SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Barracuda (25-22-3-3) fought through a back-and-forth first two periods before exploding offensively in the final frame to take down the Cleveland Monsters (20-30-4-3) on Friday night at SAP Center, 6-2.
The Barracuda gave up an early first-period goal when Nathan Gerbe (2) scored on the Monsters’ first shot of the night at the 4:37 mark, giving Cleveland the 1-0 lead. But San Jose would take the offensive edge from that point, beginning the game two-for-two on the man advantage. First, Adam Helewka (8) was set up by a beautiful spinning pass from Brandon Mashinter as he scored with just nine seconds remaining on the power play to make it 1-1 at 9:18. Then captain John McCarthy (8) would score a power play goal of his own by directing a shot through the five-hole of Cleveland netminder Matiss Kivlenieks, giving the ‘Cuda a 2-1 lead at the 12:10 mark. But just 41 seconds later, the Monsters would tie it up with a rebound shot by Justin Scott (5) off the left pad of San Jose goalie Antoine Bibeau, and the score remained locked through the first 20 minutes.
In the second, it was San Jose’s turn for an early score, taking the 3-2 lead when Rudolfs Balcers raced up the left wing past the Cleveland defense before he ran out of room and found McCarthy (9) uncovered in the low slot, where the captain buried his second goal of the night at 3:28.
San Jose took it to the Monsters offensively in the third with three scores to cement the win. First, McCarthy returned the favor as he found Balcers (15) uncovered along the left hash of the near circle at 4:40, and then Mashinter (8) pounded home a point-blank shot off the centering pass from Sam Warning to make it 5-2 at 5:30. McCarthy (10) would cap off the three-goal third as he tipped a Zach Frye point shot past Kivlenieks at 14:58, stretching the lead to 6-2. The hat-trick was the first of McCarthy’s pro career and the sixth in Barracuda franchise history.
Bibeau (17-11-5) earned the victory by making 30 saves on 32 shots. Cleveland’s Kivlenieks (11-16-2) suffered the loss, allowing six goals on 38 shots.
The Barracuda and Monsters will finish their two-game weekend set at SAP Center on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Listen live on AM 1220 KDOW or on the all-new Sharks + SAP Center App.