San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda coming off a two-game split with Tucson, but still the best in the AHL

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

On the Barracuda podcast with Marko:

#1 The Barracuda are coming off a two-game split against the Tucson Roadrunners in games from last Friday and Saturday. The Roadrunners got a 4-3 win against the Barracuda on Saturday.

#2 The Roadrunners Jordan Gross scored the game-winning goal with two minutes left at 18:06 in the third period. The Roadrunners were on a mission on Saturday as they weren’t going to cough up that game.

#3 Jeffery Truchon-Viel scored the Barracuda’s first goal of the game–an example why the Barracuda don’t waste too much time to get on the scoreboard first.

#4 Talk about the play when Keaton Middleton, who had the puck only to lose it to the Roadrunners’ Trevor Cheek, a crucial goal for the Roadrunners at 3:20 in the second period.

#5 The Barracuda host the Colorado Eagles on Thursday. The Cuda had trouble with the Eagles earlier this season, can the Cuda get past the Eagles on Thursday?

Marko does the SJ Barracuda podcast each Wednesday at

Roadrunners edge Barracuda 1-0 in sweep of two-game series

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda (9-3-0-1) played a more disciplined game 24 hours after a brutal loss, but for the second straight game, they weren’t able to find the back of the night against the Tucson Roadrunners (9-3-0-1) who only needed one goal to sweep the two-game series against their Pacific Division rival in a 1-0 victory at the Tucson Convention Center Arena on Saturday evening. It was the first time San Jose has been shutout in back-to-back games this season.

San Jose tightened up its defense, only allowing nine shots on goal in the first period. The outshot Tucson 11-9, and despite having the lone power play in the period, they would head into the first intermission deadlocked at zero.

The teams exchanged two power plays in the second period, but neither was able to capitalize on their opportunities. Both teams would end up with six shots apiece in the middle frame.

The Roadrunners’ Hudson Fasching broke the scoreless game midway through the third period when he scored his third goal of the season at the 9:04 mark, beating Cuda goalie Antoine Bibeau (4-2-1). Robbie Russo and Daniel Ullstrom received assists on Fasching’s goal.

Roadrunners goalie Merrick Madsen (3-0-0) had a busier night than last night, stopping all 28 shots to earn back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career. Bibeau also played well, stopping 27 of the 28 shots the Roadrunners threw at him in suffering the tough luck defeat on the road.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/5 on the power play, as their woes continue on the man-advantage. Tucson was 0/3.

The announced attendance was 5,777.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return home on Sunday 11/18 to host the newest member of the AHL, the Colorado Eagles, at 5:00 pm PT at SAP Center on Cleveland Barons Night.

The first 4,000 fans in attendance will receive a Barons replica jersey.

Roadrunners end Barracuda’s season with 3-0 shutout victory in Game 4

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The San Jose Barracuda (1-3) were veterans of playing with their backs against the wall this season. Winning six straight games just to make the playoffs, their luck ran out on their season as the Pacific Division champion Tuscon Roadrunners (3-1) finished off the best of five series 3-1 with a 3-0 shutout victory in Game 4 on Friday evening at Tuscon Convention Center Arena. Tuscon will take on the Texas Stars in the second round of the playoffs.

The Cuda gave a much better performance from the other night, but it wasn’t enough to force a decisive Game 5 as they were shutout in back-to-back games, thanks to another solid performance by goaltender Adin Hill (3-1). Hill stopped all 25 shots in doing his part to help the Roadrunners advanced to the next round. Tuscon outscored San Jose 9-0 in the final two games of the series.

San Jose had an early scoring chance in the first period when captain John McCarthy, with 40 seconds left on the penalty kill, had his short-handed wraparound attempt stopped by a sprawling Hill to keep the puck out of the net.

However, the ice would be tilted in favor of Tuscon in the first 20 minutes. Antoine Bibeau (1-3) was Superman making big saves on a breakaway chance by Michael Bunting eight minutes into the game, robbed Lawson Crouse of a goal two minutes later and a point-blank chance on Mario Kempe after he skated in all alone right out of the penalty box seconds after the Roadrunners killed off his slashing penalty. Tuscon outshot San Jose 10-4.

Joachim Blichfeld’s empty-net chance was taken away when two Roadrunner defensemen collapsed on him to knock the puck away from Blickfeld’s stick two minutes into the second period.

Tuscon would break the seal in the second period after a failed clearing attempt by the Cuda. Carter Camper was able to feed the puck over to Kempe, who snapped home a shot from the hash marks that trickled past Bibeau’s arm into the back of the net for his third goal of the playoffs at the 4:24 mark. Andrew Campbell received the secondary assist.

Conor Garland would give the Roadrunners an insurance goal with his first goal of the series. A Campbell shot from the point rattled off Adam Helweka’s body and hit off Garland into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead at the 4:53 mark in the third period. Dylan Strome received the secondary assist. It was his eight straight game with a point.

Kempe completed the scoring with his fourth goal of the series with an empty-net goal with 59 seconds left to seal the fate for the Cuda.

