Barracuda edge Roadrunners 2-1 advance to play in game finale

The San Jose Barracuda after defeating the Tucson Roadrunners on Tue May 18th advance to the next play in game against either the Ontario Reign or the Colorado Eagles in the AHL Pacific Division playoffs (image from @sjbarracuda)

by Marko Ukalovic

IRVINE, Calif–Jake McGrew scored the game winning goal for the San Jose Barracuda halfway through the third period in a 2-1 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners in a Pacific Division single elimination play-in-game on Tuesday afternoon at Five Point Arena.

San Jose came into the play-in-game as the fourth seed and Tucson was the seventh seed after the regular season concluded. The Pacific Division is the only division in the AHL to participate in a post-season tournament for the 2021 season. The winner of both play-in-games will be the fourth seed and take on the top seeded Henderson Silver Knights in a best of three series.

McGrew’s heroics came as San Jose gained its first lead of the game. Scott Reedy poked the puck away from Victor Soderstrom behind the net. Jayden Halbgewachs quickly found McGrew along the end line and the SoCal native beat Prosvetov with a quick wrist shot to the near side of the post for his first playoff goal at the 9:18 mark of the third period.

The opening 20 minutes was scoreless as both teams played a defensive minded style of play. Both teams combined for just 11 shots in the first period.

Tucson drew first blood early in the second period. A clearing attempt by San Jose was intercepted by Nate Sucese near the left corner boards. Sucese found Jan Jenik at the left slot and Jenik skated in and shot a backhander that beat ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar at the 3:01 mark.

San Jose answered back just past the half way mark in the middle frame. Nicolas Meloche fired a shot along the left boards that hit off the skate of a crashing Evan Weinger through the five-hole of Roadrunners goalie Ivan Prosvetov at the 11:24 mark. Brandon Coe received the secondary assist.

Both teams had 13 shots each after the first 40 minutes of the game.

Tucson pulled Prosvetov in the final 2:05 for an extra attacker to try send the game into overtime but Korenar and his defense held down the fort and sent the Roadrunners into the off season.

Korenar finished the game stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced to earn the victory and his second playoff victory of his ALH career. Prosvetov made 18 saves on 20 n the losing effort.

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

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Korenar 2) McGrew 3) Jenik

UP NEXT: The Barracuda will play the winner of the Ontario Reign vs, Colorado Eagles game on Wednesday 5/19 at 7:00pm at Five Point Arena in Irvine.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda see four out of six games scratched; first game in over a week Thursday vs. Bakersfield

The last time the San Jose Barracuda played a game was Sat Feb 13th at Cendar Park Texas against the Texas Stars before having four straight road games postponed ( photo)

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic:

#1 It was a road trip that San Jose Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer and the club was looking forward to the Barracuda opened the trip back on Fri Feb 12 in Cedar Park Texas against the Texas Stars and split what was supposed to be a three game series.

#2 Marko taking a look at the first game the Barracuda took game one 5-2 on Fri Feb 12 in what looked like a good start to the trip they lost game two the following day Sat Feb 13, 5-3.

#3 After those first two games on the road things started to unravel after Sat 13th when Cedar Park was hit with vicious freezing weather, snow and temps as low as 19 degrees. The third game was postponed on Tue 16th due to weather. The game of hockey has been play outdoors in temps lower than 19 for decades but local residents began suffering when the power went out, pipes were bursting and temps not seen in Texas in years.

#4 The Barracuda got a flight out of Texas on Thursday night after their Thursday night game was canceled because they couldn’t get to Tucson for their three game series with the Roadrunners due to the weather in Texas. Once they got out of Texas and into Tucson their three game series was canceled because of Covid-19 protocol issues in the Roadrunners organization.

#5 The Barracuda have not played in over seven days and are scheduled to host the Bakerfield Condors on Thu Feb 25th a 6pm puck drop at SAP Center.

