The home portion of a six-game season series with the San Antonio Rampage came to a close as the San Jose Barracuda pulled out a tight win over a physical Rampage team by the score of 2-1.
The Barracuda gave Antoine Bibeau, who was named to the 2018 AHL All-Star game, the call in net, after they had started Parker Gahagen and Troy Grosenick respectively on Friday and Saturday in San Diego. Opposite Bibeau was Blues’ farmhand Ville Husso, who currently sports a .917 save percentage in 16 games played.
There was an interesting lack of high-danger shots on goal for both teams, as the majority of opportunities were taken from up high and close to the perimeter. There were two power play chances — one for each side — but despite the penalties, neither team could score first. The Barracuda headed down the tunnel with a eight shot advantage at 15-7, but the game remained scoreless.
In the second, Rudolfs Balcers appeared to have scored his eighth goal of the season when his wrist shot from the left point bounced off the shin pad of Rampage defenseman Andrei Mironov and behind Ville Husso. However, early into the third period, the goal was credited to Tim Clifton, making it his second goal of the year. A total of five power play opportunities in the second period did not come to pass for either team until Alex Belzile took advantage of a rebound and jammed it past Bibeau, equalizing the game for San Antonio. The goal was Belzile’s seventh of the year, sending both teams to their locker rooms at the end of the second period tied once again.
A physical third period paid off for the ‘Cuda, as Manny Wiederer scored an interesting goal, but a goal nonetheless to seal the lead for the Barracuda. The goal in question came at 8:28 in the third, when off of a turnover, Manuel Wiederer seemed to attempt a pass in front of the net to Alexander True, but went into the net instead for a completely unintentional fourth goal of his campaign.
In other Barracuda news, Jeremy Roy has re-injured his knee and is expected to be out for the rest of the season.
Roy only played 10 games in the QMJHL in his senior year with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada before originally injuring his knee. Needing a seventh defender, the Barracuda acquired Gus Young on a PTO. Young played in the Sharks’ system from 2014-2016. In 28 games with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL this season, Young had three goals and 19 assists. So while it does hurt for the Sharks organization to once again lose Roy to injury, they addressed this need quite quickly with a familiar face.
The Barracuda next host the Rockford Icehogs on Friday, a team that they haven’t seen since the 2015-16 season, and haven’t seen at home since their first ever game.