The San Jose Barracuda have returned to the ice to kick off the AHL season. On opening night, the Barracuda took the short bus ride northeast to take on their rivals, the Stockton Heat. This was their first match up since the Pacific Division Semifinals in which the Barracuda eliminated the Heat in five games, ending with a Ryan Carpenter short-handed overtime goal.
Danny O’Regan scored the first goal of the season for the Barracuda at 17:25 of the first period. Filip Sandberg would tally his first pro point with the primary assist. However, the boys in teal quickly found themselves in a hole when they went down 3-1 early in the second off a goal from Mark Jankowski. But later in that period, Danny O’Regan, Rudolfs Balcers, and Marcus Sorensen combined for three unanswered goals, in that order, to put the Barracuda on top early in the third. Joseph Cramarossa answered back with a goal at 5:43 to tie the game, but Manny Wiederer later scored his first career goal, and the game winning goal, at 13:36. Adam Helewka put the game out of reach with an empty net goal, and just like that the Barracuda were 1-0-0.
The home opener did not go too well for the Barracuda, where they were absolutely crushed by the Grand Rapids Griffins, the same team that ended their Calder Cup hopes and dreams, by a score of 7-3. This game never seemed to be in question, despite the shot totals for both sides. The ‘Cuda somehow edged the Griffins in the shot columns, 29-27.
There was no time for the Cuda to hang their heads over the last result, as they were going back at it the next day to take on the San Antonio Rampage in their first matchup since January 4th. After 2 periods, the Cuda looked poised to rebound from their defeat the previous night, despite the shot totals being overwhelmingly in favor of the Rampage.
Following an intense third period in which penalties were being handed out like new cars on a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Rampage would come from behind on goals from Joe Colborne and Andrew Agozzino to put the Cuda away, finishing the game 3-2.
As it stands currently, the Barracuda are tied in 6th in the Pacific Division with the Bakersfield Condors, with a record of 1-2-0 and a .333 winning percentage. However, there isn’t a reason to be concerned yet - the Barracuda also dropped their first two out of three last season, and then ended up with the most successful season in franchise history.
The Barracuda will see the Stockton Heat at the Tank tomorrow, with the puck dropping at 7:00 PDT, before embarking on a five-game road trip that will see them making their first ever visit to the Quicken Loans Arena, where they will play a weekend series with the Cleveland Monsters, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliates.