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

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda battling to get out of cellar, try for win tonight against Ontario

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The Stockton Heat in Saturday’s game at Stockton Arena put the game away against the San Jose Barracuda in the third period scoring two goals and the Barracuda went down losing by three 5-2.

#2 The Barracuda put 49 shots on net against the Heat, but weren’t able to capitalize a lead for much of the game. Lots of shots, but no conversions.

#3 What’s worse for San Jose, they have lost three of their last four games and got swept Friday and Saturday by the Heat.

#4 Would you say that former Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer’s promotion to the parent club Sharks is one of the reasons why the Barracuda have struggled without his presence?

#5 The Barracuda are home tonight against the Ontario Reign. The Cuda will have to work hard to get this one as they try to get out from last place in the Pacific Division in the AHL.

Marko Ukalovic is a San Jose Barracuda beat writer and does the Barracuda podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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.

Heat score late game-winning goal to upend Barracuda 3-2

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda have made such a bad habit of not being able to close out games this season and they still haven’t found the answer to breaking it as the Stockton Heat scored two unanswered goals in the third period to defeat their NorCal rival 3-2 on Saturday night at Stockton Arena.

San Jose has hit a season low six-game losing streak and continue to anchor down the cellar of the Pacific Division. For Stockton, they won the second game of a back-to-back as they lost to Tucscon the night before. They are currently 2-0 against San Jose this season.

Stockton scored the game-winning goal in heart breaking fashion. Ryan Lomberg led a odd man rush down the left boards when he centered a pass down the middle to a streaking Justin Kirkland, who buried the puck into the back of the net for his second goal of the season with just 17 seconds left in regulation.

“I would say that was right up there with the most complete game we’ve played.” said Kirkland. “We had everybody going, everybody making a difference.”

The Heat (9-3-1-2) drew first blood just 63 seconds in to start the game. Zac Rinaldo skated from behind the net and centered a pass over to Lomberg, whose one-timer beat ‘Cuda goalie Andrew Shortridge for his sixth goal of the season.

San Jose (4-8-0-1) responded with two unanswered goals in a span of 74 seconds. Danil Yurtaykin fed a pass up to the blueline over to Anti Suomela. The Finnish forward quickly touched pass it to the right over to Jeffery Viel, who skated past a Stockton defender and roofed a wrist shot top-shelf over the shoulder of Heat goalie Artyom Zagidulin for his third goal of the season at the 10:02 mark.

Then, Keaton Middleton fired a shot from the left point that Evan Weinger tipped on goal that Zagidulin stopped but the puck trickled out in front of the net where Alex True skated in from the corner and fired a back-hander into the back of the net for his co-team leading fourth goal of the season at the 11:16 mark.

Stockton tried to grab the momentum back in the second period as they outshot San Jose 15-10, but Shortridge held his ground not allowing a goal in the middle frame. Each team had a power play opportunity, but neither were able to cash it in.

“I think overall the team played a good, responsible brand of hockey tonight,” said Heat head coach Cail MacLean. “Huge play at the end to get that extra point and not have the game go into overtime.”

The Heat tied the game exactly at the nine-minute mark of the third period on the power play. Byron Froese threw the puck out in front of the crease that went off of Shortridge. A failed clearing attempt by Nick DeSimone went right to the stick of Luke Philp and he quickly fired a wrist shot past Shortridge for his third goal of the season.

“The power play there we excuted the breakout (well),” said Philp. “I just had to put it in the empty net. It’s nice to get em and I hope I continue doing that.”

Zagidulin made 29 saves on 31 shots to earn his sixth win of the season. Shortridge suffered another tough luck loss making 33 saves on 36 shots. The 33 saves matched a career best for Shortridge.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/3 on the power play. Stockton went 1/3.

The six-consecutive losses (0-5-0-1) matches the longest such streak in team history and the five consecutive regulation losses is the most in franchise history.

True snapped a five-game scoreless streak and Viel snapped a six-game goalless drought.

The announced attendance was 4,114.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home to host the Tucscon Roadrunners on Sunday, November 17 at 5:00 pm at SAP Center.

Heat comeback to upend Barracuda 3-2 in shootout victory

photo from sjbarracuda.com

by Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda weren’t able to hold on to a one-goal lead in the third period and it ended up burning them as the Stockton Heat rallied with a late third period power play goal that led to a 3-2 shootout victory on Friday evening at Stockton Arena.