Join Marko each Saturday for the San Jose Barracuda podcasts at

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic Sat Feb 20, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Barracuda-Roadrunners series postponed due to Covid-19 protocols

The entire three game series between San Jose Barracuda and Tucson Roadrunners in Tucson has been postponed due to Covid-19 protocols. They were supposed to open the series on Fri Feb 19, 2021 ( file photo) 

by Marko Ukalovic

TUCSON, Ariz—The AHL announced on Thursday that due to to league Covid-19 protocols affecting the Tuscon Roadrunners, the league postponed the three games scheduled between the Roadrunners and the San Jose Barracuda.

Both teams were scheduled to play each other on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.

No makeup dates have yet to be announced.

The next scheduled game for San Jose is next Thursday 2/26 when the ‘Cuda host the Bakersfield Condors at SolarAmerica Ice at San Jose at 6:00pm.

Barracuda-Stars game postponed due to inclement weather

 Texas Stars winger Nikita Scherbak (21) and the San Jose Barracuda forward Joachim Birchfeld (86) battle for the puck earlier in the series over the weekend. Due to heavy snow storms and bad weather conditions the game was postponed on Tuesday night (photo from

by Marko Ukalovic

CEDAR PARK, Texas—The AHL announced earlier this afternoon that the third game of the series between the San Jose Barracuda and the Texas Stars was postponed due to a winter weather emergency. Heavy snow fall has recently blanketed the Northern Texas area.

To give you an idea how bad the situation is in Texas electricity prices have shot up 10,000% due to a glitch and Citibank reportedly can’t fix the error. Normally the game of hockey is played in freezing conditions but not tonight because of the heavy snow the most in memory and fans can’t get to the game due to poor conditions. 

Texas is in a deep freeze. It’s 19 degrees in Cedar Park and the Barracuda who have left the rink after the game was postponed are supposed to fly to Tucson for a game against the Tucson Roadrunners at the Tucson Convention Center which is scheduled for Thursday night the first of three games. 

Tuesday night was suppose to be the completion of the three game series between the Stars and Barracuda with the Barracuda opening the series in game one with a 5-2 win on Friday 12th and the Stars came back to even the series on Saturday 13th winning 5-3. 

A reschedule date between the two teams has not yet been determined by the league.


Roadrunners take down Barracuda 5-3, sweep two game series in Tucson

San Jose Barracuda didn’t have much luck in Tucson losing both games on the road trip. The Barracuda lost the second game on Mon Feb 8, 2021 at the Tucson Convention Center ( image)

by Marko Ukalovic

TUCSON, Ariz—The Tucson Roadrunners scored two goals in the second period en route to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Monday evening at Tucson Convention Center Arena.

San Jose received its first regulation loss after losing in overtime to Tucson the day before and earned one point in the two game series.

The Barracuda (0-1-1) broke the seal late in the first period when John Leonard set up Joachim Blichfeld who rifled home a wrist shot past Roadrunners goaltender Ivan Prosvetov for a 1-0 lead. Blichfeld’s first goal of the season came at the 14:14 mark.

Tucson (2-0-0) came back with the equalizer just under 90 seconds later when some hesitation by ‘Cuda goalie Alexei Melnichulk to play the puck near the trapezoid cost his team. Michael Carcone ended up with the puck and centered a pass out to Jan Jenik who tapped home the puck into an empty net at the 15:19 mark.

A San Jose turnover led to the first lead for Tucson. Kevin Roy raced down the left side and fired a puck on net that Melnichuk stopped but Lane Pederson came crashing in and cleaned up the rebound for his first goal of the season at the 16:44 mark.

Alxander True scored the first of his two goals late in the opening frame. A shot from the point by Brinson Pasichnuk was redirected past Prosvetov by True at the 16:57 mark.

The Roadrunners didn’t waste anytime regaining the lead in the second period. Jenik led and two-on-one break and found Carcone, who snapped home a wrist shot for his first goal of the season at the 1:43 mark.

Tucson gained a two-goal advantage late in the middle frame when they scored its first power play goal of the season at the 17:33 mark. Michael Bunting tipped home a point shot from Pederson.

