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San Jose, CA - The San Jose Barracuda (31-19-2-4) opened up a two-game series on Saturday afternoon against the Colorado Eagles (33-22-3-1) (Colorado Avalanche) who came into the SAP Center riding an eight-game winning streak. Even though San Jose scored the game's first goal and outshot Colorado 25-23, the Eagles found a way to hold on for a 3-2 win.
The first period was non-eventful up until the last minute when a familiar face would light the lamp and give San Jose a 1-0 lead. Lukas Radil (2) scored in his first game back with the Barracuda since being called up to the Sharks way back in November. Radil caught a pass on a three-on-two in the high slot and ripped a wrister far-side past Pavel Francouz the Colorado goaltender. Antoine Bibeau was perfect for the Barracuda, recording six saves on six shots throughout the first period.
Three minutes and 42 seconds into the second, the Eagles would tie the game up. Logan O'Connor (15) capitalized on a two-on-one when he buried a one-timer on a cross-ice pass from Max McCormick to even the score at one. Then, with three minutes and 42 seconds remaining in the period, Colorado would take their first lead of the game as Igor Shvyrev (6) took a pass from below the goal-line from AJ Greer and rocketed a wrist shot over the glove of Bibeau to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. The Eagles would score just over a minute later when they again utilized a two-on-one which resulted in an abbreviated breakaway for Sheldon Dries (3) who executed a forehand-to-backhand deke that bested Bibeau and gave Colorado a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
San Jose captain John McCarthy (10) opened up the third period by scoring at the 4:47 mark when he fired a zone-wide Jayden Halbgewachs pass into the net to bring the Barracuda deficit to 3-2. Unfortunately for San Jose, that would be their last tally of the game in the 3-2 loss.
Bibeau is now 12-11-5 on the season and took the loss, surrendering three goals on 23 shots. Francouz moved to 25-13-2-3 on the year with his win, saving 23 of the 25 shots he faced and earning his eighth win in a row.
With the win, Colorado now holds sole possession of second in the Pacific Division.
The Barracuda will be back on the ice in less than 24 hours on Sunday, March 17thwhen they play game two against the Colorado Eagles. The Barracuda will be wearing specialty St. Patrick's Day jerseys and concession stands will be offering green beer. Sunday's puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 PM and you can follow the game on 1220 KDOW, The Sharks + SAP Center App, or at watchtheahl.com.