It only took 48 seconds for San Jose (4-4-0-0) to draw first blood. Alex True won a battle along the boards and sent a pass behind the net over to Evan Weinger. Weinger than skated out to the right slot and slid a pass over to an incoming Jayden Halbgewachs, who fired a shot top-shelf over the shoulder of Heat goalie Jon Gillies for his second goal of the season. It was the quickest goal the ‘Cuda have score to begin a game.

Stockton (7-1-0-1) scored the equalizer midway through the first period on the power play when Matthew Phillips entered San Jose zone down the right boards. He fed a pass over to Heat captain Byron Froese, who quickly whipped a wrist shot into the back of the net, that surprised Cuda goalie Joesef Kornear, for his fifth goal of the season at the 10:20 mark.

Forese’s goal ended a steak over 170 consecutive minutes for Korenar without allowing goal.

San Jose regained the lead in the second period on the power play. Weinger shot the puck from the left faceoff circle that Gillies kicked over to the right side where Maxim Letunov was at the right place at the right time. Letunov pounced on the loose puck and hammered it home for his third goal of the season at the 12:58 mark. All three of Letunov’s goals have come on the power play, which leads the team.

The Heat wouldn’t go down quietly in the third period. They forced the extra session with their second power play goal of the game. Justin Kirkland skated in from the left shot with a shot that Korenar was able to get a pad on. However, he wasn’t able to freeze the puck as it jumped on to the stick of Ryan Lomberg, who backhanded the puck past Korenar for his fifth goal of the season at the 15:18 mark.

It was a special teams battle and they won that one,” said Cuda head coach Roy Sommer. “We take kind of a bad penalty there with five minutes to go. They (Stockton) have always had a good PP against us. That was the eventual dagger through the heart so-to-speak.”

Neither team generated a good scoring chance in the overtime period with only three shots combined by both teams. In the shootout, all three of Stockton’s shooters scored with Glenn Gawdin credited with the shootout winner.

Gillies finished 30 saves on 32 shots to earn the victory. Korenar made 28 saves on 30 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/8 on the power play. Stockton finished 2/5.

Weingr extended his point streak to four games (2G, 3A) with his first multi-assist game of his career,

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return back home to host the Tucson Roadrunners on Sunday, November 3 at 3:00pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda looking for next win as Colorado comes in for two

sjbarracudapodcast.com file: San Jose Barracuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau (34) and the Cuda will host the Colorado Eagles this Saturday and Sunday at SAP Center in San Jose.

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

The way the game between the Stockton Heat and the San Jose Barracuda the Cuda looked like they were going to be on a five-game losing streak as they were able to snap the losing streak at four on Sunday 5-4 in a shootout.

It was one of those games where they were not playing good hockey. It was a game where the Heat scored the first two goals in the first period, and when you play catch up hockey like that, it’s not a good formula to win games.

Listen for more as Marko brings you analysis of San Jose Barracuda hockey each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Barracuda snap losing skid with 5-4 shootout victory over Heat

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

by Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda had looked like the playing of a broken record in five straight games with the opposing team, scoring the first two goals in the first period to take control of the game. However, three unanswered goals in the third period paved the way for a 5-4 comeback shootout victory over the Stockton Heat on Sunday afternoon at SAP Center.

The Cuda desperately snapped their four-game losing skid and have won their third consecutive shootout (4-4). Francis Perron scored the only goal in the shootout as Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau was perfect stopping all three Stockton attempts.

Stockton (25-26-4-2) drew first blood while short-handed in the first period. Ryan Lomberg led a 2-on-1 odd man rush Dillon Dube. Lomberg connected with Dube who beat Bibeau (12-10-5) for his 13th goal of the season at the 6:11 mark. Juuso Valimaki received the secondary assist on Dube’s second short-handed goal in consecutive games. It was the 16th short-handed goal for Stockton this season, which leads the AHL.

The Heat doubled their lead after taking advantage of a failed Cuda clearing attempt. Spencer Foo kept the puck in, fed a pass over to Tyler Graovac, who found an open Dube, who put the puck past Bibeau for his second goal and 14th of the season at the 9:04 mark.

San Jose (31-18-2-1) cut the lead in half early in the second period. Francis Perron was able to tip home a shot from the point by Kyle Wood, who broke his stick on the shot, past Heat goalie Jon Gillies (13-15-5) for his 16th goal of the season at the 2:47 mark. The goal broke a 10-game goal-less drought for Perron.

Stockton regained their two-goal lead when Foo scored his 15th goal of the season on the power play at the 8:36 mark. Dube and Valimaki were credited with assists.

