The Barracuda’s opening night and banner raising (well, dropping) ceremony was spoiled by the Grand Rapids Griffins, who after last year’s Western Conference Finals, weren’t just done manhandling the Barracuda yet, and demolished a weak Cuda team 7-3.
No surprises between the pipes, as Troy Grosenick and Jared Coreau got the calls in net. Grosenick was pretty much left out to dry by the Ryan and Heed-less defense. He was chased in the second period after allowing 5 goals on 22 shots. Jared Coreau picked up where he left off against the Cuda and put on a decent performance, stopping 26 out of 29 shots.
Dominic Turgeon would light the lamp first for the Griffins at 1:51 of the first period, beginning a very long night for the Barracuda defensemen. Corey Elkins put a second goal past Grosenick at 10:51.
The second period was where it seemed to all fall apart for the Barracuda defense. Following a goal from Turner Elson that Troy was very unhappy with, Matt Lorito (11:16) and Matt Carey (12:31) both scored on the power play. The game was effectively put out of reach at this point, 5-0 at the end of the second.
The Barracuda would finally start showing signs of life in the third period after Grosenick was yanked for newcomer, Antoine Bibeau. Brandon Mashinter netted his first goal of the season, and technically his first goal with the Barracuda, slamming home a rebound to put the ‘Cuda on the board. A brilliant pass from Adam Helewka on a three-on-one chance was received by Radim Simek, who recorded his first AHL goal, making it 6-2 Griffins. But after Turner Elson’s second goal of the night, which came at 13:20, any chance of an improbable comeback was squandered, even with a flukey goal that was credited to Brandon Bollig at 16:07 to make it 7-3.
As was expected, these two teams still had bad blood for one another, and it showed tonight, as both teams racked up roughly 22 PIMs. That’s not combined. This game really heated up after former Sharks prospect Dylan Sadowy went after Tim Clifton following a hit, and the violence did not let up after that. Both Colby McAuley and Jacob Middleton dropped the mitts for the ‘Cuda, the former following a huge open ice hit on Manny Wiederer, who left the game and will not dress tomorrow afternoon, per Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer.
Sommer said he is out for tomorrow. Saw him leaving after the game and had a big patch of swelling on the side of his face. https://t.co/ORuS1gzFjT— Zachary DeVine (@zakkthebear) October 14, 2017
The Barracuda will have no time to hang their heads over this game, as they’ll return tomorrow at 1:15 PDT to take on the San Antonio Rampage in their first meeting of the year. Meanwhile, the Griffins will take the I-5 up to Stockton tomorrow.