The Barracuda are in a tight battle for the playoffs with 20 games left in their season.
The San Jose Barracuda are entering the home stretch of their inaugural season, and it will be a tight race as the Barracuda look to reach the Calder Cup playoffs. San Jose split a pair of road contests against the Stockton Heat, top affiliate of the Calgary Flames, as the Barracuda were able to secure three out of a possible four points.
With 20 games remaining, San Jose is clinging to a playoff spot with 53 points and a points percentage of .552. Things will begin to ramp up in the coming weeks as the push for the postseason is officially on.
Last weekend, things didn’t look so good for the Barracuda, but a big third period explosion allowed San Jose to emerge with one point. Despite taking a 1-0 lead behind Barclay Goodrow’s 16th of the season, the Barracuda would concede three-straight times to fall behind the Heat by a 3-1 margin, before captain Bryan Lerg would get one back as San Jose faced a one-goal deficit after 40 minutes of play.
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However, the Stockton lead would swell to three as a pair of goals two minutes apart gave the Heat a 5-2 advantage with 15 minutes remaining in the contest. That’s when the San Jose charge began in earnest.
First, Ryan Carpenter netted his 11th goal of the season, pouncing on a rebound in front. Then, with less than two minutes remaining and Troy Grosenick pulled for an extra attacked, John McCarthy scored his sixth goal of the year as the Barracuda cut the lead back down to one.
As the seconds wound down, Trevor Parkes scored his 10th of the season with just 33 seconds remaining to force overtime as the Barracuda’s improbable comeback saw them steal a point. Unfortunately, San Jose couldn’t finish the job as Mason Raymond netted his second goal of the night as Stockton took home a 6-5 overtime victory. It was a rough night for Grosenick who made 33 saves on 39 shots against as Aaron Dell appears to be securing the number one role.
Despite the tough loss, the Barracuda bounced right back the next night as they used another third-period spurt en route to a 4-1 victory. Nikita Jevpalovs would get San Jose on the board in the first period with his fourth tally of the year, but Stockton would tie the game early in the third period.
Then, McCarthy would take over the game with back-to-back goals. The first one would come midway through the final frame as he converted a shorthanded opportunity before jumping on a rebound five minutes later to give the Barracuda a two-goal cushion. Parkes would add an empty-net goal for his second goal in as many nights as San Jose secured the two points.
Dell was fantastic between the pipes for the Barracuda making 39 saves on the night as he continues his strong run of play.
San Jose wraps up their four-game road trip this weekend with a pair of critical matchups against the Bakersfield Condors, top affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, and San Diego Gulls, top affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. It won’t be easy, but the Barracuda have put themselves into a position to make the postseason.