Barracuda Brief: Winning Ways Roll to 14

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 to keep you up to date on the American Hockey League affiliate of the San Jose Sharks

The Week That Was

Let’s start with the news that everyone loves: the San Jose Barracuda’s 14-game winning streak continues to roll on. The impressive streak is not only cementing their place in the AHL playoffs but they are also quickly gaining potential Calder Cup favorite status as well.

Their last loss came nearly five weeks ago, but San Jose has needed every bit of the winning streak. The San Diego Gulls continue to almost keep pace with the Barracuda as the two California clubs battle atop the Pacific Division. Since the Barracuda’s last loss, the Gulls are 12-2-0-1, with one of those two losses to San Jose.

Feb. 20: Barracuda 5 – Stars 3

The Barracuda’s leading goal scorer Danny O’Regan was the first star of the night with three points, and captain John McCarthy also scored a brace as the Barracuda opened the week with a big win.

Nikolay Goldobin opened the scoring, and John McCarthy potted his first goal of the night to jump out to an early lead. Both goals came on the Barracuda’s third-ranked power play. The Texas Stars roared back with a pair of goals by Ludwig Bystrom and Remi Elie. McCarthy got the lead back for San Jose with 12 seconds left in the opening frame.

“I hadn’t had him on the power play and I said ‘screw it’ he deserves to be on it as much as anyone else,”Coach Roy Sommer said of McCarthy. “He’s picked up a lot of big goals. He had a couple of goals up in Manitoba on the PP. Tonight that was a big one right at the end [of the first period].”

The Barracuda kept up the pressure early in the second as O’Regan found the back of the net for the first time in six games. Bystrom scored once more in the second period, but O’Regan added a second goal to cement the victory. Troy Grosenick got the 28-save win in a rare game the Barracuda were outshot 31-28.

Quote of the Game: [McCarthy] was getting chances before. People forget that. They just weren’t going in. There were games he’d get five or six shots and nothing,” said Sommer of McCarthy. “But he’s hanging around the net. He knows where to go. He’s got big goals for us on this streak we’re on here. He’s been a big part of it.”

Feb. 24: San Jose 4 – Roadrunners 3

The Barracuda’s last win over the Tucson Roadrunners came in San Jose on Valentine’s Day in a 4-1 win in San Jose and the perfect season against the Roadrunners continued. In a penalty-filled first period that featured at Zack Stortini and Stefan Fournier bout, the Barracuda survived a three-point night from Christian Fischer to keep their winning streak intact.

Buddy Robinson’s shot up high gave the Barracuda the early lead that would have been the only scoring of the period until Laurent Dauphin crashed the San Jose crease in the last moments of the first period. The second period followed the same formula. Nikita Jevpalovs potted his 11th of the year to gain back the lead before another late, ugly goal by Dauphin tied it again.

The Roadrunners took their first lead of the night as Fischer scored his 19th goal of a fantastic AHL rookie season. But the Barracuda came back with a pair of goals. Rourke Chartier’s short-handed tally including Marcus Sorensen‘s game winner as his chemistry with Goldobin continued to elevate the game of both wingers.

Feb. 25: San Jose 4 – Roadrunners 3 (OT)

In all five games the Barracuda have played against the Roadrunners, San Jose has hung at least four goals on the Desert Birds going back to the preseason. They have outscored Tucson 21-11 and are a perfect 5-0 against the AHL’s newest club. The latest win was only the second time San Jose needed overtime heroics to preserve the win streak.

Marcus Sorensen San Jose Barracuda
(Scott Dinn/San Jose Barracuda)

The Roadrunners took the lead just 2:19 into the second period as former Bakersfield Condors forward Mitch Moroz scored his first goal with the Roadrunners since coming over in a trade from the Oilers for Henrik Samuelsson. Sorensen took matters into his own hands with a pair of special teams goals in the middle frame.

His first of the game came on the power play as he collected a Joakim Ryan rebound in the crease and slid the puck under Tucson netminder Adin Hill. The shortie came on a rush down the ice and Sorensen one-timed a Rourke Chartier pass past Hill.

Kyle Wood squared the game at two goals apiece as he drifted down to the slot on the power play and blasted his 11th goal of the season. Dauphin continued his Barracuda-haunting ways less than two minutes later to give Tucson the lead.

The winning streak looked to be on the ropes in the last three minutes of action. But Goldobin’s shot from between the faceoff circles made it through traffic in front of Hill. Hill was spectacular for long stretches of the game to force overtime.

Timo Meier one-timed a Ryan Carpenter pass from just above the left face-off dot past Hill as the Barracuda stole the victory, the extra point and ‘The Streak’ moved to 14 straight contests.

On the Schedule: San Jose Barracuda 14-Game Winning Streak On The Line

The Barracuda return to the ice against the Texas Stars on Mar. 1 at San Jose’s practice facility, Solar4America Ice, due to scheduling conflicts at the SAP Center. This is the second time they start their work week against the Stars. The Barracuda then head across I-580 to take on the Stockton Heat on Saturday then back to SAP Center for a big showdown against the Gulls at home on Mar. 5 for a 5 p.m. start.