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Barracuda sweep Moose in weekend action

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DeSimone and Clarke Sanders made their professional debuts

#45 San Jose Barracuda F Tim Clifton
San Jose Barracuda Flickr

The Barracuda played back-to-back home games against the Manitoba Moose, a team whose playoff fate was sealed long ago. The Barracuda had already clinched a playoff spot, but the San Diego Gulls have done their best to overtake the Barracuda for the first seed in the division.

Barracuda 3 - Moose 0

The Barracuda put on yet another clinic of a hockey game this season. The first period would not see any goals but the Barracuda did a good job of minimizing Moose opportunities and really established their game early on. The shots on goal were tied at six for each team, but two Barracuda penalties contributed a great deal to the even shot count.

The Barracuda’s patience paid off in the second period when Nikita Jevpalovs scored his 13th of the season, deflecting a Julius Bergman (26) shot. Mirco Mueller (18) notched the other assist.

Just over four minutes later Ryan Carpenter would break in alone and switch to the backhand beating Eric Comrie to make it a 2-0 game. The goal was Carpenter’s 12th of the season.

At the 18 minute mark of the second period, Daniel O’Regan scored his 21st goal of the season on the power play, while Barclay Goodrow (17) and Joakim Ryan (33) assisted on the goal.

In the third period, Grosenick stole the spotlight for the rest of the game as he made some difficult saves en route to his 10th shutout of the season. Stockton’s David Rittich and Toronto’s Garret Sparks are in second place with five shutouts each.

The Barracuda would finish the game outshot the Moose 30-26. They went 1/4 on the power play and a perfect 3/3 on the penalty kill.

Barracuda 6 - Moose 3

The Barracuda entered this game looking for the season sweep of the Manitoba Moose and to break in some new faces. Nick DeSimone and Clarke Saunders made their AHL debuts in this game. Clarke was backed up by Mantis Armalis so that Grosenick could have a well deserved night off. DeSimone was recently signed out of Union College.

The Barracuda came out flying in the first period, dominating play and giving Moose goaltender Jamie Philips plenty to do. The Barracuda opened the scoring on a goal from Buddy Robinson (14), who poked in a loose puck after Adam Helewka (12) put the puck on goal on a wraparound attempt.

In the final minute of the period, Ryan Carpenter scored his 13th of the on an assist John McCarthy. The Barracuda finished the period outshooting the Moose 21-6.

The second period was a penalty-filled mess as the Moose’s frustration was on full display, and the Barracuda took some foolish retaliatory penalties. Ryan Carpenter found the penalty box first, and Kevin Czuczman beat Clark Sanders to pull the game within one. The Barracuda responded on their own power play 3 minutes later as Joakim Ryan was given far too much much time and space, and extended the Barracuda lead back to two.

The Moose were did not go away in this game. Dan DeSalvo once again brought the Moose back within one at the 14-minute mark. The Moose outshot the Barracuda 17-10 in the second period.

In the third period the Barracuda, extended their lead back to two goals, as noted scorer Zack Stortini found a loose puck while crashing the net for the easy tally. Tim Heed picked up his 40th assist of the season on the play.

Jets top prospect Kyle Connor made it a one-goal game less than a minute later, picking up a juicy rebound on the power play. That is as close as the Moose would get, though, Rourke Chartier and John McCarthy both padded the lead and the Barracuda finished their season sweep of the Moose.

The Barracuda were 1/4 on the power play and an uncharacteristic 1/4 on the penalty kill. The final shots on goal were 42-35 in favor of the Barracuda.

The new players continue to get acclimated to the new system. Tim Clifton looked more comfortable in his new surroundings. I think the Sharks might have something in Nick DeSimone, but further viewings will be needed. Clarke Saunders looked a little nervous and his rebound control left something to be desired. I’m not sure if he is much of an upgrade over Armalis, but it is still nice to have another goaltender for the stretch run.

Notes:

  • The Barracuda have reclaimed first place in the AHL with their weekend games increasing their points percentage to .718
  • The San Diego Gulls are still challenging for the top seed with a .685 points percentage nearly matching the Barracuda win for win.
  • Should the Barracuda finish first, they’ll play either the Stockton Heat or Bakersfield Condors, who are currently in a seeding dogfight.
  • The Barracuda have 6 games remaining on their regular season schedule that ends against the Condors on April 15.
  • Next up, the Barracuda host the Ontario Reign on Wednesday. Then,they will then travel to Stockton for a home and home series with the Heat that starts Saturday night and ends in San Jose Sunday afternoon.
  • The Sharks reassigned Timo Meier to the Barracuda earlier today, and Meier could play against Ontario, barring any subsequent transactions.