SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose Barracuda (16-14-0-2) held off the San Antonio Rampage (20-15-2-0) in a tight contest on Tuesday night at SAP Center, winning 2-1 in the first home game of 2018 for San Jose.
Both teams struggled to find solid shot opportunities in the opening period, with the majority of attempts coming from distance around the perimeter. The Barracuda finished the period with a 15-7 shot advantage, but despite power play opportunities for both sides neither could get on the board and the score remained locked 0-0 heading into the second frame.
The Barracuda opened the scoring on the night early in the second period when Rudolfs Balcers fired a wrister from the left point that appeared to bounce off the shin guard of a San Antonio defender and behind Rampage netminder Ville Husso for what was originally called an unassisted goal at the 2:51 mark. The officials eventually credited San Jose’s Tim Clifton (2) with the goal, and the Barracuda took their first lead of the contest, 1-0. Both teams held each other scoreless for the remainder of the period until San Antonio’s Alex Belzile (7) jammed a put-back goal past San Jose’s Antoine Bibeau with a minute and fifty seconds remaining to tie the game at 1-1 through forty minutes of play.
The Barracuda regained the lead in a physical final period when Manny Wiederer (4) netted what looked like an attempted pass for an unassisted goal nearly eight and a half minutes into the frame to bring the score to 2-1. San Antonio failed to convert on some late scoring opportunities and the Barracuda held the lead, ending a three-game losing streak and earning their tenth victory at home this season.
San Jose’s Bibeau (9-6-0) collected the win by making 24 saves on 25 shots, while San Antonio’s Husso (7-5-0) took the loss, making 36 saves on 38 shots.
The Barracuda will take on the Rockford IceHogs for the first time this season Friday night at 7 p.m. at SAP Center in the second of four consecutive match-ups at home. Tickets start at just $10 and are available for purchase at SJBarracuda.com/tickets.