Graovac made it 4-1 when he scored his 20th goal of the season at the 17:47 mark. Foo and Dube, who was involved in the scoring of all four Stockton goals, received assists.

The third period belonged to San Jose as they scored three unanswered goals to tie the game and force overtime.

Evan Weinger jammed home his own rebound after his initial redirection of a shot from the point by Matt Fonteyne hit the right post. It was Weinger’s ninth goal of the season at the 10:11 mark of the third period. Nick DeSimone was credited with the secondary assist.

Alex True cut the deficit to a one-goal game. With Bibeau pulled for an extra attacker, True received the puck from Maxim Letunov, turned and fired the puck through a sea of traffic past Gillies for his team-leading 21st goal of the season at the 18:33. Jeremy Roy received the secondary assist.

TJ Hensick brought down the house with the game equalizer with 1:05 left in the game while the Cuda had a 6-on-4 advantage with Valimaki in the sin-bin for cross checking. DeSimone and Jayden Halbgewachs were credited assists on Hensick third goal of the season.

Stockton had a power play opportunity in the over time session but weren’t able to cash in, thanks to Bibeau making a few big saves to send the game to the shootout.

Bibeau made 16 saves on 20 to earn his 12th victory of the season. Gillies finished with 31 saves on 35 shots in suffering the defeat .

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1/6 on the power play despite the Heat having the 30th ranked penalty kill in the league. Stockton was 1/5.

Jon Martin and Buddy Robinson exchanged fisticuffs late in the first period.

The announce attendance was 4,642. It was the second annual Pucks and Paws Day, where fans were able to bring their dogs to the game.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda host the Colorado Eagles on Saturday 3/16 at 1:15 pm at SAP Center.

Heat snap losing streak against Barracuda in 4-1 win

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

by Marko Ukalovic

The Stockton Heat made the most of the last 20 minutes of the game. They scored four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the San Jose Barracuda 4-1 on Sunday evening at Stockton Arena. The win snapped a pair of seven-game losing streaks. One against San Jose and the other on home ice.

San Jose (29-14-2-4) drew first blood in the first period. With Stockton on a power play, Alex True picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated in on a breakaway down the right win and fired a shot past Heat goalie Jon Gillies (10-14-4) for a short-handed goal and his team-leading 18th goal of the season at the 7:45 mark. It was the third short-handed goal of the season for the Cuda and the 15th given up by Stockton, the most in the AHL.

Looking to regain the momentum for Stockton (22-25-4-1), forward Scott Sabourin dropped the gloves with Jeffery Viel seven seconds on the next shift after True’s goal.

Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (11-9-5) stopped all 10 shots he faced in the opening frame. The Cuda were also able to kill off two Stockton power plays.

In the second period, San Jose controlled play throughout the 20 minutes of the middle frame. They outshot Stockton 16-11 as Bibeau looked sharp between the pipes, not letting in any of the 11 Heat shots past him. However, they weren’t able to cash in on a four-minute power play to extend their lead.

Stockton received the equalizer on a short-handed goal in the third period. Rinat Valiev fed a pass over to Ryan Lomberg, who buried the puck past Bibeau for his seventh goal of the season at the 8:53 mark. It was Lomberg’s third short-handed goal on the season and Stockton’s 11th overall. Glenn Gawdin received the secondary assist.

Juuso Valimaki fired a shot off from the point that Kirby Rychel redirected past Bibeau on the power play for his team-leading 21st goal of the season at the 13:57 mark. Dillion Dube received the secondary assist.

Lomberg scored his second goal of the night on breakaway empty-net goal at the 18:16 mark. Then, the scoring was concluded on another empty-net goal by Stockton’s Spencer Foo as he scored his 14th goal of the season at the 19:28 mark.

Gillies had an excellent third period in keeping the Cuda off the board. He finished with 36 saves on 37 shots to earn his 10th victory. Bibeau made 30 saves on 32 shots in suffering the tough luck loss.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/5 on the power play. Stockton was 1/4.

The announced attendance was 3,217.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return back home to host the Iowa Wild on Tuesday 2/26 at 7:00 pm at SAP Center.

Barracuda take down Heat 6-4

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

Alex True has been the best player for the San Jose Barracuda in the past two and a half months. His second goal of the contest proved to be the game-winning goal with seven minutes left to help San Jose defeat the Stockton Heat 6-4 in a wild game on Friday evening at Stockton Arena. San Jose has the best winning percentage in the AHL.

