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Cuda Corner: No one-goal margins as Barracuda take down Heat

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The Baby Sharks put five past the Heat, and five in the win column.

Bryan Del Fava, Fear the Fin

The San Jose Barracuda and Stockton Heat kicked off the second edition of the 2018-19 Interstate 580 Rivalry at the Stockton Arena, right up along the waterfront.

Coming off the heels of a great start exactly last week against the same team in the same arena, Roy Sommer decided to give rookie goaltender Josef Korenar the nod in net. Cail MacLean of the Stockton Heat went with a struggling Jon Gillies in their net, who currently has a 4.76 goals-against average (GAA). For reference, their backup, Tyler Parsons, has a 6.91 GAA in two games played. Yikes.

Filip Sandberg drew in for the Barracuda tonight, making his season debut after being held out of the first five games for some reason, and was posted up on the first line with Jayden Halbegwachs and Maxim Letunov.

It didn’t take long for the ‘Cuda to get going. Jayden Halbegwachs notched his third goal of the season with a breakaway opportunity supplied by Maxim Letunov.

That goal would end up being the only highlight of the first period, as the Cuda and Heat headed to their locker rooms without anything extra, with the former out-shooting the latter 13-11.

There was no scoring in the second period, but the bad blood was certainly present. There were five penalties alone in the second period, four of those going to Stockton, including penalties for boarding and elbowing. Perhaps they were upset that they only got one shot on goal that period.

Yes. One shot.

Early in the third period, Andrew Mangiapane of the Heat tried to directly mirror Halbgewachs’s goal, stretch pass and all. Josef Korenar read it a bit better than Gillies, but it went in nonetheless, and the Heat tied the game.

You were thinking this game was gonna come down to the wire, right? Not so. That ultra-hot Barracuda offense found their stride again in the third period, and you can thank Maxim Letunov for that.

Mad Max contributed to two of the four goals the Barracuda scored in the third frame. Letunov put the ‘Cuda on top for good with a snipe from an interesting angle.

The hits just kept coming for Jon Gillies. Not too long after Letunov’s goal, a mad scramble in front of the net was poked in by Manuel Wiederer to push the lead up to 3-1.

The triumphant return of Filip Sandberg was capped off with a three-point performance, including a goal of his own- and boy, was it a good one.

The Heat wanted to turn the heat up with under a minute to go with a Glenn Gawdin goal, but unfortunately for them, water beats fire. Evan Weinger iced the game with an empty-netter, his third goal of the season — all against Stockton.

The ‘Cuda and Heat will resume their rivalry today at the SAP Center, with the puck drop scheduled for 3 p.m. Pacific. With goaltending working against the Heat so far this season, it’s sure to be an exciting affair.