Barracuda Put Eagles Playoff Hopes in Doubt After 3-1 Win
Loveland, CO - The San Jose Barracuda (39-21-3-4) entered Friday's tilt at Colorado having won their last three in a row and last three on the road. After falling behind in the second, the Barracuda would respond with three unanswered to pick up a 3-1 win over the Eagles (35-27-4-1) (Colorado Avalanche) at the Budweiser Events Center.
In the win, Sharks 2018 first round pick Ryan Merkley made his pro debut, registering two shots and a minus-one rating.
In the first, the Barracuda outshot Colorado 11-to-nine and went on the power-play twice but the physical opening frame lacked offense as both teams failed to find the back of the net.
Colorado would finally breakthrough in the second as Michael Joly (15) would snap a low shot past Antoine Bibeau on a two-on-one at 13:57. But nine seconds later, Antti Suomela centered a below-the-goal-line pass to Jeffrey Viel (11) in the slot and Viel slapped the pass out of mid-air past Pavel Francouz. With just 12 seconds remaining in the second, San Jose would take its first lead as Evan Weinger gained the line down the right wing, dropped a pass for a trailing Nick DeSimone (14) and the sophomore d-man fired a shot far side to give the Barracuda a 2-1 lead.
In the third, Dylan Gambrell (20) received a drop pass from T.J. Hensick before firing a low shot past Francouz from above the right circle to make it 3-1 San Jose. Bibeau would stop all 11 Colorado shots in the third and San Jose would hold on for the 3-1 win.
Bibeau (16-13-5) earned his second consecutive victory by stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced, while Francouz (26-17-3) suffered his second straight loss by allowing three goals on 34 shots.
San Jose wraps up the regular season on Saturday in Colorado when they take on the Eagles in the final game of an eight-game season series. All Barracuda action can be heard live on 1220 KDOW, the Sharks + SAP Center App and watched on watchtheahl.com.
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