True skated in on a wide angle and with backu goalie Tyler Parson, in relief for starter Jon Gillies, going from left to right, True wrapped around the puck through the five hole for his 14th goal of the season at the 12:59 mark of the third period. He is now tied with Francis Perron for the team lead in goals and leads the teams in points with 34.

San Jose (25-8-2-4) drew first blood early in the first period. Captain John McCarthy fed a pass over to Jeffery Viel, who skated in and sent a wrister past Heat goaile Jon Gillies (6-12-4) just inside the right post for his seventh goal of the season at the 6:12 mark. Viel’s goal broke a 12-game goalless drought. Evan Weinger received the secondary assist.

The Cuda doubled their lead just over a minute and half later. Jon Martin sent over a pass over to the red-hot True, who fired a shot top self on the far side over the shoulder of Gillies for his 13th goal of the season at the 7:56 mark. Antti Suomela received the secondary assist. The Cuda scored two goals on the first six shots.

Stockton (18-21-4-1) cut the lead in half late in the opening frame. Kerby Rychel’s attempted shot on net was blocked by a San Jose defender, but the rebound went right to the stick of Curtis Lazar, who one-timed the puck past Cuda goalie Joesf Korenar (16-3-1) for Lazar’s 15th goal of the season at the 15:02 mark. Juuso Valimaki received the secondary assist.

In the second period, San Jose dominated the Heat scoring the next two goals. Rourke Chartier worked the puck below the end line and fed a perfect pass over to Francis  Perron, who buried a one-timer past Gillies for his 14th goal of the season at the 1:49 mark, snapping a seven-game goalless drought. Dylan Gambrell received the secondary assist.

San Jose gained a 4-1 lead as Perron returned the favor to Gambrell. Gambrell wired a one-timer passed Gillies for his 10th goal of the season at the 6:21 mark. That would be the end of Gillies’ night as he was sent to the showers and replaced by Tyler Parsons (6-5-1) after giving up four goals on 17 shots. Calvan Fitzgerald received the secondary assist.

Stockton once again cut the lead in half late in the period, this time on the power play. After a failed clearing attempt by San Jose, Stockton took advantage when Tyler Graovac redirected a Rinet Valiev shot from the point over the left shoulder of Korenar for his 14th goal of the season at the 17:03 mark. Dillon Dube were credited with the secondary assist.

Stockton tilted the ice in the favor in the third period. Spencer Foo threaded a pass to Dube, who beat Korenar under the right arm with a wrist shot into the back of the net for his for his fifth goal of the season at the 9:31 mark.

The Heat tied the game just under two minutes later. A defensive break down left the rookie defenseman Valimaki all alone and he buried his chance past Kornear for his first professional goal of his career at the 11:15 mark.

Korenar stopped 32 of the 36 shots he faced to earn his 16th victory of the season. His is currently 5-0 against Stockton this season. Parsons made 20 saves on 22 shots suffered the tough luck loss in relief duty.

Gambrell gave the Cuda some insurance when he tipped in a shot from the point off the stick of Kyle Wood past Parsons for his second goal of the evening and 11th of the season at the 16:30 mark. Perron received the secondary assist.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/1 on the power play. Stockton was 1/2. The Cuda had killed off 13 penalties in a row before Valiev’s power play goal.

Cuda head coach Roy Sommer earned his 750th career win in the AHL.

San Jose is now 8-1 against Stockton, including 5-0 (and the last seven straight dating back to last year) in the Stockton Arena, this season.

The announced attendance was 4,532.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda take on the Heat on Saturday, February 2nd at 1:15 pm at SAP Center.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda get scored on with 3 unanswered goals in Grand Rapids for loss; play in Stockton Friday

Photo credit: sjbarracuda.com

On the San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 In a two-game series, the Grand Rapids Griffins took game two as they edged the visiting San Jose Barracuda last Saturday 3-2.

#2 The Cuda jumped out ahead with an early 2-0 lead with goals from Alex True and Rourke Chartier. That would be all the scoring San Jose would get for the rest of the evening.

#3 Flilp Zadina and Carter Camper both scored for Grand Rapids to tie it up 2-2 and the Griffins’ Matt Puempel scored the game-winner in the shootout.

#4 The Griffins’ goaltender Harri Setari stopped 24 of 26 shots and the Barracuda Antoine Bibeau stopped 30 of 32.

#5 The Barracuda head to Stockton for this Fri Feb 1st’s contest with the Stockton Heat.

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