San Jose, CA - The San Jose Barracuda (0-1) fell short in a 4-2 loss to the Tucson Roadrunners (1-0) in the first of their best-of-five Divisional Round Series Thursday night at SAP Center.
The Barracuda lifted themselves over four teams in the Pacific Division over tens day with six-straight wins to finish the regular season and punch their ticket to the Calder Cup playoffs for the third straight year. The Roadrunners, making their first appearance after finishing atop the conference standings, also helped San Jose earn its way in by besting the San Diego Gulls in their final three regular-season contests.
Dakota Mermis (1) gave the Roadrunners their first Calder Cup Playoffs goal at the 11:04 mark in the first, finding space up the right wing and pushing over the glove hand of San Jose netminder Antoine Bibeau and in to put his team up one.
The ‘Cuda tied things up in the second with Alexander True (1) fighting through contact in the crease to knock in a rebound on the man advantage at the 9:33 mark. But just 23 seconds later, Tucson regained the lead when Ryan MacInnis (1) cut cross-ice deep in the offensive zone and swiped in a forehander on the left side of the goal to make it 2-1 through the first forty minutes.
San Jose tied the game again in the third when a deflected shot from Adam Helewka bounced off the chest of Sasha Chmelevski (1) and past Tucson’s Adin Hill at the 5:15 mark. With just 1:15 remaining, however, the Roadrunners jumped ahead for a third time on the night with Lane Pederson (1) scoring on a wrister from the left circle off a set-up pass from teammate Michael Bunting to make it 3-2. Dylan Strome (1) then buried an empty netter with 14 seconds left to secure the win and 1-0 series lead.
Hill (1-0) earned the victory by making 36 saves on 38 shots. Bibeau (0-1) took the loss, giving up three goals on 23 shots.
The teams will meet again for game two of the series at SAP Center Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m with tickets starting at $10. Listen live on AM 1220 KDOW or on the all-new Sharks + SAP Center App.