and only mustered 18 shots on the Rangers backup goalie, spelling doom in Boughner’s home debut as Sharks head coach.

The picture of how the Sharks will respond to their coach’s firing may get more clear Saturday night when they take on the Vancouver Canucks. By then, the team should be adjusted to life under four new coaches and systems might be better installed. For now, though, Sharks fans have to continue to settle for a night of unmatched expectations.

Carrick’s first career hat trick helps Barracuda down Condors 6-2

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — On an eventful day that saw changes made within the parent club, the San Jose Barracuda took care of business with the help of Trevor Carrick’s first career hat trick in a 6-2 victory over the Bakersfield Condors on an emotional Friday evening at SAP Center.

This was the last ‘Cuda game with head coach Roy Sommer behind the bench as there was a big shakeup within the San Jose Sharks organization with the firing of Peter DeBoer earlier in the afternoon. Sommer has been promoted to as Sharks interim head coach and Bob Boughner as an associate coach. Assistant coaches Michael Chiasson and Jimmy Bonneau will share the ‘Cuda head coaching duties.

“It was kind of a shock really,” said Sommer about learning of his promotion to the Sharks. “But hey that’s what you wait around 23 years for. I’m gonna miss these guys. I’ll be at a lot of games. I mean we’re right next door.”

San Jose is now 3-2 against the Bakersfield in the season series and snapped a two-game losing streak against the Condors. With the win, the ‘Cuda have 20 points and jumped ahead into sixth place past San Diego in the Pacific Division. They are only one point behind the Condors for fifth place.

Bakersfield (9-11-2-1) jumped on San Jose right out of the gate. A clearing attempt by Jacob Middleton was knocked down by Joe Gambardella, The Condor left winger then quickly centered a pass through the crease over to Kailer Yamamoto and his one-timer beat ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for his sixth goal of the season 13 seconds into the game. It was the second fastest goal to be scored against San Jose in franchise history.

San Jose (9-11-0-2) responded over three minutes later. Joachim Blichfeld led a 2-on-1 odd man rush with Jonny Brodzinski. Blichfeld crossed it over to Brodzinski and the Minnesota native delayed before wiring a wrist shot through the five-hole of Condors goalie Stuart Skinner for his fifth goal of the season at the 3:56 mark.

The line of Brodzinski, Blichfeld and Kellman have quickly become the top scoring line for San Jose and the three teammates have created quite the chemistry with one another.

“You know really clicking with the linemates. We’ve been feeding off each other. I feel like we’re very similar players. When you get guys on a line like that, special things can happen. It pays off on the scoresheet,” said Brodzinski.

Korenar settled down as he was tested often in the opening 20 minutes. He made two huge saves eight minutes in when he stoned Brad Malone’s breakaway chance and the subsequent rebound chance by Gambardella.

The ‘Cuda doubled their lead on an identical 2-on-1 odd man rush. Sasha Chmelevski led the rush with Lean Bergmann, who played in his first game since being reassigned to the ‘Cuda. The Hunington Beach native looked Bergmann’s way before firing a wrist shot top-shelf on the short side for his third goal of the season at the 11:37 mark.

Despite outshooting San Jose 15-12, Bakersfield found themselves down by a goal at the first intermission.

San Jose carried the momentum of the first period right into the beginning of the middle frame as they scored two goals in a 45 second span during the first five minutes.

Jeffery Viel centered a pass in between the faceoff circles over to Carrick. Carrick skated in and lifted a backhander underneath the arm on the stick side of Skinner for his third goal of the season at the 3:58 mark.

“It’s fun! This is my first one since minor hockey,” said Carrick regarding the last time he scored a hat trick. “I kind of forgot what it felt like. It felt good and it was good to see the boys pretty fired up for me.”

The third unanswered goal chased Skinner from the contest. He was replaced by back up goalie Dylan Wells. Skinner gave up three goals on just 13 shots.

Then, Keaton Middleton fired a wrist shot on Wells, his first shot he faced, and he couldn’t corral the rebound as Jayden Halbegwachs crashed the net and cashed in the rebound top-shelf past Wells for his seventh goal of the season at the 4:43 mark.

The Condors cut its deficit to a two-goal game when a shot from the point by Jake Kulevich deflected off a body in front of the crease. Gambardella picked up the loose puck, turned around and snapped a wrist shot through a sea of traffic past Korenar for his fifth goal of the season at the 8:43 mark.

The ‘Cuda regained their three-goal lead under five minutes later. Blichfeld made a turn around wing-to-wing pass over to Brodzinski, who immediately found Carrick at the left point, and Carrick blasted a one-time past Wells for his second goal of the period and fourth of the season at the 13:03 mark. It was the first multi-goal game for the defenseman out of Stouffville, Ontario.

