The San Jose Barracuda lost their first game in just over two weeks, as the Grand Rapids Griffins jumped out to a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals thanks to a 3-1 win in Game 1.
Mitch Callahan and Ben Street scored in the game’s first 10 minutes, and the Griffins never looked back. Kevin Labanc made it a one-goal game just 41 seconds later on one of his Barracuda-leading four shots on goal.
But that was as close as San Jose would get. Trailing one goal headed into the second period, the Barracuda managed just three shots on goal during the game’s middle frame, despite having two power play opportunities.
San Jose appeared to fix their power play last round against San Diego, but struggled like they did in the first round tonight. The Barracuda failed to covert on all six of their power play opportunities.
That came in large part due to Grand Rapids goaltender Jared Coreau, who stopped 26 of 27 shots (.963 SV%) in one of his best performances of the postseason. The Barracuda kept Coreau busy during the third period, but the fourth-year pro saved all 16 of San Jose’s shots.
The Barracuda used that pressure to press for the game-tying goal, but Matthew Ford put the game out of reach 32 seconds into a Marcus Sorensen roughing penalty midway through the third period.
Things got testy late, when Colin Campbell roughed Timo Meier after the final whistle. Meier let the Griffins’ bench know he wasn’t happy with the late treatment as he skated by, but Grand Rapids ultimately got the last laugh and skated off of the SAP Center ice with a 1-0 series advantage.
Home ice is now in the Griffins’ favor, but San Jose can even the series tomorrow at 5:00 PM when they host Game 2. The series will then shift to Grand Rapids for three games.
Fear the Fin’s Three Stars
- Jared Coreau
- Eric Tangradi
- Kevin Labanc