San Jose cut the lead to a one-goal game with a power play goal of its own. Anti Suomela centered a backhand pass in front of the crease were True was camped out in front of and tipped home the puck past Provetov for his second goal of the evening at the 4:24 mark of the third period.

The Roadrunners closed out the scoring with an insurance goal from Roy. Bunting centered a pass from behind the net and Roy wristed a one-timer past Melnichuk for his first goal of the season at the 17:16 mark.

Prosvetov (2-0) finished with 33 saves on 36 shots to earn the victory. Melnichuk stopped 28 of the 33 shots he faced in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-4 on the power play. Tucson was 1-for-5.

Barracuda forward Zach Gallant made his AHL debut.

Pederson finished with a three-point night (1G,2A).

San Jose Barracuda game wrap: Barracuda lose a tough one in overtime opener

The score on the image show the San Jose Barracuda lost by a goal on Sunday night at the Tucson Convention Center to the Tucson Roadrunners 2-1 in the season opener ( image)

By Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda lost their season opener to the Tucson Roadrunners at the Tucson Convention Center on Sunday 2-1 in overtime. The Barracuda’s John Leonard scored San Jose’s only goal of the day an unassisted goal at 6:24 in the third period.

Barracuda goaltender Alexi Melnichuk stopped 23 shots. For Melnichuk a tough effort stopping every shot except one and the Barracuda finished the game on a power kill going three on three.

Tucson’s Cam Dineen scored the game winner in overtime at 1:17. For the Barracuda they had not played a regular season game in 334 days dating back on March 10, 2020. The Barracuda had eight players who made their AHL debuts which included San Jose Sharks draftees Ozzy Wiesblatt and Tristen Robbins.

The Barracuda and Roadrunners match up again for game two of the series Monday night at 7:00pm. The Barracuda will serve as the home team in Tucson.


San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Barracuda finally open up in San Jose; Can Cuda withstand 3 players leaving for Sharks

The Tucson Barracuda and San Jose Barracuda who canceled their pre season game on Friday will face off in San Jose SAP Center on Sun Feb 7, 2021 for the Barracuda’s first home opener ( photo)

On the San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The San Jose Sharks the San Jose Barracuda parent club has recalled three Barracuda players, first forwards to come up to the Sharks Rudolf Balcers, Maxim Letunov, and defenceman Fredrik Claesson on Thursday.  Will their departure put a hole in the Barracuda line up?

#2 The Barracuda schedule has been switched around the Barracuda were supposed to play their last pre season game on Fri Feb 5th against the Tucson Roadrunners at SAP Center but that game was postponed. The next game Sat 6th was moved to Sun Feb 7th for an 11am face off and will be the home opener and Mon 8th will conclude the brief two game series with Tucson for a 6:00pm face off.

#3 The Barracuda stated that these changes were made out of an abundance of caution due to a player coming up positive for Covid-19 last Sat Jan 30th in Las Vegas against the Henderson Silver Knights. In the third period officials were notified of the positive test and stopped the game and had both teams return to the dressing rooms and the game was postponed per AHL Covid-19 protocols.

#4 The Barracuda (2-3) lost their last game 7-3 to the Silver Knights in Las Vegas Fri Jan 29th at the Orleans Arena. One thing the Barracuda had time to work on during these days of postponed games was trying to work on avoiding the five goal second period they had endured in that last game.

#5 Long rest ready to get back to work, the Barracuda had Friday off and will have their home opener Sunday this morning for their first home opener. For the Barracuda they have to be happy to be back in San Jose.

Join Marko for Barracuda podcasts each Saturday at

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic Sat Feb 6, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud


DeSimone’s late heroics lift Barracuda to 4-3 victory over Roadrunners

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

TUCSON, Ariz. — Nick DeSimone scored the game-winning goal with 24 seconds left in the third period as the San Jose Barracuda rallied back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Tucson Roadrunners 4-3 on Wednesday afternoon at Tucson Convention Center Arena.

