By: Joe Lami
The San Jose Barracuda won their first game in franchise history on Thursday night with a 4-1 victory over the Stockton Heat on Thursday evening.
It’s a complete 180-degree turnaround after they lost their franchise opener to the Rockford Ice Hogs 4-2 at SAP Center last Friday. Head coach, Roy Sommer, used the weekend off for a team bonding camping trip and returned to the rink for practice. It seemed to work out, as the Barracuda owned the Heat on Thursday night, a team that beat the Ice Hogs 7-0 on Saturday.
After a scoreless first, that only saw a combined nine shots, the ‘Cuda shot out of a cannon in the second. Just 28-seconds in, Ryan Carpenter skated in on a breakaway beating Stockton netminder Jon Gillies blocker side for the 1-0 lead and his first of the season. Michael Haley added to the lead on his second point of the night at 8:01 of the second scoring from in tight. San Jose earned their third of the period as Scott Timmins picked up his first of the season as he jammed a rebound home.
Nikita Jevpalous thought he had his first of the season on the Timmins goal, but it was taken away and awarded to Timmins. He made up of it in the third to secure the victory as he found himself wide open at the side of the net to get an easy one. Adam Helewka and Joakim Ryan picked up the assists on the goal. It was Jevpalous’ first game of the season, as he missed the home opener due to an injury he suffered in warmups of the pre-season game against the Heat. He was awarded the first star for his two-point performance.
Aaron Dell got his first start in between the pipes for the Barracuda, saving 25 of 26 shots. Derek Grant got the lone shot by him for his third goal of the season at the 6:31 mark of the third period.
Both Nikolay Goldobin and Melker Karlsson were scratched, as speculation continues with a potential call up to the Sharks due to a severe leg injury that Logan Couture suffered at practice.
San Jose (1-1-0) will continue their short two-game road trip on Saturday as they take on the Bakersfield Condors (1-1-0) before they return home to SAP Center next week.