San Jose dominated the second period as they outshot Bakersfield 14-9.

Carrick earned the hat trick while San Jose was short-handed. An error, a drop pass by Joel Persson was turned over to Alex True who skated into the Condor zone and dropped it back to Carrick, who fired a wrist shot far side in the upper left corner for his fifth goal of the season at the 12:26 mark. This was the first hat trick for the ‘Cuda this season.

“It was one of those weird games. I think I had three shots on net and all three went in. The puck was going in my favor there,” said Carrick.

It’s been literally an up and down season for Carrick, who has spent time with the Sharks this season after coming over in a trade from the Charlotte Checkers on August 9th.

“It was kind of a different start for me being up and down with the injuries (to the Sharks blueline). It’s always tough coming to a new organization, new coaching staff, new personnel and stuff like that. I’m definitely feeling a lot more comfortable,” said Carrick.

Korenar finished the night with 37 saves on 39 shots to earn his seventh victory of the season. Wells made 19 saves on 22 shots in mop-up duty.

As great as Carrick’s game was, this night belonged to Sommer, coaching in his last AHL game.

“It was a special night for him (Sommer). He’s a great coach. It’s sad to see him go, but it’s a great opportunity for him and he deserves it,” said Brodzinski.

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

Brodzinski with his goal has a six-game point streak.

Halbgewachs has scored a goal in three straight games and five in his last six.

Carrick’s hat trick was the first one by a defenseman in franchise history. The last ‘Cuda hat trick was back on March 9, 2018 when captain John McCarthy scored three goals against the Cleveland Monsters at SAP Center.

The announced attendance was 3,186.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda host the Stockton Heat on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 1:15 pm at SAP Center in the first game of a two-game weekend series.

Sharks Stumble Against NHL-Best Caps, Lose 5-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Matthew Harrington

SAN JOSE–After a torrid stretch of November, the San Jose Sharks December has been a good reminder of how difficult it is to win in the NHL. Tuesday night, the Sharks were visited by the NHL leaders the Washington Capitals (20-4-5) and despite Alexander Ovechkin being held pointless, the Caps still crushed the Sharks 5-2.

San Jose (15-13-1) opened the scoring, but three Washington goals in three minutes swung momentum in a hurry. The Caps added two more goals before the Sharks could add another for a decisive victory for the 2018 Stanley Cup champs. Norris Trophy frontrunner John Carlson had three points (1g, 2a) and Garnet Hathaway and Jakub Vrana each scored a pair of goals. Martin Jones made 18 saves on 23 shots before being pulled in favor of Aaron Dell. Melker Karlsson had a two point night, scoring and assisting on Evander Kane’s third period goal.

Karlsson beat Braden Holtby for his third goal of the season just 2:33 into play, but Garnet Hathaway scored with 6:29 left in the first to tie the game. No more than 55 seconds later, Vrana found the back of the net for his 13th of the year. Just about two minutes later, Carlson scored his ninth of the year to have the Sharks reeling. Carlson now has 37 points on the season, leading all defensemen and putting him 14 points behind Connor McDavid, the scoring race leader.

Hathaway and Vrana scored again in the second, and Evander Kane scored his team-leading 13th goal in the 13th minute of the third period, but any hopes at a comeback stopped there. In total, Braden Holtby made 23 saves on 25 shots.

The Sharks head to Raleigh Thursday night looking to bounce back against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes will also be trying to rebound after getting shut out by the Boston Bruins in Beantown Tuesday night.

Eagles take down the Barracuda 4-1

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Barracuda are trying to stay afloat through stormy waters. They put forth a better effort from the other night against Tucson but still ended up on short end of the stick of a 4-1 victory by the Colorado Eagles on Friday evening at the SAP Center.

With the win, Colorado has now won two of their last three games after splitting a two-game series with the Bakersfield Condors last weekend. For San Jose, their woes continue with back-to-back losses and eight out of their last nine games.

Colorado (9-7-0-0) drew first blood in the first period. The Eagles sustained pressure in the ‘Cuda zone as Mark Alt kept the puck in and fed a pass over to Erik Condra. Condra skated near the right slot when he threw a shot on net that was tipped in by Sheldon Dries for his seventh goal of the season at the 6:29 mark.

Despite outshooting the Eagles 11-9 and having some good scoring chances late, the ‘Cuda went into the first intermission down by a goal in a penalty-free opening 20 minutes.

