San Jose, CA - The San Jose Barracuda (34-20-3-4) returned home to SAP Center on Friday to finish up their season series with the Ontario Reign (22-30-6-3) (Los Angeles Kings) and thanks to a dominant offensive effort and strong goaltending, the Barracuda were able to shutout the Reign 5-0.
After Friday's win, and San Diego's loss against Bakersfield, the Barracuda now hold a two-point lead over the Gulls for the second spot in the Pacific Division.
San Jose's netminder Antoine Bibeau (14-12-5) stopped all 21 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the season and 16th of his career.
Just past the halfway point of the first period, the Barracuda would draw first blood as the captain John McCarthy (12) received the second pass of a tic-tac-toe between Jayden Halbgewachs and Evan Weinger at 10:39 and shoveled in the backdoor feed in from close range to make it 1-0. It looked like the first period would end with that 1-0 score, but San Jose was able to add a goal with under one second remaining. Again, it was McCarthy (13) who was able to cash in as he gathered a rebound off of a Jake Middleton right point-shot.
San Jose would continue the scoring at the 6:44 mark of the second on the power-play when Nick DeSimone (13) slapped a puck towards the net which ricocheted off of a Reign defender and in for a 3-0 Barracuda lead. San Jose would add another on the power-play less than three minutes later at the 9:10 mark when T.J. Hensick sent a shot-pass from the right wing to the tape of Jeffrey Viel (9) who redirected it into the open net from the left side to give San Jose a 4-0 lead.
In the third, San Jose sat on its lead, grinding away the final 20 minutes as Bibeau turned away all 10 Ontario shots and Antti Suomela (6) added some late insurance as he wired one off the bar and in at 19:38.
Cal Petersen's (10-18-3) three-game winning streak against San Jose came to an end after the sophomore netminder allowed five goals on 29 shots.
The Barracuda will take off for a quick one-game road trip to Bakersfield on Saturday for a 7 PM puck drop before returning to San Jose for three-straight games starting with the San Diego Gulls on Wednesday, April 3rd. You can listen to Saturday's tilt with Bakersfield live on AM 1220 KDOW, Sharks + SAP Center App and watch online at watchtheahl.com.