Bibeau had another MVP performance in net, making 31 saves on 33 shots in the tough luck loss. Hill, over the past two games, stopped 46 Cuda shots.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 0/2 on the power play. Tuscon went 0/4.

Rourke Chartier and Brandon Mashinter were out of the lineup due to suffering injuries in Game 3. Jon Martin was in the lineup for the Cuda.

The Barracuda resigned defenseman Radim Simek to a two-year contract extension. They also resigned McCarthy to a one-year deal earlier this week.


Roadrunners make road kill out of Barracuda with 6-0 shutout in Game 3 of AHL first round series

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Marko Ukalovic

The Tuscon Roadrunners (2-1) flexed their muscles early and often against the San Jose Barracuda (1-2) as six different goal scorers combined for a dominating 6-0 shutout victory in Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series on Wednesday night at Tuscon Convention Center Arena.

The Pacific Division Champion would dominate from the drop of the puck and drew first blood early in the first period. Dylan Strome created a turnover inside the Cuda zone. He passed it over to Michael Bunting, the team co-leader in goals during the regular season with 23, in the low slot and he fired the puck past Antoine Bibeau (1-2) at the 2:27 mark.

San Jose dodged a bullet at the midway mark of the first period when a goal by defenseman Kyle Capobianco was disallowed after Bunting was called for goaltender interference. Bunting collided with Bibeau before he was able to center a pass to Capobianco who wristed a shot into the back of the net.

The Roadrunners would increase their lead 2-0 with Alex True in the sin bin for hooking. Lawson Crouse scored on a tic-tac-toe scoring play when Strome and Carter Camper made pretty one-time passes to get the puck to Krouse, who buried it home past Bibeau at the 12:47 mark. Crouse’s first goal of the series was also the first power play goal of the series for the Roadrunners.

Lane Perderson, who scored the game-winning goal in Game 1, skated down the left wing side and sent a rising wrist shot top-shelf past Bibeau’s left shoulder at the 16:16 mark. Andrew Campbell and Trevor Creek received assists on Pederson’s second goal of the series.

The closest chance the Cuda came toward a scoring chance was when Jacob Middleton’s shot hit the post during a mad scramble that Tuscon was able to clear the puck out that led to Pederson’s goal. They didn’t get their first shot on goal on Roadrunners goalie Adin Hill (2-1) until the 17:41 mark of the first period. They were outshot 10-3.

The Cuda responded with a better effort in the first five minutes of the second period as they outshot Tuscon 6-3 during that time frame. However, they weren’t able to get a puck past Hill.

Mike Sislo made it 4-0 with his first goal of the series when he tipped in a shot from the point by Dakota Mermis at the 6:53 mark of the second period. Strome received his third assist on the night. He now has six points in three games for the Roadrunners (3G, 3A).

Campbell fired a shot from the left point off the post into the back of the net for his first goal of the series. Campbell’s first goal of the playoffs ended a 32-game goalless drought at the at the 14:19 mark of the second period. Ryan MacInnnis–son of Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis–and Conor Garland received the assists.

Bibeau’s night was done after that as he let in five goals on only 15 shots to suffer the loss. Stephon Williams relieved Bibeau to finish out the game with seven saves on eight shots. Hill earned the shutout victory stopping all 21 Cuda shots.

Mario Kempe made it 6-0 when he scored his second goal of the series just 53 seconds into the third period. Crouse and Mermis received assists on the goal.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0/3 on the power play. Tuscon was 1/1 on their only attempt. They are now 1/5 overall in the first three games.

Tuscon had a .574 home ice winning percentage (18-13-0) at home during the regular season.

Forward Joachim Blichfeld and defenseman Thomas Gregoire made their debuts for the Barracuda.

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! A big scrum that was led by Emerson Clark included 11 of the 12 skaters on the ice getting into it with Hill taking jabs at Clark with under eight minutes left in the lopsided game. Crouse also went after Julius Bergman with under five minutes left in the 3rd period. Crouse received a roughing penalty for his antics.

The 6-0 drubbing was the worst defeat for the Cuda since March 24th when they lost 7-3 to the Ontario Reign. It was also the first time they have been shutout in the post season.

The announced attendance was 4,799.

UP NEXT: Both teams return to action for Game 4 on Friday evening April 27 at 7:05 pm PT at Tuscon Convention Center Arena.

Barracuda capture Roadrunners and overthrow them with a 5-2 win


By Alexandra Evans

One win over the Tucson Roadrunners this week was clearly not enough for the San Jose Barracuda as they chased them down Wile E. Coyote style, earning a 5-2 victory at the Tuscon Convention Center.

San Jose put up two goals in the first period less than one minute apart. Julius Bergman sniped the first one on the power play at 12:45, and John McCarthy, who assisted Bergman’s goal, collected Paul Martin’s rebound off of Tucson goalie Hunter Miska and shot the puck, backhanded, past him. The Cuda ended the first period with a 2-0 lead; each team had eight shots on goal.

The scoring action translated into the second period as Brandon Mashinter received a pass from Jacob Middleton, putting the puck in the net just before the four minute mark. Emerson Clark notched his first goal with the Cuda at the five minute mark when he circled around Miska and located the low slot. Down 4-0, the Roadrunners tried to retaliate later in the period as Michael Bunting got a helper from Mario Kempe and sniped the puck past Cuda goalie Parker Gahagen at 9:10. Three minutes later, Trevor cheek scored one unassisted (and shorthanded) on a breakaway. The Cuda’s lead was cut in half, 4-2, at the end of the second.

Gahagen, who earned his first professional win tonight in the desert, and San Jose’s defense did not allow any additional goals in the third period. Brandon Bollig earned the team a 5-2 victory with an empty netter two minutes before the match ended.

The Cuda, now 11-10, return to action at home this weekend for a double header against the Bakersfield Condors: Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:15 p.m.

Barracuda chase down Roadrunners 3-2

Photo: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

Another great comeback for the San Jose Barracuda tonight! The team traveled to the desert to face the Tucson Roadrunners, who previously defeated them 3-1 on Friday night in San Jose.

Tucson, who is ranked #1 in the Pacific Division of the AHL, netted a goal less than three minutes in (at 2:13), courtesy of Jens Looke. San Jose earned a five-on-three power play opportunity, but failed to take advantage of it. However, not long after, Tim Clifton scored his first professional goal–a rebound off of Tucson’s goalie, Hunter Miska–tying the score 1-1 with just over four minutes remaining in the first 20 minutes. San Jose exceeded Tucson in shots on goal 13-9.

Jon Martin wanted in on the scoring action and scored two and a half minutes into the second period to double San Jose’s score. Emerson Clark assisted the goal, and also had his first fight as a member of the Barracuda 12 and a half minutes in. It was at this point that Clark and Tucson’s Tye McGinn were sent to the penalty box for fighting (McGinn was also penalized for slashing), making the game a four-on-four play. Almost a minute later (at 11:39), Mario Kempe scored for Tucson and tied the score again, which remained 2-2 until the third period.

Very quickly into the final interval, Jeremy Roy located Alex True passed him the puck from the blue line, allowing True to give San Jose a 3-2 lead. San Jose’s defense (and starting goalie Antoine Bibeau) remained sound throughout the final 20 minutes, and they took home the 3-2 victory.

Bibeau blocked 23 shots out of 25, not allowing a single goal in the final period. Bibeau defeated Miska, who stopped 24 shots out of 27.

San Jose will face Tucson again in the desert on Wednesday night before returning home this weekend for a doubleheader against the Bakersfield Condors.

Roster update: Sharks defenseman Paul Martin has been assigned to the Barracuda for conditioning purposes as he recently returned to the ice after a two-month recovery from an ankle injury.

Additionally, Danny O’Regan has been called up to the Sharks again as they prepare to face the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames in Canada later this week.

Barracuda let Roadrunners escape with a 3-1 win

Photo credit: @sjbarracuda

By Alexandra Evans

SAN JOSE—The San Jose Barracuda put up a solid defensive fight through Friday night’s match against the Tucson Roadrunners, who managed to notch two goals in the final two minutes of the game and earn a 3-1 win.

Both teams played sound defensively in the first period until the final two minutes when Roadrunners’ Michael Bunting approached the net, prompting Cuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau to move out of the net to stop what looked like a play. With Bibeau out of the way, Bunting put the puck right in the net at the 18:08 mark to give Tucson the lead.

In the second period, Rudolfs Balcers scored a power play goal at the 3:08 mark. Despite putting up an additional 16 shots (for 29 total), including some promising attempts from Danny O’Regan on a five-on-three run, the Cuda failed to make it past Hunter Miska, but managed to stop the Roadrunners from scoring again…until the end of third period.

Both teams held one another scoreless for the first 18 minutes of the third, when all of a sudden, Mike Sislo copped a rebound goal with a minute and a half remaining, followed by another from Bunting 23 seconds later to make the final score 3-1.

“It happened so quick,” Bibeau said of Tucson’s final two goals. Despite each “blink of an eye” (so to speak), he saw the puck far better than he had during Wednesday’s 6-0 shutout loss.

Bibeau, who came off of his fifth consecutive win on Sunday evening in Bakersfield, agreed that the team’s defense was very sound throughout the entire match. The team’s inability to score impacted the game, but did not reflect their effort as a whole.

The Roadrunners are ranked #1 in the Pacific Division of the AHL, and some may wonder if it takes even more momentum and strength to stand up to such a team. Not necessarily, according to Bibeau. He explained that there was not much the Cuda needed to change as far as effort, as, coming off of the 6-0 shutout loss, effort was more important to them than whether or not they defeated the Roadrunners (whose sound playing styles he acknowledged, and the fact that they stimulated strong competition that evening).

Edging on their next two matches against Tucson on Tuesday and Wednesday (in the desert), Bibeau said that taking time to relax on the team’s off days will serve them well, and that they will play the next two games with a mindset no different than one which they would have against a lower-ranked team.

Roster update: Danny O’Regan was reassigned to the Barracuda from the Sharks this afternoon, and Bryan Moore was recalled from the Allen Americans. Additionally, the club signed Emerson Clark of the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen to a professional tryout agreement.