Six nights after losing their inaugural game at SAP Center, the San Jose Barracuda achieved their first win in franchise history by defeating the Stockton Heat (AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames) 4 -1 Thursday night at the Stockton Arena.
Barracuda forward Micheal Haley registered his second consecutive two-point game of a goal and an assist while goaltender Aaron Dell made 25-saves in net for the landmark win. In addition, Barracuda rookie forwards Nikita Jevpalovs and Adam Helewka registered their first professional point(s) as Jevpalovs matched Haley with a goal and an assist and Helewka dished out an assist.
After a scoreless first period, the Barracuda took their first lead in franchise history just 28-seconds into the second period when forward Ryan Carpenter settled a bouncing puck behind the Heat defense and fired a shot from the left hashmark in the slot past Heat goaltender Jon Gillies for his first goal of the season. Haley was credited with the lone assist on the goal, which was also the first Barracuda even strength goal.
Haley extended the lead to 2-0 at 8:01 with his second goal of the season off a quick shot from a parallel angle on the left side near the goal line. Haley's linemate Petter Emanuelsson, who was playing in his first game since Oct. 26, 2014, had the primary assist while defenseman Mirco Mueller was credited with the secondary assist to extend his point streak to two games.
The Barracuda went up 3-0 at 15:44 when forward Scott Timmins shuffled home a rebound from on top of the crease for his first goal of the season after Gillies had stopped Jevpalovs' shot from inside the left faceoff circle. Barracuda defenseman Karl Stollery had the secondary assist on the goal, which underwent a near seven minute review as a result of Heat head coach Ryan Huska challenging the call on the ice.
Not wanting to be shut out on their home ice, the Heat turned up their intensity to start the third period and peppered Dell with nine shots in the opening four minutes, nearly matching their 12-shot total through the first 40-minutes. Heat forward Derek Grant spoiled Dell's shutout bid at 6:31 when he lifted the puck up-and-over Dell off an excellent individual effort on a delayed penalty call that saw Grant split the Barracuda defense while two more Barracuda players trailed on the play.
Jevpalovs dashed any hopes the Heat had of a comeback when he buried the puck into an open net from the left side of the goal crease for his first professional goal at 8:07. Helewka, who fed Jevpalovs with an across the the slot touch pass from the right hashmark, and defenseman Joakim Ryan had the assists.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 26-25 in favor of the Heat... The Barracuda went 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill... Through two games, the Barracuda are a perfect 9-for-9 on the penalty kill... Sharks forward Jeremy Langlois had a game high five shots on goal... In addition to having an assist each, both Stollery and Ryan were plus-three... Of the Barracuda's six goals this season, four have been scored in the second period... This was the first of 12 meetings between the Barracuda and Heat this season... The Barracuda are 1-0-0 against the Heat, 1-0-0 on the road and 1-1-0 with two points overall... The Barracuda are back in action Saturday night (Oct. 17) as they travel to take on the Bakersfield Condors at 7 p.m./pt.
1. Nikita Jevpalovs - Barracuda (1-1-2)
2. Micheal Haley - Barracuda (1-1-2)
3. Derek Grant - Heat (1-0-1)
Haley / Carpenter / Emanuelsson
McCarthy (A) / Lerg (C) / Langlois
Helewka / Timmins / Jevpalovs
McLaren / Crane / Parkes
*in order of appearance*
Stollery / Ryan
Cundary / Young
Mueller / McNally
*in order of appearance*