“It’s just tough right now,” said ‘Cuda head coach Roy Sommer. “We make a mistake and it’s in (the back of) our net. That’s kind how things are going for us right now.”

Colorado doubled its lead just 32 seconds to start the third period. Nick Henry centered a pass from the left faceoff circle over to Julien Nantel, who was all alone camped out just to the right of the crease. After his inital shot was saved by ‘Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge, a Quebec native, put away the rebound chance for fourth goal of the season.

San Jose (5-10-0-1) cut the deficit in half on the power play. From the point, Jeremy Roy fed a pass over to Noah Gregor, who skated in and from the left slot wired a wrist shot that beat Eagles goalie Adam Werner, who was screened on the play by Alex True, for his second goal of the season at the 13:32 mark. Maxim Letunov was credited with the secondary assist.

Gregor’s goal sent the Tank into a frenzy of stuffed animals being thrown onto the ice in the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night the ‘Cuda have put on since moving to Silicon Valley from Worcester, Massachusetts five years ago.

“Yeah, it was cool,” said Gregor when asked how it felt to play Santa Claus for one night. “Teddy bear toss games are fun, fun for the fans. It was nice to get the one goal for myself and see the teddies fly (on to the ice).”

Shots were even at 10-10 in the middle frame. One of them Shortridge could have been charged with grand theft when he made a point blank save on Nantel with just over 11 minutes remaining that helped shift the momentum in San Jose’s favor.

San Jose had a golden opportunity to even the game midway through the third period when both Ty Lewis and Kevin Connauton went to the penalty box 63 seconds apart. However, the ‘Cuda sqaundered the 5-on-3 power play as Colorado killed it off and seized back control of the game.

“The bottom line is the five-on-three we don’t score on,” said Sommer. “That was the game right there. That’s kind of (opportunity) what you wait for and (we) didn’t get it done.”

Colorado iced the game with two empty-net goals with under a minute remaining in the game. First, Jacob McDonald fired a long shot from inside his own defensive zone after winning a battle along the boards for his fifth goal at the 19:16 mark. Then, Michael Joly won a race to a loose puck and put the biscuit in the basket for his fifth goal at the 19:31 mark.

Werner stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced to earn his sixth win of the season. Shortridge made 23 saves on 25 shots in their losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/5 on the power play. Colorado was 0/2.

Eagles forward Josh Dickinson left the game with a lower body injury early in the first period.

Fisticuffs! San Jose’s Jacob Middleton and Colorado’s Dan Renouf dropped the gloves in a fight that had two hits, one by Middleton and Renouf hitting the ice after just one punch.

San Jose Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow scored the first ever Teddy Bear Toss goal when he was a member of the ‘Cuda back on November 7th, 2015.

The announced crowd was 3,923.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda conclude their four-game homestand on Saturday, November 23 vs. the Eagles at 1:15 pm at SAP Center.

Sharks’ Six-Game Win Streak Snapped, Oilers Top San Jose 5-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Matthew Harrington

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks six-game win streak was snapped Tuesday night, and done so in emphatic fashion by the Pacific Division leaders. The Edmonton Oilers came in to the SAP Center and outclassed the Sharks in almost every aspect of the game, rolling to a 5-2 victory and gaining a bit of revenge for a defeat against the Sharks in San Jose last Tuesday.

Mikael Granlund scored his first goal as an Oiler, Connor McDavid scored and racked up two assists and Leon Draisaitl added to his league-leading 44 points with an apple Kevin Labanc and Barclay Goodrow scored for the Sharks, who failed to move into a winning record for the first time all season.

Granlund put the Sharks on their heels early when he scored on a wrister just 3:34 into the first period, and just under eight minutes in Kassian picked up his eighth goal of a year where he has the greatest job in hockey on a line with McDavid and Draisaitl. McDavid Assisted on the play.

Kevin Labanc continued his strong stretch of play, picking up his fourth point over the last two games. He beat Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen 1:24 after Kassian’s marker to pull the Sharks within one. Logan Couture and Evander Kane assisted on the goal.

The Sharks peppered Koskinen in the first, putting 18 pucks on the keeper, but couldn’t crack the Oilers 1B option in net. Add in a Jujhar Khaira goal with 15 seconds left in the period and the Sharks hole to climb out of seemed pretty deep.

They largely weathered the storm of the 2nd until a Oilers powper play with just under three minutes left in the middle stanza. James Neal continued his resurgence, tipping a puck through Martin Jones for a 4-1 Oilers lead with McDavid picking up his 28th assist of the year. McDavid would add his 15th goal of the year 6:34 into the third.