In the first period, Kevin Hancock opened up the scoring at 6:17 mark as Ryan McGregor and former Bakersfield Condor’ Cameron Hebig picked up the assists. Less than a minute later, Blake Speers doubled Tucson’s lead to 2-0.

The Barracuda were outshot 13-to-12 in the opening 20 minutes.

In the middle frame, sophomore forward Joachim Blichfeld found paydirt at 11:28, cutting Tucson’s lead in half.

The Barracuda outshot Tucson 15-7 in the second for a two period total of 27-20.

In the third period, rookie forward Brandon Coe would even the score with his first professional goal at 3:53 as Karlis Cukste picked up the only assist. Blichfeld scored his second of the game at 15:02, netting his team-leading third goal of the preseason, giving the Barracuda a 3-2 lead.

With 1:24 left to go, Lane Pederson leveled the score at 3-3 on the power-play. But exactly one minute later, DeSimone’s late goal magic gave the Barracuda its lead back, and the eventual 4-3 win.

Josef Korenar (1-1-0-1) made 22 saves on 25 shots to collect his first victory of exhibition play. Ivan Prosvetov suffered the loss, allowing four goals on 36 shots.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda are back in action on Friday, 1/29 in Las Vegas, as they square off with the newest member of the AHL, the Henderson Silver Knights, at 7 pm PT.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Reign get OT shootout victory 3-2 against Barracuda Friday

The San Jose Barracuda forward Jayden Halbgewachs (89) takes the puck up ice as he’s pursued by the Ontario Reign’s forward Nick Halloran (32) on Fri Jan 22, 2021 at Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo CA (photo from

On the SJ Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 Marko, the Barracuda lost a razor edge close game in Ontario on Friday night 3-2 in a overtime shootout. The Barracuda came out at 15 seconds at the start of the game and getting on scoreboard.

#2 Marko, Talk about Kurtis Gabriel over two games he scored 36 seconds into Thursday night’s game against San Diego and Friday night against Ontario 15 seconds if the two thoughts here is his two quick goals out of opportunity or out of design by Barracuda head coaches Roy Sommer.

#3 With the score tied at 1-1 the Reign’s Blaine Byron scored his first goal of the season after intercepting a pass in the neutral zone and took the puck to the slot and shot the puck in the attacking zone past the Barracuda’s goalie Josef Korenar at 0:51 of the second period.

#4 The Barracuda’s Ryan Merkley passed to Jayden Halbgewachs who was at the door step of the goal and scored to tie the game up at 6:24 2-2.

#5 The pre season continues as the Barracuda will face the Tucson Roadrunners at Tucson Convention Center on Wed Jan 27th a 4:00pm face off. Marko the Roadrunners have always given the Barracuda headaches how do you expect the outcome of a game like this?

Join Marko Saturday nights for a look at the SJ Barracuda podcasts at



Barrracuda slow down Roadrunners in 6-3 victory photo

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- The San Jose Barracuda had a nice President’s Day weekend. They jumped out to an early lead and then took control of the game in the third period to defeat the Pacific Division leading Tuscon Roadrunners 6-3 on Monday evening at SAP Center.

San Jose have won two in a row after losing eight in a row. Tucson have lost five out of their last seven games are only one point ahead of Stockton for the top spot in the Pacific Division. They finished 2-4-0-1 on their road trip.

San Jose (16-25-3-2) drew first blood 27 seconds into the game. Jonny Brodzinski started a rush out of the ‘Cuda zone. Joachim Blichfled sent a pass from center ice that sprung Jeffery Viel on a breakaway. Viel made a deke to get Roadrunners goalie Ivan Prosvetov down before depositing a backhander into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season goal.  It was the quickest goal of the season for the Barracuda.

“I had a lot of speed and it was a nice saucer pass from Blichey (Blichfeld). (I) just faked a shot and went back in. That was a pretty nice goal and it got us going at the start of the game,” said Viel.

