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Quick Bite: Ryan Carpenter plays hero as Barracuda take 2-1 series lead

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Carpenter has six points in three games.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Carpenter scored with under five minutes to play to give the Barracuda a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, pacing San Jose to a 5-3 victory over the Stockton Heat on Friday night. The Barracuda now lead the best-of-five first-round series against the Calgary Flames affiliate 2-1 with game four set for Sunday at 4 p.m.

Timo Meier tacked on a dagger for the Barracuda just a minute later to all but wrap things up. Stockton made things interesting by scoring on a power play with the netminder pulled, but Buddy Robinson scored an empty netter to make it 5-3 to officially ice the game.

Carpenter now has six points in three games, three goals and three assists, and had one of each in game three. The forward has been a model of consistency for the Barracuda all season, scoring 39 points in 54 games, and has carried that over into the playoffs.

San Jose jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Barclay Goodrow and Danny O’Regan in the first period. Goodrow’s goal came early (3:49) on a rebound from a shot taken by Carpenter that saw Stockton goalie David Rittich come well out of his net. O’Regan’s tally beat Rittich late in the frame (19:44) thanks to a fabulous tally by Julius Bergman.

The Heat bounced back in the second period thanks to San Jose’s regular visits to the penalty box. San Jose took six trips to the sin bin before Stockton finally cashed in. The Heat had a brief 5-on-3, which the Barracuda managed to kill, but Stockton scored on the ensuing 5-on-4 situation to make it 2-1. Then Brandon Bollig (yes, that Brandon Bollig, AP Style be damned) tied the game at two.

If there’s a concern for San Jose heading into game four it’s the frequent stops in the penalty box. Stockton received eight power plays on Friday and scored on two of them. The Barracuda went 0-3 on their power play opportunities. That’s a ratio that can’t happen on a regular basis if San Jose wants to go on a deep run this postseason.

Fear the Fin Three Stars

  1. Ryan Carpenter
  2. Rourke Chartier
  3. Andrew Mangiapane