Stars Can't Crack Top Spot in Pacific, Lose to Barracuda 3-1

(Credit: San Jose Barracuda)

The Texas Stars had an opportunity to seize control of the Pacific division as the Tucson Roadrunners lost to the Stockton Heat but failed to capitalize against the San Jose Barracuda, losing 3-1. Antoine Bibeau had a sparkling start in net for the Barracuda and finished with 29 saves on 30 shots.

The Barracuda struck first and forced the Stars to chase the rest of the game when Reece Scarlett was called for holding, giving San Jose their first power play. After an initial shot from the point, Barracuda captain John McCarthy had two opportunities in front of the net, and Landon Bow couldn't make the third save. Bow finished the game with 26 saves on 28 shots.

Recently called up from the ECHL, Emerson Clark drilled Scarlett with a cheap shot in the back that drew a five minute boarding penalty and the ire of Denis Gurianov. The Russian winger stepped in at the end of the play for a round of fisticuffs with Clark. The fourth ranked penalty kill unit for the Barracuda showed its mettle and left the Stars with only a couple of shots on goal. The Stars were outshot heavily in the first period 14-4.

The tough sledding continued for the Stars in the second period. Dillon Heatherington couldn't avoid the forecheck in front of his net, and he turned the puck over leading to a goal from Brandon Bollig. San Jose goaltender Anoine Bibeau had a shutout in his sights as the game was headed for the second intermission until the Stars finally found some offense. Curtis McKenzie and Justin Dowling came in hard on the forecheck and set up Brian Flynn with a one timer in the slot. It was Flynn's eighth goal of the season.

Texas was the better team in the third period, but Bibeau was the best player on the ice. Sheldon Dries set up Gurianov early in the third period for a one timer that caught Bibeau's glove. Gurianov later made Bibeau stand on his head with another chance from in close. Flynn hit a crossbar as he almost notched his second goal of the game. The door was closed on the Stars comeback when Brandon Mashinter scored an empty net goal with about a minute left.

The Stars will conclude their California road trip on Saturday, December 23rd against the Bakersfield Condors. The puck drops at 9:00 CST.

Tonight's lines:



Injuries, scratches, and notes:
French, Fyten (scratch)
Rallo, Regner (injury)
Elie, Honka (call-up)

Tonight's attendance was 4,158.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at San Jose - December 22 2017