The San Jose Barracuda showed up to win tonight.
They took an early lead in the first with Julius Bergman scoring his first goal of the post season on a power play. That set the tone for the rest of the game. Special teams were the story of the night, with three of the Cuda’s four goals and one of the Griffins’ two goals coming on power plays.
San Jose never had to play from behind, something that stumped them in Game One of this series. Their offense stepped up to the plate, posting 20 shots over Grand Rapids’ 11 in the first period alone.
Ryan Carpenter added another goal to his scoring leader titles, getting his eighth goal of the post season in the first period. Tomas Nosek took advantage of a scramble in front of San Jose’s net near the end of the period, getting the Griffins within one before the buzzer.
The second period was heavy on special teams. Troy Grosenick stood his ground and was an impressive part of the penalty kill. Despite his efforts, Matt Ford still found a way to tie it for the Griffins on a power play. The Barracuda then had a turn on the man advantage and quickly answered with a goal from defenseman Joakim Ryan. The second frame was a little shaky, but San Jose held onto their lead.
The third period was all Cuda. Late in the period, Tim Heed took a nasty hit against the boards. He was slow to get up, but made his way to the bench. He played out the game, but hopefully that hit doesn’t catch up to him. Barclay Goodrow sealed the deal with an empty netter.
This series is physical. Maybe these teams are taking on the legacy of the now defunct San Jose-Detroit rivalry, but it’s clear they don’t like each other. Penalties were handed out left and right, with several missed calls, including a high stick on Grosenick. The final horn sounded and these guys took their frustrations out on each other, with a scrum against the boards.
The series is now tied at 1-1 and moves to Grand Rapids on Wednesday night.