San Jose, CA - The San Jose Barracuda (29-26-4-4) concluded their eight-game season series with San Diego Gulls (35-24-3-1) on Wednesday at SAP Center, shutting out the Gulls in a 4-0 victory.
Making his professional debut as the first California-native to take the ice for the Barracuda in the franchise’s history, Sasha Chmelevski (1) opened up the scoring and gave San Jose an early 1-0 lead at the 5:15 mark on his first pro shot. Another new face for the ‘Cuda, Ivan Chekhovich (1), who was added on an amateur tryout agreement Tuesday, poked the puck loose in the offensive zone nearly ten minutes later, collected it after a scuffle for control, and fired from the left circle past the glove hand of San Diego netminder Kevin Boyle at the 14:50 mark, also on his first pro shot. The Barracuda carried their 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
In the second, the Barracuda’s leader in points, goals, and points-per-game, Rudolfs Balcers (19), stretched the lead to three with a put-back score at the 11:18 mark after Boyle made an initial save on a one-timer from Radim Simek but failed to keep control in the crease.
Balcers (20) scored again in the third, taking an assist from Adam Helewka off a faceoff in the offensive zone and pushing the puck inside the right post to make it 4-0 with 9:56 remaining. An official review took an attempted goal from Brandon Mashinter off the board six minutes later, which would have stretched the lead to five, but the Barracuda completed the shutout victory to take the season series 4-3-1-0.
Antoine Bibeau (20-14-9) earned his fifth shutout victory of the season by making 27 saves on 27 shots. On the other side, Boyle (18-11-3) took the loss, giving up four goals on 33 shots.
The Barracuda open a home-and-home series with the Stockton Heat this weekend with a 7:00 p.m. tilt on Friday at Stockton Arena. Listen live on AM 1220 KDOW or on the all-new Sharks + SAP Center App.