Barclay Goodrow continued his strong season, scoring his 6th goal of the year with 10:17 left in regulation. He’s now one goal away from matching a career-high in seven, a feat he accomplished twice in his career including doing it in 47 games in 2017-18. He’s currently played in 22. While he didn’t make the save here, Koskinen did end the night with 33 denials. Though Martin Jones’ save percentage (.828) and goal total don’t look good for this one, he was hardly at fault for the Oilers offensive outburst.

The Sharks three-game home stand comes to an end, and the real test on if the team has turned a corner awaits. San Jose heads to Vegas to face the Golden Knights Thursday in the Fortress, with Vegas and San Jose jockeying for sixth place in the Pacific.

Sharks Streak at Six, Beat Red Wings 4-3 in Shoot-Out

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks won their sixth in a row, defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in a shoot-out Saturday. Sharks goals came from Kevin Labanc (one in regulation and the shoot-out winner), Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Erik Karlsson. Martin Jones made 25 saves for the win. Detroit goals came from Andreas Athanasiou (2) and Taro Hirose. Jimmy Howard made 16 saves for the Red Wings.

After the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture said: “It’s nice to win. It’s a lot more fun playing hockey right now than it was three weeks ago. So we’re having a good time.”

Couture also talked about the way the team has been winning lately, compared to expectations at the start of the season:

It feels like we’ve been scoring enough goals lately to win. It’s weird, I mean we said at the start of the year we weren’t going to win 5-4, 4-3 games but that’s what we’ve been doing. So if we’re finding ways to score goals right now and that’s why we’re winning, I still think we can be tighter defensively, give up less odd-man rushes. But it’s nice winning.

The win brought the team’s record to even at 10-10-1.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer talked about the significance of that: “It’s been a lot of work to scratch back into this race. We’ve got a lot of work left to do. But it’s nice to win that game. I think we would’ve walked out of here with only one point tonight, you know, we would’ve been disappointed.”

Kevin Labanc gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the first period. Entering the zone with Logan Couture and Evander Kane 3 on 2, he took the shot from the middle of the slot, but Howard stopped it and fell forward to cover it. He didn’t quite have it and it trickled out to the side, where Labanc found it again and lifted it over the prone goaltender. Assists went to Logan Couture and Radim Simek.

At the end of the first, the shots were 9-8 San Jose and the Red Wings had won 56% of the face-offs.

Just 1:11 into the second period, the Sharks extended their lead with a blast from Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the point. His shot hit Howard on the inside of the arm and went in. Assists went to Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc.

Detroit got one back 13 seconds later when Andreas Athanasiou scored his fourth of the season. After helping to thwart the Sharks in the neutral zone, Athanasiou skated into the o-zone and around the Sharks defense to put a backhand shot under Jones and into the net. Assists went to Robby Fabbri and Joe Hicketts.

An impressive push from Detroit followed that goal, but it was halted by a penalty to Anthony Mantha for goaltender interference at 5:41. While it slowed the Red Wings, the power play did nothing else for the Sharks. They did not register any shots with the man advantage. Detroit had their own shotless power play at 8:21 after Melker Karlsson was called for high-sticking.

Detroit did tie it at 11:34 when Taro Hirose scored his first of the season. Brendan Perlini found Hirose in the slot right in front of Jones while the Sharks defense seemed not to see him at all. Hirose had room and time to pick his shot but he did so quickly. Assists went to Perlini and Madison Bowey.

The Sharks retook the lead just under a minute later. After shots from Couture and Labanc in the face-off circles could not get by Howard, Labanc skated down the slot and made a backward pass to Karlsson. Karlsson sent the puck right back to the net and in. A mass of bodies screened Howard from seeing what was coming in time. Assists went to Labanc and Couture.

Detroit had another power play at 16:27 when the Sharks were penalized for too many men on the ice. The Red Wings got two shots, but no more in those two minutes.

Athanasiou forced overtime by scoring his second of the game at 15:46 of the third period. Valteri Filppula and Athanasiou broke fast through the neutral zone and went in two-on-one against Radim Simek. Filppula made a cross-ice pass and Athanasiou took the shot. Assists went to Valtteri Filppula and Robby Fabbri.

After a fast-moving overtime, including a penalty kill for the Sharks, Kevin Labanc was the only shooter to score in the shoot-out. Martin Jones stopped Frans Nielsen, Andreas Athanasiou and Dylan Larkin. Jimmy Howard stopped Logan Couture.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers at 7:30 PM PT in San Jose. If that sounds familiar, it is because the Sharks played the Oilers last Tuesday as well, also in San Jose.

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.