A few weeks ago, the San Jose Barracuda were in dead last in the Pacific Division.
After a disastrous February in which they had only won a single game during the absence of Captain John McCarthy, the Barracuda had found themselves in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time in their existence in San Jose.
But did you really think they were going to go down without a fight?
ROY’S BOYS DON’T QUIT.
Bolstered by the additions of Sasha Chmelevski and Ivan Chekovich from the Ottawa 67s and the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, respectively, the Barracuda rode a five-game winning streak and it all led up to today.
It was so simple, a caveman could understand it: If the San Diego Gulls earned a point against the Tucson Roadrunners, they would be in the playoffs. If they didn’t win, the winner of the ‘Cuda and the Stockton Heat match up would clinch.
Off Alexander True’s two goals, the Barracuda crept past the Stockton Heat, 2-1, eliminating the Heat from playoff contention. Then the attention shifted roughly 800 miles to Arizona, where the Roadrunners were in the midst of taking on the Gulls in a very high-stakes game — for San Diego, at least.
Tucson jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with goals off the backs of Lawson Crouse and Michael Bunting. Former Shark Tye McGinn kick-started the second period with a goal two minutes in to make it 3-0, but the Gulls would slowly mount a comeback attempt with a Nic Kerdiles goal halfway through the second period.
The Gulls didn’t make it easier for the Roadrunners, or for Barracuda fans listening or watching on AHL Live, as Kalle Kossila closed the gap even further with his 20th goal of the campaign to make it 3-2. Trevor Cheek struck back for the Roadrunners with his third goal, but Kossila once again made it a one goal game minutes after, this time making it 4-3. Former Gull Zac Larraza earned his revenge against his former employers by scoring his second goal of the season to make it 5-3. After a stressful third period, Trevor Cheek iced the game with an empty net goal as the voice of the Roadrunners, Tom Callahan, asked his listeners, “Do you know the way to San Jose?!”
The official schedule can be found here:
The mantra on Thursday at the season ticket holder party was, “We’re not done yet.” Now, that mantra becomes a reality.
Let’s Go ‘Cuda!