Photo credit: San Jose Barracuda Twitter (@sjbarracuda)
By: Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda took Game 1 of the first round in the Calder Cup Playoffs with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Stockton Heat at SAP Center on Friday night.
The Barracuda stuck first for a 1-0 lead at 13:32 of the opening period. Tim Heed stood all alone in front of the Heat’s net fired the puck past Jon Gillies top-shelf for an unassisted goal and first of the playoffs.
“They’re a heavy team,” Heed said. “We have to move our feet and stay on the right side, so I think we did okay, but we still have some improvements to do. So I think it’s going to get better as this year moves along.”
Shots were tied at 10 apiece, but the Barracuda held a 1-0 lead over the Heat after 20 minutes.
The Barracuda took a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the second period. Ryan Carpenter received a pass from Buddy Robinson and blasted the puck into the net for his first goal of the playoffs.
The Barracuda missed out on a potential scoring opportunity midway through the period. Barclay Goodrow set up Kevin Labanc for a play, but his shot missed the net.
Shots were 25-20 in favor of the Barracuda, who brought a 2-0 lead over the Heat into the locker room after 40 minutes.
The Barracuda extended their lead to 3-0 with 8:23 left in the third period. Carpenter skated to the front of the Heat’s net and stuffed the puck through traffic for his second goal of the game as well as the playoffs.
Labanc fired a long-range wrist shot into the empty net with 38.9 seconds left in regulation to seal a 4-0 shutout victory for the Barracuda. Troy Grosenick stopped all 28 shots he faced.
“I thought we did just fine,” Grosenick said. “We broke pucks up pretty fast for the most part and they had us in there and we played playoff hockey and everyone’s screaming 100% so there were times we could’ve done better but I think most of the game we did a good job Gillies made 32 saves in a losing effort.
“They did a really great job in the lanes,” Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer responded when asked what his team could improve on the power play. “But I think we had too many pucks blocked and our entries weren’t real clean.”
Barracuda’s 2016-17 regular season highlights
Western Conference Regular Season Champions (Bud Poile Trophy)
Pacific Division Regular Season Champions (John Chick Trophy)
Goaltender of the Year (Troy Grosenick) [Aldege “Baz” Bastien Award]
Coach of the Year (Roy Sommer) [Louis A.R. Pieri Award]
Rookie of the Year (Daniel O’Regan) [Dudley “Red” Garrett]
First Team AHL All-Star (Grosenick)
Second Team AHL All-Star (Tim Heed)
Mid-Season All-Stars (Grosenick, O’Regan)
AHL Season-Long Winning Streak (14 games)
AHL Season-Long Point Streak (15 games)
CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month (Grosenick) [February]
CCM/AHL Player of the Week (Grosenick) [2x]
Grosenick is the fifth goaltender in AHL history to reach double-digit shutouts (10) Grosenick held a scoreless streak for 248 consecutive minutes from Nov. 19 to Dec. 18 Nine players spent time with both the Barracuda and Sharks
Second youngest roster in the AHL
AHL’s top-ranked offense (3.44 goals per game)
AHL’s second-ranked power play (23.8%)
AHL’s eighth-ranked penalty kill (83.3%)
Fourth in team defense (2.56 goals per game)
Both teams return to action on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. PST. You can tune into Game 2 on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.