Barracuda Use Big First to Top Heat, 6-4
Stockton, Ca - The San Jose Barracuda (12-3-1-2) hit the road on Saturday night winless in their last four road games, but a three-goal first period proved to be the start San Jose needed as they topped the Stockton Heat (11-11-1-0) (Calgary Flames), 6-4, at Stockton Arena.
The win was San Jose's third straight against the Heat and improved their record at Stockton Arena to 3-0 on the season. The win also places San Jose atop the AHL with a .750 winning percentage.
Alex True (4) opened up the scoring a minute and 25 seconds into the game as he poked a loose puck through Nick Schneider's five-hole on San Jose's first shot of the game. Less than a minute later, at 2:15, Max Letunov threaded a pass from the right wing to Manny Wiederer (5) who stood atop the crease on the near side and Wiederer swiped it in to give San Jose a 2-0 lead. The Barracuda completed the three-goal third at 16:46 when John McCarthy (4) tipped a Cavan Fitzgerald point shot past Schneider.
In the second, the Heat struck and cut San Jose's lead to two as Glenn Gawdin's initial shot was stoned by Antoine Bibeau, but Matt Phillips (5) jammed in the loose puck from the crease at 2:21. In what would turn out to be the major turning point in the game, the Barracuda would counter with two unanswered goals. First, Jeffrey Viel (4) would spin a puck in from close range at 4:01 and then Jayden Halbgewachs (6) snapped a seven-game goalless drought at 6:24 when True found the rookie forward uncovered in the slot. Schneider's night would end after working 26 minutes and 24 seconds and allowing five goals on 14 shots. After San Jose went up 4-1, Spencer Foo (7) potted Stockton's second goal at 8:56 as he was found all-alone on the backdoor.
In the third, Scott Sabourin (2) made it 5-3 as he whipped a shot short side on Bibeau at 3:06, but Rourke Chartier would pot an empty-netter at 17:32. Foo (8) would score on a breakaway at 19:11 but it proved too little too late as San Jose held on for the 6-4 win.
Bibeau (5-2-2) earned the victory after stopping 26 of 30 Stockton shots, while Schneider (6-2-0) suffered the loss and Jon Gillies (4-7-1) took a no-decision after stopping all 12 shots he faced in 32 minutes and 35 seconds of work.
The Barracuda return to SAP Center on Monday in the first matchup up of 2018-19 against the San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks). Puck-drop from the Tank is set for 7 p.m. All concessions are just $4 and cars with four or more can park for free. For tickets head to SJBarracuda.com/tickets.
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