The Barracuda doubled their 38 seconds later. Lukas Radil centered puck out in front from behind the net into the middle of a mad scramble. Lean Bergmann and Thomas Gregoire were in the middle of the scramble trying knock in the puck when Radil recovered it just to the left of the crease and poked it past Prosvetov for his fourth goal of the season at the 1:05 mark.

“I think quick getting on the forecheck and (getting) some offensive zone time, that allows everybody to get involved in the game early. Playing with a leads helps everybody. (It) helps the D, the goaltending a little bit. It was two good games for us this weekend,” co-head coach Jimmy Bonneau said.

Tucson (30-16-1-2) cut the lead in half with under six minutes left in the opening frame. Hudson Fasching knocked down Nick DeSimone, stealing the puck from him. He skated in and wired a wrist shot past ‘Cuda goalie Josef Korenar for his 17th goal of the season at the 14:08 mark.

San Jose outshot Tucson 13-11 in the opening 20 minutes.

Tucson scored the equalizer on the power play over five minutes into the second period. Andy Miele sent a cross ice pass over to Kyle Capobianco who fed it back up to the point over to Jordan Gross. The Roadrunners defenseman fired a slapshot over the pad of Korenar for his ninth goal of the season at the 5:43 mark.

San Jose regained the lead late in the middle frame. DeSimone found Maxim Letunov, who was playing in his first game back since being reassasigned by the Sharks, and he skated into the left slot before firing a wrist shot top-shelf into the right corner for his 11th goal of the season at the 16:28 mark.

Despite spending time with the Sharks recently, Letunov, (1G, 1A tonight), leads San Jose in points with 42 on the season.

“It’s been a great experience out there, the dream come true,” said the Moscow native about his time with the Sharks. “Not just playing in the first game but then scoring in the second (game) as well. Coming (back) down here there’s a lot of opportunities to play, (so I’m) just trying to work hard to deserve to go back up there.”

Tucson once again evened the score thanks to Fasching’s second goal of the night. Beau Bennett led a an odd man rush while on the penalty kill. Bennett sent a cross ice pass over to Fasching who tapped home the puck past Korenar for a short-handed goal, his 18th goal of the season, at the 17:40 mark.

Fasching now has six goals in six games against the ‘Cuda this season.

The tie wouldn’t last long as San Jose reagained their third lead of the game on a 5-on-3 power play. Halbgewachs had posession of the puck when he sent a pass out to Trevor Carrick at the right slot. The ‘Cuda defenseman rifled a bomb of a one-timer past Prosvetov for his ninth goal of the season 18:42 mark. Brodzinski received the secondary assist.

The three goals in a span of 1:46 ended a wild middle frame that saw Tucson out shot San Jose 9-7 in the period.

San Jose received an insurance goal late in the third period. Letunov found Carrick just above the left faceoff circle where Carrick blasted a shot that trickled past the 5-hole of Prosvetov for his 10th goal of the season and second of the night at the 13:36 mark.

“It’s weird. They kinda just been coming in waves for me. Not really changing much (to my game), just throwing it on net and sometimes they just happen to go in, get that lucky bounce. That was the case tonight,” Carrick said.

The ‘Cuda sealed the deal with an empty net goal from Viel, his second of the game and 10th goal of the season at the 14:32 mark.

Korenar finished the night 25 saves on 28 shots to earn his ninth win of the season. Prosvetov stopped 23 of the 28 shots he faced in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 1-for-3 on the power play. Tucson was 1-for-6.

San Jose is now 3-3 against Tucson this season and they snapped a three-game home losing streak.

Carrick’s goal snapped a 10-game goal-less draught. It also was his 200th AHL point. He is now second in the AHL among defenseman with his 10 goals.

San Jose has given up 10 short-handed goals this season.

Defenseman Jacob Middleton was reassigned back to down to the ‘Cuda by the Sharks and played in the game as he finished with a +1.

The announced attendance was 3,714.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda travel down to San Diego to take on the Gulls on Saturday 2/22 at 7:00pm at Pachenga Arena San Diego.