Barracuda Brief: San Jose Move To First Place

Welcome to the Barracuda Brief, your weekly one-stop shop for updates on the San Jose Barracuda. The Barracuda Brief will feature recaps, team news, quotes and other features will keep you up to date on the American Hockey League affiliate of the San Jose Sharks

Statistical Tidbits

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Troy Grosenick’s rebound year continues to impress. Grosenick is first in the AHL in shutouts (6), second in save percentage (.929) and third in goals-against average (2.13).

San Jose Barracuda goalie Troy Grosenick waits for the puck drop.
(Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Joakim Ryan leads the Barracuda in shots on goal with 111. Marcus Sorensen (92) and Danny O’Regan (91) round out the top three.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Barclay Goodrow is one of many ‘Cuda finding their groove. The big winger is on a four-game point streak with three goals and two assists.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]Patrick McNally recorded his first multi-point effort as a Barracuda in the first game against the Moose and added another helper in the final game of the week as well.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Barracuda have seven players with 10 or more goals: Goodrow, O’Regan, Goldobin, Sorensen, Adam Helewka, John McCarthy and Tim Heed. Rourke Chartier is just outside the club with nine tallies.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]6)[/miptheme_dropcap]Special-teams play continues to be special for the Barracuda. The power play ranks third in the AHL with a 24.2 success rate. The penalty kill has been trading places with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for tops in the league but currently, sits in the second position at 86.5 percent.

The Week That Was

San Jose Barracuda Captain John McCarthy

Once again, the San Jose Barracuda only had two games on the schedule this week. For the first time, the Barracuda headed north of the border to face the Manitoba Moose in a two-game series. The Barracuda finished the week with 52 points on a 24-11-1-3 record.  The Barracuda’s .667 winning percentage put them in first place in the Pacific Division for the first time this year and third in the Western Conference.

February 3: Barracuda 4 – Moose 1

The Barracuda’s first visit to Canada certainly got off on the right foot, even if it took about half a period to get that foot moving after a five-day layoff. Nikolay Goldobin continued his quietly solid season with a strong backhand as he drove on Moose netminder Eric Comrie.

Less than a minute after the Goldobin goal, Quinton Howden scored to tie that game back up, and the score would remain knotted at 1-1 until Goodrow scored the first of three consecutive power-play goals for San Jose. John McCarthy added two more man-advantage goals in the third period for a dominant first performance in Canada.

One interesting item at the conclusion of the game: The Barracuda were a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play and killed both Moose power plays for a perfect special-teams game.

February 4: Barracuda 5 – Moose 4

The Moose did not go gently after Friday’s drubbing. Peter Stoykewych’s slap shot beat Grosenick clean and put the Moose ahead for the first time in the series.

San Jose Barracuda defenseman Joakim Ryan
(Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose)

The lead didn’t last long as Adam Helewka scored from behind the Moose net. Helewka fired a puck back towards the crease, which deflected off Brian Strait and somehow past Jamie Phillips, making his first AHL career start. Phillips again faced an impossible shot as McCarthy potted his third goal in under four periods against the Moose on a perfect deflection that the rookie netminder had no chance to make a save on.

The floodgates appeared to swing open in the middle period.  Danny O’Regan finished off a beautiful pair of passes from Sorensen and Goldobin for his 14th goal of the season. Buddy Robinson also got his first as a Barracuda cleaning up the rebound of Julius Bergman’s strong move to the net.

After 110 minutes of carrying the play, the Barracuda finally let their foot off the gas pedal, and the Moose were quick to capitalize. Kyle Connor, who was largely invisible for both games, injected some excitement in the latter stages of the final match.

Connor added another goal less than six minutes later to get the Moose within a goal. With Phillips out of the net, Sorensen took a nice backhand pass from Goldobin for the final San Jose goal and made the game 5-3 with under three minutes to go. Quinton Howden struck moments later to make it a one-goal game again, but Grosenick shut the door the rest of the way to quell the comeback and secure the two points.

 On the Calendar:

The Barracuda return home to the comfy confines of the SAP Center for two of their three games next week and face all three teams from Southern California. San Jose will face the San Diego Gulls on Feb. 8 in a mid-week tilt. The Gulls are white-hot right now and 9-0-0-1 in their last 10 games. The newly arrived Jhonas Enroth brought with him stability in the Gulls’ net and the team is responding.

San Jose wraps up the week with a visit to the Bakersfield Condors on Feb. 11 before heading north to take on the Ontario Reign on Sunday.